Case Study - Bradleys Curtains and Blinds


Case Study Bradleys





Bradley’s Curtains is a third-generation business, starting in North Melbourne in 1938 and moving to the country town of Woodend in 1972. In the early days, manchester was the bulk of the business with the sideline of window furnishings. Now we are completely window furnishings.

I started working in 1995, finishing a traineeship in soft furnishing at Homesglen TAFE. It was a much different business world in 1995! I was reminiscing the other day about taking diary appointments. Back then we didn’t have a mobile phone and relied on very basic maps. Sometimes we found ourselves at the local post office making calls to the office and asking for directions! Also, customers didn’t get upset if you were one hour late! It’s a different world these days.

As Bradley’s was built up slowly over the years we developed methods of making our business work. We had a diary for customer appointments and installations and a large paper trail. We then used whiteboards to manage work in progress moving to basic spreadsheets.

We have had DBs for around six years but to be honest, didn’t use the whole program at first. We got it mainly for quoting because quotes were taking so long to get out to customers the old way. With DBs our team can go through many options with our customers based on their budget and requirements.

Scared to change from what we knew we carried on with the old process for the rest because it worked. But, then last year we decided to move completely to DBs. Now, we use it to book in an appointment, measure and quote and for ordering, invoicing and final installation. It’s amazing how much time it saves. You just need to enter details once in the whole process. We should have done it earlier.

We also moved onto “DBs Cloud” so all the information is accessible on a phone or tablet. We can work out of the office, in a client’s home or from our own home and all information is up to date. One of the great parts of DBs is linking to our accounting program XERO. When we get the go-ahead from the customer DBs raises the invoice in XERO with one click. Also, receiving products and marking off invoices from suppliers is made very simple. You can check and see if something has gone wrong. DBs has saved us trouble on more than one occasion by picking up the wrong size/colour before we went to the client’s home!

The thing about managing this business properly is keeping abreast of everything from quotes to orders and finished products when they are ready to install. DBs can provide you with up to date information on these fronts making it much easier to manage everything! We still need to make use of some other features like tracking of samples on loan, but we are getting there, one step at a time!

We are now using a laser measuring device that takes a photo of the window and inserts measurements. The photo along with house plans and other data is stored in the customer’s file. Quite often a customer will ask for another blind or a curtain a year later and through DBs we can bring up the photo of the window with measurements. This has saved a lot of time going back and forwards and we don’t use pen and paper anymore.

The curtain and blind business is hard enough; I would not be able to cope without DBs running our business in the background. It has been very beneficial to us as our processes are now streamlined and everything is trackable.

Thank you to the team at DBs