The latest in a new series of articles, these features showcase our technology integration partners so that you can better understand what’s on offer. This month we speak to Iain Coplans, CEO at Stok.ly, a Midlands-based order management and warehouse management software business supporting retailers across the UK.
Who are Stok.ly?
At Stok.ly we offer ePos, telesales and field sales order taking software for B2C and B2B, seamless multichannel eCommerce joining up website platforms and marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon, sophisticated multi-location stock and inventory control and innovative, automated sales order fulfilment across picking, packing and despatch via your chosen couriers.
Our seamless integration with Parcelhub delivers a true end-to-end solution for retailers and B2B organisations who are looking to manage the flow of sales orders on one platform, across multiple channels, from point of sale through to despatch and post-sale customer care.
How did Stok.ly begin?
We evolved out of a digital agency developing sophisticated eCommerce websites and apps for retailers. We identified a gap in the market for a seamless, plug and play SaaS solution that gave retailers and B2B companies total control of every sales channel from one dashboard combined with slick, optimised fulfilment services.
Tell me about the Stok.ly team!
Our growing team combines real world retail, warehouse and hardware experience with innovative software engineers and developers to deliver a solution that deals with real world challenges.
We believe in recruiting from a diverse range of backgrounds and geographic locations, because the natural diversity in thinking this engenders, generates the most innovative mixture of ideas to help solve real world problems.
We consistently look at problems differently to our competitors, whether this is systems architecture or the user interface used by telesales and field sales teams to take orders.
Who are your current customers?
Our customers range from global brands like Fujifilm (for whom we provide ePos and fulfilment solutions to their Covent Garden super store), through to pure play eCommerce customers fulfilling 5000+ orders per day from their own multi-location warehouses.
The majority of our customers are a mix of bricks & mortar and eCommerce retailers selling in the UK, shipping up to 500 packages per day.
Because Stok.ly is such a flexible piece of software, we support businesses across many verticals and across B2C, B2B and trade.
Which key challenges do your customers face and how does Stok.ly help them solve these challenges?
The number one challenge we are consistently asked to solve is delivering real time inventory control across all channels.
Our architecture is different to our competitors in this space which enables us to approach this challenge differently.
We offer customers total control over all their inventory in Stok.ly, the ability to make bulk changes to all their product data from a single dashboard, to list in bulk to all channels at the click of a mouse and to offer bespoke pricing, titles, images and descriptions for every product across every channel.
Stok.ly becomes the one version of truth, the hub, from which all your channels including bespoke apps and third party software connected via our open API are updated in real time.
Real time inventory means you never miss a selling opportunity and you don’t sell items that have gone out of stock.
Who are your future ideal customers and who would you like to work more with?
We have spent a great deal of time and resource optimising our fulfilment functionality. Our partnership with Parcelhub means we are well positioned to support businesses who require order management and warehouse management from one supplier to simplify their business processes, cut costs, save time and most importantly, scale their business.
We are looking for ambitious companies who can see the value carefully chosen technology partners can deliver to their bottom line and growth plans.
How does Stok.ly work?
Think of the classic hub and spoke model. Stok.ly is the hub in which all your inventory is maintained. The spokes might be ePos or telesales/field sales order taking, websites, eCommerce marketplaces, third party apps and software, accounting software and Parcelhub to name a few.
All integrations are plug and play, so no development work is required.
Once plugged in, we have full, real time, two way, communication with each channel.
We listen to events within Stok.ly and on each channel and once identified, we push and pull data to ensure every channel is updated in real time.
Sales orders from all channels are pulled into one central dashboard. Schedule or run our order fulfilment rules to automatically assign sales orders to couriers and courier services, automatically create pick lists which are sent directly to the Stock App for your team to pick, pack and despatch.
Parcelhub sends back courier labels and tracking codes which are available to print from the stock app as your team pack while courier tracking codes are automatically sent to your customers.
Stok.ly provides a full audit trail from sale through to despatch, with safeguards to prevent the wrong items being picked and packed, saving our customers money and improving your customers’ satisfaction and loyalty.
What makes Stok.ly unique?
Sophisticated, user friendly ePos and order taking for telesales and field sales on Windows, Android and iOS devices
Customer accounts, quotes and trade pricing.
Manage all your inventory and all your product information from one dashboard
Bespoke pricing, names, descriptions and images for each channel and location.
Fast easy listing to all your eCommerce channels in bulk at the click of your mouse
Scheduled sales order processing and optimised pick pack & despatch functionality
Advanced reporting and customer insight tools deliver competitive advantage
Dedicated account manager and a single point of contact for your team
Who else do Stok.ly integrate with?
We provide a range of plug and play integrations as well as a fully documented Open API.
- Magento 1
- Magento 2
- Google Shopping
- Royal Mail
- Most major UK couriers
- Exports for other accounting systems
- Access to all the data held in your Stok.ly account.
- Modern, fast and lightweight API based on proven technologies (HTTP, JSON) and design principles (REST).
How has your experience been during the pandemic?
We grew month on month at our fastest rate during 2020, even during lockdown, which came as a pleasant surprise.
2021 has seen a lot of uncertainty in the market but as the year progresses, we are again experiencing our fastest growth rates month on month.
Personally, I felt working from home reduced our ability to learn from each other and collaborate as teams and across departments.
No site visits kept us working remotely with customers which was not always ideal. We believe in developing a deep understanding of our customers’ businesses and site visits form an important component in this.
Being back in the office and visiting clients on site again is a great relief!
How has Brexit impacted your clients and their customers?
Brexit has delivered a great deal of confusion and uncertainty as well as red tape and extra admin for many of our clients.
I am not sure we have seen the end of the adjustment period yet, so it’s still a learning experience for all involved.
From the perspective of our software, we have listened closely to our customers as everyone deals with change and continue to deliver new functionality to help make life easier for all involved.
Why did you decide to partner with Parcelhub?
We were looking for a partner who could provide our customers with access to the major couriers and facilitate UK and international delivery.
What we found in Parcelhub was an ambitious, entrepreneurial company with great people who saw the potential in delivering retailers an end to end solution with Stok.ly.
It feels like the fit with Parcelhub is very natural, the communication between our teams is strong and we are all looking forward to delivering many successful projects together.
How does the Stok.ly Parcelhub integration work?
With our plug and play integration, Stok.ly customers simply add in their Parcelhub account key into the back office and the integration with Parcelhub is complete.
As sales orders enter Stok.ly from your sales channels and are processed, our automated rules engine assigns each sales order to a courier and courier service (provided by Parcelhub) and we push all the relevant customer and shipping information to Parcelhub.
Stok.ly customers can either print off Goods Out Notes with courier labels included within the template or print courier labels on demand from the Stock App or back office.
Along with the courier label, Parcelhub also pushes the courier tracking code back to Stok.ly which is sent out to customers as the status of the sales order in each e-commerce channel is updated to despatched.
It’s a slick, seamless, plug and play integration.
What are the best things about Parcelhub?
It all starts with the people.
When you combine user friendly technology with ambitious, knowledgeable, client focused people you have a product and company that can add real value to customers and their businesses.
We are really excited to be partnering with Parcelhub and the team.
How important is a multi-carrier delivery approach to your clients?
We serve customers across a diverse range of verticals and business models, so flexibility in fulfilment and delivery is a critical success factor for Stok.ly
Customers demand flexibility in delivery options and as such, offering a multi-carrier approach means that there will always be a suitable solution to meet our customers’ requirements, no matter how demanding their customers might be!
How important is proactive customer service to your clients?
At Stok.ly we believe in the challenger approach to selling and customer service.
This approach suggests that we should not just meet the customer’s needs by delivering the services they ask for, but instead, bring our collective knowledge of the market and best practice to the customer and build a roadmap together of what could be achieved.
Customers are at the heart of every decision we make in Stok.ly and delivering proactive customer care is critical to our goal of delivering long term partnerships with our customers.
An example of being proactive are the scheduled check-up calls by our customer care manager each quarter to make sure our customers are happy and getting the most out of Stok.ly.
Buying into Stok.ly shouldn’t just be a transaction, it should be the start of a partnership focused on sales growth, cost cutting and process optimisation.
Where do you see Stok.ly in 3 to 5 years?
Stok.ly is an ambitious company with a hugely innovative platform that continues to evolve.
Early in Q1 of 2022 we are releasing our own eCommerce website platform, meaning our customers will be able to publish their own B2C and B2B eCommerce websites straight out of Stok.ly.
We already offer a range of unique functionality around order taking, listing and fulfilment, but delivering customers a seamless eCommerce website solution will move us into unique territory.
We have plans to push into international markets and grow our brand to be the plug and play multichannel eCommerce solution for serious eCommerce businesses.
How do you see your partnership with Parcelhub evolving?
We can only see our teams working closer together to increase the value both companies can offer Stok.ly and Parcelhub customers.
We are a market led company who develop new features to solve real world problems. As we work together with Parcelhub on projects, I am sure new features will be released to help customers reduce the complexity around UK and international delivery.
It will undoubtedly be an interesting and exciting journey together.
To learn more about Parcelhub’s new integration visit Stok.ly