How To Build A Best In Class Digital Business

Technology holds the potential to seriously enhance businesses. For one gift delivery company in Adelaide it’s been the difference between staying a startup and growing into a national success. Adelaide-based Kelly Jamieson dreamed to have the business she founded and loved – Edible Blooms – go national. The gift delivery service, which mimics flower delivery but replaces the flowers with fresh fruit and chocolate, was a proven success in her hometown, but the next step called.

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Edible Blooms now has offices in Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Auckland. With a little help from the right partners and smart use of technology to keep her connected in the office and while she’s on the go, the dream is well on its way to being realised – if not surpassed.

So how did Kelly take her business from simple idea to next-gen digital reality?

It All Began With eCommerce

These days, 70 to 80 per cent of Edible Blooms’ orders come through its website, and the business has firmly established itself as an sales channel.

“It made sense to create an eCommerce platform, with all the digital opportunities that were arising,” explains Kelly. “It was so much more cost effective, and it meant that we could have 100 per cent control of our growth if we did it ourselves.” Edible Blooms now uses Neto: an end-to-end solution for selling online, in order to run the business. The online store integrates with leading accounting platforms, payment gateways, shipping carriers and CRM solutions.

When adopting the technology – which integrates with leading accounting platforms, payment gateways, shipping carriers and CRM solutions – Edible Blooms saw a 15 per cent increase in average shopping cart sales. Kelly attributes this to a better user experience, with less glitches than before and an easy-to-use interface.

Because of Neto’s ability to synchronise, report in real time and automate services such as a label printing system for couriers, it has streamlined processes that would have otherwise been labour intensive, such as accounting and shipping. “We felt we saved at least half of an administrative staff member for every location,” says Kelly, adding that they’ve “had a 10 per cent productivity gain.”

Taking It To The Cloud

The next step towards best practice for Edible Blooms was moving to the cloud – taking advantage of what many businesses are starting to see as a better way of doing business: both for the business’ bottom line and its scope for streamlining.

So in 2008, that’s exactly what Edible Blooms did – becoming an early adopter and helping gain visibility over the growing operation. “We had to change every business process: from the way orders were dispatched to the way we communicated with our customers and the way orders came through the website into our back end. We had to look at that complete map.”

Nowadays Kelly spends most of her time working remotely from her farm, an hour’s drive from Adelaide, only heading into the company’s head office a couple of days a week.

“I don’t consider myself to be a technology expert, but with our partnership with Telstra that makes it possible for me to actually run my business on the go,” she says.

“I never thought it would give me the amount of flexibility that it’s given me. I mean I still work really hard but I can work where I want to work.”

By making the most of the cloud, Kelly can stay plugged in to her business without actually having to be there.

Establishing A Harmonious Workflow

Most of the staff at Edible Blooms are florists. When an order is placed, construction of the bouquet begins. Due to the company’s many locations and growing number of staff around the country, being able to manage the workforce and the workflow effectively while on the move is crucial to smooth operation and happy flower recipients.

Edible Blooms uses an app called Deputy to manage staff, giving the business the ability to remotely schedule employees, manage task delegation and log time and attendance. The app works on both desktop and mobile – meaning Kelly can keep an eye on her national workforce from wherever she is.

Clever digital solutions served as the building blocks for Kelly’s initial idea, and hard work and enthusiasm have ensured the dream comes to fruition. Continuously developing its product offering through the use of technology is at the top of the agenda for Edible Blooms, and innovation is essential.

“We’ve always had a strong focus on reinvesting into the business,” says Kelly. “Each new win can mean new technology or a new approach.”

Visit Telstra for more examples of how technology can give your business an edge

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