BuildDirect was founded in 1999 with a mission of simplifying the home improvement industry with its innovative eCommerce platform. BuildDirect connects homeowners and home improvement professionals with sellers across the globe, allowing customers to access the products they want, at the prices they love, and delivered on time directly to their doorstep.
With the recent growth in online sales and increased demand for online flooring, BuildDirect has experienced rapid growth. To scale the organization to meet future growth demands, BuildDirect engaged Propel Solutions to conduct a review of its order management and supporting processes. The objective of this engagement was to ensure that key processes are efficient, effective as well as support the organization with the rollout of new technology.
The project was conducted within a five-week period and included the following activities:
- Documenting the Order Management Process: Propel conducted a comprehensive review of key processes within the sales, logistics, warehouse management, inventory management, claims, category management, and finance teams to determine opportunities to improve capacity within the order management process. This was completed through interviews with staff and creating detailed process maps that were critiqued by managers and staff. The resulting analysis formed the first step for identifying available process improvements.
- Analyzing Current IT Infrastructure: To support BuildDirect’s implementation of Bright Pearl, an omnichannel retail software, Propel developed detailed Systems Maps to outline the existing IT infrastructure across operations and sales. Linkages between the data and information flow was highlighted, and instances of manual data entry between systems was analyzed. The resulting map was used to uncover opportunities for systems alignment to support the order management process.
- Understanding Order Management Capacity: Propel developed Activity Lists for the operations, sales, category management, and finance teams to identify the current capacity of various processes that form the business. The Activity Lists provide information about the volume and frequency of each activity and quantifies day to day work processes. The resulting analysis formed a basis for quantifying the recommended process improvements, allowing BuildDirect to measure the impact to the order management process.
- Analyzing Key Cost and Revenue Drivers: A Profit Driver Model was developed to demonstrate the linkages between the cost and revenue drivers of the organization. Using this profitability analysis, the total cost per order was examined to identify the total improvement opportunity available across all areas. From here, the impact of changing the organizational targets can be modelled to help determine specific improvement objectives in terms of financial and capacity improvement in the areas.
- Designing the Management Toolkit: Propel facilitated workshops with the BuildDirect leadership team to identify the tools that are currently used to manage processes in each department. From here, Propel identified tools to be developed to improve order management capacity and enhance resource planning, allowing BuildDirect to proactively plan resources for peak operational periods. Key Performance Indicator’s were developed for daily measurement of results to establish structured communication paths for reporting successes across the organization.
The process review provided BuildDirect with a foundation to replicate current success and support the organization’s continued growth. Staff engagement throughout the analysis was high, with over 80 opportunities for improvement identified by the BuildDirect team. Through this analysis, opportunities were identified to improve key processes, enhance resource planning, and increase systems alignment to support the order management process.
Propel determined that BuildDirect could improve the capacity of the departments by 30% through process improvement. Recommendations were provided to remove non-value-added time in the order management process to maximize customer value, and a roadmap for implementing the changes was developed to support the installation of improvements.