case-studies

SA Tool (Pty) Ltd

SA Tool

“K8 has enabled us to implement best business practice.” Len Jacobs, Supply Chain Manager

Challenge: Need to improve business control and visibility.

Established in 1983 as a power tool repairer, Johannesburg-based SA Tool are agents and distributors for many leading brands of power tools and personal protective equipment. In addition to importing products from international suppliers, the company also has purchasing arrangements with major South African manufacturers. SA Tool holds an extensive range of stock and is proud to offer competitive pricing and deliver a high standard of service to its growing customer base.

Prior to implementing K8, SA Tool had used a number of systems which had been progressively outgrown. The management team realised that a fully integrated ERP solution, better suited to SA Tool’s diverse trading requirements, had become a strategic priority. Better control and visibility over the entire supply chain was increasingly critical, especially with some transactions, such as buy-outs being managed manually. The company chose K8 – which went live in October 2011, because its extensive range of advanced, integrated functionality were a close match for SA Tool’s requirements. The system has enabled accurate traceability across sales, procurement and financial modules which are making a big difference to company operations. K8 is also helping SA Tool to improve customer service levels; through tighter inventory controls and purchase forecasting, the company is able to offer a much enhanced depth and breadth of stock. A recent development for SA Tool has been to move its K8 system to a hosted environment. With the system being supported by Kerridge Commercial Systems and the infrastructure fully managed at the data centre, the company is now able to spend much more time on operational requirements and develop its use of K8.

Gains and benefits

  • Improved business control in every area

  • Intuitive functionality

  • Time savings – resulting in greater efficiency

  • Greater supply chain visibility

  • Eliminated manual, off-system processes

  • Comprehensive transaction traceability

  • Profitability and margin monitoring

  • Superior stock management

  • Purchase forecasting

  • Website trading integration

  • Integrated BI capabilities

  • Fully supported hosted platform

  • Future-proofed product development

  • Quality partner support

 

TURNBULL BUILDING SUPPLIES

Howdens Joinery

Howdens Joinery

“K8 was selected due to the product's trade specific functionality and the high standard of Kerridge Commercial Systems technical expertise" David Hallet, Chief Information Officer

Challenges: business growth, old technologies, trade-specific functionality

Howdens has grown to become the UK's leading supplier of kitchens. With over 500 depots nationwide, a recent year’s statistics are impressive - around 4 million kitchen cabinets, 2 million cabinet doors and 400,000 complete kitchens supplied to 200,000 building trade professionals. The company employs over 5,000 staff in manufacturing, sourcing, logistics and depots. Howdens is part of Galiform plc

Howdens' legacy system, although very capable for its time, was well past its ‘sell by date’ and beyond further development. The company needed a modern system to be able to make future advancements to support the growth. Howdens recognised that they needed a builders’ merchants system – not an EPOS system. It had to be best of breed and K8 provided the majority of the company’s requirements as standard.  The deployment of K8 was a substantial project and at its peak, the system was being rolled out to 40 depots a week.

Gains and benefits

  • K8 has provided Howdens with a platform to develop and grow

  • Stock visibility significantly improved – greater efficiency, increased sales

  • Replenishment processes significantly improved

  • Better quotation management and sales conversion processes

  • System has the flexibility to maintained the company’s entrepreneurial culture

  • Staff experiencing  significant benefits compared with previous system

 

NOTTAGE JOINERY

Nottage joinery
Nottage Joinery

“K8 has enabled us to become a much more professional company,” Steve Fry, Managing Director

Challenges:Required a modern, integrated stock control, purchasing, sales and accounting system

A long-established family-run business with over 50 years’ experience, Nottage Joinery has a wealth of knowledge of the timber industry and the manufacture of high class, bespoke joinery. Based in Bridgend, serving South Wales, the company’s customers include contractors, local authorities, trade and the general public.

Prior to implementing K8, Nottage Joinery reached the point where they had outgrown their systems. The controls, the level of integration and functionality required for a developing business were no longer adequate. Moreover, the software lacked the capabilities to handle the complexities of timber purchasing, stock control and customer sale transactions.
 
The company chose K8 for several reasons: In addition to being able to partner with a systems supplier who understood the timber trade, K8 also had the proven reputation through its use in the timber sector. As a functionally-rich, integrated solution, K8 would enable Nottage Joinery to develop, improve customer services and enhance business management processes in every area. Having considered other systems, the company judged K8 as being the system that met their requirements, would deliver the best results and was ‘on budget’.

Going live in 2009, although there were a few challenges getting used to the system, Nottage Joinery staff put the work in with K8 and the company has moved on. The system has supported sales growth, helped to identify best performing products and enabled the company to maintain a competitive and professional edge. Overall, Nottage Joinery believes that K8 has helped them to become a better company.

Gains and benefits

  • More accurate counter transactions

  • Professional customer documentation

  • Ability for staff ‘to trade’ within set criteria

  • Easier purchasing of stock items

  • Non-stock purchasing functionality

  • Much reduced risks of errors and mistakes

  • Detailed customer history and traceability

  • Greater financial analysis

  • Better business management processes

  • Maintain competitive edge

 

SEHMI BUILDERS MERCHANTS

Kerridge Commercial Systems Training
Davroc

Davroc

“The savings from Print Manager were immediate, around £11,000 annually and we have reduced the number of printers in the company by 70%. Removing boxes of stationery has enabled us to convert space into a meeting room” Paul Mitchell, IT Manager

Challenge: printing costs, print quality and reliability, equipment costs, equipment maintenance, forms stock control, storage, paper flow

Davroc is a growing, family-run supplier of products to bathroom retailers. Forward-thinking, the company focusses on quality classic design and manufacturing. Davroc sources its products from across Europe from the finest quality suppliers. As an employer, the company promotes a very strong and traditional people-centric culture. 

Prior to implementing Print Manager, Davroc had 20+ dot matrix printers, a high capacity laser printer and numerous fax machines. The dot matrix printers were costly to run, time consuming to un-jam and periodically needed replacement. Furthermore, they used task-specific, pre-printed forms, each of which needed to be designed, printed, stored and replenished. Pre-printed forms are not visually modern or professional and if changes are required the whole cycle has to start all over again – often with inevitable wastage.

Gains and benefits

  • Substantial, tangible, immediate cost savings

  • Dramatic reduction in the number of printers

  • No need for pre-printed forms – only plain paper

  • Storage space freed up – used for a more valuable purpose

  • Form changes made ‘on the system’ quickly and easily

  • Laser-produced forms - a professional presentation

  • Forms easily personalised for specific tasks or events

  • Output, e.g. print sequence order to suit business processes

  • Online archive of actual documents produced – original attributes preserved

  • Print directed to any location or fax output

 

BATHSTORE

Primaflow

Primaflow

“K8 is very solid, and in my view a ‘de facto standard’ for our industry. Our K8 system, which is hosted by Kerridge Commercial Systems, is an integral part of our 24/7 operation.” Iain Paston, IT Manager.

Challenge: Warehouse management/Barcodes/handheld devices/stock forecasting/customer service/information

Primaflow, part of Mueller Industries, is a leading multi-branch distributor of plumbing and heating products. The Birmingham-based company, which has 8 branches across the UK, supplies plumbing and heating merchants, builders merchants, wholesalers and other specialist trade distributors. Primaflow first installed K8 in 2006.

The company handles a significant volume of transactions. There are 14,000 stock lines, 5000 active customer accounts and together the branches handle around 1000 shipments per day. The warehouse is unquestionably the hub of the operation – both centrally and across the branches.  Primaflow were among the first to implement the K8 Warehouse Management application.

Gains and benefits

  • Complete and accurate visibility across the operation

  • Supports the delivery of a high standard of customer service

  • Easily managed inter-branch transfers help to optimise stock levels

  • Accurate stock levels – eliminate need for regular stock checks

  • EDI used for orders, advice notes and invoices – smooth and efficient

  • Access to function-specific KPI information – supports decision making and monitoring 

  • Forecasting tools –essential to manage long lead times from international suppliers

  • Opportunities to extend the system use and for more investment and business value

 

EPS

Eps
House of Goodness moves to latest K8

Heating Distributors

A KCS customer since 1989, House of Goodness Group has progressively moved its systems forward with new software releases and additional applications. Having evaluated its requirements in conjunction with the K8 development roadmap, House of Goodness made the decision to upgrade to the latest release – K8 Babbage. 

 

“The browser client in particular; being able to access the system from mobile devices will save time and effort for our warehouse staff. The latest Web Builder integration – enhanced in this release, is set to further our online trading channel initiatives. In terms of specifics, improvements in direct debit collection processes will save us around 15 hours per month and foreign exchange payments will be easier to manage. Overall, K8 Babbage is also stricter in terms of financial disciplines.”   

Nick Porter, IT Manager

 

An effective platform

A diverse group, with businesses ranging from health food and leisure, builders’ merchants and heating supplies, House of Goodness harnesses K8’s multi-company flexibility with centralised financial control. Structured to support the group’s Christian ethos, K8 runs on a single platform with minor business configuration differences to ensure consistency and conformity.  

Forward thinking

The group recognised the opportunities and benefits of making the move to K8 Babbage. Not least of which the system’s incremental structure, specifically designed to simplify the process of implementing future releases. Assessing the group’s strategic requirements, the upgrade was also positive from an investment perspective Nick Porter, IT Manager, said: “The browser client in particular; being able to access the system from mobile devices will save time and effort for our warehouse staff. The latest Web Builder integration – enhanced in this release, is set to further our online trading channel initiatives. In terms of specifics, improvements in direct debit collection processes will save us around 15 hours per month and foreign exchange payments will be easier to manage. Overall, K8 Babbage is also stricter in terms of financial disciplines.”   
 

Planning and preparation

From the outset, the project required that key staff had to balance day-to-day responsibilities alongside the upgrade preparations. With the need to minimise the impact for its staff, it is advantageous that K8 Babbage requires minimal ‘up front’ user training. In the build-up stage, test and training systems were set up on the group’s existing server platform; confidence and familiarity with the software being essential to the success of the upgrade. Preparations were completed with a final test conversion followed by the go live itself.  “Taking a measured approach, we were able to complete tasks such as user acceptance testing in parallel with operational duties. Guided and supported by KCS, the whole project; which involved all group businesses, went pretty smoothly”, said Nick.

 

Integration is key

Finance Director, Hilary Oldham said: “For our diverse group, systems integration is fundamental and that’s where K8 scores highest. The system works well across multiple sites and being able to have role-based user workplaces accommodates our range of businesses very well. For basic practicalities, such as document scanning, K8 makes it easy for anyone to view delivery notes and invoices. This is enormously beneficial, saving us time and therefore cost.”   The company said that its main objective is to improve efficiency – being able to access key information using K8 is a major contributor for processes to run more smoothly. “We also want to encourage more TBS customers to use our online facilities, said Nick.

As a business for which flexibility and tight control are essential, House of Goodness is focused on getting the most from K8. The system also helps the group to deliver a quality customer service and adhere to its Christian ethos.

 

House of Goodness profile

The group’s businesses comprise Good Timber, Good Welding and Fabrications, Goodness Foods, HDA Architecture, New Creation Farm, Skaino Services, TBS Building Supplies and White & Bishop. All employees are members of the Jesus Fellowship – the group‘s origins were to provide employment for community members, extending to support its property and other assets.  

 

Highlights

  • Flexible and adaptable for diverse group
  • Integrated trading and financial controls
  • Tailored user work place facility
  • Fast query resolution
  • True thin client deployment

Results

  • Successful upgrade to latest K8
  • Multiple incremental enhancements
  • Minimal user training requirements
  • Browser client accessibility
  • Direct debit collection savings
  • Easier foreign exchange payments
  • A platform for further upgrades
     

 

Haldane Fisher

Haldane Fisher

“Kerridge Commercial Systems is a very professional organisation. The experience of their consultants is not to be under-estimated” Mary Hannaway, IT Manager

Challenges: business growth, multiple systems, international trading, timber import and machining, credit control, management information, integrated accounting

Founded in 1946, family-owned Haldane Fisher Ltd is one of the UK’s leading independent suppliers to the construction industry. Serving the trade and general public as well as operating a timber business, with fifteen branches in Northern Ireland, England and the Isle of Man.

Prior to installing K8, Haldene Fisher had several disparate systems which needed replacing. The essential requirement was for an integral solution to control the business finances and provide improvements in management information capabilities. The company also needed a system which would enable international trading – notably for the company’s timber import business. The Haldene Fisher K8 system has 200+ users.

Gains and benefits

  • K8 is easy and intuitive to use, for training, operators, to complete tasks quickly

  • Multiple open sessions – means quicker workflow – saves time 

  • Better customer service - transaction processing and resolving queries 

  • Electronic document management with online access – less search and access time

  • Operational and management reporting – for fast, informed decision making, 

  • Gross margin controls - profitability monitoring at transaction level

  • Complete control of timber machining and stock – complexities simplified by K8

  • Faster stocktaking – saves time and money, fewer issues, less operational impact

  • Cross branch stock visibility and trading processes easy and quick to process

  • Fast SL and PL reconciliations - complete control – timely attention to issues 

  • An excellent ROI – reduced working capital, lower interest charges

  • Future system developments and add-on opportunities

  • Business growth easily accommodated

 

Lawsons

Kerridge Commercial Systems Training

Sehmi

European Heritage

European Heritage

“K8 has made us super-efficient - a huge asset to the business. We would never have achieved our current turnover without the right system to support us” Helen Hutchinson, Director

Challenges: manual systems, business growth, stock control, lack of integrated functions

European Heritage is one of the UK's leading suppliers of high quality tiles. Renowned for its wide range of unusual stone products, the company’s range includes slate, travertine and limestone tiles from all over the world and also specialises in durable stone-effect porcelain tiling. European Heritage also sell wood flooring, wet room and underfloor heating products.

For some time, the company had relied on manual processes. However, the existing system wasn’t working for the business and information could not be relied upon. Guided by the Tile Association and a visit to another tile distributor, European Heritage ordered K8 and went live in April 2006. From being recommended K8, European Heritage now recommend K8 to other tile distributors.

Gains and benefits

  • Tight control of the whole business

  • Extensive functionality matches the company’s business processes

  • Adaptable and flexible system supports sales, purchasing and administration areas

  • Integrated modules – saves time, reduces errors, supports management

  • Information at the press of a button – no time wasted looking, its accurate and up to date

  • High quality print output – conveys and professional image to customers, adds value

  • Opportunities to progress as system knowledge grows

  • New applications and tools available to extend system value

 

BECCLES TILE CENTRE

Beccles tile centre
Ceramic Tile Warehouse

Ceramic Tile Warehouse

“The system has transformed the business. We began to see improvements in the warehouse as soon as the system went live” Clive Blythe, Managing Director

Challenges: manual systems, business growth, ease of use, IT inexperience., customer service

Established in 1994, Ceramic Tile Warehouse is one of the UK’s largest and most successful independent tile retailers. The family-run firm offers an extensive range of ceramic wall and floor tiles, sourced from all over the world. Ceramic Tile Warehouse sells direct to the public from its 10,000 square foot warehouse with over a million tiles in stock.

After several years of trading, Ceramic Tile Warehouse had reached the point where its predominantly manual sales and purchasing systems were completely inadequate. Although the company had no IT experience or in-house resources, a new computer system was required. With some professional help brought into the company and having investigated its capabilities, the Revision 7 solution was chosen and deployed on an ASP hosted server platform. A relatively small amount of customisation was required to suit the company’s specific needs – this was easily accommodated.

Gains and benefits

  • Internet-based deployment - staff focus on what they do best

  • More time available to look after customers – a higher standard of service

  • Warehouse processes easier, more efficient and fully controlled

  • Seamless sales to warehouse interaction speeds up transaction processing

  • Learning curve shallower than expected – system intuitive and easy to use 

  • Satisfied customers and satisfied staff – a better position for all

  • Return on investment generated from the start

  • Opportunities for the company to grow with the system

 

EUROPEAN HERITAGE

European Heritage
Ark Trading (Press release)

“I was impressed with the dedication and knowledge portrayed by the KCS team” - Paul Koster, Managing Director of Ark Trading

KCS is pleased to announce that Ark Trading Namibia is live on K8. Ark Trading was established in 1980, and is one of the oldest suppliers to the building trade in Windhoek, Namibia

Paul Koster bought the business in late 2015 and the Namibian Competition Commission awarded a last minute approval to him, to start trading from the 1st January 2016. Paul wished to start trading the new business on a new ERP system. This meant that the KCS team had to work under time constrains to configure the system, they; however, pulled it off, and the K8 system was live at the first week of trading.

Paul has had some previous experience on the trading side of K8, he contributed by helping his staff with training and supporting them with issues, in order to ensure a smooth go-live with minimal disruption to the business.

Ark Trading is looking forward to continue building the business partnership with KCS, and to use K8 to grow Ark Trading.

Tiaan Grobbelaar, Sales Manager at KCS said “Paul thank you for entrusting us as the IT partner for your new business, we wish you best of luck with your new venture and we are sure that your business will thrive, and that K8 will support your current and future strategies”

Risks were mitigated due to Ark Trading:

  • Using the standard K8 printing templates, so minimum time was spent on setup and testing
  • Allocating a strong internal team designated to the the project
  • Having strong internal buy-in, and support from the staff for the new system
  • Providing accurate master file and product data, with all relevant required information e.g 
  • PAC (product analysis codes), branch files and supplier details

As a result of the K8 ERP implementation, Ark Trading will realise the following efficiencies and benefits:

  • Elimination of manual stock back-orders, more controlled and automated
  • More efficient stock forecasting, improved lead times and estimates
  • Able to manage direct deliveries on bulk building materials
  • Better Customer service
  • Better Stock tracking/management
  • Better reporting, managing by exception

Company History

Ark Trading was established in 1980, and is one of the oldest suppliers to the building trade in Windhoek Namibia. Ark Trading stocks from the spade to dig the foundation to the rolling ridge for the roof, including the nails and hammer to nail it in. They also supply sand, gravel and cement, doors, window frames, paint, plumbing supplies and sanitary ware.

Plumblink (Press Release)
Plumblink use K8

Kerridge Commercial Systems has provided us with an excellent tool to be closer to our value chain - Oswald Abrahams, ERP Systems Manager, Plumblink

Plumblink is a leading plumbing products and sanitary ware supplier, servicing the plumbers’ trade and contract markets, as well as the insurance industry.

They have two different branch models; some of the larger stores with showrooms for the general customer, and smaller express stores aimed at the plumbers market. To support the growth, the business also had to adjust and formalise the stock distribution process.

Mr Abrahams, commented: “KCS SA has provided us with an excellent tool to be closer to our value chain. We have grown from nineteen branches in 2010 to sixty-eight in 2015 with the goal to open another twelve to fifteen branches in the next year.”

Seaweed McFarlane, Plumblink CEO said: “I truly believe that we have positioned the company in a well-structured and well governed business. The IT systems we introduced had very positive spin offs and visibility of all operations was enhanced. I consider Plumblink as the industry leader with systems in place to continue seeing and improving on the growth of the past five years.”

What are the results?

  • Greater supply chain visibility
  • Centralised control
  • Access to up-to-date management information
  • Tighter margin controls
  • Ease of opening branches
  • Better stock management
  • Low cost to support

To find out more about KCS and the products that we offer, please contact us today.

Contact us 

 

BPX Electro Mechanical Co

BPX goes online with Web Builder  

Established in 1965, Leicester-based BPX is a major distributor of electrical and electronic control and machinery products. The family-owned company has nine branches across the UK and employs over 120 staff. BPX selected and went live with Web Builder, the integrated online trading application, to drive their business growth.

Business need

BPX is particularly proud of providing first class service to its customers - the company offers 60,000+ products from 50 manufacturers and makes use of IT to increase efficiency and improve its customers’ experience. Managing Director, Guy Collins, explained the rationale to offer online trading, “Our starting point, was not only about meeting existing customer expectations, but also focussing on using web technology to attract new customers, in the UK and internationally.”   

Web Builder

As a OneOffice user, BPX decided that Web Builder, with integrated e-commerce and back-office capabilities, was the most effective platform for the project. Given the size of the company’s product range, it was clear that this would be a complex project for BPX. “The first priority was to understand Web Builder and the fine tuning required for our processes. Essential for us was the need to replicate online the quality of our offline customer relationships and, unlike some distributors who use central warehousing, our e-commerce system had to integrate with local branch operations.” 

Online catalogue 

System infrastructure was a key aspect of the project – a new server investment was required to ensure that the new website, carrying the online store, performed quickly and efficiently. However, the biggest challenge was the creation of the catalogue itself - it amounted to an eight person-year project. “We had to ensure that, insofar as possible, customers could access a consistent level of information across our product range - making their selections without having to phone to check stock, pricing or specification detail. The new website went live with 35,000 products, ready for our customers to buy.”

A time for change

As a 24/7 ‘shop window’, BPX acknowledges that Web Builder represents an immediate opportunity to improve services – knowing that building awareness and transaction levels will take time. Furthermore the company is preparing for some sales desk staff to migrate towards customer service and technical advisory roles. Growing the knowledge base across the company will be a real asset for BPX. “The initial roll-out was based on introducing the online trading facilities – including back-end processes, at each branch and to some of our more demanding customers. We wanted everyone to feel confident about the processes and the added value services. Another key point was to ensure customers individual trading and credit terms were clearly visible online,” said Guy.

Impact of online trading

Online trading can have a big impact for a multi-location B2B distributor. Some routines are immediately automated, some job roles become more advisory with fewer repetitive tasks. BPX also believes that its customer service function will be more productive. “Going online means immediately exposing our entire catalogue to the ‘risk of being sold'. As a result, we expect our breadth of stockholding to broaden and service levels to increase in this ‘want it now’ era. It’s also an imperative to monitor orders closely. If a customer buys product X, but omits essential product Y, we have to respond accordingly.” 

A business milestone

Unquestionably, BPX recognises the value of the opportunities as a result of investing in an online experience and equally, as the company’s use of IT develops, customer benefits will grow. “In taking an evolutionary approach, we want to build upon our reputation and improve services in a controlled manner. Our new website, with Web Builder, is a milestone initiative for BPX,” concluded Guy.  

 
Highlights

  • Online catalogue of 35,000 products 
  • Multi-location process capability
  • Bespoke customer pricing 
  • Self-service – task automation
  • Improve upselling and related product offer
  • Structured introduction for online trading
  • Starting point for further online developments

Results

  • 24/7 trading facility and global shop window
  • Opportunity to extend customer base
  • Customer-branch relationships maintained
  • Improved customer service experience

 
 

FPS Distribution

FPS Distribution Case Study

FPS delivers 6 times daily from its national network including the NDC in Sheffield

"Moving to K8 Babbage was unquestionably the right strategy – we now have an efficient process for future upgrades."

- Jonathan Eden, Head of Systems FPS

National parts distributor, FPS, delivers goods to 2,500 customers, up to 6 times daily from its National Distribution Centre in Sheffield. Around 40,000 transactions flow through the FPS business on a typical day, so having the right ERP solution in place is critical to the success of the business.

Beyond the standard

With a long reputation for excellent customer service, FPS has been in distribution and wholesaling for over 80 years and boasts a product portfolio that now spans the Automotive, Industrial, Travel & Leisure and Retail sectors. For the past 20 years, KCS technology has supported the flow of FPS’ ‘life-blood’, ensuring its 1,000 strong staff can efficiently and effectively manage the end-to-end processing of all transactions across its network of 22 sites.

The KCS/FPS relationship stretches back to 1992

Following an evolutionary path through KCS’ advancing solutions from Rev.7 through to K8, an integral part of FPS’ strategy has been to keep their ERP system up to date so that the business can achieve operational efficiencies and continue to delight customers with excellent service. In 2015, FPS upgraded to K8 Babbage, complete with additional features and benefits including fewer user exits, new role-based permission facilities, and user-defined table functions.

Head of Systems at FPS, Jonathan Eden, explains:“Moving to K8 Babbage means that we can take advantage of Oracle ‘Red Stack’ and the new incremental upgrade architecture – both of which are important to us as we progress the system. In terms of application functionality, improvements such as the enhanced customer returns handling are already proving to be beneficial.”

Planned to perfection

Jonathan Eden knew that to deliver the large and complex upgrade project successfully, working in close collaboration with KCS would prove a critical success factor, along with strong project sponsorship from both companies, exemplary project management, and quality internal communications:

“It was imperative to keep our colleagues across our network fully informed. Telling everyone what we were doing - why, when and how - helped us to maintain strong engagement with the project. Adopting an ‘agile approach’, we carried out practice upgrade runs, timings obtained were fed into go-live planning, and expedient issue resolution helped to keep the project on track.”

A smooth transition

After significant testing from both KCS and FPS, K8 Babbage went live in February 2015.  Support from both companies' IT, finance, operations and supply chain staff during the go-live and initial week of usage, resulted in a well-planned and successful transition. Jonathan Eden recaps, “Operational downtime was just 6 hours and the Sunday shift started their work seamlessly on K8 Babbage.”

The system then moved into the Early Life Support phase, which ensured that post go-live issues could be resolved effectively. “Some of our users commented that it was the best planned, communicated and executed upgrade to date.”

‘Keeping the lights on’

Delivering a high-performing, reliable system to maintain ‘customer delight’ and user productivity – or to ‘keep the lights on’ – was a key project objective. The FPS Business Systems team also met the other objectives, which were to provide excellent service to all stakeholders and to add tangible value to the business. “Moving to K8 Babbage not only meant that we stayed on track with these objectives, it was also unquestionably the right strategy for FPS. We are now positioned to take smaller incremental steps with system upgrades – a more efficient process and with a reduced change management effect.”

“With engagement, commitment and great teamwork from all stakeholders, we addressed the challenges and completed the project successfully”, concludes Jonathan Eden.

The road ahead

Following the transition to K8 Babbage, FPS has now loaded their first feature release – a small but important step enabled by the new architecture. Jonathan Eden is also now exploring the possibility of using further modules including KCS’ Delivery Management System, Datawarehousing, CRM, and Business Intelligence to drive even greater operational efficiencies.

Results:

  • Exemplary project management

  • New system architecture

  • Smooth and seamless transition

  • Latest features and functionality

  • Enhanced returns handling

  • Business Continuity fulfilled

  • More efficient upgrade platform

  • Oracle ‘Red Stack’ advantages

  • Reduced change management risks

  • Faster and leaner issue resolution

View the FPS Testimonial Video Here

Elta Automotive

Elta Automotive

Euro Car Parts

Euro Car Parts
Allmakes 4X4

Allmakes

"K8 has provided the means to bring our business forward into the second decade of the 21st century and beyond’." Terry Chipperfield, Director

Allmakes 4x4 is a leading international trade supplier of Land Rover parts and accessories. Supplying independent specialists for over 30
years, the company can stock every Land Rover part and also offers their exclusive range of ‘Terrafirma’ accessories. Allmakes 4x4 has
contracts to supply the British armed forces and agreements with government organisations and NGO’s worldwide. Since implementing K8, the system has helped to streamline business processes and create a more efficient working environment.

Time for Change

Until 2006 Allmakes were using a custom designed system, originally developed in the early 1980’s. Over the years it had been modified and expanded to meet their developing business requirements. However, as Terry Chipperfield explained, “the system just didn’t cope
well with many of the things which you’d expect in a 21st century environment. There was no capability for e-business,nor the opportunity for a trade portal. It all worked on the assumption that you had plenty of time between receiving orders and shipping them. Some of the
routines on the order processing side were very slow.”

Terry continued, “Also, we were finding it increasingly difficult to get the system supported. We spent time with a Birmingham based software house, to try to bring it up to date, but this proved too difficult. We specified all sorts of aspects that we wanted to see, from improved order processing through to more sophisticated stock control; we spent a lot of time on stock control. Ultimately we decided that we had to change.”

Terry added: “A significant gap in the system’s functionality, for us, was the ability to handle, pack and ship export consignments efficiently. Well over half our business is export. So we sat down with Kerridge CS and developed a suite of programmes to meet this requirement. Nine months after seeing the system for the first time, we went live with K8 on 1st October 2006.”

Trading Systems Review

Allmakes carried out a systems review in 2006. Terry explained: “We looked at a number of alternatives, but one of our major UK based customers in Devon had recently launched K8 from Kerridge Commercial Systems (Kerridge CS.) They were very enthusiastic about
the software. I spent a day with them, going through the main features. I was impressed with the speed and simplicity of the order processing, and the opportunities that K8 would give us to develop our business. So we started talking to Kerridge CS.”

Online Trading

The Allmakes K8 Web Portal gives their global customer base the ability to access the K8 system in real time. The portalwas developed using the standard API’s (Application Programming Interface) supplied by Kerridge CS. The innovative design of the Allmakes K8 Web Portal was developed with their customers’ specific needs in mind; reflecting the particular demands of the industry. Customers from around the world get secure, real time information on pricing, stock availability, order progress, account details and statements. Most importantly they have the ability to get full product details, including supercessions, and armed with this information, they can place ordersdirectly into the Allmakes K8 system.

Allmakes report a significant increase in sales following the launch of their web portal. The largest order handled through the portal had 980 individual lines processed straight into the system without any manual intervention. For Allmakes, it isn’t just sales, it’s also enquires which are handled over the internet, so the phones are quieter. Staff have more time to give to proactive selling. Internet trading developed with KerridgeCS has given Allmakes a real competitive advantage.

The Business Benefits

Since implementing K8 at Allmakes, it has helped to streamline business processes and create a more efficient working environment. Terry explains “We particularly like K8’s ability to switch from one process to another very quickly, and the fact that we can access all sorts of information and history, concurrently. We were particularly anxious to start trading over the internet. The tools to do this are provided as standard within K8.” Terry continues: “We also like the comfort that we feel, being with a major provider, who will continue to invest in the development of the product and its support.”

Gains and benefits

  • Streamlined processes

  • More efficient working

  • More proactive selling

  • Fast access to information

  • Better customer service

  • Internet trading capability

  • Significant increase in sales

  • Secure supplier partnership

  • A system for their future

Brookwells

Brookewells

Euro Car Parts

Euro Car Parts
LSK

Leading Scottish ironmonger prepares for the future with K8

"The system has already done what it said on the tin in terms of improving our customer processes, operationally efficiency and productivity. Digital signature capture, for example, has been a great success with faster invoicing and fewer accounting queries.”

- Ryan Cairley, Project Manager, LSK

Established in 1999, LSK Supplies is a family-run architectural ironmonger and builders’ merchant. Scotland’s largest independent architectural ironmongers, the company has six branches in west central Scotland and two more branches opening early 2016. Serving both trade and retail customers LSK focusses on delivering a positive customer experience. The company selected K8 to support future growth, opting for a cloud-based solution to minimise IT overheads.  

The need for a new system

LSK’s previous system had served the business well - the software managed the core processes for selling, purchasing and stock control. However, LSK had developed and required a system that was more future-proof. The company needed an advanced, fully integrated system to improve the efficiency of its customer contact ‘touch points’ – particularly in managing transactions, invoicing and payment processing. Ryan Cairley, LSK’s Project Manager, said “Being able to take full advantage of new technologies, advanced functionality and having greater depth and breadth of information were the priorities. Financial tools, ease of use and being able to use the company’s existing infrastructure, were also key requirements for the business.”

Choosing K8 

LSK Managing Director, Garry Bell, researched a number of alternative systems before choosing K8. The company understood K8’s established reputation, but after talking to businesses with K8 experience, it became clear that the system met the LSK’s requirements. “In terms of reliability, functionality and readiness to support our future growth, K8 was the best system for us. Specifically, its capabilities to present accurate and real time management information - especially sales and purchasing patterns, were significant factors in our decision. We were also impressed with Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) as a progressive company with proven R&D credentials.”
 

Successful implementation

One particular aspect of K8 that appealed to LSK was its considerable flexibility and adaptability. During the system set-up, Ryan and his colleagues took time to understand how K8 could be fine-tuned to suit the business. Early engagement and commitment certainly paid off; moreover, it gave LSK complete ownership of its new system. Complementing this was the ‘train the trainer’ approach used to introduce the system to the staff; LSK also compiled help sheets to help build user skills and competencies.

 “KCS consultants were immensely helpful. They shared their knowledge willingly and guided us through data conversion Talking to us about how we would get the best from our new system, the consultants also gave us confidence to move forward leading to a smooth, successful implementation and well-supported go-live.”  

Solid foundation

LSK stated that K8 has now settled in well, with some specific projects to consider in the next year or so. “The system has already done what it said on the tin in terms of improving our customer processes, operationally efficiency and productivity. Digital signature capture, for example, has been a great success with faster invoicing and fewer accounting queries.”  LSK is in a particularly competitive industry and appreciates the importance of meeting customer demands. “With K8 we are already one step ahead and have the system behind us to adapt to new demands from new and existing customers,” said Ryan.

LSK implemented K8 with energy and enthusiasm – clearly a company that’s seizing the power of technology for a successful future.

Highlights

  • Flexible and adaptable solution
  • Strong user engagement
  • Successful training programme
  • Fully supported go live
  • Fewer trading issues
  • Development potential

 

Benefits

  • Greater efficiency and productivity
  • Improved customer processes and service levels
  • Significant gains from digital signature capture
  • Real-time management information
     

 

Lawsons

Lawsons

“Have worked with Kerridge Commercial Systems for many years and enjoy a strong working relationship” Jerry Norris, IT Director

Challenges: business growth, system progression

Lawson and Son Timber Merchant began trading in 1921. Over the years, the company has progressively developed its product range to match market needs and customer demands – loft conversion being one particular speciality. With more than 90 years of successful trading and growth , award winning Lawsons now operates thirteen branches in and around London – a number of which supply a full range of building materials in addition to timber and fencing.

Following successful business growth, system reviews and an evaluation of other ERP solutions, the company chose to stay with Kerridge Commercial Systems and migrate from the well-established  Revision 7 platform to K8. Confidence in the system and fully supported by the Kerridge Commercial Systems team, K8 was implemented at all branches in a ‘big bang’ approach. 

Gains and benefits

  • Easy to use, convenient solution

  • Inter-branch trading capacity

  • Accurate reporting and management information

  • Quick and efficient automated processes

  • Presents a more proffesional image to customers

  • Installation is straightforward, minimal user training

 

MKM Building Supplies

Kerridge Commercial Systems Training

J Handford & Sons

Tileflair

K8 enhances our efficiency, so that we can provide an even better customer experience.

“Our focus is on service, as reflected in our ‘Create something beautiful’ slogan.  K8 has enabled us to enhance this, giving us access to a wealth of information at a single click.”    

Matthew Johnson, Managing Director, Tileflair

 

Challenges: Challenge: inter-branch trading, partner support, IT strategy

Tileflair is the largest, privately-owned tile distributor in the South of England.  It offers an extensive range of high quality tiles - sourced from around the world - and has been supplying the trade, contract and retail sectors since 1972.  Tileflair has nine outlets, an online shop and a central warehouse located in Bristol.

 

Moving with the times

Tileflair’s initial need was for a system to handle inter-branch trading, to replace a previous system where processes were cumbersome. It was also looking for an IT partner that really understood the tile business.   It opted for a distribution system, rather than an EPOS product, and Kerridge Commercial Systems was chosen from five short-listed suppliers.  The system went live in December 1998 and, in 2007, Tileflair upgraded to K8.  Then, in May 2015, it upgraded to the system’s latest version.

 “Our aim is to get the best return that we can from K8 - to enhance our efficiency and service.  Each branch now has its own dashboard, which provides better insight into the business, not just in terms of sales but also customer trends, margins, stock turnover, etc.  The fact that we’ve got access to this information - and can access it from the sales screen – means that we’re always ready for a sale.”

“The data warehouse module is promising too, giving far more information than we’ve been able to access in the past, without having to run multiple reports.”

 

Resilient, reliable and responsive

“Crucially, K8 has proven to be very resilient; it’s never frozen or locked-up!  And, we’re now looking forward to exploring other system features, in addition to the most used ones, so that we can gain full advantage from K8.”

“From a partnership point-of-view, we’re committed to Kerridge and we have a great relationship with them.  They are very responsive and are good at seeing things from the customer’s point of view.”

 

K8 goes mobile - and other efficiencies

Tileflair’s next upgrade will include browser access.  iPads have become key selling tools for its sales team and it will enable them to access the system in a truly mobile sense, rather than steering customers back to the counter to check stock, etc.

“Having browser access will enhance the whole customer experience.    And, we’re now also trialing the delivery management system and will be testing the warehouse management system from January 2016.  Our aim is to continue to enhance our internal productivity, to really understand our customers’ needs and to continue to work closely with Kerridge to make our business as efficient as it can be.“

 

Gains and benefits

  • Complete reliability and enhanced efficiency.
  • Intuitive, menu-led processes that can be instantly accessed from the sales screen.  Easy to use – more time can be dedicated to the customer.
  • Flexible sales order processing, accessible from one screen.
  • Inter-branch trading capability – better stock utilisation, improved customer service.
  • Accurate reporting and management information – effective decision making.
  • Forecasting tools invaluable – improved ordering, saves time, more effective use of working capital. 
  • Quick and efficient automated processes – smoother, controlled and more efficient operation.
  • A platform for expansion of branch network – minimal IT investment impact.
  • Online support calls via secure extranet – issues recorded without delay, saves time.

 

K8 is a fully integrated Trading and Business Management solution for distributors, wholesalers, merchants and retailers. Combining a suite of modules, it helps you source effectively, stock efficiently, sell profitably and service competitively.

K8 is designed to help you get closer to your customers, build profits, and manage your margins. From your sales team, to your back office, K8 has been developed by distributive trades experts to improve the day-to-day performance of your team.

 

 

Pimlico Plumbing and Heating Merchants

A new business thrives with K8 

South London-based, Pimlico Plumbing and Heating Merchants (PPHM) opened its doors in October 2014. Going live with K8 on its first day of trading, the system has proved to be an invaluable tool from the start.  Since opening, the business has grown substantially – exceeding initial expectations. PPHM now serves trade customers across London seven days a week. 

 Business origins

PPHM was established by plumbing entrepreneur, Charlie Mullins MBE, initially to provide Pimlico Plumbers with its own supplier of products and plumbing parts. However, with the company’s impressive track record of experience and expertise, it soon became clear that PPHM could also meet the needs of independent plumbers. A trade-only, highly responsive service, with extended opening hours to access stock, was a great business model to progress with.

Choosing K8

Although the PPHM considered other systems, the choice of K8 was based on recommendations and the fact that one of its staff had previously used the system helped in the decision process. The challenge for KCS and PPHM was that once the order was placed, system preparations and set-up had to be completed in record time. PPHM Director, Samm Mullins, said, “There was a lot of pressure in getting the business ready – everything had to move quickly. I was very impressed by the hard work and flexibility of the KCS team. Having a live system within four weeks from start to finish, ready for opening, was quite an achievement.”  

Customer service is key

Now a seven days-a-week operation, PPHM serves its two customer channels; purchasing, stocking and supply for Pimlico Plumbers, together with looking after 160+ (and growing) independent plumbers and heating engineers located across London. “Our customers are usually very clear about what they want – they sometimes email us a photo if clarification is required for a specific item. With their time at a premium, they have come to expect us to be on the ball, offer any advice that’s required, then be ready to supply and deliver.”

Successful development

As a fast-growing business, one of the keys to success has been the company’s ability to service its customer base. As trading patterns have become established, PPHM has successfully used K8 to balance its stock levels. “Ensuring that we have the correct breadth and depth of stock is absolutely vital for our customers. If we can’t supply, someone else will.” Such has been the progress at PPHM that within six months of opening, a second floor was added to its premises. The company’s van and motorcycle delivery operation has also been ramped up to meet growing demand.

Benefits and value

K8 is working well for PPHM – from purchasing to stock control, sales order processing and financials. “We now use the system to generate automatic stock orders with manual adjustments as necessary. K8 also enables us to order as and when necessary to service our customers – placing orders with our suppliers once or twice a day is not unusual,” said Samm. He went on to say that K8 is also a valuable asset to the business in managing credit control. The system makes it easy to set up new accounts enabling trading with a new customer to start with minimal delay. “In our business, we also have to keep a tight grip on our debt position and if a customer doesn’t pay us on time, we can be straight on to the situation and resolve things quickly. Across the business, if we spot anything that doesn’t look right, we can use the system to investigate the matter and move on with minimal effort.”

There’s no question that K8 has been key to how PPHM has developed since opening. The system is at the heart of how the business operates and services its customers. “With its impressive functionality, the system is both highly capable and forgiving – an essential tool that we use throughout our working day. Quite simply, without K8 we wouldn’t have a business, said Samm.” 

Quote

“Ensuring that we have the correct breadth and depth of stock is absolutely vital for our customers. If we can’t supply, someone else will.”

Highlights

  • System live on trading day one

  • Intuitive and easy to use

  • No need for specialist IT skills

  • Fully accessible product information

  • Enabling high quality customer service

  • Helping to build solid business reputation

Results

  • Fully managed stock levels

  • Easy ordering and purchasing

  • Efficient transaction processing

  • Supporting business growth

 

Edgar Brothers

Implementing K8 to support future growth

“K8 will deliver everything we need on a single platform and we will be supported by an implementation team with experience of both systems. Sharing knowledge between the two platforms will be enormously beneficial.” - Emma Burgess, Operations Director

Sector: fire arms, ammunition wholesale and retail distribution
Requirement: integrated business information capabilities, warehouse, incl. barcoding and hand-held device applications and procurement management

Established in 1947, Macclesfield-based Edgar Brothers is a leading distributor and retailer of firearms and ammunition. The company is now preparing to implement K8 with a go live scheduled for January 2016. Edgar Brothers’ customers include shooting sports retailers, shooting grounds, police and defence sectors, professional and leisure customers. Company needed to replace their existing OneOffice system. It served the business extremely well since 1998 and supported considerable growth, however K8 had better fit for the family-owned business moving forward. 

Forward-thinking company

Emma Burgess, Operations Director said, “Although our OneOffice system has supported our business very well – a six-fold increase in ten years, we were falling behind getting the most from our systems. Workarounds and the use of third party software have become necessary. As a forward-thinking company, this is not how we want to run the business.” 

Need for investment

Realising the need for systems investment – Edgar’s staff needed more capable and advanced functionality to do their jobs and to improve business efficiencies in key areas.  “With our trusted KCS partnership, we focussed on the business case for K8. We had to address some pressing requirements, notably integrated management information, warehouse management and procurement applications.”

Edgar Brothers has chosen to design a complete new business operation around K8. “The time was right to make a fresh start, revise our ISO9001 Quality Management System and steer towards making the best use of K8’s capabilities.”

Learning about K8’s capabilities

K8 project began with the Discovery phase - the first part of METIS, the KCS implementation methodology.  The KCS team ran several, in depth ‘learning’ workshops focussing on different areas of the system’s business processes and established the basis for the system set-up. “The workshops highlighted K8’s considerable time-saving opportunities and efficiencies especially in procurement and warehousing along with the use of hand-held devices and bar codes.”

A team effort for the best results

Edgar Brothers said that “The whole project is a team effort and everyone is totally committed to achieving the best result. We are fortunate to have like-minded, enthusiastic and ambitious employees, departments are taking responsibility for their own system applications and have their own ‘pot of gold’ to aim for.” 

A platform for future growth 

Targeting some clear benefits, they Edgar Brothers are confident that the system will meet current needs now and be a platform for future growth. Having robust, effective and efficient systems will enable them to maintain its successful development and provide staff with the means to take the business forward. “Although it may not have been so a few years ago, we now have the capabilities to make K8 work for us.” 

Edgar Brother’s K8 project has now passed through the METIS Discovery phase - a learning process that highlighted the system’s time-saving opportunities. Now embarking on a comprehensive staff training programme for the award-winning ERP software Edgar Brothers will use a train the trainer approach to develop the required competencies and system knowledge. K8 will go live in January 2016 to coincide with the company’s financial year end.

Highlights

  • Identified as best time for K8 migration

  • Learning workshops to build system knowledge

  • Comprehensive, structured training programme

  • K8 is giving staff the tools they need

  • System ‘gain’ objectives for each department

Alfred Franks and Bartlett

Kerridge Commercial Systems Training

Ferroli

Dale Hardware

Dale Hardware

“With K8, we are now able to grow the business without automatically adding cost and compromising our customer service. Kerridge Commercial Systems delivered exactly what we were promised.” Chris Gorse, Managing Director

Challenges: business growth, management information, business control, customer service, IT partner strategy

Family-owned Dale Hardware is one of the UK's leading distributors of architectural and builders hardware. The Dale brand is the preferred choice of the country's main independent builder and timber merchants and architectural ironmongers. The company offers internationally-sourced ironmongery as boxed items or pre-packed products..

Success and growth for Dale Hardware brought about a need for better system tools to support further expansion. Greater visibility of information and business controls were primary requirements and there was a need to streamline processes. One of the factors which influenced the decision to install K8 was that Dale Hardware did not have to change their business to suit the system. K8 was a good fit from the start.

Gains and benefits

  • Efficient sales order processing – time savings for staff – good service for customers

  • Improved customer interaction – access information instantly

  • Man hours saved, staffing levels reduced – costs saved

  • Up-to-the minute accurate information – quicker decisions, good customer service

  • Profitability monitoring – keeping a finger on the pulse ensures tight business control

  • Exception reporting – e.g. invoice matching application, issues can be quickly resolved

  • Spreadsheet interface – flexible, smooth and simple to use

  • More management time focused on running the business

  • Opportunities to introduce new applications and functionality

 

BURNT OAK

Burnt Oak

SAMUEL KIRK

Samuel Kirk
Houthandel Goedkoop

Houthandel Goedkoop

“K8 ensures that we follow the correct procedures to allow a constant high level of quality. K8 is fast, easy to work with and everything can be traced back. It works perfectly.” Cees Goedkoop, Director

Challenges: existing system, business growth,

Founded in 1932, as a small timber and hardware merchant based in the centre of Amsterdam, Houthandel Goedkoop now supplies timber, kitchens, plasterboard and tools. The company’s products are used in many building renovation projects in Amsterdam and customers also include numerous DIY businesses.

The family-owned, forward-thinking company installed its first computer system in 1985 – at the time trading systems for wholesalers were in their infancy. Much more recently, as a result of business growth, and the opening of an additional branch, a systems review was required. As members of Sakol, a purchasing association, Houthandel Goedkoop were recommended to take a look at K8 - one of only two systems that it had identified for its members. The result – an order was placed for K8 and installation followed.

Gains and benefits

  • Process-driven functions maintain a high level of quality

  • Component kits – easily managed and controlled

  • Fast search facilities – means better customer service

  • Inter-branch trading more efficient and simplified

  • Full auditability – everything can be traced to source

  • User friendly functionality – builds staff confidence 

  • Information is clearly presented throughout the system

 

Barlows

Kerridge Commercial Systems Training

Sehmi

Sehmi
RGB Building Supplies

“Kerridge Commercial Systems has evolved from an outsourced supplier to an extension of our operation. Their solution has been a perfect fit and their people have forged the strong relationship we have today" Mark Gosney, Operation s Director

Challenges: operational efficiencies, integration, business processes, stock visibility, sales order processing, accounting, management information, scalability, customer service, profitability

Established in 1850, Rawle Gammon & Baker initially traded as a timber importing business and now, with 15 sites, is one of the largest builders merchant in the South West, employing over 200 staff. The company attributes its success to its people and providing exceptional customer service. 

RGB knew that they had to overhaul their IT infrastructure, only by doing so would they be able to create operational efficiencies, unavailable within their incumbent system. A fully integrated solution would improve business processes – not least of which in sales order processing, stock control and provide an comprehensive accounting system with management information tools. Scalability for growth were also important considerations. After examining various systems, Kerridge Commercial Systems was the clear winner.

Gains and benefits

  • An excellent, close working partnership

  • Tight control from fully integrated processes – saves time, saves money

  • Information at the fingertips – no time wasted looking up from other sources

  • Full stock visibility and optimisation, easily facilitated inter-branch trading

  • Functionally-rich, sales order processing –resulting in improved customer service

  • Opportunities to improve profitability from both revenue generation and cost savings

  • A scalable solution which allows the company to grow and develop

 

HALDANE FISHER

Haldane Fisher

BURNT OAK

Burnt Oak
Barlows of Hermitage

barlows of hermitage

Peter Barlow, Managing Director

Challenges:existing system, business development, lack of data, system reliability, business efficiency, customer service

Barlows of Hermitage is a traditional, family-owned business supplying a range of timber and timber products including fencing, decking and gates. Trading started in 1867 in Shute Hill, Berkshire and continues today from its locations near Newbury and West Oxfordshire.

The company had outgrown its previous system, customer information was minimal and experienced system overload with the risk of data loss. Barlows of Hermitage had to become more efficient, do things faster and improve productivity. Three systems were shortlisted – with Kerridge Commercial Systems seen as the one that stood out – in terms of product, knowledge, understanding and responsiveness. An order was placed for a 10 user K8 SBE (Small Business Edition) system.

Gains and benefits

  • Throughout the system - opportunities to improve customer service

  • Visibility and inter-branch trading – optimises stock and delivery points

  • Instant access to information proving invaluable

  • Flexible pricing options and Order Margin Review controls profitability

  • Time savings from using automated suggested stock ordering

  • Supplier price import facility saves time

  • Excellent on-going support , fast and responsive

  • Future opportunities to extend system value and increase business, e.g. ecommerce

 

ROCK TRADING

Rock Trading

RGB BUILDING SUPPLIES

RGB builder supplies
Beccles Tile Centre

Beccles Tile Centre

"The system has ended the paperchase, made it easier to trade, and has put us in a strong position to react quickly to business demands .With Kerridge Commercial Systems and K8 – SBE, this small business will continue to thrive.” Julie Thurston, Accounts Director

Challenges: manual and basic systems, stock control, accounts, business efficiency, pricing

Beccles Tile Centre is a family-owned and managed tile, bathroom and contracting services company. Employing around a dozen staff, Beccles Tile Centre offers an extensive range of tiles and bathrooms which are on display in its retail showroom with a 20,000 square foot warehouse nearby.

Prior to installing K8-SBE, Beccles Tile Centre had been running basic systems which relied heavily on manual processes for quotations, sales, stock control and accounts.  Information was lacking in detail, mistakes were often not picked up, processes were inefficient and time consuming. After reviewing a number of solutions, K8-SBE (Small Business Edition) was selected.

Gains and benefits

  • Processes are fast and effective, makes best use of everyone’s time

  • Purchasing is fully controlled – reduced risks of errors 

  • Stock visibility impressive – better service to customers

  • Information is quickly accessible and accurate – no time spent searching 

  • Company is trading more efficiently – less time wasted

  • Margin and profitability monitored – control and reporting supports management needs

  • Integral accounting – instant transaction processing, errors eliminated, cash flow improved

  • Easy management information and reporting – fully supports decision making

 

TILEFLAIR

Kerridge Commercial Systems Training

CERAMIC TILE WAREHOUSE

Ceramic title warehouse
Express Plumbing Supplies

Express Plumbing Supplies

“Migrating to K8 was one of the best business decisions I have ever made – the positive difference to the company has been phenomenal” Ashley Wilson, Managing Director

Challenges: business expansion, specialist systems, IT partner, business processes, customer service

Established in 2003, Express Plumbing Supplies began life as a small, single branch bathroom and heating supplier, based in Barrow-In-Furness, with four employees. The company has grown to become one of the largest independent bathroom, heating, drainage and renewal suppliers in the north west of England, with four branches stocking several thousand products.

By 2004, the company’s basic trading system was proving inadequate for an ambitious company. The search was on for a system more suited to the task, with the necessary flexibility and scalability. Express Plumbing Supplies needed a systems partner who understood the business with proven knowledge and a track record of experience. K8 was chosen. And the company began to enjoy the system’s benefits immediately.

Gains and benefits

  • Fast sales order processing – gives good services to customers, supported by accurate information

  • Quotations produced effortlessly – good for customers, speed means better chance of an order

  • Easy  and quick to use purchase control tools – optimise stock levels with visibility of pipeline 

  • Integral accounting functionality – the financial position tightly controlled, cash flow improved

  • Management information –‘at the fingertips’ supports planning and decision making

  • Central control  - cross-branch visibility and inter-branch trading easily processed

  • Excellent support and system maintenance – gives re-assurance and future roadmap

  • Opportunities to introduce additional applications

 

PRIMAFLOW

Primaflow

DAVROC

Davroc
Builders Supplies (West Coast)

Builders Supplies (West Coast)

“Kerridge Commercial Systems portrays itself as a professional, forward-thinking company. It is an organisation of substance and integrity who we consider to be a key partner for our future growth” Peter Worthington, Managing Director

Challenges: culture change, partner choice, total package

Builders Supplies (West Coast) Ltd, are a successful, independent, heavy-side builders’ merchant, with depots in Fleetwood, Cleveleys, Preston and Morecambe with plumbing and heating products available in Fleetwood. The company prides itself on excellent customer service levels and high stock availability.

Builders Supplies (West Coast) realised the significance of investing in a new computer system, such a project was also going to be something of a culture change for the company. The requirements were for a supplier who understood the industry, a system that would be fully maintained and progressed with an upgrade path and a total ‘one-stop’ services solution. Having evaluated several contenders, a short list was identified and detailed reviews were conducted. Ultimately, only Kerridge Commercial Systems met the criteria and an order was placed for K8. Among the deciding factors were the company’s excellent customer relationships.

Gains and benefits

  • Consistent and accurate purchasing and pricing – saves time and money

  • Purchase orders directly placed by fax – more efficient, less paper handling

  • Order Margin Review tools – protect trading profitability

  • Daily management and accounting information has improved cash flow

  • Tighter stock control and PPI – faster more accurate stock checks

  • Automatic invoice matching – saves time, reduces risk of errors

  • Smooth implementation as other branches have been opened up

  • K8 is intuitive –1 hour to train staff to use SOP 

  • An effective framework to highlight management action areas 

  • Opportunities to extend  system use and  improve the investment value

 

Easby Electronics

Kerridge Commercial Systems Training

sehmi

sehmi
Bearing Man

Bearing Man

“The level of user acceptance has been tremendous and the new technology positively embraced,” Abe Bekker, ICT Director

Challenges: existing systems, international capability, high transaction volumes, partner selection

Bearing Man, a bearing shop, opened in Durban in 1974 and gradually expanded its service and product offerings to include more than just bearings - a range of globally recognised brands of engineering products and components. The company, which now has more than 100 branches in South Africa, acquired Fenner Power Transmission distribution 1998, Invicta Bearings in 2000, Springset in 2004 and Oscillating Systems Technology in 2005. In addition to South Africa, Bearing Man operates in Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia, Botswana and Mozambique.

The company’s legacy systems were reaching the end of their life, and with the onset of systems with graphical user interfaces, Bearing Man created a Request for Proposal for a replacement system. Following extensive evaluation and consideration for the project management, implementation and support, K8 was chosen. The new system, for a business of 1,000 users, in 105 branches, handling over 8,000 sales orders per day, went live on 1st August 2005.

Gains and benefits

  • Improved functionality – processes faster and more efficient

  • International trading capability – vital for company development

  • Modern look and feel ‘GUI’ – easy and intuitive to use and minimal training

  • A solid, scalable platform for the future

  • Excellent user acceptance – strong staff ownership of ‘their’ new system

  • A stable, secure supplier to support the future of the company

 

led

led

ROUTECO

ROUTECO
Voltex

Voltex

“The system has integrated our trading branches to enable efficient inventories to meet customer demands” Eric Immermann, Financial Director

Challenges: customer service, supply chain, stock management

Voltex is a leading stockist and distributor of a vast and comprehensive array of electrical and related materials on the African continent and has 76 strategically located outlets in South Africa, catering to the needs of the electrical industry including general electric products, energy and power services, power distribution, lighting, industry and related activities.

In addition to general outlets, a number of specialised divisions which supplement and enhance, directly and in directly, its reach into the areas in which it operates.

These specialised divisions include Voltex Lighting, Waco, Cabstrut, Atlas Cable Supplies, Versalec, LSis and Sanlic.

 

Easby Electronics

Kerridge Commercial Systems Training

Eyre and Elliston

Vicon Industries

Vicon Industries

“It is amazing how easy it is to use the system. K8 Sales Order Processing allows me to check stock, outstanding purchase orders and product information. Even new staff find the system a completely natural way of working” Michaela Barnes, Credit Manager

Challenges: customer service, multi-currency, multi-lingual,capability, sales order processing

Vicon Industries is an industry-leading supplier of video systems and components used for security, surveillance, safety and control purposes. Established in 1967, Vicon systems are employed worldwide in high-profile, enterprise-scale installations. Customers include governments, Fortune 500 companies, private and public institutions, and global transit and commerce hubs. The company’s European headquarters is in the UK.

The company has been a Kerridge Commercial Systems customer through successive generations of product, starting with revision 6, moving on to revision 7. Vicon Industries became a beta site for K8 before moving on to the full release product. Prior to K8, among the key business requirements was a more flexible sales order processing capability. The company also wanted to ensure that moving to the next generation product would continue to support and if possible improve customer care and service standards.

Gains and benefits

  • Improved productivity and efficiency – save time and effort in all areas of the system

  • Multi-lingual, multi-currency functionality – enables the company to trade internationally

  • Sales order processing, fast and accurate – a good service to customers, easy for staff

  • Excellent search facilities – almost instant, makes everyone’s life easier and customers benefit

  • Email tools for orders and quotations direct from the system – save time – delivering a good service

  • Management information and reporting. Information is accurate, up to date and easy to use

  • User friendly interface – easy to train new staff, helps everyone to learn more about the system

 

NORBAIN

Kerridge Commercial Systems Training

MACLEAN ELECTRICAL

Turnbull Building Supplies

Turnbull Building Supplies

"K8 is a well-packaged product with all of the functionality of a windows-based system and an impressive user interface. It has some fantastic features SOP for example is superb” Kevin Coombs, IT Manager

Challenges: business growth, scalability, system functionality

Turnbull Building Supplies was established in 1895 as a single branch, family-owned business in Lincolnshire. Now with six branches and following a management buy-out in the 1984, the company offers a comprehensive product range of building materials, kitchens, bathrooms and tiles.  The company supplies retail customers through to the national house builders – the majority of its business is with from small to medium-sized builders.

During a previous systems review, Turnbull Building Supplies, considered the Revision 7 product but implemented an alternative solution. Later, with issues such as product development, scalability and functionality becoming a concern, it was time to take another look.  Considerations such as capacity, culture, resources, reputation and product roadmap were the priorities. Kerridge Commercial Systems and K8 met the company’s requirements and in March 2003 an order for K8 was placed – the system went live later the same year. Turnbull subsequently upgraded to K8.07. 

Gains and benefits

  • User Interface quick and easy to navigate

  • Sales order processing  makes for quick and efficient trading

  • KPI facilities enable accurate, regular monitoring of business progress

  • Spreadsheet interface – great for managing price updates and stock effectively

  • Automatic supplier invoice verification – very efficient and saves time

  • Hosted platform means security, scalability with minimal add-on investment

  • System hosting means staff can focus attention on the business and customer service

  • High levels of customer service achieved using K8, means higher customer retention

 

RGB BUILDING SUPPLIES

Kerridge Commercial Systems Training

WILLIAM WILSON

Sehmi Builders Merchants

Sehmi Builders Merchants

“K8 has provided us with efficiency and transparency, made trading easier, allowed us to generate more sales and improved our business” Harpreet Sehmi, Branch and IT Manager

Challenges: business growth, multi-branch trading, future-proofing, stock control

A family-run builder’s merchants, established in the mid 1980’s, Sehmi has grown to become one of the most successful independent operations in Southern England. The company has branches in Southall, Wembley, Reading and Slough supplying timber, bricks, sand, paving and steel, along with a full range of associated products.

Prior to installing K8, Sehmi had been using a custom-designed system which originated in the early 1980s. Modified and developed to meet the company’s changing needs, it had not only reached the end of its life, but support was proving to be increasingly difficult. The company’s K8 system went live in October 2006 – just 9 months after seeing K8 for the first time.

Gains and benefits

  • A fully scalable, future-proof system

  • Multi-branch functionality – inter-branch trading optimises stock and supports customer service

  • Processes streamlined – faster, more control, saves time – more focus on looking after customers

  • Improved stock control – reduced stock holding – lower inventory costs

  • Line by line sales history reporting – high quality information for easier decision making

  • Implementation of PPI stock checking –issues quickly identified and resolved, saves time and money

  • Big reduction in the use of paper-based systems – no missing transactions, saves time and money

  • Increased revenue generation opportunities – more sales and profits, better customer service

  • Reduced debtor days – improved cash flow, lower interest charges

  • A platform to introduce additional functionality to suit business needs – more investment value

 

BARLOWS

Kerridge Commercial Systems Training

TILEFLAIR

Samuel Kirk

Samuel Kirk

“With K8 you can tell exactly how much you are making and exactly how much you are spending, It gives you a very up-to-date picture” Kirk Alerdice, Branch Manager – founder’s grandson

Challenge: existing systems, supplier stability, integration, stock control, management reporting, pricing

Samuel Kirk (Builders Merchants) Ltd is a family-owned business established in 1947 employing 14 people. The company provides a full range of DIY and building supplies for trade and retail customers.

The compelling factors which led to the installation K8 included the inadequacies of the previous system. As a text –based trading and accounting system it required excessive manual intervention, stock control and management reporting was poor, and it was difficult to price products. A new system had to be easier to use. Samuel Kirk installed K8 in 2005

Gains and benefits

  • Excellent functionality throughout the system – suits the business needs

  • Information at the finger tips – means efficiency, good service and simplifies work-flow 

  • Pricing and discounts handled consistently – maintains margin, eliminates costly errors

  • Timber purchasing and sales capability – a complex area fully controlled

  • Credit account controls – few debt issues and better cash flow

  • Special orders fully controlled ensures good customer service is provided

 

dale

Kerridge Commercial Systems Training

eps

Raven Roofing

Raven Roofing

"We wouldn’t have been able to expand the business to be where we are today without the Kerridge Commercial Systems’ solution" Mark Applebee, Managing Director

Challenges: existing systems, manual processes, business development, IT resources, technical knowledge

Established in 1971, this family-owned company supplies a full range of roofing materials for the trade and DIY customers. Products, including natural slates, insulation and single ply roofing membrane systems, are sourced from leading manufacturers. Raven Roofing Supplies distributes from its network of warehouses and branches across the southern England via its delivery services or customer collection.

Raven Roofing Supplies’ previous system could not support ambitious growth plans, some processes were carried out via spreadsheet and many administration tasks were very time-consuming. Kerridge Commercial Systems were chosen to supply a new system. The company opted for a hosted, subscription-based ‘ASP’ solution which avoided the need to employ IT staff and with no large upfront IT investment required. 

Gains and benefits

  • Hosted solution – convenient, saves time and money 

  • A platform to enable business to expand with minimal IT investment

  • Advanced integrated functionality –processes are fully controlled

  • Data accuracy means ‘right first time’ - fewer credit notes issued

  • Much tighter stock control – easier to spot and resolve issues

 

ROCK TRADING

Kerridge Commercial Systems Training

RGB BUILDING SUPPLIES

MKM Building Supplies

MKM

"K8 provides a highly stable platform which allows us to successfully transact business with virtually no downtime or operational difficulties." Edward Broderick, IT Manager

Challenges: Prior to implementing K8, MKM used a system that had come to the end of its life. The company needed to move to a modern, fully integrated and scalable system that would enable the business to expand and move forwards. MKM sought to partner with a company that understood their sector and who they could engage with for focussed product development.

Based in Hull, MKM Building Supplies is the UK’s largest independent builders’ merchants. Established in 1996, the company, which continues to grow, currently operates 40 branches across the UK, serving in excess of 25,000 customers annually.

David Kilburn, who founded the company, had previously used Kerridge Commercial Systems products, and in 2006, when the need arose to replace MKM’s text-based system, K8 was shortlisted as a prime contender. The system was first configured to run 18 branches and now has around 500 users.

In addition to K8’s established reputation as a class- leading solution for the sector, one of the big plusses in moving to K8 was that MKM could have all the requisite functionality in a standard system without the need for bespoke modifications. Furthermore, as a result of using a hosted platform in place of an in-house server, the MKM IT team have been able to take care of branch-level operator training as well as local application support. It has been an important factor in MKM’s development knowing that the system’s infrastructure is being well looked after 24/7.  

K8 has proved itself capable of supporting the company’s principles of delivering high quality customer service. It has meant that the ‘stake-holding’ branch managers can use the system to suit their local requirements, while at the same time maintaining central control. K8, which MKM’s technical team have fine-tuned in a number of key areas, has helped the company to grow so successfully in a short period of time.

Gains and benefits

  • Branch roll-out template

  • Recommended order facility

  • Excellent stock control tools

  • Supports customer service goals

  • Effective financial controls

  • Robust credit chase processes

  • Tailored workplace dashboards

  • K8 electronic forms and documentation

  • Scalable platform for future development

 

VOLTEX

Kerridge Commercial Systems Training

HALDANE FISHER

Liffey Distributors

Liffey Distributors

“K8 has completely changed the way we run the business for the better. The system is everything we wanted and more” Ronan Brady, Operations Director

Challenges: system strategy, scalability, integration, functionality, support, partner security, business development, customer service, stock control

Liffey Distributors is Ireland’s leading distributor of forest, garden and leisure equipment tools including Husqvarna, Oregon, McCulloch and Flymo products. The company maintains a philosophy of providing customers with high standards of support and service - an approach that has ensured successful growth since its formation in 1970.

The company’s previous system was operating at its limits. It was not scalable and development plans did not meet Liffey Distributors’ requirements. The situation was likely to worsen with further growth and the company began the search and evaluation of alternative systems. Liffey Distributors needed a ‘best of breed’, fully integrated and functionally comprehensive distribution system. A product development roadmap, system support and supplier security were also priority requirements. K8 and Kerridge Commercial Systems ‘ticked all the boxes’ and the decision was made.

Gains and benefits

  • Sales order processing – smooth and fast

  • Information at the fingertips – no delay searching and the information is accurate

  • Full supply chain visibility – purchasing, orders and sales – the value of an integrated system

  • Automated processes for sales back orders – maintains control – supports customer service

  • Perpetual inventory stock checking – saves time and money, any issues quickly identified

  • Greater financial control from integrated accounting – benefits include improved cash flow

  • Staff freed up to work on core activities – a benefit of controlled, automated processes

  • Improved management information at all levels – effective, informed decision making

 

Dale

Kerridge Commercial Systems Training

SAMUEL KIRK

JHC Hardware

“The possibilities with K8 are endless with new things, better ways and.more opportunities to improve the business. Kerridge Commercial Systems and K8 is the right combination for us”  Eamonn McNeill, IT Manager

Challenges, system functionality, price controls, sales order processing, e-commerce capabilities. future development, customer service, partner choice

Established in 1968, family-run JHC Hardware is a trade supplier of kitchens, bedroom, shop-fitting and DIY products. The company has continued to expand and acquired tools and equipment distributor RG Laughlin and Sons in 1998. JHC Hardware holds an extensive range of products in its well-stocked 70,000 sq.ft. warehouse with daily deliveries by its own transport fleet.

Having made the decision to upgrade its computer system, the search began for suitable systems for both companies. A new system had to support a high standard of customer service and deliver effective management information. A secure IT partner supplier was essential and the system had to be able to support future growth. After rigorous reviews of candidate systems, K8 was selected.

Gains and benefits

  • A fully integrated trading and financial system

  • Comprehensive and flexible functionality- means tight process control 

  • Sales order processing – effective and efficient for high quality customer service

  • Integrated ecommerce trading – opportunities to generate additional business at minimal cost 

  • Personalised catalogue information to suit customer needs

  • Price changes easily managed – maintains margin control – protects profitable trading

  • High standard of partner support - complete reassurance 

  • A secure long term investment as K8 develops, further benefits will be secured

 

SA TOOL

Kerridge Commercial Systems Training

SAMUEL KIRK

J Handford and Son

J Handford and Son

“Month End processing is a lot quicker, easier and more accurate”. Colin Whittington, Sales Manager

Challenges: existing systems, manual processes, after-sales support, customer service

J Hanford & Son is  a family-run business establised in 1880. The company prides itself on being able to offer a professional and efficient service, from initial pricing and advice to reliable and competent deliveries. J Handford & son are one of the few aggregate suppliers in the area who make deliveries directly from their suppliers to their customers.

The company’s previous system had reached the end of the road, it was slow and most processes were carried out manually. One of the challenges was choosing a system which staff would adapt to easily and having contacted Kerridge Commercial Systems, K8-SBE was chosen.

Gains and benefits

  • Implementation completed on time, on budget

  • Easy-to-use integrated functionality, saves time and effort 

  • More efficient working environment improves customer service

  • Faster purchase order processing – less effort, saves time

  • Automated processes e.g. direct fax capability – saves time and effort

  • Credit limit monitoring at point-of-sale – tight control of debt, 

  • Month-end processing is faster, easier and more accurate, quicker reporting

 

LAWSONS

Kerridge Commercial Systems Training

HALDANE FISHER

Ferroli

Ferroli

“K8 has provided us with an excellent platform on which to grow our business. The Warehouse Management module, now part of the standard product, has dramatically increased efficiency” Phil Seal IT Manager

Challenges, business needs, existing system, data integrity, invoicing processes

Italian-based Ferroli was established in 1958, manufacturing and supplying natural gas fuelled boilers. The company now has more than 2,800 staff, and sells more than two million boilers a year, in addition to other heating, air conditioning and electrical products. In 1997, Ferroli opened its own UK distribution facility in to serve its national and independent customers.

In 2001, the management team agreed that the existing computer system’s issues and inadequacies had to be addressed and a replacement system was required. Following an assessment of the options available Kerridge Commercial Systems Revision 7 product was chosen. The decision was supported by the strength of past experience and performance of the company’s products. Just two years later, in September 2003, Ferroli moved to K8 and more recently upgraded to K8.07.

Gains and benefits

  • Opportunities to introduce best practice processes – for greater business efficiency

  • Warehouse Management streamlined processes, saves time and effort

  • Hand-held terminals – save time and resource – reduced need to use fixed point workstations

  • Access to future system releases –improves the quality of the product

  • Re-assurance of progressive product development roadmap

  • K8 - an excellent long-term investment for the company

  • Partner support helps improve productivity and generate additional cost savings

 

WILLIAM WILSON

Kerridge Commercial Systems Training

PRIMAFLOW

Eyre and Elliston

Eyre and Elliston

“We now have a modern, fully integrated IT platform to help us take the business forward.” David Monteith, Commercial Systems Manager

Challenge: The company’s systems were in need of a major upgrade

Eyre and Elliston is a major electrical distributor based in Chesterfield, with 59 branches across the UK and an extensive product range comprising 55,000 items. A Kerridge Commercial Systems customer since 1998, the company’s ‘rev7’ system was showing its age. Lacking a windows-style interface and some key functionality, bespoke modifications had also been made to the software. In 2011, a project, led by Eyre and Elliston’ Commercial Systems Manager, David Monteith, evaluated the options available, including a comparison of K8 alongside competitive solutions. Although other systems were given serious consideration, after balancing factors such as the transferable knowledge in rev7 and data conversion management, K8 was selected.

For Kerridge CS and Eyre and Elliston, this was going be a major, technically complex project involving over 300 users. An extensive gap analysis was carried out and special programing was identified as a pre-requisite to convert very large data files, particularly sales and purchase orders. Prior to the K8 being implemented, the company’s entire IT infrastructure also had to be upgraded and tested to ensure that it delivered the required performance.

User training formed a large part of the K8 project – a key objective was for the implementation to be seamless for both customers and suppliers. A combination of train-the- trainer, regional training centres and a cascade approach from manager through to staff, proved its worth. In the event, minimal post go-live handholding was required and, based on workload assessments, the company reported being around 95% efficient with their new system from day one – April 7th 2014.

The original plan was to go live earlier, but due to the exacting nature of the project, the company chose to take a prudent approach and ensure everything was fully tested and signed off before giving K8 the green light.

Gains and benefits

  • Process continuity maintained

  • Intuitive functionality

  • Faster transaction processing

  • New order margin review tools

  • New system infrastructure

  • Comprehensive EDI facilities

  • Improved management reporting

  • New electronic forms

  • Starting point to extend system use

 

Easby Electronics

Kerridge Commercial Systems Training

MACLEAN ELECTRICAL

Euro Car Parts

Euro Car Parts

“K8 is second to none. The company has more than 30 years of IT experience and knowledge and a thorough understanding of our business, in terms of where we are today and our aspirations for tomorrow” Sukhpal Ahluwalia Singh, Chairman & CEO

Challenges: business growth, efficiency, customer service, IT strategy

Established in 1978 with one branch, Euro Car Parts now supplies essential components and consumables for more than five million cars and light commercial vehicles annually. Each day, 1,750 Euro Car Parts vans and motorbikes make over 30,000 deliveries to independent and franchised garages, bodyshops and fleet service centres across the UK. Over 400,000 retail customers regularly visit the company’s 100+ stores for DIY parts, car care products and accessories.

Having been customers of Kerridge Commercial Systems for many years, Euro Car Parts had reached the stage where a detailed system audit was required and a review of alternative systems then followed. With these assessments complete, the company chose to remain with Kerridge Commercial Systems and upgrade to K8. In addition to the capabilities of the latest K8 system, the factors which influenced the decision included the company’s experience, its industry knowledge and excellent reputation.

Gains and benefits

  • Warehouse management module – supports high transaction volumes and controlled processes

  • Electronic trading functionality – online capability generates significant additional business

  • Integrated CRM capabilities, for high quality, timely customer contact – boosts customer service

  • Touch screen technology – giving staff modern tools, makes their jobs easier and simpler

  • Product image cataloging linked to stock information improves the customer experience

 

BROOKWELLS

Kerridge Commercial Systems Training

LONDON TRANSPORT

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