Soapworks Case Study - Turnkey Group - Business Software

Soapworks is located in Greater Easterhouse, a post war housing estate in Glasgow, Scotland and was established by Anita and Gordon Roddick, founders of The Body Shop.

Today, it is the UK’s largest manufacturer of soaps, employing over 100 full time permanent employees. The factory has grown to over 80,000 square feet with a modern soap production facility, supplying soaps to a large and diverse client base around the world.

Soapworks Journey of Soap

Challenge

In the early 2000’s the management team were tasked with implementing an autonomous business software solution.

Solution

Soapworks had very little in the way of technical infrastructure in place having relied for many years on the use of dumb screens linked to a centralised Unix Server.

Turnkey worked closely with everyone on the team to mould Microsoft Dynamics NAV into a complete end-to-end solution managing sales, procurement, inventory management, manufacturing, quality control and financials. The solution also introduced a full Microsoft business server and upgrade to all of the users’ PCs.

Today, the system covers the following key business areas:

  • HR
  • Warehousing
  • Quality control including sampling, rejection
  • Production across multiple automated and manually intensive lines
  • Procurement matched to production to ensure minimum stock management
  • Financial reporting including full monitoring of raw materials, WIP and finished goods
  • Business Intelligence
  • EDI connectivity to major retailers.

Results

Following the successful implementation, Soapworks saw their turnover rise from less than £10 million in 2006, to almost £15 million in 2013. This was achieved with a small but highly motivated management team who have continued to guide the company successfully. A strong focus on managing inventory, creating new products, opening up new markets and exceptional quality control has ensured the company’s survival through turbulent times. With the aid of Microsoft Dynamics NAV the business has diversified away from a small number of customers, to embrace well-known retailers like M&S, Co-op, Yardley’s and Burberry.