A long-standing Hunter Valley business has launched into the digital age with customised sales automation technology.
Sweetman's Timber at Millfield has revolutionised its business operations with the assistance of digital transformation specialists, Cypher IQ.
The fourth-generation family-owned business has digitised its sales order processes, helping to minimise the potential for errors, and allowing staff to file and retrieve documents at the touch of a button.
Sweetman's Timber general manager Luke Crump said the business caters to a variety of customer requirements - from DIY to large commercial projects - but that adaptability comes at a cost.
"With so many different types of jobs going through at one time, good communication between multiple staff members became a vital requirement for ensuring the smooth processing of each order," Mr Crump said.
"We can be running with anything up to 200 orders in the system at one time.
"We'd been relying on pen and paper to relay information, but with the hand-written system, there were up to five different places where inaccuracies could creep in."
Mr Crump said the changes have made a massive difference to the business.
"The new system has transformed our day-to-day efficiencies in a number of key areas," he said
"Until the introduction of this technology, we'd never actually done product coding in the mill, but the new process has radically improved our ability to more easily search for and source products."
The link between mill and office has also been enhanced.
"With the digital system, everyone works with the same information, using the same system, which minimises errors and improved efficiencies," Mr Crump said.
"Because updates are now in real time, we've eliminated any lag involved in relaying information between different employees, as everyone is working off the same data.
"And we can also clearly see the status of every order and keep tabs on where it's at, and relay that to the customer."
Mr Crump said the system has been rolled out over two-and-a-half years, with staff input along the way.
"It's helped with the uptake, giving staff ownership of the system by being involved in the development," he said.
"We're already talking to Cypher IQ about automating more of the process. They also have the systems and technology to integrate customer communications into our workflows.
"Plus, we are also looking at linking our quoting in with that system, so that customers can digitally sign and accept our quotes without needing to print or scan them first."