Recently our Managing Director, Louise Harris, appeared on a podcast with one of our technology suppliers, Horizon. The discussion focused around how Fenn’s uses technology in a way that enhances the human elements of the business that we pride ourselves on. 


As Louise puts it, “we see ourselves at the forefront of technology, married with old fashioned customer service.” It’s a delicate balance that we have been working on for some time now. Technology is essential in providing a streamlined service but if you miss out the human interaction, the service can’t reach its full potential. 


We’re passionate about providing the best solutions to our client’s problems and to do that we need to stay ahead of the curve. Here’s how we balance both technology and human relationships across our processes. 


Strong relationships


Our relationships with both clients and suppliers are long-lasting. To come up with effective solutions and make a real difference, we need to drill down into the details and synergise on a deeper level. Choosing the right suppliers, who meet our quality requirements and CSR standards, has been an integral part of the Fenn legacy. We’ve banked with HSBC for over 100 years and some of our clients have been with us for over 20 years. 


Loyalty speaks volumes and during the pandemic, we’ve been able to keep supplies stable for clients when others have faced difficulty. All because of our long standing relationships with our suppliers and the trust we have built up with them over the years. 


Lateral thinking across product categories


Taking what works in one area of a business and implementing it into another is the simplest yet most common form of innovation. One area that we’ve had success in is our workwear division. 


Traditionally, the workwear industry doesn’t have the same service expectations as office supplies. We were used to the picking, packaging and streamlined efficient delivery expectations that our office supplies clients had. The next step was to implement this service standard across the workwear division. 


We chose reliable suppliers to deliver to our warehouse where we pick and people pack all workwear to create the bundles needed for each specific client in the right sizes. This innovative approach needed technology to support it so we’ve invested heavily in this area. Streamlining the back office processes through technology allowed us to create the agile and responsive service that our clients appreciate and set us apart from the competition. 

Investment in technology


Our systems have to be flexible to allow our team to be agile and responsive to our client’s needs. Stock management and digital reporting are areas that we have seen the best results in as the investment we have made in our technology saves us time and helps us to translate data effectively. With our team all cross trained on our system, we have the ability to solve problems and be proactive as the answers are on the system. 


We know exactly what is going on in each client account and use the data to spot patterns and other areas that we are able to help make a difference. With monthly automated reports to clients too, the data is transparent and off the back of that we can have honest conversations about what solutions will be most effective. 


Most importantly though, the experience for clients needs to work for them. Investing in the app and our portals where clients can place orders or manage their own print needs has been hugely beneficial. With the rise of remote working, technology has enabled us to adapt to the on the go ordering that a lot of our clients now need. 


For more information on our processes and how we balance being a people led business in the digital age, watch the podcast here: