The London Persian Rug Company is a reputable British business, renowned for their designer collections of antique, classic, contemporary, decorative and tribal carpets, rugs and runners. Their products are one-of-a-kind, and crafted from hand-spun wool, silk and cotton. The company strives to exceed customer expectations, delivering high-quality products with a matching high-quality service. They do this by getting to know the needs of each potential buyer, to support them in choosing a rug that is right for them. This is achieved by offering services such as measuring, home trial and a care and repair service.
Despite the impressive array of services that the business offers, the London Persian Rug Company was struggling to meet customer, employee and business needs. They realised that their management and sales software was failing them and it was at this point that we were invited to provide a solution to their problems.
Before working with us, The London Persian Rug Company did not have appropriate management software in place. This meant that clients had to visit warehouses to view the company’s products instead of viewing them digitally – an inefficient and inconvenient method of operating for both the clients and the sales representatives.
Instead of dedicated software, Excel spreadsheets were used to support the management and running of their company. As the business grew, this started to create problems in the day-to-day operations of their business.
These problems included:
Firstly, information was spread out between files. They had separate spreadsheets for each warehouse which made company data difficult to manage, and specific information difficult to locate and access.
Every employee had their own file with product details. With no shared, central source of information the company was at risk of inconsistent product information being held by employees. Further, each spreadsheet was at risk of becoming tailored to the person that managed it, and organised in a way that was meaningful to that person but not necessarily to everyone. This meant that if the spreadsheet was shared, or if that individual was replaced, there was a high risk of misinterpretation.
The more data that was being entered, the greater the risk of human error while inputting data. Furthermore, although Excel saves time during the data analysis stage, data still needs to be entered manually. This can be a slow and cumbersome process.
The company tried to overcome the problems they were experiencing with Excel by replacing spreadsheets with a physical board. This solution helped to simplify ongoing tasks and provided more consistency. However, there was too much information for the board to clearly display and organise. In addition, employees could not access any information if they were not physically in the office. This limited what they could do outside of the office, and therefore constrained how effectively they could execute their job responsibilities.
We were invited to create a bespoke solution for the London Persian Rug Company that addressed the difficulties they were experiencing, and supported their business goals. To do this, we first analysed the challenges they were experiencing. This included the problems created by their lack of a digitised catalogue of products, and the problems that Excel was creating. We worked closely with our client by engaging in extensive conversations, and holding regular workshops. This level of cooperation allowed us to create internal processes that supported their vision for the company, and was easily adapted to their day-to-day operations. Even more importantly, our cooperation helped us to prepare two custom software solutions that aligned with the company’s business goals.
We realised that what the company really struggled with was a lack of cohesion, caused by the absence of a centralised and collaborative space for company data that all employees could access. To address this problem, we configured a Trello app alongside our custom software. This supported each company department to keep up to date with company operations, and cooperate daily with each other.
The custom software we designed includes these features:
We plan to enhance our bespoke solution for the London Persian Rug Company by incorporating the following features:
Our partnership with the London Persian Rug Company has benefited the business in a multitude of ways. These include: