A system that we all support – that supports us
"We selected K8 to be the backbone of our business and to drive us forward. It’s easy to work with, it gets the ‘thumbs up’ from our whole team – and that’s crucial."
- Samantha Blythe, Operations Director, Fired Earth
Fired Earth has 67 UK stores, as well as overseas franchise partners and a growing online presence. ‘The home of great design’ began its
life in rural Oxfordshire in 1983 selling terracotta floor tiles; a product that UK customers quickly embraced, as they sought to bring a little Spanish style to their homes.
Demand for stylish surfaces grew and other stones and slates, as well as ceramic wall tiles, joined the portfolio. By the mid 1990’s the business had 15 showrooms across the country. The first London showroom, in Fulham Road, opened in 1996 and is still trading today. By 2014, it had been joined by 11 other London showrooms..
Supporting a growing portfolio
Due to expansion – in terms of retail outlets and product offer - its bespoke OneOffice server and system was outdated. To maintain support and obtain new functionality essential for further growth, the right ERP system needed to be in place.
Since it was founded in 1983, Fired Earth has grown as a company in terms of its stores, products and ranges offered. Whilst still predominantly a tiling business, it now offers a wide range of interior finishes to a global market, including kitchens, bathrooms, wood flooring, paints and rugs.
As a result of this growth and expansion, Fired Earth’s existing server and system had become outdated and was creating a number of challenges.
“Our OneOffice system was bespoke and heavily developed. This was very helpful in the past but it did make it incredibly difficult to upgrade to later releases and to obtain the new functionality we needed. From a store’s perspective, it was providing a huge challenge; it wasn’t retail friendly and whilst familiar, it was hard for new starters to learn.”
A simple transition with crucial benefits
K8 offered a flexible and innovative replacement solution. And, from a retail and franchise partnership perspective, it offered crucial benefits. It was simpler to learn and it offered specific modules that would enhance the business - in terms of accounts and warehousing; future CRM (customer relationship management); transport delivery management; retail store solutions; buying and stock management.
“Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) knows our business. This has made migration simpler and, with KCS hosting, we have no IT worries. We can focus on selling, and managing our own business and products.”
Getting ready for roll out
The K8 upgrade is due to go live shortly, with a ‘big bang’ changeover to be rolled out across all stores. The business discovery and data mapping phases are complete and Planix design software is being integrated.
Once in place, the system will increase trade capacity, enhance online reach and enable Fired Earth to access real-time business performance data and reports, crucial to business success. It will also shorten the end of day ‘blackout’. “With K8 in place, our warehouse will operate from 4am to 10pm, six days a week.”
KCS hosting will also enable Fired Earth to expand and grow in the UK and overseas, by matching business plans and facilitating increased business coverage.
“Management information is key and KCS is integrating new team workspaces, to ensure that retail teams, for example, have rapid access to all of the information that they need.”
Efficient operations into the future
“We selected K8 to be the backbone of our business and to drive us forward. It’s easy to work with, it gets the ‘thumbs up’ from our whole team – and that’s crucial.”
The new system will drive Fired Earth’s business forward and, in the retail environment, it will enable new starters to get up to speed quickly.
“That’s essential. In order for everyone in the business to embrace it, the system must be easy to learn and use. In that way, everyone supports the systemimplementation and it can support our business.”
Exemplary project management
An enhanced replacement solution
Access to crystal reports and real-time performance data
Easy to learn
KCS hosting – a dynamic team
A future-proof solution
To find out more about our product, please contact us today:
Ceramic Tile Warehouse