Howdens

Find out how the SharePoint catalogue delivered for Howdens improves depot efficiencies and increases upsell rates.

Challenge

Howdens is the UK’s leading trade supplier of kitchens, employing over 5,000 people across the country. They operate successfully in over 500 different depots, and in each one of them, local life is an integral part of the business. For more information, please visit www.howdens.com.

Howdens wanted to have a depot information system where staff could access and share product information quickly and easily. The challenge was to offer a solution that would permit multiple content authors across multiple offices to contribute to the site, as well as ensure that the solution would be simple to use and navigate through, empowering staff to use the system without having to undergo any training.

Solution

Content and Code delivered a customised, intuitive Microsoft SharePoint intranet catalogue with a strong focus on usability, design and visual representation. The site offers advanced search, displaying results with thumbnail previews, as well as graphical navigation. To help drive efficiency and enable staff to respond to customer queries faster, product specifications and information is published directly on individual product pages rather than buried in PDFs and other documents.

Result

The level of feedback from the depots has been fantastic; people are getting the right information at the right time, quickly and easily. The navigation, search function and individual product pages were key to making the new intranet a success. From a sales perspective, the intranet has made the depots more efficient as sellers have more product knowledge and can better advise on products that their customers are looking to purchase, ultimately making it easier to upsell and helping them establish a trusted advisor status. The adoption of the site has been overwhelming and the solution is now viewed as a business critical system. Whilst their previous intranet generated an average of 170,000 hits per month, this has nearly doubled to 280,000 hits. In addition, from an IT perspective, this has allowed the business to move away from their previous intranet and consolidate business solutions to use the same SharePoint platform.

“This has been one of the most successful IT projects we’ve run in terms of feedback of the result. We have had a flood of positive reaction from the depots. Many of them expressed that they don’t know how they ever managed without this tool. To get this type of response from them was very satisfying.

Content and Code’s agile methodology worked well for us. The proof really is the end result and it was fantastic. We are now using the scrum methodology for our own internal IT projects and are already in discussions with Content and Code for future projects. We value ourselves on trust so once we choose reliable external partners we stick with them for years.”

Mark Lloyd Intranet & Communications Manager Howdens