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Episode Info: Just how exactly did Neville Wright manage to build his business up from nothing to employing over 120 people and turning over around £40million per year? Find out in Part 2 of the interview! KEY TAKEAWAYS Kiddicare’s customer-centric approach was achieved face to face and needed to be transferred to the internet. The first Kiddicare website took 2.5 years to get up and running and was launched on Christmas day in the late 90’s. Dealing with people's objections to putting credit card details online and also wrong items being delivered due to the colour difference between PC monitors. In 1999 people’s screens would often show different colours. Re-configuring packaging due to products being handled eight different times before reaching the customer. Suppliers wouldn’t want to provide alternate packaging so Kiddicare put cardboard sleeves on the products with the logo printed on, so not only was it on the box, it was also in front of the courier, the customer, anybody in the depot would see it. We scrutinised other online companies, which wasn’t many at the time. Nothing would go on the website without a photo. A lot of companies wouldn’t even have a price! We would have prices for multiple buys. Stock level information, delivery information was provided by Kiddicare, putting them well ahead of the curve. What would the customer want? When the cot arrives, they’re going to need a mattress. The cot needs to have a choice of mattresses on the same page. It needs blankets, sheets, each of these products needs six items, each of those six items have a further six items associated with it so people would buy more. They’d buy a cot, go on to the mattress section, then they’d go on the sheets page, then duvets, then blankets! Then there would be toys and further associated products like changing mats. On the changing mats there would be nappies, a never-ending circle… We used to make a daily list of faults, for example on the website. It would only take 20 minutes and we would rectify them straight away. We used to go to technology shows in London. There we would look for the companies who could do what we wanted, for example, build a website. Through this we built several websites, one after another, it scaled and maximised our business. Did you develop your warehouse management system in-house? We employed sub-contractors and then used IBM. We actually did most of it ourselves, then integrated it. We used lots of outside contractors in the last 2 years when I was there. The system became one of the best in class! We were one of the first people to use SMS notifications. We were passionate about getting it right. Despite your massive growth and being an independent retailer, it wasn’t without it’s challenges, was it? We were DPD’s largest customer and the only customer bigger than us at Christmas was the phone companies. During the 2008 recession, business hit a brick wall. It affected every business. Too much day left at the ...
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