Charles Bentley enhances delivery experience with proactive multi-carrier solution
Long-standing manufacturer Charles Bentley has been enjoying business success and growth since it went online in 2005. However, as the company grew and its requirements became more complex, these global suppliers needed an efficient logistics partner to meet their ambitious delivery needs.
Headquartered in Loughborough, Leicestershire, the £30 million turnover manufacturer, importer and online retailer sources garden and outdoor, home living, sport and leisure, DIY tools and hardware, toys, games and pet products from around the globe and supplies retailers and directly the public.
After 10 years of online sales growth, Charles Bentley moved its eCommerce operation into a dedicated new 202,000 sq ft warehouse and it currently has a portfolio range of over 3,000 products. The company shipped over 250,000 parcels out to 31 countries in 2018, selling on a broad range of international marketplaces such as Fruugo, Allegro and Cdiscount, as well as supplying and dropshipping for a range of large retailers in the UK including Homebase, Robert Dyas, Rymans, JD Williams, The Range, Wickes, Travis Perkins and Booker Wholesale. It employs 195 people including seasonal staff, and has plans to continue to grow its market share in the EU and expand its product portfolio.
Tailor made enterprise carrier management solution
Prior to working with Parcelhub, Charles Bentley utilised an alternative supplier which could not offer a carrier management solution to match the innovative integrated system which Parcelhub has created. After several months of consultation, which involved a thorough review of Charles Bentley’s internal systems, Parcelhub presented a tailor-made solution to fit with the retailer’s needs. This was the beginning of Parcelhub’s working relationship with Charles Bentley in 2012.
Seven years down the line, Parcelhub now processes and ships in excess of 21,000 items a month for Charles Bentley via the multi-carrier delivery management platform; Andrew Steel, eCommerce Director at Charles Bentley, explains: “Items shipped range in size from 100 grams to 1,000 kg and can be anything from an envelope to pallets, ‘leave safe’ and delivered with a signature. Most items are despatched on one of Parcelhub’s direct carrier contracts but the flexibility of the software allows a number of Charles Bentley’s own contracts to be utilised also.”
Cost saving and dedicated technical support are just two of the key benefits to Charles Bentley. Thanks to the integration of Parcelhub’s Enhanced Delivery Management offering within Charles Bentley’s own systems and processes, the company saves on the cost of employing extra staff.
Andrew continued: “We would have to employ at least three additional customer service advisers of our own to manage the carriers. That’s a big saving to a business like ours. We really do see Parcelhub as an extension of our own business, and we have spent the last three years further integrating and refining the Parcelhub customer service team to create more efficiencies and strengthen our proposition.”
Parcelhub’s innovative Proactive Tracking Support team deals with hundreds of monthly tickets raised automatically via its SMART Notifications platform. Tickets are raised into the department based on a set of rules after a scan event or a series of scans indicate there may be a problem with the delivery configured across all carriers and services on behalf of Charles Bentley, including some carriers not directly contracted by Parcelhub.
Integrating with Freshdesk
Using ChannelAdvisor as their back-end order management system, Magento for their eCommerce website, more recently Charles Bentley has begun selling across a broad range of international marketplaces resulting in cross-border sales expansion.
Managing inbound customer queries from over 30 different sales channels resulted in Parcelhub recommending a Customer Experience Management platform, namely Freshdesk to increase visibility of all channel communications. Andrew continued: “Part of the Enhanced Delivery Management solution Parcelhub provides to Charles Bentley is a seamless integration between Parcelhub’s technical infrastructure and our Freshdesk account. This allows us to oversee all of our customer service activity across multiple channels; from order placement to query resolution, in one place, reducing time and streamlining processes.”
Hollie Stevenson, Customer Experience Administrator at Parcelhub added: “Integrating their Freshdesk account with Enhanced Delivery Management provides Charles Bentley with full visibility of all Parcelhub communications to consumers and carriers, whilst managing full ownership of queries. This empowers Charles Bentley with total transparency of delivery management in real-time; allowing them to monitor the quality of responses and SLAs, whilst reducing workload on Charles Bentley’s customer services team.”
Streamlined customer services
Andrew Steel added: “As our online operations grew, we liked the idea of having just one system to monitor and track parcels. Parcelhub provided their software to manage multiple portals to enable this to happen and streamline our customer services operation. Parcelhub’s suite of solutions is saving us in excess of £40,000 annually in customer service time, in addition to a similar amount of time on software development and managing carrier relationships”.
Managing Director at Parcelhub, Mark Rosenberg, said, “It’s important to the Parcelhub team that we get under the skin of our clients and understand exactly what their requirements are. Sometimes it can be a requirement they didn’t realise, and that we can provide a solution for.
This is an ongoing part of what we offer in so much as our dedicated account management team meets regularly with Charles Bentley to discuss developments and innovations across the industry including logistics, technology, customer experience and carrier management solutions.
Mark concluded: “Andrew makes an important point when he sees Parcelhub as an extension of Charles Bentley. Having worked closely together for nearly eight years, our two businesses collaborate ensuring a free flow of information in terms of technological advances, new delivery solutions, price changes and enhancements. For Charles Bentley to succeed, we have to succeed. Trust and capabilities are two vital components which contribute to that success.”
About Parcelhub – the bespoke parcel shipping solution
Save time and money. Increase delivery performance. Enhance customer experience.
Parcelhub is a bespoke and proactive multi-carrier delivery management and tracking support solution. Flexible and scalable, it integrates seamlessly with marketplaces, eCommerce platforms and order management systems, providing hundreds of multi-channel retailers, global brands and wholesalers with one access point to 20+ carriers and 600+ services.
Distributing more than 8 million parcels on its own carrier contracts every year, Parcelhub’s free multi-carrier shipping software grants hundreds of national and global businesses access to ‘pooled volume’ discounted rates from its carefully selected range of carrier partners, including Yodel, Hermes, DPD, DHL, UPS, DX, Parcelforce, CollectPlus, SkyNet, ArrowXL, Interpost, Panther Logistics, Direct Link and Palletforce. Dedicated proactive parcel management comes as standard.
Parcelhub also has a wealth of experience dealing with a broad range of complex fulfilment projects. Solutions include eCommerce fulfilment, picking and packing.
Parcelhub is part of the Whistl Group. Whistl is the leading delivery management company enabling customers to get their letters, leaflets or parcels to customers efficiently and cost effectively both in the UK and internationally. It is headquartered in Marlow with 8 depots and 2 fulfilment centres across the UK handling 3.8bn items a year. The company is privately held with over 1,500 employees and a turnover in excess of £600m. It has grown significantly over the years and is now expanding its presence in the eCommerce sector offering fulfilment services to customers through a seamless experience from first click to final delivery.