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Kerridge CS provides high quality support for early adopters Planglow

Vertical: Distribution

Industry: Food & Beverage

Product: K8


About Planglow

Plangow was established in the 1980s to supply a labeling solution to caterers and other food providers. The team developed a simple but effective computer programme and shrewdly pitched it with one of Alan Sugar’s early Amstrad computers and printer kits as a ‘label printer’. In 2005 the company expanded into the supply of environmentally friendly, compostable branded food packaging for restaurants, sandwich shops and contract caterers.

However, labeling software is still core to the company’s offering and the current web-based product is designed to be quick and easy to use for catering companies that don’t employ IT experts and, typically, don’t know what ingredients will be need to be printed on a label until the last minute.

Plangow’s industry expertise gave them a head start when they decided to offer their existing customers a range of environmentally friendly cardboard sandwich packaging. The early success of this initiative then led to the company’s first off-the-shelf range of sandwich and other food packaging. Styles developed by the in-house design team have evolved from basic craft paper packs to the bright sherbert colours of the new botanical range.

Planglow was an early adopter of K8 LV and started using the software in 2005. Before that the team used a DOS based system for accounting. Director, Bethen Darby, realised she needed a more sophisticated solution that would integrate accounts with sales information and would give her visibility of sales history and available stock. She chose K8 LV because she believed Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) would deliver high quality support and a personal service – a view she still holds to this day and which is now borne out of personal experience. 

I really needed visibility across the business. K8 LV lets me have a customer account open on the screen while, at the same time, I can move around looking at other screens without coming out of it. It makes it really easy to track order history and see what’s happening with that customer. Good customer service is a key area for us so I wanted a solution that would make it as easy as possible for our sales team to provide it.

Bethen Darby - Director at Planglow

All the Planglow product range is available to order on the company’s website which is integrated via an API with K8 LV. Planglow stocked products sit in the warehouse ready for immediate call off and the sales team receive an email alert when customer orders and payments are received directly into the system.

It’s really straight forward. For telephone orders we open up an order screen, which is automatically populated with the customer’s details, select a delivery address and start looking up the products required.

Bethen Darby - Director at Planglow

'As we are doing that the system tells us how many are in stock or, if something is out of stock, the customer can be advised immediately. Before the final order is ‘dispatched’ the system checks it falls within available credit before creating a delivery note that is sent to our remote warehouse where it is picked and packed,' Bethen continues.

She explained that, 'A box label is generated including all the information required for the delivery drivers. At the end of each day the system creates invoices for all orders delivered and the majority of these are sent to the customer by email.'

The team at the warehouse access delivery notes through the dispatch module. They can also check stock against what they are holding and access customer accounts if they have any queries. Bethen and the sales team can also see the full stock held in the warehouse and, using the system’s stock module, they can manage purchasing efficiently by running usage reports.

When new stock is receipted in it gets matched up with the supplier invoice and passed over to the accounts team for payment. Everything is tied together and just flows from one screen to another!

Bethen Darby - Director at Planglow


  • Accounts integrated with sales information
  • Easy to track order history
  • Total visibility across the business
  • Wide-ranging reporting capability
  • Great support from the K8 LV team

In terms of delivering good customer service, Bethen said the most useful thing about K8 LV is how you can annotate events.

She explains a situation in which, 'A customer called about a minor issue with a product and, as we went through the batch, checking each process to see what had happened, we were able to make notes on the account at every stage and then give the customer a full update before sending a replacement from another coded batch.'

The batch coding and ability to annotate notes on the account made it easy for our team to handle the query correctly.

Bethen Darby - Director at Planglow

The Planglow team uses the system’s report editor to produce reports that show for example what products are on hand and what are on order. Bethen has also created one showing usage by month against the same month last year to help gauge stock. The sales reports show individual’s sales targets and sales by areas, industry types or business groups, and these can all be viewed month on month, year on year or by product.

'There’s plenty of reporting capability in the system, and it’s easy to understand how it works and how to code the information you want to see,' Bethen said. 

'If we didn’t have this visibility it would be really difficult to keep check on our 370 stock lines. We offer a two to three day delivery to our customers on any Planglow stocked product and with the lead time for the materials we order from China being three months we need to know when to place an order,' she continues.

I would always recommend K8 LV, as I have always had a very positive experience when using it.

The support team is brilliant too and has helped me to support my customers when they want data supplied in a certain format or if I need to create a particularly complicated report. They’re nice people to talk to too – and that counts for a lot!

Bethen Darby - Director at Planglow


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