The Forward Thinking Customer Day 2011

More than 100 Kerridge Commercial Systems customers and partner organisations attended the company’s 2011 customer day held on June 8th at their offices in Hungerford. This year’s Customer Day, with the theme ‘Forward Thinking’ took the audience through an impressive series of presentations and demonstrations of recent developments, and provided an insight into where the K8 system is headed.

The ‘Forward Thinking’ theme was particularly relevant in terms of how the K8 integration capability is being taken to a new level. By adopting industry standard protocols, the system is now able to operate seamlessly in conjunction with a wide range of other IT applications enhancing K8’s class-leading functionality and maintaining its position as a market leading solution.

The latest in K8 internet trading was featured – the application is of growing significance for many customers. Trading online, with its 24/7 potential, is fast becoming a regular channel. Buyers increasingly expect to make their enquiries and purchases online as the ‘norm’. At ‘Forward Thinking’, several examples of K8 online systems were presented, showing real-time K8 data integrated within the customer web sites. Also on the programme were presentations on the latest K8 EDI developments. EDI provides computer-to-computer transfer, using the internet, of trading documents, free of manual intervention. For the user, it means that the transactions process is fast, fully controlled and accurate.

At a more functional level, delegates heard about recent improvements in the sales order processing, stock and product management applications. There were presentations about the benefits of using K8 with hand held terminals and signature capture devices which not only help to improve business efficiency but can deliver tangible cost savings as well. The fast moving programme also included an update about the K8 bank integration and automatic reconciliation tools which are comprehensive and easy to use. The value of the K8 CRM tools were also re-visited - very timely given the growing need to use customer data and manage inbound and outbound communications more effectively. Keeping customers has never been more important and as every business knows it cost a whole lot less to keep an existing customer than find a new one. It is also important to appreciate that K8 CRM is also a very effective prospecting tool Standalone K8, which enables branch trading to continue during a power or comms failure at the server end, was presented to delegates at ‘Forward Thinking’. The demonstration showed how, in such an event, essential functionality and data lookup remains available locally and how the system executes a smooth catch-up when services are restored.

Also unveiled were the developments to manage processing on specific goods carried out by third parties before final shipment. Whether machining, cutting, assembly, coating or testing, K8 is now able to provide the seller with a completely controlled procedure.

With the emphasis on broadening the scope of K8, the latest K8.09 release has much greater capability to integrate with other system platforms for both data import and export requirements. Applications can range from simple automatic document email or fax, to more complex extracts into third party analysis tools and vice versa. Information, for example catalogue data, can easily be drawn into K8, no rekeying being necessary.

The event also saw the unveiling of K8 Data Warehouse suite, K8 Data Warehouse has been designed to address customer feedback and the changing needs of data management and reporting. The result is a much more flexible, functional and indeed a truly powerful solution.

Kerridge Commercial Systems works closely with its customers and many K8 developments originate from user experience and feedback. It was therefore appropriate that the K8 User Group also took part in this year’s programme. They highlighted that their primary distinction is that whilst maintaining independence, they have a special, pro-active and valuable relationship with Kerridge Commercial Systems.

With a K8 roadmap presentation detailing upcoming releases closing the event, delegates were left in no doubt that Kerridge Commercial Systems is maintaining a very active strategic and innovative development programme for K8, through 2012 and beyond.


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