Development of a new product leading to business expansion and supporting enhanced environmental sustainability.

Easywebstore Limited trading as Orderly, now based in Derby, was founded in 2008 to facilitate the deployment of an online sales channel for businesses. The business grew rapidly over subsequent years, adding features to integrate and support more complex supply chains, with a focus on food and beverage enterprises. This led to the launch of Orderly in 2011, which enabled rapid expansion through a suite of eCommerce, forecasting, inventory and site management applications.

Why engage with Invest to Grow?

In 2017, following discussions with one of its key clients, Starbucks, Orderly identified the opportunity to develop a new product, Orderly Inventory. This inventory management system would provide customers with a more effective, streamlined process to track inventory levels, orders, sales and deliveries. At the same time it would enable Orderly to enter the expanding retail inventory management software market.

To help develop the product, Orderly successfully applied for Invest to Grow funding, being awarded a total of £180,000 (70% of which was loan funding). 

What has been the impact of Invest to Grow?

The immediate impact of the funding was the development of the Orderly Inventory product. This generated immediate impacts in terms of job creation, in particular through the employment of several developers. Orderly has already more than doubled its workforce since developing the product, whereby it has employed 18 new staff members and has a further 7 vacancies currently being advertised.

The product itself has been extremely successful. Orderly’s CEO, Peter Evans, explained the particular benefit to customers resulting from the product’s scorecard concept:

“The Orderly Scorecard focuses on three areas; using AI to display three sustainability areas that the store is doing well at, two that they can improve upon, and finally one overall ‘Orderly Score’.”

A colourful phone app, advertising what it does

 The result is a more efficient ordering process. This not only has positive financial implications for businesses regarding increased profit, but also creates beneficial environmental sustainability impacts by reducing the use of unnecessary food, packaging and associated waste. Peter Evans stated:

“Less waste = more profit, but the bigger impacts were environmental, social and human. We knew our technology could make a real difference to the whole supply chain and the world.”

The success of the project has meant Orderly has been able to scale to roll out its services to a wide range of different customers, including restaurant chains and large organisations such as Morrisons, Nestle and EuroGarages. It has provided Orderly with a new revenue stream; this has not only led to additional jobs for the company but has also supported a significant increase in turnover.

Peter Evans commented that the Invest to Grow funding was particularly helpful in enabling Orderly to take additional innovation-related risk with regard to the product’s development. He also referred to the positive experience of working with the University:

“It was a good experience working with the University of Derby regarding Invest to Grow. We have also subsequently had positive experiences of working with its careers department and now employ a number of the University’s alumni.”

Orderly continues to develop its Orderly Inventory product, and particularly the scorecard concept. This includes supporting customers further down the supply chain, for example regarding more efficient production of food and beverages. Again, this development is focused on generating positive sustainability outcomes as well as direct economic benefits for customers.

More recently, Orderly has played a key role in addressing specific challenges relating to the COVID-19 virus outbreak. In response to a lack of online grocery delivery slots for self-isolating customers, Orderly worked with Morrisons, DPD and the NHS to utilise the functionality of its Eat Fresh platform to send Food Boxes directly to customers. This process was created within a week. It has subsequently been developed further, including the creation of a bespoke website for NHS workers whereby they can order Food Boxes to their home address or request delivery directly to their hospital. Lee Hall, Orderly’s Head of Client Services commented:

“From a personal perspective, I have been involved in many exciting projects during my career but none have been as rewarding as this. It’s been tough, real tough…but I am the proudest I have ever been. We have got essentials to vulnerable people. We’ve given the chance for our NHS workers to get essentials. We made it possible for people to stay at home with less anxiety.”

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