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Family business invests in new software from OGL Software to safeguard business growth and future

Cotswold Hose & Fittings Ltd, has transformed its specialist business ready for further growth with an overhaul of its software systems. The move has catalogued over 6,000 hoses and fittings, enabled data collection for business planning and sped up new hire training times, while improving efficiency, sales and customer service.

The thriving family business supplies industrial hose parts and fittings for the hydraulics, aquatics and pneumatics industries, and was established in 2001 in Chelworth, Wiltshire by founder Ian Lennie, who has since sadly passed away. Its customers include Adler and Allen, Chandlers, Tallis Amos, Thames Water, Wessex Water and Wolseley, and more local businesses such as Lister Wilder and TH White.

Directors Jan Smidt, Ian’s son-in-law and Debs Smidt, Ian’s step-daughter, took over the business, but realised that expertise and knowledge was only held by a few key people and on paper. Increasingly aware that this knowledge would be lost when team members retire, Jan and Debs identified the need to ensure that crucial information was preserved digitally for all employees to access.

Cotswold Hose’s existing Sage system implementation did not provide the solution needed, therefore the firm partnered with OGL Software, an ERP software company with more than 45 years of experience helping SMEs to use technology for business transformation.

OGL Software provided Cotswold Hose with a software solution that transformed the management of its biggest profit areas – hydraulic assemblies. Now buying and selling processes are no longer laborious and manual with employees having to wade through two years of data on more than 6,000 products, to extract information for orders. Additionally, Cotswold is building up data about its business. Armed with this, the firm is able to understand trends and areas for investment.

After researching several technologies, Cotswold Hose opted for an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system, a cloud-based business intelligence software, called Profit4. With OGL’s dedicated support and development team, the new system was deployed and live within mere months.

With all product data, complete with visuals, now stored and readily available in a digital format, the team now has a trade counter capability, with all pricing and product information and images available quickly, meaning faster sales and less room for human error or inconsistencies. The company has also streamlined new employee training to a few months with the new system. Previously, it would take a year just to train them on the various product codes and processes.

Jeremy Johnson is Cotswold Hose’s first new team member since its ERP implementation, as part of the company’s continued regional recruitment, and Debs Smidt, Managing Director, Cotswold Hose said: “Thanks to Profit4 from OGL Software, we can now confidently continue our plans to grow both in employees and profits, with the knowledge that company data and information assets are safeguarded and future-proofed in a managed, supported and efficient system, rather than being siloed in the heads of one or two people. The modernisation of our system has meant better service for our customers and uplifts in sales. To anyone else considering something similar, I would say go for it, it feels like a big investment with risks, but our experience was of being in a safe pair of hands and it has paid off.”