A family business in every sense of the words. The very early stages of being involved in the blinds industry started in 1968 with the opening of a Venetian Blind manufacturing business and market stalls selling Roller Blinds.
Over the years Concorde has developed to become the most recognised blind company locally. The mission has always been the same, to provide a valuable service and quality products. As time has progressed so has the business, with the focus being on survey and installation whilst still manufacturing soft furnishings. Concorde is still a family run business; this is important to us to ensure that our customers receive a personal and friendly experience every time.
Over the past 5 years the focus has been on ensuring the business operates as a professional, modern company rather than a traditional blind business. The aim has been to streamline the company to improve efficiency, and ensure our customers receive high level service, communication and after sales.
As recently as 2014 we were using the fax machine to send orders and triplicate pads to provide customers with quotations and order confirmations, generally our whole process was time consuming and very reliant on manual inputting. With Kieren returning to assist the family business, it was discussed that some of his time would be spent modernising and attempting to reduce the margin for error along the existing order process.
There were some early changes including utilising online ordering systems rather than faxing orders, gathering email addresses to help communicate with customers, and introducing auto attendants on the phone systems to manage incoming calls. However, the main issue we were facing was the amount of paperwork and duplication needed to process an order. This led us to introducing an app-based quotation system that removed the need for handwritten orders. The problem with this was that we still had to manually enter these orders into our old CRM system. We needed something that could automate data entry and reduce duplication further.
From the initial conversation with Vivek and a thorough demonstration of Blind Matrix, we were all impressed. It was clear that it would dramatically change the way that we acquire and manage customer information as well as removing multiple areas of duplication and automating certain jobs such as fabric calculation.
The decision was made to switch to Blind Matrix, and they were instrumental in guiding us during the integration into our established business, replacing existing software and processes. In all honesty it was much easier and not as daunting as we anticipated. With Kieren spending lots of time discussing requirements and creating a new workflow that would be created in Blind Matrix. We’ve ended up with what feels like a bespoke system rather than having to use it the same way as other companies.
Our journey with Blind Matrix from introduction to implementation and now day to day use has been impressive. We get regular updates on changes to the system and any tweaks or amendments that we require are always discussed and implemented swiftly.
Since implementing Blind Matrix in 2020, we’ve improved our service by reducing the number of errors whilst increasing communication and providing more informative reports such as quotes and order confirmations. Our time spent processing orders has reduced dramatically which means we have easily reduced lead times. Communication between our team has improved by using the notes and tasks features.
From initial contact and survey, through to installation and invoicing, all our information is in 1 place, and consistent. With the system being cloud based and utilising the Blind Matrix App we can work from anywhere and provide quotations, process orders, manage diaries and send internal messages associating them to the specific job within the system.
For many reasons, including Covid, we’ve had to reduce staff numbers, this would not have been possible without the introduction of Blind Matrix. We had 22 staff pre-covid, and now operate efficiently with half that number. We now have time to concentrate on other areas of the business and ensure that every area is up to date and in line with our modern approach to the Blind industry.