In November’s GGP magazine column from DOORCO, Jayne Sullivan, Operations Director looks beyond conventional door trends and talks about the development of IT and technology in the leading composite door manufacturer’s business, and how it is impacting on future plans.
It’s fair to say that in this post-Covid world, technology plays a big part in all our lives: from seeing family and friends, to doing our jobs. We shop online, we work online, we socialise online – everyone has had to embrace it. From a business perspective, the strategic IT systems we’d already put in place gave a significant boost to DOORCO’s ability to keep the wheels turning, but ultimately we make doors and we need people in the factory. We are working to the highest level of health & safety standards to keep our employees safe and well, and allowing remote working wherever possible for our office-based staff. Our sales team are working from home and conducting virtual meetings, and so we continue. IT and technology has made all this happen, but for DOORCO, its role is far more intrinsic.
We recognised a few years ago that IT was going to play an important role in the business going forward so in 2018, we invited Ben Aspinall to join the business as IT and Projects lead. His main task was to devise and implement strategies to improve efficiency and service across the board. A fully integrated IT-based manufacturing system that communicates orders, stock levels, capacity and allows us to report on virtually anything is now in place and along the way, we have improved online ordering and communication with our customers, increased manufacturing capabilities and capacity, enabled better onboarding for new customers, and improved lead times and delivery.
Ben now heads up a team of five and together they have delivered on significant projects in addition to the above, such as a bespoke door designer and ordering system, integrated universal customer barcoding and an internal and fully traceable order tracking system – all of which has enabled us to deliver a universal JIT service and enhance business growth.
The next stage is the significant investment we’re making into expanding our manufacturing capacities: rather than simply introducing more shifts, DOORCO is leading the way with IT and technology. This expansion was always in the business strategy, but current factors have accelerated it considerably and the skill now in the business allows us to take a more progressive approach.
2021 is going to see DOORCO launch some exciting new products and the impact IT has had on their development has been considerable. More than just allowing the work to continue whilst travel has been limited, we’ve explored new ways of engineering that are advanced and innovative.
IT has impacted our marketing too. We’ve improved our digital landscape of course, but also have the skill to better deliver our more traditional collateral, like brochures, with more impact and efficacy. We’ve got big plans in this area and we’re looking forward to showcasing these next year too.
There’s no doubt that in recent months, we’ve gained significantly from the pre-COVID focus we’d already put on technology. True, the implementation has had to be accelerated, but IT is now embedded into the heart of DOORCO operations, production, communication and marketing. We’ll be continuing to take our usual innovative approach as we explore new automation and technology advances, all with the ultimate aim of giving customer what they want, when they want it.