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Hayley’s software programme delivers the goods
Hayley Widlake has built up one of the largest leaflet distribution franchises in the UK and the collective annual mileage covered by her 90 ‘posties’ is equivalent to walking around the globe twice.
They deliver to 50,000 homes each week, covering 345 delivery rounds, so it’s small wonder that Hayley needed a software programme capable of organising the logistics and workflow of her Dor-2-Dor franchise.
Hayley, who has a marketing background and worked for a travel company before starting her own business, had an existing software programme but needed support from the Welsh Assembly Government’s Flexible Support for Business programme to take it to the second level.
Her software programme – Deliver-IT! has been so successful that she’s now selling it to other distribution businesses throughout the UK and just had her first sales from Australia to a master franchisor of a leaflet distribution company.
"I appear to have started off as a leaflet distributer and ended up as a software developer! she said.
"The support from the Assembly Government has been so helpful and enabled me to take on a consultant who developed the software further, which I would not have been able to do.
"The software programme makes my life much easier and has been very well received by other Dor2Dor franchise holders in the UK and I’m delighted with my first sales to Australia."
Ieuan Wyn Jones, Minister for the Economy and Transport, said the Flexible Support for Business programme was designed to help businesses at all stages of their development.
"It’s good to hear of a successful business not only benefiting from this support but enabling it to branch out into another field."
The business that Hayley started in the spare bedroom of her mother’s home is now based in offices she has bought in New Road, Skewen, where she employs seven office staff and organises a delivery team of ninety people.
Hayley’s delivery service covers Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Maesteg and Carmarthenshire and she provides a consultancy service to her customers to ensure they are targeting the right markets and offers a design and print service for leaflets.
"To run the business successfully I need to know exactly what is being delivered where, when and by whom; how long the deliveries will take and that they are delivered on the correct day, she explained.
"I have to ensure we do not post competing leaflets to the same address and need to know who is working and what rounds they are covering.
"I also need to manage the orders and relationships with my customers, let them know when their drop has been completed and send reports showing where they have been distributed."
Deliver-IT! has not only helped Hayley run her franchise successfully but has, she said, also opened up new business opportunities.
The flexibility of the work appeals to people of all ages including many men in their sixties and seventies - the oldest is 75 years old who enjoys the exercise and clocks up an average of 50 miles a week.