Customer Snapshot: Overview
4 million styles & 500,000 combinations of fabrics, colors, options, and accessories
At 35,000 blinds per week, Hillarys is the United Kingdom’s top custom-made blind company. With 1,000 advisors providing consultations and making sales in customer homes across the country, a solution was needed to streamline the job with a single mobile device. With the SAP Mobile Platform, Hillarys is selling more while cutting costs and saving time.
£130 million (€160 million)
Number of Employees
Implementation Partner URL
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Line of Business
Manufacturing, Marketing, Platform and Technology, Sales, Service
SAP Afaria, SAP Business Warehouse, SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM), SAP ERP, SAP HANA, SAP Mobile Platform
Customer Snapshot: History
From One Man in Nottingham to the Whole Kingdom
Tony Hillary began making blinds out of his garage in Nottingham, England in 1971. He did everything from advertising, sales, fitting, and manufacturing. Now Hillarys is a market leader in window dressing. With products that are made to order, Hillarys is enhancing home decoration room by room across the United Kingdom.
Customer Snapshot: Business Model
It is very difficult to walk into a shop and choose a window covering off the shelf. This is why Hillarys’ advisors visit customers at home where they can help guide the search for the perfect window covering. Once the customer has found the right combination of style, fabric, and color, that window covering is custom made to meet each window’s exact specifications.
Whether for a traditional cottage or a contemporary apartment, Hillarys’ advisors can help customers create one-of-a-kind blinds, curtains, or shutters to transform any room and fit any budget.
Customer Snapshot: Success Strategy
Transforming Customer Service with Promise-Keeping
Using the SAP Customer Relationship Management application, Hillarys gave its call center associates the tools they needed to start a record for every new customer, recognize returning customers and pull up their history quickly and easily. By directing each caller correctly, and prompting them whenever it was time for a follow-up, the result is a commitment to promise-keeping that spans the entire organization.
Hillarys knows its customers and its customers know they can count on Hillarys.
When you look at how many customers buy from us a second, third, or fourth time, and how frequently they recommend us to others, it’s very clear that service is a key part of our offering. And this makes us fairly unique in the marketplace.
The Technology to Maintain Market Leadership
Hillarys first adapted SAP Netweaver in the early 2000’s, so it was time for a major system upgrade. Their plan was to migrate their database vendor from Oracle to SAP HANA in a shift that would coincide with an upgrade to SAP's Business Suite 4 SAP HANA (SAP S/4HANA). When the legacy mobile application in place since 2004 could not keep up with the latest advances in mobile technology, they had opted to integrate an effective mobile enterprise solution, enabling advisors and sales managers in the field to maintain real-time data connectivity and get all the information needed on-the-fly.
85% of sales are achieved using a mobile selling device.
Continuing a Relationship of Trust and Success
*Now the SAP Mobile Platform
It’s clear that if you are making 30,000 individual blinds per week, then you are going to need computer systems with which to support it… When we were looking at a platform for developing our next-generation mobile app, Sybase Unwired Platform* was clearly the market leader. The fact that we already have a large SAP software implementation made it an obvious contender.—Julian Bond, Head of Information, Communication, and Technology, Hillarys Blinds Ltd.
Enter SAP: The SAP Experience
The Right Partner for the Job
Less than 6 months from sign-off to going live.
In a rapidly changing field of technology such as enterprise mobility, we wanted to work with an SAP partner with the right experience. We chose AgilityWorks, which was recognized by SAP as having that track record.—Julian Bond, Head of Information, Communication, and Technology, Hillarys Blinds Ltd.
Since they began to Run Simple with SAP, revenue jumped from £70m in 2002 to more than £150m, taking around 12,000 orders and making 35,000 blinds every week.
When the company migrated over their data, they decided to take the opportunity to de-clutter their entire business suite implementation, streamlining business processes and harnessing SAP’s Simple Finance and Simple Logistics initiatives.
[This move] will help us become more web-committed, and make it much more straightforward to integrate to mobile and web apps using their gateway services.— Julian Bond, Hillarys head of ICT
Better Business: Benefits
1 mobile device = £250,000 saved across the sales force each year.
Mobile solutions from SAP support Hillarys’ extended sales and installation cycle, including advanced resource planning, appointment management, lead management, pricing, order and deposit capture, product configuration, payment processing, and mobile receipt printing. Manufacturing, delivery schedules, and stock availability can also be synchronized in real time. And interactive dashboards with up-to-date performance metrics and drill-down functionality enable more detailed and up-to-date reporting for the sales management team.
10,000 appointments handled each week with mobile apps.
The result is that sales advisors can be more productive than ever before, attending more appointments and improving sales performance across the board. Plus, with the SAP Afaria mobile device management solution, Hillarys has the additional security of being able to remotely delete customer data from any lost mobile device.
£2-3 million in additional sales opportunities.
Better Business: Lessons Learned
Time Saved is Time Earned—with Family
Having started as a one-man business, Hillarys maintains a sense of family despite having vastly expanded operations. And the company has learned that investments in cutting edge technology not only save time and increase profits, but also allow it to give back to the community and its employees. Whether it means donating to charity or wrapping up business by closing time, members of the Hillarys family can relax and spend time with their own families, knowing that business is running better than ever before.
New Windows of Mobile Opportunity
Hillarys is just beginning to realize the full potential of using the SAP Mobile Platform to build mobile apps that enhance customer service and overall business performance. One planned initiative involves extending Hillarys’ use of SAP CRM to help ensure that a 360-degree view of customers is available to its advisor network. This will improve the customer experience by giving advisors the same complete, up-to-date information that is currently available to staff in Hillarys’ contact center.
The platform positions us to not only take advantage of rapidly evolving mobile technology, but it also allows us to create new mobile apps that capitalize on our existing SAP software landscape.— Julian Bond, Head of Information, Communication, and Technology, Hillarys Blinds Ltd.