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25 Nov 2015

Khaos In The Community – Adventures in Sales, Stock Control & Production with Viking Signs


As we mentioned last week, our first Khaos in the Community experience saw Karl Gladwin, one of our Support Technicians, visit Viking Signs. You may know Karl from his previous blog post on Verfione Accreditation. As part of the programme, Karl has written a blog post about his experience so that he can share what he learned with his colleagues and our customers. Enjoy!


Let Loose

On Wednesday 18th November, I was released for the day to visit Viking Signs, with a view to experience a day in the life of a Khaos Control customer. The aim of the day was to help me learn how the system is used, what goes on behind (and around) the computer screen and to share my knowledge of how Khaos Control works. This saw me providing suggestions on how Viking Signs could get more out of the system and suggesting some efficiencies with regards to how Khaos Control was being used.
Within this blog post, I will be talking about what I learned from the day and some of the areas of Khaos Control which I went through with everyone at Viking signs.


What I learned from the day

When working in support, it can sometimes seem like nothing is going right and everyone is having problems. I usually get reminded at this point “That’s what support is for” however during my visit to Viking Signs, it was awesome to see how much Khaos Control helps the users in so many ways throughout the day. I started the morning with the super sales team who are the engine-room for generating orders for the company. Their main use of Khaos Control was the sales order section, for:

  • generating quotes,
  • placing orders for customers on the phone,
  • paying for orders and so much more.

In the afternoon, I was working with the production team in the warehouse and seeing how all the cool equipment which makes their signs, works.

I then helped quality check, pack and despatch the completed orders, again it was nice to see the actual process which takes place behind the computer screen for this. Overall the whole day has given me a much better insight as to how Viking Signs use Khaos Control and how the system helps in controlling their business in so many ways.


Sales summary

Julie, in the customer service team was keen to learn more about how to get the most out of the reporting functionality which can be found within sales summary. Julie and I went through a few different ways in which she could report on best sellers using the various filters which are available. The main area of sales summary we covered was how she could find out what items are selling well throughout the year and how review these items against the orders which they were on and the customer who ordered them.


Email triggers

Before I left Khaos HQ, I noticed that a ticket had been raised by James. The issue was that an invoice had not been sent to the customer in an email, via the trigger rules which they have setup within Email Manager. Upon arriving and being assigned my own desk for the day, James showed me the order which was raised on the ticket and I set about investigating the cause of the issue. After some investigation I found the issue was to do with the way the courier specific trigger rule was setup for the courier which the order was shipped with. I reported this back to James and we amended the trigger rule so it would work as expected. James was then motivated to check the other trigger rules to ensure that this scenario didn’t occur again.

Khaos Control’s automated email triggers allow for complex and varied rule sets to be defined, which is ace. But as Uncle Ben says, with great power…


Khaos Wiki

One of my questions to the team at Viking Signs was “Do you use the wiki much?” to which many of them responded “Not as much as we would like to” I then went through the most useful features of the wiki with the sales team and showed them how they can use it to quickly find a step by step guide for setting up almost everything in Khaos Control.
One of the comments about the wiki was that “It’s too much text to be reading whilst customers are waiting” I then showed the sales team the most useful part of the wiki – The “How to” section. Within the how to section, you will be able to find an easy guide which includes numbered steps on how to configure things in Khaos Control. I also showed a few of the team, the best shortcut in Khaos Control – F1!

If you press F1 from any area within Khaos Control, it will load up the relevant wiki page within your web browser for you, saving you the hassle of searching the wiki manually. In addition, if you scroll to the bottom you can quickly access the associated How To pages for that screen.


Stock Control

One area of the system which the staff knew they weren’t using to its full potential was the stock control element. In the afternoon, I held a mini training session (As much as a support techie can do Lindy!) with Julie, Dave and James. The main queries about the stock control element were how they could utilise the existing functionality to allow them to place orders for stock prior to a shortage. I then showed them on the test system, how they could use the safe and min levels within a stock item, to ensure the item appeared on the reordering report when required. I went through setting up a stock item to ordering the item, with an easy one click, once the item was below the safe level. This is something which will greatly benefit Dave in his ordering process, whilst not using up too much of his time. Once the stock items have been configured as necessary, the system will take care of the rest.


Warehouse Control

Following on from the stock control discussions, we moved onto how they could use the system to allocate stock to various locations. The answer to this was “Warehouse Control”. Julie was asking me how they would be able to put stock into various locations in their ever growing warehouse but still maintain a reliable stock level. Unfortunately, as Warehouse Control was not enabled for Viking Signs (Warehouse Control is not something that is enabled for all versions of Khaos Control, but if required, it can be enabled FOC, just contact us) I was unable to demonstrate the warehouse module, however I did talk them through some of the main features of this, which led to us arranging a small demo of the module at Khaos HQ.

Editor’s Note: Julie and Dave have already popped into the Khaos Team’s offices and have had a demo of Khaos Control’s Warehousing and Hand Held Terminal functionality. Viking Signs aren’t ready for the power this provides yet, but know that they already have a solution that will be able to provide them with that level of functionality as and when they need it.


In Conclusion

I would like to say a massive thank you to all of the team at Viking Signs for making me feel so welcome and taking the time out of their busy schedules to show me around and most importantly, working at a slightly slower speed so I could take in what was going on. I hope that Viking Signs found the day as useful as I did!

Editor’s Note: Darren Joint, Viking Signs’ MD, contacted us after the day to say:

This initiative by Khaos Control Solutions shows real foresight we benefit directly from their expertise onsite, they benefit from a deeper understanding of their customer’s needs. In turn we will benefit from better support in the long term – win, win, win. On an individual level Karl Gladwin was also great and a real asset to the Khaos team!

Next Time

We already have a number of customers lined up for future Khaos in the Community visits, but if you would like to take part in this programme, please contact us.

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