Website in a week that saved 150 jobs
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.
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.
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.