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Sometimes opportunity finds you when you least expect it. Shelley Knox got a call out of the blue from her previous boss with a chance to purchase Preggi Central, or it would be shut down. She grabbed the chance and began improving the way it operated. This included reorganizing its rental services by introducing Booqable for online bookings and management.
Preggi Central was founded in 2006 as a baby and maternity clothing store in Frankston, Australia. In 2013, they made the transition to eCommerce and continued growing. Shelley Knox managed the business for a few years in between having children. The original owner had run it down and was looking to close the business but reached out to Shelley with a question.
She asked her if she would like to buy it. Otherwise, she would have to shut the business down. So, Shelley jumped at the opportunity and began familiarizing herself with the business. There were many issues with how it was run and, in particular, the Tens rental services they offered.
Tens machines provide safe, effective, drug-free pain relief in labor. They are extremely useful for mothers during childbirth but often too expensive to buy yourself. Providing Tens for an affordable price is something that Preggi Central focuses its rental service on. Over the past five years, she has worked to improve the business and is looking to expand.
The Tens rental service was an area where Shelley saw the opportunity for significant improvement. It was challenging to run alongside the other services Preggi Central offered, like bra fittings, customer support, and unpacking the stock. There was simply not enough time in the week to run everything efficiently and up to the standard, she was trying to achieve.
It was also difficult to train new staff on the existing manual rental management system inherited from the previous owner. It was very difficult to learn and became daunting to teach staff. By the tipping point, there was only one staff member left who was comfortable using the system. This made training and onboarding new staff an extremely strenuous task.
Meanwhile, as everything was done manually, there was no automation to any aspect of the rental business. This includes sending booking or return reminders, payment requests, and confirmation emails. All of these had to be kept track of and completed by the staff, which became stressful. Shelley knew there had to be a better way to do it and started looking at her options.
Saving time and automating workflows
Shelley came across Booqable while searching for rental software and found it did everything she needed to get her rental services under control. Bookings are now automatically managed and confirmed by email, so customers get the experience they expect. This has freed up time for staff to prioritize other work as they no longer need to manage bookings manually.
She has also found the system user-friendly and logical, making training staff to use the system a breeze. There is no longer a massive learning curve, and the staff is comfortable with the system after a couple of days. This has been a great relief and has meant that staff can be onboarded quickly, and there is rarely a problem that causes headaches anymore.
Finally, when someone books online, their order is automatically confirmed has been a lifesaver, in addition to being able to quickly send reminder emails to a customer by selecting a template and hitting send. This has reduced complaints from customers significantly as they always know that their order is confirmed now and no longer have to follow up to make sure.
More products for rent
Now that the Tens rental service is under control, Shelley is looking to expand the products he offers to customers. This is something that she would never have been able to do in the past. When all the Tens machines are booked up, she can easily open up more and add them to the rental stock in Booqable. She is also looking into breast pump rentals too.
As one of the very few online and brick-and-mortar maternity shops in Australia, Preggi Central is committed to providing everything a mother could need while pregnant or breastfeeding. With the extra capacity afforded by a more streamlined rental system, they can now focus on expanding their services to include even more essential products for new mothers.