Case Study

The Factory Shops

GFS despatch automation removes fulfilment obstacles and provides huge time savings at The Factory Shops

The Factory Shops

Small Business

GFS provides The Factory Shops with a fully connected despatch platform to manage high parcel volumes across multiple sales channels. GFS deciphers orders from multiple sources, opens access to a pool of carrier services and ensures the transfer of tracking information to all parties.

“We have shaved hours off the time it takes to process and ship our orders, this releases us to focus on more important things such as monitoring our listing within the sales channel. It has revolutionised the way we manage our time.”
IT Manager, Tim Virgo

The Client

The Factory Shops have grown significantly in their 30 years of trading, now with five retail outlets serving around 50,000 customers a week, as well as stores on eBay and Amazon. The 150 strong workforce is run by the founding family, who aim to be recognised as the best in value retailing, and engender trust and loyalty with every customer.

The Situation

The Factory Shops sells high quantities of imported goods through eBay and Amazon. Specialising in seasonal products, the business experiences fluctuating peak periods throughout the year and it became a challenge to keep up with unexpected high parcel volumes.

From 80 parcels one day to 300 the next, high volumes make fulfilment an overwhelming task and unpredictable spikes made staffing allocation difficult, often resulting in operational challenges.

The Solution

After consulting with The Factory Shops, GFS identified that the most effective solution to solve these issues would be a combination of the GFS Marketplace Connector and GFS Selector.

The GFS Marketplace Connector unites the shipping tool, GFS Selector, with each individual sales channel. Behind the scenes the orders are automatically extracted from the different sources and converted into the right format, ready for The Factory Shops to simply print the label.

“The setting up of the Marketplace Connector was easy. The GFS Technology team really worked hard to make sure it works the way we needed it to.”

With the GFS solution, The Factory Shops can now:

  • Swiftly import orders from multiple channels
  • Print carrier compliant labels with barcodes ready for real-time tracking
  • Automatically retrieve correct address information for accuracy
  • Create routing rules tailored to each shipment
  • Return tracking information back to the customer via eBay and Amazon, saving manual processing hours

The Result

Implementation of GFS technology has improved speed and accuracy, which in turn has created a smooth shipping process without duplication of effort or any arduous data entry tasks.

Tim Virgo, IT Manager at The Factory Shops, has noticed the team now has more time to focus on other areas of the business. He is really pleased that the installation of GFS Marketplace Connector was quick and the programme is easy to use. It has transformed the way they manage their shipments.

“We don’t have to worry about making address errors, the data imports automatically and at the end of each day it automatically notifies the sales channels about the orders that have been shipped, in the format they require.”

The Follow Up

Not only are GFS acting as a conduit for the transfer and translation of order and tracking data, but they are continually monitoring the progress of each shipment and taking any pre-emptive actions needed to ensure a smooth delivery.

GFS systems are integral to supporting The Factory Shops to manage and control seasonal fluctuations that have previously critically affected the business, resulting in time efficiencies and substantial cost savings. The Factory Shops are now able to focus on their core business.

About the company

  • The Factory Shops is a small family-run chain of shops based in Essex
  • Runs 5 stores serving 50,000 customers a week
  • Sells high volumes on Amazon and eBay

The need

  • To have operational flexibility to manage unpredictable parcel volumes
  • Improve the speed and ease of multi-channel despatch
  • Improve shipping accuracy and the customer experience

The GFS Solution

  • GFS Managed Multi-carrier Services

  • GFS Selector
  • GFS Channel Connector

  • GFS Seeker