Established in 1981, Vardells takes great pride in supplying innovative Warehouse Management & POS solutions to businesses large and small. In this time, we have witnessed firsthand the evolution and growth of the industry fueled by an increasing variety of revolutionary and evolutionary technological innovations, the increasing demand for connectivity and a change in consumer behaviours.
Vardells has embraced this disruptive combination to inspire the development of exciting new capabilities, creating value for our customers through offering truly dynamic and fully scalable solutions.
Our UK based, highly skilled Helpdesk and experienced Software Development team provide intelligent solutions for single stores to multi-national chains through highly efficient, customisable software applications. Gemma Barlow, Managing Director at Vardells Ltd, spoke to Warehouse & Logistics News.
WLN – What are your best-known products and services?
We create innovative software solutions for our customers providing them with industry leading levels of support. We provide a complete solution from warehouse to shopper to web. Our services include Point of Sale, Store and Central Management, Merchandising, Warehouse Management, Omni Channel Integration, & Bespoke customisation and development. Our internally developed WMS delivers highly efficient stock control, and supports international retailers. Important for businesses in the alcohol market, our system is fully HMRC accredited. Our business has been built upon long term business relationships. Our dedicated UK based in-house support team of highlytrained Engineers and Developers, are highly skilled and well placed throughout the UK & Ireland, to allow us to respond quickly to our customers needs.
WLN – Which market sectors and countries are your customers in? Which ones are growing fastest?
Our major customers operate in the convenience market, fashion, toys and other retail sectors. Bargain Booze, a business unit of Conviviality Plc., continues to dominate the franchised off-trade market. We have also seen substantial growth in the fashion sector due to the advances in online retailing offering a true omni-channel approach to purchasing.
WLN – Who are your major customers and what do you do for them?
Here at Vardells, we work with some of the UK’s biggest and most celebrated brands. Most have been with Vardells for more than ten years, some over three decades! Amongst our clients are Smyths Toys Superstore, Irish chain provider of children’s toys and entertainment products with over 110 stores throughout Ireland and the UK, of which Vardells provides and services their two UK major central WMS. Tony Smyth, Managing Director at Smyths Toys Superstore quotes, “We implemented Vardells Warehouse Management system in 2012 and have been delighted with the results. Through implementation and driving efficiencies we have experienced cost savings of around 25%. We find the workforce at Vardells both attentive and professional while we continue to work together to drive down costs and increase profits.”
Another of Vardells major customers is Conviviality Plc, the UK’s largest franchised off-licence and convenience chain Bargain Booze & Wine Rack, of which Vardells services their 600+ stores and central warehouses, which with the capabilities of Vardells WMS, is fully HMRC accredited and compliant to handle product in bond. Steve Robson, Group IT Director, Conviviality Plc commented, “Through 30 years of close collaborative working, Vardells has supported Bargain Booze’s growth from a five store operation to the UK’s largest franchised off-licence and convenience chain that we are today. With an on-site, highly skilled development team, they have been able to both develop and integrate valuable additional functionality such as ‘Click & Collect’, our mobile loyalty scheme and intelligent multi-layer promotions. Vardells hardware and software support teams are highly efficient and frequently go above and beyond – on average hitting SLA support targets of 97% and above.”
WLN – How do your products benefit your customers’ businesses?
We offer customers a custom-made, functionality rich WMS product. By providing customers with the strategy and tools needed to grow and future-proof their business.
WLN – Why should customers choose you as their main supplier in your area?
Vardells have a strong in-house software Development team, delivering a rolling program of functionality enhancements. As a business, we deliver industry leading service levels through our UK based operation and helpdesk. We have a proven track record of developing long term business relationships with major fastmoving consumer goods operations.
WLN – What’s business been like in the past year? How have conditions changed over this period and how have you reacted?
2017 has been an excellent year; we have significantly upskilled the business to complement our increasingly tech savvy client base.
WLN –What were the business highlights for you in the last 12 months?
We have supported Bargain Booze thorough a period of strong store number growth, and seen our WMS facilitate the increasing turnover.
WLN – What’s been your most outstanding recent project?
In the last quarter of 2017 we developed and implemented a significant enhancement in picking functionality for Smyths Toys Superstore UK based warehouses. The New Zig-Zag Picking routine has dramatically increased efficiencies by creating one way travel through all aisles, creating a safer, more efficient picking environment and successfully meeting their business objectives.
WLN – How have you fine-tuned your offering in the last 12 months and why?
Strengthening our Development and DevOps teams has allowed us to improve the throughput of our customers requirements. By continually building on our industry leading core systems Vardells has further improved service to our clients.
WLN – What recent enhancements have you made in customer service?
We are very customer focused at Vardells, and our recent customer service project has been the implementation of a new helpdesk system. This online portal provides customers with a log and tracking system, providing greater transparency to view their support and project development progress.
WLN – What new products have you brought out?
We are currently re-platforming our retail offering utilising the latest in cloud technologies and incorporating industry standards. This will integrate with our comprehensive WMS to provide our users with real-time accurate information on any device.
WLN –What factors do you see affecting your business in the coming year? How will you turn these into opportunities?
Many of our customers have aggressive growth plans and with the constant availability of new and exciting applications, Vardells sees our strategic partnerships as vital in enabling us to provide the most diverse and scalable solutions to our customers. By combining our own enhanced development capabilities with that of industry leading partners we aim to provide a product which delivers complete business synergy for our clients.
WLN – Are you planning to branch into any new areas, target new customers and take on more people?
We will be launching our new cloud offering in early 2018 as well as enhancing the service for our existing customers. Our increasing Development and Sales functions reflect our confidence.
WLN – Are you investing in new premises and extra staff? What about staff development and training?
Our existing premises have the capacity to be extended and as mentioned we are increasing our head count.
We have team members certified to PRINCE2® Practitioner, PRINCE2 Agile® and ITIL® along with access for all employees to a selection of nationally accredited Professional Skills Courses. We also support our staff in personal pursuits for further education, allowing them to utilise Vardells with one of our team having just earned a First-Class Honours Degree using studies conducted on the business.
I too understand the value of education and am in my final year of my Masters in Business Administration (MBA) – we see the benefits in investing in our people and developing their capabilities and feel the certifications we provide access to are relevant to the industry and the strength of our Organisation.
WLN – Are you involved in any major trade shows or other industry events over the next year?
We are currently in the process of setting our strategies and reviewing our profile and presence for 2018. We will be focusing heavily on growing our presence in the WMS market.
WLN – What big news from Vardells can our readers look forward to seeing in Warehouse & Logistics News in 2018?
We will be continuing with our restructuring of the business to reflect our ambitious expansion plans. Through 2018 this will involve substantial recruitment which has already seen huge success in our Software Development, Sales and Support functions.
WLN – And finally, if you had to sum up your company in a tweet what would it be?
Vardells provide intelligent, cost-saving POS and Warehouse Management solutions, with industry leading levels of service and support.