Howarth Timber celebrates 175th anniversary with ’pop-up’ K8
|adam.archer 27/11/2015 17:04:58
At the flagship event at the Leeds United Conference Centre, Howarth Timber set up a live K8 system linked to their remotely-hosted server. Customers who attended the ‘Trade Day Bonanza’, were able to buy from a specially-created and priced catalogue of 1000+ products and either collect them on the day, or have them delivered by their local Howarth branch.
Successful planning and execution
Key to the event’s success was the support from Howarth’s suppliers, who not only provided an impressive showcase exhibition for visitors, but arranged for stock to be delivered to Elland Road especially for the day, essentially on a sale or return basis. Paul Cornford, Group IS Manager, said, “This was a major project with lots of preparatory work for our branch team to set up the ‘event branch’, but from an IT perspective, everything ran perfectly. Although we had a 4G back-up facility, which was thoroughly tested in advance, connections to our hosted server worked very well throughout the event. Our sales counter terminals and the Wi-Fi terminals located around the exhibition area delivered excellent and seamless performance that was easily comparable with our branch operations. In short, we have proved that K8 can be used in pop-up shop environment – a reusable model for the next time.”
The event, held on the 13th November, was attended by more than 1,200 trade and retail customers. Throughout the day, there was a real buzz in the conference centre, the supplier stands were kept busy and clearly the special offers proved very attractive. There was plenty of advice on hand from the suppliers’ staff and the Howarth team, manning the adjacent Wi-Fi terminals, completed customer orders for collection or delivery. For customers without an account, credit card facilities were provided with PIN machine connections.
Kerridge Commercial Systems CEO, Ian Bendelow, said, “We were delighted to support this landmark event for Howarth Timber - the first time that K8 had been used on such a scale in a ‘pop-up’ shop environment. Our team that attended confirmed that K8 ran very well - all credit to Howarth for setting things so successfully, managing the complex logistics and providing a great opportunity for their customers and suppliers alike.”
In addition to the event’s trading operations, Howarth also used the opportunity to showcase its fully responsive online store which, integrated with K8, is growing in popularity amongst customers. Marketing Manager, Neale Brewster, said, “Our online store, launched in the Spring, is designed to complement branch operations - meeting the needs of customers who might want to shop outside of opening hours or merely to order online for fast collection. It’s proving to be a very important facility and although we continue to maintain personal contact with our customers, there’s a growing need to offer 24/7 access to stock and self-service operations.”
Celebrating 175 years of trading in 2015, the Howarth Timber Group has grown to provide not only the widest range of products, but expertise, service and knowledge that can be relied on. Now the UK's largest privately-owned timber company, its origins can be traced back to 1840 when it commenced trading as Hudson & Co. Over the years the Howarth Timber Group has expanded from a one man company to an employer of more than 1,000 people specialists who know the industry inside out.
Today, the Howarth Timber Group encompasses a network of 29 timber and builders' merchant branches geographically spread across the country, complemented by dedicated manufacturing divisions supplying class-leading windows and doors and highly specialist timber engineering products and services. The group has achieved Chain of Custody certification covering all divisions, proving compliance with government specifications for timber sourced from legal and well-managed sources. The accreditation also confirms that the company meets the requirements of the construction industry's independent third party audit organisations.
- 175th Anniversary event required set up of special ‘event’ branch
- Catalogue of 1,000+ products created
- Stock delivered, booked in and ready for sale
- Communications links thoroughly tested in advance
- Systems “performed perfectly”