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.
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.
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.”
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.”
“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.”
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
Fully managed stock levels
Easy ordering and purchasing
Efficient transaction processing
Supporting business growth