Gardening supplies company Wiggly Wigglers keeps tabs on its supplier contracts – and chases them up to ensure the best bargains. Here’s how.
A purely online business, specialising in gardening supplies such as natural pest controls, bird seeds and live feed, Wiggly Wigglers also sells flowers through its Great British Florist brand.
Initially, the flowers were sold through the Wiggly Wigglers site, but a lack of orders for funerals and weddings meant a change in strategy. It was decided it was probably down to the name – and so the Great British Florist brand was created to lend more credence to the floristry side of the business.
The customer base is broad – Wiggly Wigglers tends to attract slightly older customers who often phone up to place orders for live bird seed to feed their birds. In comparison, the Great British Florist sees a slightly younger clientele.
Since going online, the brand has had to source new ways of delivering goods to customers – a lot of the products are alive or fresh and can perish in transit, meaning delivery can be a challenge if organisation is not tight.
“We needed a way to eliminate delivery issues – if you’ve asked me to send flowers to ‘Mrs Jones’, and you’ve given me the wrong address and it gets delayed, it’s always a grey area as to whether we send a replacement,” said San Montague, financial director at Wiggly Wigglers
“We’ve sent it with the courier as asked with the details provided – because we deal with live products in one way or another, getting the product delivered in a timely fashion is really important.”
To overcome this hurdle Montague signed up to a service called PCA Predict.
“PCA has auto-complete technology, so as soon as you start typing an address into any one of the address fields it starts to guesstimate which address it is you’re going for,” Montague said.
“If you start with a postcode then it brings up house names or numbers in that postcode area, or if you’re not sure of the postcode you can start with the house number and street name and it will work in reverse for you.”
Wiggly Wigglers uses this service both on the customer-facing side of the website and in its own back-end admin processes.
Wiggly Wigglers has found PCA’s billing system to be particularly effective – it is able to purchase “credits” rather than being locked in to a long-term contract.
“At certain times of the year, our usage drops – but our credits are valid for 12 months so we can buy a larger package for the faster period and not get caught out by not using them in the quiet period,” explained Montague.
Montague is very aware of the need to keep tabs on contracts with suppliers, and keeps in close contact to ensure the business is always getting the best deal to suit its needs.
“Once the account is running low we receive an automatic email prompting us to top up. What I tend to do is check in every time I receive an email to check that the package we’re buying is still the right one for our usage,” explained Montague.
“A lot of the time when you use services and systems, you end up doing whatever you’re used to doing – but you can end up paying quite a lot more for it if you don’t keep checking you’re getting the right deal.”