Order Automation

20% of Orders

Customer Service


Vegetarian Express is the UK’s premier specialist distributor of vegetarian and vegan products within foodservice.

Founded in 1987 Vegetarian Express have grown considerably supplying throughout the UK to deal with the increasing demand for vegan and vegetarian alternatives.

As the company has grown, they began to see a lack of efficiency in their email order processing workflow and so they engaged with us to deliver a solution to help streamline that process. Working closely with the team at Vegetarian Express we have built and implemented an Order Automation solution.



Prior to the introduction of order automation, Vegetarian Express had a manual process in place to check and upload email orders for fulfilment.

The orders were processed using an email importer which was an excel spreadsheet. After opening and copying the order manually into the excel sheet it would identify issues with stock levels, requested delivery days, prices and many other variables. A member of the team would then have to manually check each order to ensure everything was correct. If there was an issue they would email the account manager responsible to resolve it. The order processing team then had to wait on a response from the account manager as to how the customer wishes to resolve the order issue. Once all this was complete the correct order was then manually entered in their ERP.

As Vegetarian Express’s customer base grew, and customers increased their use of web portals and email ordering this slow and admin heavy process became a drain on resources. Approximately 20% of their orders were now via email and this equated to one person in the order processing team having to process email orders full time.


The Solution

Working closely with the team at Vegetarian Express we have developed an order automation solution fondly known by Vegetarian Express as Project Parsnip. Using robotic process automation, the solution scans all email orders and automatically extracts the required information to be sent to their ERP solution for fulfilment.

The solution has built-in business logic which runs to ensure that any order issues are automatically flagged to the appropriate account manager.




Vegetarian Express have seen excellent productivity gains as the workload for their admin team has been greatly reduced. They have removed the mundane data entry task for this team and they no longer have to monitor email inboxes. Data entry errors are reduced. As well as this customer service levels have improved as any order issues are highlighted automatically and resolved quickly. By holding all order details in a central solution, management also now have complete visibility, and this has helped to ensure improved accountability across the team in terms of issue resolution.


“The ability to grow and expand the solution has been a massive benefit for us, working closely with Allsop we have been able to build on our initial requirements and develop a solution that will support us going forward.”

Dawn Payne,  Head of Programme Management, Vegetarian Express