Our IT and Digital Technology Director came in to this high end glass manufacturing company to help them with rapid e-commerce growth.

Company Profile

This company specialises in high-end crystal glass products, they cater to a niche market with customised, decorated, and bespoke designs primarily for the luxury gift market. Their clientele spans the drinks, hospitality, sports, and entertainment industries. Over the past decade, the company has witnessed exponential growth, marking a significant high-end glass manufacturing digital transformation. This growth has led to the expansion of its facilities and workforce in central Scotland.

CEO’s Mission

Recognising the potential of e-commerce growth strategies for glass manufacturers, the CEO realised that the company’s trajectory towards further growth required a shift. While the company had primarily catered to trade and corporate customers, the CEO identified e-commerce as the next frontier. The aim was to boost glass product sales online, targeting direct sales to consumers via their branded websites. However, the company’s low technology penetration, coupled with its reliance on offline manual systems, created production bottlenecks and inefficiencies. These challenges not only limited business growth but also curtailed their online aspirations.

To address this, the CEO envisioned a relaunch of their e-commerce platforms and the integration of automation to replace manual processes. This would not only unlock new growth opportunities but also enhance workforce skills, driving overall productivity. To spearhead this transformation, the CEO appointed a Digital Technology Director. This role was crucial in leading the company’s shift from paper to digital, focusing on end-to-end e-commerce, production, fulfilment, and technology. The director was tasked with driving change, guiding the senior team, and harnessing the potential of the existing team to deliver automation.

Digital Technology Director’s Objectives

  • Relaunch e-commerce websites to drive sales across the company’s two main brands.
  • Digitise production and fulfilment processes, creating efficiencies that support increased sales.
  • Foster a digital culture and upskill the current team in modern digital methods like Agile and Lean.
  • Mentor and coach key personnel.

What the Director Did

Digitisation and E-commerce Growth Plan

The IT Director undertook a comprehensive review of the company’s business processes and technology stack. The goal was to devise a strategy that would seamlessly integrate innovative e-commerce solutions for glass products. This plan, which focused on how the company captures, processes, and fulfils orders, was presented to the Board and subsequently approved. The Director adopted a ‘test and learn’ approach, breaking down essential functions for the team to work on incrementally. This strategy ensured the business continued its operations while introducing changes with minimal risk.

Led the Implementation Team using Agile

Forming an in-house cross-functional team, the Director championed the Agile methodology. This approach involved weekly sprints, daily stand-ups, and regular planning sessions. The Director’s plan also emphasized change management, team building, and education, ensuring the company could retain and upskill its existing team. With the CEO’s cautious approach to rapid change, the process was tailored to progress at a pace that ensured stability. The team, under the Director’s guidance, addressed and resolved any challenges that arose.

Relaunched E-Commerce website

In a testament to digital technology leadership in manufacturing, the Director successfully relaunched the first e-commerce website within a mere six weeks. This revamped platform boasted a fresh design, an expanded product range, enhanced SEO, and a robust social media marketing campaign. One of the standout features was the introduction of innovative functions for product customisation using VR 3D technologies. The back-end processes underwent a complete overhaul, transitioning to a paperless system, ensuring orders were shipped the same day. Then, the subsequent phase is set to replicate these successes onto the flagship brand website, gearing up for peak trading.

The Results

  • Relaunched E-Commerce website increasing sales x4. 
  • Implemented an electronic paperless production process, reducing errors and eliminating manual handling. 
  • Reduced order fulfilment from 3 days to the same day. 
  • Set up an Agile methodology for solving problems and driving change. 
  • Created new roles: scrum-master, business analyst, product manager. 
  • Mentored key personnel to enable succession planning. 
  • Proved the benefits of digitisation to roll into their flagship brand.