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axis diplomat Case Study

Something Different (Europe) Limited

Something Different are a wholesaler and importer of US-made gifts, distributing products throughout Europe.

Their product ranges include T-Shirts and Clothing by The Mountain, Gifts and Cards by AngelStar, Tree Free, Leanin' Tree, Paradise Music and Hayhouse.


"At Something Different we see axisfirst as a key partner.

We need a software house to think with us and find ways to make our business processes as logical and efficient as possible. Over the past ten years they have excelled in listening and building and supporting solutions that helped us grow and become more profitable.

We now handle four times as much business in our warehouse with a tenfold increase in the number of orders as 10 years ago yet our staff numbers have only just doubled, which was made possible by constant software and hardware development tailored to our needs by axisfirst."

Alfred van Pelt, Operations Director, Something Different (Europe) Limited


Something Different first chose the axis diplomat software when they had exceeded the capacity of their existing Sage system (due to the number of transactions).

Since implementing the axis diplomat system, their business has continued to grow and diversify. For example, in the beginning most deliveries were to bricks-and-mortar shops. That business still continues today but, in addition, there are a large number of customers who run businesses that are purely online with no local stock; Something Different will drop-ship orders direct to their customer's end users on a back-to-back basis.

This has changed the profile from a relatively small number of large orders to a large number of small orders (often with just one item) in addition to the continuing large orders to stockists.

In order to take advantage of every efficiency in the picking and packing process (and so minimise additions to the permanent workforce as the business grows), Something Different use the carrier interfaces available with axis diplomat.

As sales orders are despatched, the software selects the most appropriate carrier and automatically consigns the delivery through to that carrier's system, not only saving time and reducing errors when producing the carrier's paperwork but also taking the tracking reference back into the axis diplomat software.

Something Different also operate a B2B website built using axis vMerchant for their trade customers. This not only allows their customers to place orders (seeing their own agreed pricing) but also provides a range of additional facilities. For example, to satisfy the small online businesses who perhaps do not have sophisticated back office systems themselves but at the same time are placing dozens of orders per day, each with different delivery details, the website offers them the ability to upload all of their orders at once via a spreadsheet.

These and other facilities, such as the ability to pick and stock check using handheld barcode-driven PDAs, combine to ensure that on the vast majority of orders, the only human involvement is with the actual picking and packing itself.

Please visit the Something Different website at

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