How a furniture and appliances retailer in Pretoria saves R250k every year

“ProcurementExpress.com saved us R250k last year”
Howard Shankman – CEO at Railway Furnishers

Railway Furnishers is an established furniture and appliances retailer with a centralized warehouse in Pretoria. Founded in the 1960’s, this family business now has 28 busy retail stores and over 350 employees.

With more and more stores opening, it became difficult for management to control costs and keep track of supplies on hand. Railway Furnishers needed to centralize their purchasing controls and better manage their outgoings.

THE CHALLENGE
Before using ProcurementExpress.com, Railway Furnishers were struggling with a number of issues:

  • Management were finding it increasingly difficult to control spending across the 28 retail stores. They were spending 10 hours a week simply chasing paperwork and matching purchases to individual retail stores.
  • Stationary and consumables were being purchased at inflated retail prices by store managers. This decentralized purchasing process was clearly inefficient and costly.
  • By failing to put adequate controls in place, management could see that they were encouraging a culture of wasteful spending. The risk of embezzlement was high.

Railway Furnishers needed a tool that would make purchasing safer and more efficient.

ISSUES IDENTIFIED IN AN AUDIT BY PROCUREMENTEXPRESS.COM

  • There was no automated purchasing process is place
  • Paper purchases were impossible to track
  • Month to month spending across each store was wildly fluctuating
  • The finance team were chasing receipts from 28 stores every month
  • Employees were not thinking twice before making a purchase
  • Supplies would go missing from time to time
  • Management had no ability to analyze and report on spend patterns
  • Management had no ability to establish key vendors relationships
  • Financial statements were not always adding up

THE SOLUTION

It made most sense for Railway Furnishers to choose a cloud-based centralized purchase approval solution. The roll-out went as planned and within days staff at Railway Furnishers were enjoying the safety and efficiency that ProcurementExpress.com offers.

Management saw the value of the real-time purchasing dashboard right away. It made reporting easy and slashed administration costs by 90% in the first month. ProcurementExpress.com also enabled management to partner exclusively with reliable trade suppliers that were willing to offer rebates in return for access to their bulk purchasing.

With the help of ProcurementExpress.com, store managers can now raise purchase requests for essential items directly with head office. Stores are now ordering supplies on a once a month basis and are aware that consumable usage is monitored.

THE RESULT

Improved efficiency: Railway Furnishers is now in full control of their outgoings and staff. Store managers no longer need to leave their store to purchase essential items and the finance team no longer spend hours every week scanning expense reports or searching for paper receipts.

Staff accountability: The culture of wasteful spend has been reversed and all staff now know that they are accountable for what they request. The risk of embezzlement and pilferage is now much lower.

Supplier accountability: Management use ProcurementExpress.com as a spend comparison tool. It allows them to gather purchase order data from across all of their 28 stores with ease and share this benchmarking data with suppliers on a regular basis to keep them on their toes.

Significant Savings: Railway Furnishers have made huge time and cost savings thanks to the platform. Time spent on purchasing has been reduced by 90% and in 2019 the app directly saved them over R250k.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.