case-studies

European Heritage

European Heritage

“Our sales team find it smooth and simple to use and it quickly becomes second nature to new staff, They can find products on the system quickly, what customers have ordered in the past - and from what batch  - as everything gets recorded in the system.”

Jonathan Nanson,  General Manager,  European Heritage

European Heritage is a family business specialising in the supply of natural stone, porcelain and ceramic tiles - plus associated building materials such as under-floor heating systems, grouts and adhesives. Most of the products sold are imported from Italy.

According to General Manager, Jonathan Nanson, what differentiates the company from its competitors is its high standard of customer service, the expertise of its staff and its extensive and impressive range of high quality products. “We have a very low turnover of staff and, having been based in Fulham for around 20 years, we’re very much part of the social fabric of the community,” he said.

Additional showroom space has been created by the recent development of the company’s period building’s extensive basement, which has provided an astonishing labyrinth of floor and wall space on which to display large format products in varying sizes, colours and finishes.

European Heritage started using K8 software around 12 years ago. Before then the company was using a typical system of individual tills and carbon copy paperwork. “Error comes with paperwork,” remembered Jonathan, “and technology was moving on. The Tile Association recommended we look at K8 as it had been designed to manage the type of products we sell.”

Today there are 18 members of staff using K8 at European Heritage. “Our sales team find it smooth and simple to use and it quickly becomes second nature to new staff,” said Jonathan. “They can find products on the system quickly, what customers have ordered in the past - and from what batch - as everything gets recorded in the system.”

As any tile supplier knows being able to record batch information is crucial to ensure any variance within product ranges is managed. “We demand from factories that their materials are batched or we won’t deal with them,” said Jonathan. “K8 enables us to reference the batches as they are logged in to our depot which has a knock on effect as the products are sold, picked, prepared and delivered so products from two different batches never go out together.”

Benefits

  • Using K8 on mobile devices in the showroom enhance customer experience

  • Easy for staff to trace batch customer has purchased from before

  • Sales trends are monitored by tagging products in the system

  • Sophisticated reporting provides a clear picture of the year to date

 

Ceramic Tile Warehouse

Ceramic Tile Warehouse

Beccles Tile Centre

Beccles Tile Centre

Fired Earth

Fired Earth
Tileflair

Tileflair

“18 years later K8 is in widespread use at trade counters, and I still see it offering new and enhanced features that will help both our companies continue to grow.”

- Matthew Johnson, Managing Director, Tileflair

Tileflair has grown from a single branch business, established in 1972 and trading from a high street location, to the largest, privately owned wall and floor tile distributor in the South of England. The company operates a flagship store in Bristol plus nine other showrooms and two warehouses across south of England.

Tileflair’s managing director is Matthew Johnson. He said,  “Our focus is on service which is reflected in our slogan, ‘Create something beautiful’. We make sure we provide a welcoming environment in all our stores so customers are inspired by our room settings and looked after by our staff who are helpful, knowledgeable and, most importantly, genuinely interested in what the customer wants.”

Matthew said that it’s often his trade customers, the fixers, who send in their clients to choose their tiles.  He continued, “We also have to provide our trade customers with a service they can rely on. They need to trust us to

get the right tiles to the right place at the right time. And this is where K8 software is really important. It enablesus to provide that service.”

K8 was installed at Tileflair in 1998. Today there are 50 users and the system processes more than 300,000 transactions each year and holds nearly 13,000 product files. The initial need was for a system that could handle inter-branch trading and they could add branches to as the company grew.  “Another reason we chose K8,” explained Matthew, “was because whatever you are doing on the system, you are always ready for a sale. You can keep the sales screen open and just flip back to it. Complete visibility of stock and the abilty to search for products and add them to an order so quickly and easily were other key benefits.  It’s also very easy and intuitive to use.”

Benefits

  • Helps Tileflair provide a service that trade customers can rely on

  • Handles inter-branch trading with the ability to add new branches as the company grows

  • Lets the sales team  access K8 on their iPads with customers in the showroom

  • Helps the warehouse team plan the most efficient pick routes and measure productivity

Ceramic Tile Warehouse

Ceramic Tile Warehouse

Beccles Tile Centre

Beccles Tile Centre

Fired Earth

Fired Earth
Pennypinchers implements hand held scanners to speed up stock receipt

Pennypinchers

“The major benefit of this process change was being able to speed up the receiving process and get the goods on the shelves and ready for selling faster.”

Nabeela Essa, CIO, Steinbuild

Pennypinchers, a division of Steinbuild, has been a customer of Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) for more than 20 years and uses K8 software throughout its branch network across South Africa and Namibia.

A recent project undertaken by Pennypinchers and KCS was to improve the receiving process with a key change being the implementation of hand held scanners. The scanners link directly to K8 using a wi-fi connection and a specific K8 client so information from the scanner is updated in K8 in real time.

Results

  • Faster receiving process

  • Improved stock management

  • More accurate sales process

  • Live update between scanners and K8

F H Chamberlain

F H Chamberlain

Manny's Timber and Hardware

Manny's Timber and Hardware

Plumblink

Plumblink
K8 takes Parkers to another level

Parkers Building Supplies

“A previous upgrade in April 2015 brought about another major change to our business when we started to use K8’s unified ledgers that are integrated with the trading system, and that put us on another platform for moving forward.”

Ian Mitchell, Information Systems Manager,  Parkers Building Supplies

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

Kerridge Commercial Systems offers ‘cutting edge software for the merchant industry’, according to Ian Mitchell at Parker Building Supplies.  Ian is Information Systems Manager at the leading independent and award winning timber and heavyside builders’ merchant. 

The company was established in 1984, since when its philosophy has always been to offer high quality customer service backed up with good stock availability and an efficient delivery service. Today the company employs 280 people and trades from 25 locations across the South East.

“We have used K8 software since 2004,” said Ian. “At the time we needed to upgrade from our existing system to bring about a change of culture and KCS offered the best solution. Since then it has come on in leaps and bounds and we have continued to upgrade to the latest version each time a new version is cut.”

Gains and benefits

  • K8 upgrade means sales team can access software remotely on their tablets.

  • Web Builder will provide a portal for customers to access their accounts and print off invoices, PoDs etc

  • Parker’s now able to plan a ‘click & collect’ service for the future

  • An earlier upgrade delivered K8’s General Ledger - integrated with the trading system

Dale

Dale

EPS

EPS

Turnbull

Turnbull
A positive upgrade experience for Lawsons
A positive K8 software upgrade experience for Lawsons

"The whole process went very smoothly. We handed the old system over on Saturday lunchtime and Kerridge Commercial Systems delivered the upgraded version on Sunday. The whole experience was simple, painless and positive!”

Jeremy Norris, Commercial Director, Lawsons

The Lawsons Group operates 17 branches across London and the South East. The family owned company specialises in the supply of building materials, timber and loft conversion products. Jeremy Norris, Commercial Director, has been with the group for 22 years.

“We strive to provide the best equipment we possibly can for our staff - from the trucks they drive to the IT systems they use,” he explained.

K8 processes around 3,000 transactions each day for Lawsons and manages 8,000 customer accounts. The company was one of the earliest users of the software and switched to the system in 1999 when its previous provider couldn’t guarantee ‘year 2K’ compliance. The initial 40 user system has grown and there are now 190 K8 users across 17 sites. The IT team always upgrades to the latest version of the software as soon as it’s available.

“I can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t upgrade.” said Jeremy Norris. “Firstly staff using the system have a level of expectation – they don’t want to work with green screens. Secondly there’s the business need. By upgrading we can always stay at the leading edge and make the most out of any new functionality. The latest version of K8 lets us produce management accounts with critical information - such as how much profit we’re making at each branch on a daily basis - in the fastest way possible.”

The last K8 upgrade also delivered two key features for Jeremy. The first being PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant chip and pin integration that will replace non-integrated PDQ machines. All card transactions can be processed directly in K8 using PODS that read the cards - leading to tighter security of transactions, fewer typing errors and quicker authorisations from the banks.

Another feature is K8’s new transport delivery management system that will deliver significant improvements in the operation of Lawsons’s fleet.  Jeremy explained, “With two thirds of our £80M business turnover being delivered, we generate a lot of paperwork with the potential for mistakes. Our drivers will now be able to capture customer signatures on a hand held device and make any adjustments pertaining to the materials delivered, cutting out the paperwork and updating the system instantly with the correct details.”

ASL Case Study

 

LSK

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
     

 

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, Finance & IT Director, 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.

Finance & IT Director 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

ASL Case Study

View the FPS Testimonial Video Here

Elta Automotive

Elta Automotive

Euro Car Parts

Euro Car Parts
Edgar Brothers
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

ASL Case Study

Alfred Franks and Bartlett

Alfred Franks and Bartlett

Ferroli

Ferroli
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

 

ASL Case Study

Sehmi Builders Merchants

Sehmi Builders Merchants

Plasman Laminate Products

Plasman Laminate Products
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

 

F H Chamberlain

F H Chamberlain

Turnbull Building Supplies

Turnbull
Rock Trading and Distribution

Rock Trading and Distribution

 

“Although it was hard work for everyone because of the short timescales, we opened the business with K8.” Paul Turner, Finance Director

Challenge: A new business required a fully integrated system to be implemented and live from day one

Rock Trading and Distribution supplies engineered wood products, manufactured to customer requirements, insulation and cladding materials. The company is also the exclusive regional distributor for Porotherm blocks.

Owned by Rawle, Gammon and Baker Holdings Ltd (RGB) - a Kerridge Commercial Systems customer for 15 years, Rock required their K8 system to be set up as an independent trading environment, without any direct links to their parent company’s system. This approach would enable the business to trade with RGB, in addition to supplying builders’ merchants and regional developers throughout the West Country.

The K8 implementation involved a challenging schedule - there was less than three months from contract signature to Rock opening for business. In that time, the K8 project had to be scoped and planned, hardware installed and training programmes completed. Teams from both Kerridge CS and Rock worked very closely together throughout, with frequent conference calls and onsite attendance as required. The Kerridge CS METIS project methodology was fully applied from the start and particularly tight control was maintained on the RAID (Risks, Assumptions, Issues and Dependencies) documentation.

As part of the training process – a key part of the project, Rock staff tested out a range of different trading scenarios to gain familiarity with K8. Quickly embracing the system, the users found it particularly reassuring that their knowledge of the previous generation, text-based Rev7 system used by RGB was transferable. By go live day – the company’s first day of trading, Rock management reckoned that users had about 90% of the knowledge they required to run the business.

With the objective met, Rock was in a position to push K8’s functionality and use the system to help develop a profitable future for the business.

Gains and benefits

  • A modern fully integrated system

  • Intuitive functionality

  • Advanced purchasing and stock control

  • Fast, efficient sales order processing

  • Flexible financial and reconciliation tools

  • Data export for group consolidation

  • Scalable to support business development

  • Proven and successful partner relationship

 

MKM Building Supplies

MKM Building Supplies

Lawsons

Lawsons
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.

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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

 

ASL Case Study

Voltex

Voltex

Haldane Fisher

Haldane Fisher
Wanzl UK

Wanzl UK

"As part of our on-line strategy, Web Builder is enabling us to generate significant additional revenues." David Mobbs, Marketing Design Manager

Challenges: To grow the business, and to improve services levels across a broader customer base, an integrated online ordering solution was required.

Wanzl is a leading manufacturer of a wide range of retail solutions, including shop fitting, self- service, logistics and security products. The company has its own maintenance, storage and assembly operations and Storetec, another part of the business, carries out high quality, eco-friendly product re-manufacturing, serving the independent retailer sector in particular. In 2011, the company installed Kerridge Commercial Systems’ Web Builder and created Storetec Direct, an integrated online service. The objective was to make Wanzl products available to the smaller retailer in a convenient and cost-effective manner.

The implementation of Web Builder proved to be very smooth. Following a three day training course provided by Kerridge Commercial Systems, the product’s easy-to-use content management system meant that, with some external support from an SEO specialist, much of the work could be completed in-house. From initial design and site build through to launch, the process took just 12 weeks. The big plus for Wanzl and Storetec Direct, is that Web Builder integrates with the company’s Kerridge Commercial Systems ERP solution. All stock information is presented to customers in real time and every transaction is completed on a one-time entry basis.

Gains and benefits

  • Valuable sales tool, achieving 300% of first year’s online target

  • 24/7 channel to serve the UK’s 13,000 convenience stores

  • Low maintenance – product catalogue is easy to manage

  • Integral with social media and email activities

  • Delivering a high standard of service to customers

  • Leading to cross-selling opportunities

  • Generating incremental business with blue-chip clients

  • Enabling business to grow without additional resources

 

Howdens Joinery

Howdens Joinery

Rock Trading

Rock Trading
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

Easby Electronics

Eyre and Elliston

Eyre and Elliston
Manny's Timber and Hardware

Manny's Timber and Hardware

Using K8 adds real value to the business

Established in 1987, Manny’s Timber and Hardware’s initial focus was in the manufacturing of timber roof trusses. Today, they have grown into a major hardware and building materials supplier.

Manny’s Timber and Hardware has been with Kerridge Commercial Systems for nearly 10 years. KCS South Africa implemented K8 ERP in September of 2006, the implementation decision being driven by the need to streamline manual processing together with the vast number of reports that can be exported or displayed reflecting real-time information.

Over the years Manny’s has found that K8 supported their growth and benefited them by providing them with improved reporting capabilities, management controls, stock management, and flexible sales & delivery methods.

Recently K8 completed the integration with their existing truss manufacturing software, enabling them to avoid recapturing sales orders on K8. Once the requirements and quantities are confirmed in the truss manufacturing software, all the information can be imported into K8 for further optimisation and invoicing.

Jenna Kyriakides, Financial Manager, said “We have a great relationship with Kerridge, there is so much flexibility within the K8 system and we are always improving our system functionality with the KCS SA Team. We find the diversity of the sales & delivery methods most useful”

Benefits:

  • Better Reporting Capabilities
  • Better Controls
  • Improved Stock Management
  • Flexible Sales & Delivery Methods
  • Integration with truss manufacturing software

Tiaan Grobbelaar, KCS Sales Manager commented “As we celebrate almost 10 years with Mannys, we are appreciative of their support for us over the years. The K8 software will keep evolving, providing an even better timber and hardware solution to our customers. We look forward to the next 10 years of a mutually beneficial relationship with Mannys and K8 supporting their business strategies”.

Company History:

Manny’s Timber and Hardware was formed in 1987 and are well known throughout the industry as a leader in maintaining good quality standards. They are also one of the largest truss manufacturers in South Africa and have been voted the best in the industry.

Manny’s Timber & Hardware progressed towards the supply of hardware and building materials and continues to expand their wide variety of building supplies to the contractor as well as Do-It- Yourself. Their service offerings extend even further to include full onsite design and manufacture of kitchens and BICs.

Their professional services range from design estimating to feasibility studies, from small extension work to major contractual projects. Manny’s Timber & Hardware, situated in Brentwood Park, Benoni, is open to the public 7 days a week. Welcome to your one stop shop for all your building needs.

For more information: www.mannystrusses.co.za

 

Dickson Bearings and Transmissions

Dickson Bearings and Transmissions

90 years in business, 30 years with KCS 

Dickson Bearings and Transmissions (Dickson); a third generation company, is one of Ireland’s leading distributors of industrial parts. Based in Dublin, Dickson are particularly proud of their heritage and customer service track record. Kerridge Commercial Systems users since 1986, the company considers K8 an essential business tool; progressively developed and fully supported.    

Setting the scene

With an inventory of 150,000 part lines, managing the correct depth and breadth of stock is key to Dickson’s operations. Across Ireland, more than 2,000 businesses rely on Dickson for high quality service, backed by technical expertise and experience.  With the majority of customer orders relating to equipment breakdown; time is of the essence to have the correct parts on site without delay and for repairs to be carried out.

K8 working hard

Initiated by the purchase of some second-hand Wang hardware in the mid-1980s, Dickson became a KCS customer by a slightly unorthodox route. Since then, the company has grown considerably in terms of both customer base and product range. In parallel, Dickson has taken its systems forward through major releases; upgrading to K8 in 2007. Joint Managing Director, Ian Dickson, refers to K8’s role in the company: “Without K8, we wouldn’t have a business; the system is reliable, works well and easy to use. Compared with other systems we have seen, being able to navigate quickly between modules and applications is fundamental for us. As a small company, we only have 14 users; it’s vital that our sales staff can create and process orders quickly and seamlessly. Moreover, we appreciate that time is money for our customers and responsiveness is critical. The fact that K8 is used by several major companies in our sector is particularly reassuring.”

Finger on the pulse

In its fast-moving business Dickson uses K8 to keep a close watch on all the key metrics. The system’s dashboard presentation shows the latest sales order situation, revenue and profitability. “K8 holds a wealth of information that we can use to run daily operations and drive the business forward. We can see a snapshot of day-by-day and monthly sales with margin performance at any time - the Advanced Analysis tools are essential to keep us informed. Our field sales team also have access to a web-enabled detail report to keep them in touch with what’s going on. If they are going to see a customer, they are well briefed with the latest information from K8.”  

Future plans

Dickson are certainly looking to the future, pushing forward with their use of K8, to improve efficiencies and drive profitable trading. “Our business has grown organically over the years, we manage our stock by adding to existing product and introducing replacements as the demand for older items falls away. K8 supports our purchasing; what we need, manage our pricing structure and although it’s not an exact science, there’s forecasting detail at our fingertips. It’s good to see new K8 developments coming through and that give us confidence for our future,” said Ian. 


Highlights

  • Essential business tool
  • Progressive upgrades
  • Proven and reliable software 
  • Easy to use and navigate
  • Supports customer services


Results

  • Enables ‘finger on the pulse’
  • Tight stock control disciplines
  • Aids efficient purchasing
  • Effective pricing management
  • Powerful advanced analysis
  • Accessible dashboard detail
  • Platform for development

 

BPX Electro Mechanical Co
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.” 

Discover how our customers are winning with K8 Web Builder

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

 
 

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

Norbain

MacLean Electrical

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

RGB Building Supplies

William Wilson

William Wilson
Tileflair
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.

 

 

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 Hardware

Dale Hardware

Express Plumbing Supplies

Express Plumbing Supplies
Irish Office Contact:

3013 Lake Drive
Citywest Business
Campus
Dublin 24

Tel: +353 (0)1 469 3375
k8info@kerridgecs.com
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 Hardware

Dale Hardware

Samuel Kirk

Samuel Kirk
Irish Office Contact:

3013 Lake Drive
Citywest Business
Campus
Dublin 24

Tel: +353 (0)1 469 3375
k8info@kerridgecs.com
Pimlico Plumbing and Heating Merchants

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

 

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.

Discover how our customers are winning with K8 Web Builder

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

MKM Building Supplies

J Handford & Sons

J Handford & Sons
JHC Hardware

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

SA Tool

Samuel Kirk

Samuel Kirk
Irish Office Contact:

3013 Lake Drive
Citywest Business
Campus
Dublin 24

Tel: +353 (0)1 469 3375
k8info@kerridgecs.com
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

Lawsons

Haldane Fisher

Haldane Fisher
In House at the Panelling Centre

In House at the Panelling Centre

“K8 has enabled us to be much more efficient, we can now ensure that complementary products are sold together which improves revenue and profitability” Stephen O’Donoghue, Commercial Development Manager

Challenges: business growth, customer service, financial control, CAD integration. stock control, management information

In House at the Panelling Centre operates a one-stop shop, same day service for flat-pack and pre-assembled kitchens from its 8 branch and multiple warehouse operation. Established in 1974, the company offers an extensive range of high quality, affordable products and a full CAD-based design service. 

In 2007, In House at the Panelling Centre reviewed its IT strategy and recognised that it needed to invest in a new system which would improve customer service, provide greater financial control, tighten stock control and manage profitability more effectively. A key requirement was to choose a system that would integrate with its CAD system enabling all the components from a completed design to be passed directly to the trading system and produce a professional quotation for the customer. The company installed a 100 user K8 system in 2008 with CAD integration

Gains and benefits

  • Efficient CAD integration with K8 maintains tight process control

  • Improved stock control, optimised levels, better use of working capital

  • More effective management reporting – accurate timely information for decision making

  • Greater confidence in system information – information can be relied up in every area

  • Higher standard of customer service – fast, accurate transactions and enquiry handling 

  • Web-enabled look ups for technical data – saves time, supports customer service

  • Business growth easily accommodated – system is scalable to suit requirements

  • Introduction of centralised services, improved effectiveness and control

 

Howdens Joinery

Howdens Joinery

Nottage Joinery

Nottage Joinery
Irish Office Contact:

3013 Lake Drive
Citywest Business
Campus
Dublin 24

Tel: +353 (0)1 469 3375
k8info@kerridgecs.com
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

 

ASL Case Study

Lawsons

Lawsons

Sehmi Builders Merchants

Sehmi Builders Merchants
Irish Office Contact:

3013 Lake Drive
Citywest Business
Campus
Dublin 24

Tel: +353 (0)1 469 3375
k8info@kerridgecs.com
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.

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

 

ASL Case Study

Easby Electronics

Easby Electronics

MacLean Electrical

MacLean Electrical
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

 

Fired Earth

Fired Earth

Beccles Tile Centre

Beccles Tile Centre
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

 

ASL Case Study

Brookwells

Brookwells

London Transport

London Transport
Easby Electronics

Easby Electronics

“Our relationship with Kerridge Commercial Systems is one of our most important business alliances. Its longevity is a reflection of the quality of working relationship that we share” Tim Morris, Managing Director

Challenges: Integrated CRM, user interface, raising standards, business development

Easby Electronics are a specialist stockist and distributor of passive electronic components, electromechanicals, connectors and discrete semiconductors. The company is a distributor and agent for more than forty leading worldwide manufacturers.

Easby Electronics has used Kerridge Systems products for more than twenty years, progressively introducing new software and additional applications as they have become available and when suited to business needs. Early on, the installation of Open Database Compliance (ODBC) for example, enabled the company to begin sending order acknowledgements direct to customers, purchase orders to suppliers and provided a direct link to the barcode labelling system. As an indication of the company’s long term IT commitment, Easby Electronics now uses K8 – citing the fully integrated CRM module as one of the main reasons for the move.

Gains and benefits

  • A successful, high quality working partner relationship

  • Fully integrated applications covering all business areas

  • System fully supports company’s commitment to meeting customer needs

  • Fully-functional integrated ecommerce facilities – boosts sales, saves time

  • The K8 GUI is intuitive for all users – efficient use of the system

  • On-going R&D for K8 – means more opportunities to progress system value

 

Elta Automotive

Elta Automotive

Eyre and Elliston

Eyre and Elliston
Bathstore

Bathstore

“It is vital that we work closely with an IT partner who offers the best possible solution to support our demanding business plan. We look forward to continuing our excellent relationship with Kerridge Commercial Systems” Andy Campbell, IT Director

Challenges: future business needs, fast implementation, supplier credibility

Bathstore is the UK's largest specialist bathroom retailer with over 160 stores across the UK employing 500+ staff. The company works with some of the top designers and manufacturers to produce beautiful, affordable bathrooms - a number of ranges are exclusive to Bathstore. The company maintains high stock levels to provide customers with flexible and reliable delivery services.

The time had come when Bathstore needed a computer system for its future – an essential requirement to support its business plans. From the outset, the implementation had to be quick so as to avoid upheaval and disruption to trading operations, especially during busy trading periods. After thorough product evaluations, Bathstore placed an order with Kerridge Commercial Systems - the company had the necessary credentials and the right product for the job.

Gains and benefits

  • Integration with vehicle tracking services, saves time, improves efficiency

  • Warehouse management functionality – automated processes and less effort

  • Fully controlled stocking ‘rules’ – stocking profile improved for depth and breadth

  • Hosted servers with disaster recovery and data protection – no IT business exposure

  • A close working relationship with IT partner – supports the company’s objectives

  • Future product developments mean more commercial opportunities for Bathstore

 

Lawsons

Lawsons

Turnbull

Turnbull
Burnt Oak

Burnt Oak

“With K8 you can review pricing and make instant decisions. That gives us more flexibility in terms of selling, and we know exactly how much we are making on each sale." Sanjay Murji, Manager

Challenges: existing systems, manual processes, pricing, stock control, customer service, management information, cash flow,

Founded in 1995, Burnt Oak Builders Merchants is a family-run business based in North London, with a traditional builder’s yard in Burnt Oak and two warehouses in Harrow. The company sells several thousand product lines ranging from timber, flooring, plumbing and electrical supplies to power tools, bricks and insulation. 

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Burnt Oak Builders Merchants were experiencing many of the issues associated with using manual systems. These included inadequate stock control, inconsistent pricing and pricing maintenance, disputes and errors, lack of management information and slow settlements from debtors. The company was introduced to K8-SBE – the system being used by two of their suppliers and went live in October 2008.

Gains and benefits

  • An easy-to-use, functionally – rich system

  • Improved customer service – accurate product and price information at fingertips

  • Business performance easy to control , notably sales, profitability and debt

  • Decisions about pricing and discounts – quick and flexible

  • Sales are processed quickly – efficient and appreciated by customers

  • High quality laser-printed forms present a professional company image

  • Integrated accounts – improves cash flow, saves interest charges

  • Inter-branch trading quick and easy to process – optimises use of stock

  • Better stock control  - less inventory carried and carrying stock that customers need

  • Streamlined processes mean a more effective working environment for staff

  • K8 ready to support business development. More branches?  No problem

 

JHC Hardware

JHC Hardware

Raven Roofing

Raven Roofing
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

Rock Trading

RGB Building Supplies

RGB Building Supplies
Brookwells

Brookwells

 

“We were delighted that no bespoke work would be required…. really impressed with what K8 does for the business.” Jeff Dowell, Managing Director

Challenges: business growth, system developments, system functionality, sales order processing

Brookwell Supplies Ltd is a family-run business supplying the complete range of Land Rover parts and accessories. The company started trading in 1981, from Bovey Tracey on the edge of Dartmoor, and having secured a contract to supply parts to the Royal Navy in Devonport opened a branch in Plymouth. The company is now the largest independent Land Rover parts supplier in the South West supporting customers in many countries around the world.

Brookwells had reached the point where their computer system was no longer meeting the needs of the business. It lacked functionality and there was no development strategy. For Brookwells, investing in bespoke work was not an option and a decision was made to invest in a new system. After thorough evaluation, K8 was chosen, and with the guidance and support of Kerridge Commercial Systems, the implementation was completed in around 3 months from server arriving to go live.

Gains and benefits

  • Modern GUI interface ensured fast user acceptance

  • Sales order processing and search facilities – invaluable for customer service

  • Complete parts supercession records –greater control and actions taken on old stock

  • Access to the whole Land Rover database 86,000 parts – maximises sales opportunities

  • Purchasing tools – easy and flexible to use, save time and support stock optimisation

  • Tailored screens to suit operator requirements –improves productivity and operator control

  • Up-to-the-minute information always available e.g. to view orders and profitability

 

Bearing Man

Bearing Man

Euro Car Parts

Euro Car Parts
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

Tileflair

Ceramic Tile Warehouse

Ceramic Tile Warehouse
Rockett Plumbing and Heating Supplies Ltd

 

Rockett Plumbing and Heating Supplies Ltd

“What’s great about K8 is that it gives us, a small business, all the system functionality of a large multi-branch national organisation without the overheads; Steve Rockett, Managing Director

Challenges: manual systems inadequate, business control, cash flow, pricing management

Rockett Plumbing and Heating Supplies opened for business in June 2012 and quickly established a reputation for offering an extensive range of products backed by trade knowledge. For managing director Steve Rockett, who has spent all his working life in the trade, being able to offer friendly, professional advice is an essential part of looking after his growing number of trade and retail customers.

By the time the doors opened, the decision had been made to install K8 and replace the temporary and inadequate manual systems. Understanding the need to respond quickly, Kerridge Commercial Systems developed an implementation plan that would make a fast go live possible. The process was made somewhat easier because Rockett staff had some K8 experience. Three months after trading began, K8 was fully operational and making a difference to the business.

Gains and benefits

  • Fast access to information

  • Improved customer service

  • Traceability of transactions

  • Elimination of errors

  • Consistent pricing

  • Better cash flow

  • CAD integration capability

  • Ecommerce opportunities

 

In House

In House

JHC Hardware

JHC Hardware
Howarth Timber makes the right software choice!

Howarth Timber

“K8 is an intrinsic, strategic component of our business. It does what we want it to do and what it says it will do - which is not always the case with software.”

- Paul Cornford, Group Information Systems Manager, Howarth Timber

Howarth Timber is a timber and building materials merchant operation. Its 29 sites are spread along the M62, down the A1 corridor as far south as Corby, and within the M25. There are approximately 1000 employees.

Paul Cornford, as Group Information Systems Manager, runs a team that is responsible for the IT infrastructure of the entire Howarth Timber Group, as well as the implementation and development of all the systems used by the merchant part of the business. 

Paul was part of the team that chose K8, and the software was installed, branch-by-branch, over several months in 2004. Making the right choice of software to drive a business this size is critical. Paul advised those tasked with a similar project: “Don’t get bogged down in writing a requirements tome. Make a list, keep it simple and then make a judgement. We used the ‘MoSCoW’ principle to categorise our list of must haves, should haves, could haves and would likes. KCS won the business on its ability to supply the must haves more or less immediately and the stability of the company as a long term system provider.”

Gains and benefits

  • The introduction of robust and capable financial controls
  • A flexible system that supports the trading mechanisms of the group
  • Accurate stock figures the sales team can rely on
  • A 24/7 operation to support on-line sales
  • Stock held at optimum levels to meet demand
  • Enhanced business intelligence to enable replication of best practice across the group

 

ASL Case Study

Ark Trading (Press release)
Ark Trading

“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.

Plasman Laminate Products

 Plasman Laminate Products

“The delivery management system has provided some major efficiencies. Our transport department can now switch drops between routes and sort sales orders into drop sequences” Howard Chipman, Operations Director,

Challenges: transport planning, delivery management, future business development

Plasman specialises in the distribution of multi-surface products for kitchen, bathroom and flooring – one of the largest suppliers in the UK. From its service centres in Manchester and Reading, the company maintains a ‘just in time’ delivery culture with technical and aftercare management.

As part of its plans to grow the business, Plasman recognised the need to invest in a modern solution to replace the existing text-based system. Pre-requisites included fully-functional transport and delivery management applications – manual-based processes were slow, labour intensive difficult to manage. K8 was selected as the company’s new system – with the new K8 Delivery Management module.

Gains and benefits

  • Delivery time confirmations – good for customer service

  • Wagon full’ controls - decisions can be made to save money

  • Order consolidation – more efficient

  • Van re-routing - saves fuel costs and time

  • Extended delivery capability – more opportunities to sell

  • Reduced admin and paperwork – saves money and time

  • Management reporting – supports decision making 

  • Document management – including auto fax, faster, more efficient

  • Further opportunities to extend the use K8 – increase return on investment

 

MKM BUILDING SUPPLIES

MKM building suppliers

HOWDENS JOINERY

Howdens joinery
Barlow’s Woodyard can’t fault K8 software!

barlows of hermitage

“The main benefit of using K8 is that I always know where we are – all the business information I need is at my fingertips. I really can’t fault it.”

- Peter Barlow, Managing Director, Barlow’s Woodyard

Barlow’s Woodyard specialises in supplying high quality timber products. Its branches in Newbury and Witney stock a huge range of fencing, gates, decking and garden features, many of which are machined or manufactured in the company’s own workshops. 

Martha Barlow, an ancestor of the current owner, Peter Barlow, established the company in 1867. “Most of our business is repeat business or comes from customer referrals,” said Peter. “We focus on quality and our products are built to last.”

Until 2008, the company used a basic accounting package but, as the business grew, it became essential to control stock more accurately and, in particular, for the sales team at one branch to see what stock was held at the other. “We looked at several systems,” Peter remembered, “and were impressed by the quality of the KCS sales person as well as the functionality of the system. He took the time to answer all our questions and showed us everything we needed to know. Together the price, the product and the sales pitch nailed it!

“The immediate benefits we saw were at the trade counter. It’s a far better environment for our customers now and it has made life easier for us. We can instantly tell customers if what they want is in stock and the way K8 handles inter-branch transfers is brilliant – we simply process the sale and let the customer know when he can expect the stock to come in." 

Gains and benefits

  • Full visibility of stock held across both branches
  • Enhanced customer service at the trade counter
  • Seamless processing of inter- branch transfers and specials
  • Highly accurate sales forecasting
  • Tighter margin control
  • All the team can now price up works orders
  • Quick and easy import of supplier price lists
  • Real time overview of business performance at any time

 

ASL Case Study

ROCK TRADING

Rock Trading

RGB BUILDING SUPPLIES

RGB builder 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

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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

 

ASL Case Study

IN HOUSE

In House

NOTTAGE JOINERY

Nottage joinery
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