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Company Spotlight: Exact Abacus

Tell us about Exact Abacus

We are an award-winning team of Software Developers, Consultants, Engineers and Fulfilment Experts who really do Deliver for Retailers. We invest heavily in research and our network of modern service centres which are located across the UK. With regional presence and international reach, we continue to blaze a trail in fulfilment services and technology.

We are specialists in “fulfilment services and technology”, providing the software and management systems that enable online retailers to receive and process orders, manage their stock across channels and dispatch parcels. We have been doing this for more than 20 years. Our software manages the full lifecycle from publishing content to a website, forecasting demand, purchasing, allocating stock, order picking and delivery to the customer.

Customers may outsource their fulfilment to us or implement our cloud-based software technology and management systems in their own warehouse. Whatever the choice, we focus upon the services and technology that underpins the ‘art of getting parcels to consumers’, with the power and flexibility to run a whole business, across all channels, ‘from soup to nuts’.

Who are your clients?

The fulfilment market is all about numbers – bigger contracts and higher volumes of parcels in order to control price and service. However we don’t focus solely upon size. Rather we service a range of clients, from startups and smaller businesses, through to the core of £10~100million turnover, with some clients reaching £500m. For us, having a higher number of client spreads our risk and – because our onboarding and management costs are so low – the smaller clients get world-class capabilities and cost-savings, while our enterprise clients still benefit from the scale and flexibility.

What’s your USP

Put simply, we provide a full service to clients wanting to get online. As technologists, operators, advisors and service developers we combine the best of software systems with the experience of using that software ourselves.

We also embrace transparent, flexible and fair business practices, conscious that we’re privileged to carry the reputation of over a hundred fast-growing online retailers, who trust us to despatch their orders on time, every time.

Our objective is to make fulfilment accessible to all and provide a realistic alternative to Fulfilled by Amazon by delivering a number of initiatives, including: No Contracts (a real on-demand usage option);  No Minimums (start small and grow!); no confusing pricing – our best rate always, and of course our 100% service level guarantee. This is backed by our commitment to continuous quality (evidenced by our ISO9001:2015 certification).


What retail challenges do you see and how you help?

While there are macro factors affecting retailers that we cannot change (the economy, or Brexit for example),  across the industry we see that retailers are margin-pressured. The challenge is to find more ways to eliminate cost, reduce operating charges and recover profit wherever possible.

We address the supply chain and logistics aspects, and work in close partnership with our clients. For example, through our global reach, especially in the Far East, we help clients identify suppliers and assist them from ‘factory door’ to ‘customer’s door’ – arranging quality control at source, freight and import, and of course warehousing and delivery. We reduce the cost, while increasing the speed at which our clients can get products into the market and their customers’ hands.

Year-round we are focused on every penny-per-parcel that we can eliminate from our costs.  Some of our work is ‘invisible’ to clients – for example our development using IoT technologies to reduce the cost of picking products while improving accuracy. Other developments are felt by the end consumer, such as increasing the ease and self-service of initiating returns and removing the costs involved. We also work with partners to bring new services and reduced costs to our clients.


In short, we support our clients’ multichannel businesses – enhancing their capabilities, accelerating growth and reducing costs. Our open business practices, scale and flexibility ensures we are always ‘delivering for retailers’.


When Red Candy launched in 2009 they exemplified ‘niche’ as the “world’s first ‘red only’ online retailer of design-led products for the home”. They’ve since grown from a one-person, home based operation to a product range of some 4,000 items, from colanders to clocks (and yes, some additional bright colours – but definitely no beige!).

The company has ambitious growth plans to double its current 3,000 orders per month, with a staff of just three people. Andrew Menzies, director at Red Candy, saw logistics capability as vital. Speaking of their previous fulfilment partner, Andrew noted that “We were spending the majority of our time managing them instead of them making our life easier. It was causing us such a problem that we genuinely started to consider taking fulfilment in-house… none of us would ever see our family and friends, we would essentially have no life.”


In Andrew’s search for a new fulfilment provider, he says “We considered some of the larger fulfilment companies which worked for big brands, and because they were big names they were charging the earth. Exact Abacus had the room we needed to expand, having just bought a second warehouse. The knowledge that third-party fulfilment companies used the same software re-assured me that it was a trusted and well-developed system. They offered great value for money and were really personable too. We met the team and they really took the time to understand our needs”.

Andrew appreciated the integration with Magento, Amazon and eBay, all via API: “Their software updates all our information across every sales platform, so as soon as a product is sold on our website the stock on our Amazon and eBay shops decreases ensuring consistent stock levels. This level of precise integration was an absolute must for us and it has made our lives so much easier in terms of forecasting and order processing.”


“Obviously we were nervous to partner with another fulfilment company after our previous experience. I was preparing for the stress and hassle that in my mind were intrinsic to fulfilment. We’re two years down the line and that still hasn’t happened. It’s been plain sailing.” Andrew and his team got their lives back and they couldn’t be happier: “We’re really pleased that the business has continued to grow with Exact Abacus. Our partnership has enabled us to focus on what we do best – growing the business.”

Exact Abacus In Brief

Date launched: June 1982
Office locations: UK based with 4 fulfilment centres in the North of England
Number of customers: Over 200 multi-channel retailers including Rubik’s Brand, Baker Ross, Mole Valley Farmers, Red Candy
Number of employees: 82
Number of partners: 30
Partners include: Microsoft (Gold Partner), UKWA, IS0 (9001:2015), eBay, Amazon and Shopify
Contact details for further information:
Telephone: 01772455052
Twitter: @ExactAbacusLtd

This Company Spotlight was produced by InternetRetailing and paid for by Exact Abacus. Funding articles in this way allows us to explore topics and present relevant services and information that we believe our readers will find of interest.

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