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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

Customer Website

Implementation Partners
AgilityWorks (

Line of Business
Manufacturing, Marketing, Platform and Technology, Sales, Service

SAP Solutions
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

Find Perfect Window Coverings–Without Leaving Home

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.

1,000 advisors visit 10,000 homes each week

Customer Snapshot: Success Strategy

Transforming Customer Service with Promise-Keeping

Hillarys has built its success on providing fantastic customer service and striving to make every customer a customer for life. Part of this is thanks to a program called Service Breakthrough that set out to transform service culture throughout the organization. Although in-home advisor consultations were extremely popular, when looking at the occasional complaint letters, management saw a clear trend of customers who had contacted the call center and then not received the follow-up call they expected.

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 Challenge

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.

We needed a new platform that would take our existing capability to a new level by taking advantage of the new generation of devices to deliver a more consumer-centric solution.—Julian Bond, Head of Information, Communication, and Technology, Hillarys Blinds Ltd.

85% of sales are achieved using a mobile selling device.

Enter SAP

Continuing a Relationship of Trust and Success

In replacing its mobile solution, Hillarys wanted to leverage its existing SAP software investment, including the SAP ERP and SAP CRM applications. Having successfully redefined its service architecture with the help of SAP CRM, turning to SAP for a mobility solution that would integrate into the rest of its ERP system was the right decision for Hillarys’ business and bottom line.

When it came time to upgrade SAP’s Business Suite to SAP S/4HANA, they decided to migrate their database vendor from Oracle to SAP HANA as well.

*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

Hillarys teamed with AgilityWorks to develop its new generation of mobile apps. Working closely with Hillarys’ IT team and key stakeholders across the company from the sales force to the factory floor, they developed a sales advisor mobile app built specifically for the Samsung Galaxy smart-phones and tablets carried by advisors in the field. They also launched a mobile analytics app for field-sales managers to leverage information from Hillarys’ SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse application.
1st native Android-based solution using the SAP Mobility Platform in the UK

With the upgrade, they were eager to reap the efficiency benefits of running the company’s ERP on an in-memory database, obviating the need for constant disruptive upgrades and minimizing business disruptions.

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.

Better Business

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

100% ROI within 12 months

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.

SAP mobile applications can absolutely save me time and really allow me to spend more time with my family. — David Kent, National Sales and Installation Manager, Hillarys Blinds Ltd.

Journey Ahead

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 recent updates make the company even more web-committed than ever, and have made it easier for the company to integrate mobile and web apps and deliver on the Run Simple promise.

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.
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