Identical twin brothers, Carl and Peter Bird began their business keeping chickens at a local allotment in the mid-1960s.
Five decades later, their business has grown to the point where they now supply around 4 million eggs per week to retailers and food service suppliers spanning the length and breadth of the country.
Based out of Sunny Farm in Swineshead, Bedfordshire, Bird Bros are long-time Pegasus customers, having used Pegasus Senior, Opera II and Opera 3 over the years and they have been working with Applied Business for a number of years.
Last week we caught up with Martin Hales, Office Manager and I.T. Manager Joe Fox to discuss some of the changes the company has been through recently as Bird Bros continues to expand and flourish.
Invoice Improvements: Hen and Now
Earlier this year Bird Bros decided to install a new colour laser printer at their head office, believing that it would save them significant amounts of time and money with regards to their invoice processing.
Previously the company was using a dot matrix printer for invoicing which, while functional, required plenty of manual work to complement it. Martin informed us that the business had to process ‘around 600 invoices in a typical week’. The orders were picked by delivery round and then invoices were generated to go with the goods. This was done using their dot matrix printer with traditional pre-printed multi-part NCR (Non Carbon Required) stationery.
Obviously, the supplementary manual work required for such a large volume of invoices was not insignificant. As a result, valuable time was being lost, particularly for Martin who holds a key position within the company.
Thankfully, their new setup has been a roaring success.
‘’I’d estimate that it saves me about an hour every single day’ Martin informed us.
Pegasus Opera 3 combines with the new printer to produce two copies of their user defined invoices on different coloured paper, staple them together and punch holes for filing ready for the driver to take on his delivery round.
Crucially, the paper is also NCR which means their drivers can still acquire their customers’ signatures as proof of delivery.
‘[With the old printer] it was very time-consuming work but now this process is much faster. It’s been totally streamlined.’ said Martin ‘The new printer ensures that I no longer have to stand next to it stapling, hole-punching and tearing at invoices for long periods of time. Everything is done automatically through the system by this new machine now and I’m freed up to work on other things.’
The installation of the new printer was not a simple job and Applied Business were required to setup the device for Bird Bros. So how did this collaborative process play out from Bird Bros point of view?
‘The support from Applied has been fantastic.’ Martin told us. ‘Every phone call we’ve made has been met with an immediate response.’
Joe added: ‘We knew that Applied had put a lot of work into the project as we’d sometimes see that emails were being sent to us as late as 1am from their team working to resolve our situation. We knew it was a complicated process but we are very, very happy with the help we’ve received and the end result. We’ve not had a single technical issue since the installation.’
Integrated Phone System
Aside from the new invoicing system, Bird Bros have also benefitted in other ways since upgrading to Opera 3 from Opera II.
One other new feature, in particular, seemed to impress Joe: ‘We installed a brand new phone system here [Head Office] not too long ago.’ said Joe, ‘Applied made sure that the new system was fully integrated with Opera 3. A convenient aspect of that is the ‘Screen Popping’ function which gives us the ability to make calls to anyone in our system with a single click of the mouse. We’re also informed of the identity of all incoming calls as a result.’
Bird Bros have recently opened a brand new free-range facility in nearby Eltisley as they continue to expand. We look forward to what comes next for this ever growing family run company with great egg-spectations.