UK / Mertex
Reflex Data’s renowned Mertex software has provided the logistical power to help a West Yorkshire fabrics company to go global.
“We couldn’t have got to where we are now without Reflex,” said Lee Paxman, logistics director at the Elland-based Mobus Fabrics which has worldwide sales over $30m and supplies upholstery fabrics for some of the furniture industry’s biggest names.
Mobus began working with Reflex Data in 2004 after a move to a larger warehouse prompted a review of IT capabilities.
“We had issues with locating and tracking stock,” said Lee. “So we decided to invest in a new data system. Reflex came highly recommended.”
The software’s power has played a key role in helping Mobus expand its business with larger manufacturers.
“Mertex came in to its own by helping with relocation and tracking of stock,” said Lee. “It has allowed us to go from dealing with one 20ft container per week to handling six times as much fabric, using the same number of warehouse staff.”
Instead of having to manually log in each delivery, Mobus staff can now import a spreadsheet into Mertex the day a shipment leaves the production facility in China. Stock can then be pre-sold while it is en route and unloaded either directly to the finishers or to Mobus. The company is also able to offer ‘weave and hold’ ordering, in which a quantity of stock is held back to give customers greater flexibility.
Lee said: “Everything is done on that day within two hours. It greatly reduces our stock handling time.”
Mertex is a highly adaptable system, readily capable of incorporating new features. So when Mobus needed to adapt the software to create tracking for ‘sub-products’ Reflex was up to the challenge.
Lee explained: “Sub-products are very important in the industry. They allow us to convert one product into another by adding different finishes, creating a certain amount of flexibility with stock to meet variations in demand.
“Although sub-products were not part of the original package, we were able to work with Reflex to create the bespoke feature we needed.
“The new feature has helped us a great deal in tracking all our sub-products. We can trace everything about a piece – from when it was delivered and imported all the way back to the conditions it was produced under. It means – if the customer has any problems, we can quickly identify them and fix them.”
This is particularly important, Lee said, with fire retardant coatings, which are subject to particularly stringent safety standards.
“Having this system gives us good control over our due diligence,” he said. “It gives our customers – and trading standards – a lot of confidence, which is something we’re very proud of.”
He added: “The Mertex system is a very unique product which is brilliant to use. It’s needed a few tweaks to meet our needs but we couldn’t have got to where we are now without it.
“As a business, we’re always looking at the next push, the next area of growth. We’re confident that if we need to change the system again, Reflex will be able to handle it.”
Jerry Alcock, director at Reflex, said they were always striving to enhance products and services to meet customer and market demands. “Working closely with our customers is the most effective way of enabling us to do this,” he said.