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Website in a week that saved 150 jobs

Watts Farms

A website that links online sales to logistics

Watts Farms is a family-run business which covers 10 sites in Kent, Essex and Bedfordshire, farming more than 600 hectares of land.

They grow 60 different crops and employ nearly 200 people, supplying over 500 restaurants (70% are within the fine-dining sector) as well as working with major retailers, the NHS, other packers and a range of wholesalers.

During the Coronavirus outbreak, I saw that our trade foodservice business was dropping off a cliff with restaurants closing and seeing the panic buying that was happening at the supermarkets I wanted to sell my products online to help and prevent loss of jobs.

I contacted Kayo with the request fully expecting them to tell me it would take a month but they were very quick to respond and within a week we had the website up. We tested it and made changes and were very happy - we had transformed our business!

Since going live they have continued to be extremely helpful. We are not a tech company and so not used to the level of volume hitting the site and some queries that come with that. Ongoing they are fast to respond and tweak things to give better solutions to the site and the customers.

Without Kayo's support we would not have been able to keep the site open and all our staff employed.

Ed Gray, Director - Watts Farms

The scenario

Coronavirus lockdown left them with warehouses full of food and drink at its 10 sites across Kent, Essex and Bedfordshire.

Due to the food service industry grinding to a halt, restaurants, hotels and schools were cancelling their orders, so the £400,000 stockpile of food was looking like it was going to waste and 150 jobs would be at risk with such a huge loss.

They needed to do something and fast, and so they turned to us, asking for the usually impossible – a website in a week to start selling online to the domestic market – to save the stockpile and keep their staff in jobs.

Whilst the website was being built, Watts Farms was working on delivery logistics, using their vans and staff for home deliveries rather than commercial ones.

The website links their e-commerce and logistics, ensuring full automation.

The result

A month after thinking their family business might be facing collapse, 14,000 orders were taken via the website. The initial £400,000 stockpile was saved, plus more were ordered in and sold on top as demand grew.

Online sales was their sole route to market during lockdown until their commercial work picks up, but they plan to retain both markets as part of their future business model.

As a leading Kent digital marketing agency, we now support Watts Farms in their search engine optimisation and digital strategy.

Solving complex digital problems other agencies can't handle.

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