"How software helped us create better kitchens"
Industrial Strategy Supplying today's demanding kitchen market is a complex task, but enterprise management software is helping kitchen supplier Burbidge to deliver the right recipe.
Kitchens are now a subject of dinner party discussion. Everyone wants something slightly different - and kitchen manufacturers like Burbidge in Coventry, must adapt to keep up.
Burbidge has used enterprise management software since the 1990s, and currently uses Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management system, as its multiple modules match the multiple tasks Burbidge faces.
Burbidge financial director, Graham Heaven says, "We’re a manufacturing business, so the system's manufacturing, stock control, and costing modules are key. But we also have a warehouse and we distribute to our customers.
“It's a fairly complex challenge, having to manufacture and despatch to order."
“It's a fairly complex challenge, having to manufacture and despatch to order, and also supply and distribute both from stock and made-to-order products.”
Coordinating both the stock and bespoke sides of the business is critical. A kitchen has many parts, and for Burbidge kitchens, that often means many bespoke component parts.
“We supply a kit of parts that are sold literally kitchen-by-kitchen to our retail base," says Graham. "Ensuring the availability and coordinating the dispatch of all those parts is a complex business and the software ensures an efficient operation."
He adds: “We use its sales order processing module for the distribution side of the business. That ties in seamlessly with the manufacturing module. We see them as different options on one menu, so it feels like one solution rather than separate modules. That’s what you need when you’re running a sophisticated business with quite a lot of transactions going through. That automatic, seamless integration must work smoothly - and it does.
Software that can flex to your business model
"The software can be moulded to fit your business rather than your business having to be moulded to fit it.”
This is a big benefit when it comes to developing the business, says Graham. “We can get the software to adapt to our new ideas and try different ways of operating."
Graham also values the close relationship with Sage. "Having a team there that wants to work with you and help you get the most out of the software is fantastic.”
This has given Burbidge a competitive edge, he says, offering an example. "Our business came originally from a stocked solution. We then expanded to include colour choices, so we could create bespoke designs, matching any colour that the customer likes. Spraying specifically to many differing customer requirements, particularly on a small number of units, is quite complex, but enterprise management has proved adaptable enough to meet that challenge while still allowing us to manufacture stock items too."