Devondale Electrical Distributors is the South West’s largest independent distributor of electrical components. They have been operating since 1981 and they now have many depots in Exeter, Barnstaple, Taunton and Torquay, employing 50 people.

From the early days when they specialised in the supply of cable, they have increased their range and now stock over 10,000 items from tiny fuses to the original heavy duty cable. Devondale’s customers range from the small to medium electrical contractor but they also work with local councils, hospitals, factories, holiday camps and local retail shops.

With their business growing at a pace, Devondale’s main aim is to provide their customers with a ‘fast, friendly and efficient delivery service’.

A business that relies on carrying so much stock with a delivery service from four depots is a difficult one to administer.

Devondale’s old computer system became increasingly inefficient and began costing more and more each year.

So, in late 2004 Devondale began looking for a system to replace their ageing software. After assessing the specific requirements, Ylem created a tailor-made system for Devondale Electrical Distributors using their own flexible accounting package, Mobius.

With so much stock, Devondale Electrical Distributors found it difficult to keep track of weekly price changes from their suppliers.

Devondale asked Ylem to enhance their Mobius Accounting and Stock Control Package to enable them to alter prices automatically from LUCKINS. Formerly, the task of updating prices was costly as it took one person a whole day to make those changes. Pressure of work meant that updates were often weeks behind with a corresponding reduction in profit margins on those items whose prices had increased.

Devondale were keen to choose Ylem’s Mobius system because of the low cost of installation in its multi-depot environment and the fact that the centralised database provides a ‘global’ view of stock in all branches.

Fully automated inter branch transfers speed up service

The fully automated inter-branch transfers automatically prints despatch notes from a single sales order at each branch. Therefore, every single tiny switch or metre of cable can be summoned by one branch from another at the touch of a button. Items are then put on a van for immediate delivery. This not only reduces the waiting time by the customer for the product itself, but also minimises the time spent at the counter by busy tradesmen. It also makes it very simple for Devondale to see a daily or weekly analysis of profitability for each branch.

In a world where time means money, this is a very important feature.

Devondale Electrical Distributors had been searching for a company in whom they could place their trust and future of their business for over three years before they found Ylem.

Try before you buy

Devondale were also impressed that Ylem were able to let the people who would actually use the system try it before deciding to buy it.

MD - “We wanted to be bold and take the new technology on offer now so that we would benefit in the future”,

Such technology enables Devondale Electrical Distributors to analyse the performance of their business at a glance and make informed decisions accordingly.