Abel & Cole installs ERP software; Slingsby reaps IT solution benefits

Organic-food purveyor Abel & Cole is investing £425,000 in
Fresh Dynamics software from Index Computer Systems. The
three-phase deployment process began in September 2007, replacing
the company’s existing financial package. The second phase is
scheduled to go live at the end of August 2008 and involves Abel
& Cole migrating its stock management, purchasing and production,
sales order management and human resources management. The final
phase of the project, scheduled to take place in late 2008, will
involve the implementation of an additional customer relationship
management system.

Index will supply Abel & Cole with a 90-user licence of the
software, which was developed specifically for the fresh-produce
industry. It will ensure Abel & Cole’s rapid order processing,
improved pack house production and sophisticated quality control.

Abel & Cole was founded in 1988; annual sales now stand at
£28 million. In October 2007 founder Keith Abel sold a
majority stake in the business to Phoenix Equity Partners, a deal
that reportedly valued the company at £30 million-£40
million. Abel & Cole employs more than 340 staff in six offices
throughout the UK.

Meanwhile, a new IT system at Slingsby has contributed to its
increase in turnover and profits this year. Slingsby, which sells
industrial equipment via its catalogue and website, said that
revenues were up from £19.0 million in 2006 to £19.6
million in 2007, and pretax profit rose to £1.55 million
from £1.1 million the previous year. Slingsby nonexecutive
chairman John Waterhouse said in a statement that the Maginus IT
system, implemented in 2006, allowed the company to
“conduct more sophisticated analysis of customer and
product demand”. Slingsby can now better target its
marketing efforts and focus on stocking the products with higher
demand rates as well as provide next-day delivery on many items.

Slingsby will continue to invest in its IT infrastructure in
2008, with a key focus on restructuring its customer service
centre. When contacted by Catalogue/e-business, a spokesperson
for Slingsby would not comment on the proposed restructuring and
whether this would result in redundancies in its customer
services department.

Published: 16th May 2008


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