The Safety Shack - Volo

The Safety Shack

Based in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, UK, The Safety Shack is a leading provider of workwear and personal protective equipment. The company is a family owned and run business and stocks a wide range of categories, from back supports and bodywarmers to Hard Hats and High Visibility Jackets, to Trousers and Wellies. Market-leading brands on offer include V12, Amblers, Dickies, Snickers, Caterpillar, Scott, Venitex, Delta Plus, Peltor, Bolle, E.A.R, 3M, Click and B-Brand. The Safety Shack is also a major distributor of the MASCOT brand of workwear.
  • Category: Workwear and personal protective equipment
  • Challenge: Manual processes, channel resilience
  • Results: 40% growth
  • Benefits: Channel coverage, disaster recovery
Personal referral

Bryan Mason is the Managing Director of The Safety Shack: “We’ve been a customer of Volo since 2013, and we currently have 3 staff. We were growing rapidly, but struggling with a lot of manual processes. We had our website and eBay and we decided that we had to automate some processes. I’m a near neighbour of John Hewitt at Bamford Trading, a long time Volo customer, so we had a look at their system.

“Once we’d seen it, and John had shown us what it could do, that was enough for us. We wanted to go with Volo, and we were also being harried by other potential providers, so it was good to be able to cut through that and make the right choice on the basis of this personal endorsement.”

Saving workforce

“I have to say that the implementation exercise we went through was pretty good. When something is new, it’s always helpful to be pointed in the right direction. A couple of the Volo staff even called in to see how we were doing, since some of them were relatively local to us, which was great. Once you get into the system, you pick it up really quickly and can go a long way with it. The learning by doing is better than the classroom style for me.

“The Volo service saves us 2-3 members of staff, so it effectively doubles our workforce. It runs the drop-shipping, stock and stock feeds, labelling, couriers, the whole pick, pack and despatch process. We’re constantly changing how we do things and we’re using the system to do that. We're moulding our processes around the Volo automation. It’s enabled us to start a second business in the collectibles and modelling area.”

Disaster Recovery

“We had a fire in February of this year. It destroyed the whole warehouse, destroyed everything. We were able to keep trading as we had the Volo system. I worked from home on my laptop, and we used drop-shippers. In a couple weeks I had got some initial stock and then we acquired a new warehouse. It set us back months, but we were able to keep going, and we’ve got through peak. We’re now back to the levels we were at before the fire. It’s been a rollercoaster of a year, and we’ve come out the other side.

We’ve grown the business around 40% since working with Volo, and that’s despite the massive setback we suffered. What I’m most pleased about is that the growth is across the board. Even though eBay is still our biggest marketplace, we’ve grown our Amazon share of the business to 42% and our website has shown strong growth. This spread across the channels, together with the Volo system and very supportive suppliers, was the saving of us.”