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Pimlico Plumbing & Heating Merchants making full use of IT

5th February 2015: London-based, Pimlico Plumbing & Heating Merchants (Pimlico), which has only been trading since October 1st, is reporting that their K8 system is proving to be an invaluable tool for their growing business. Going live with K8 on the same day the company opened its doors, Pimlico has had full control of purchasing, stock, sales processing and finances from the start. Using K8, the company has been able to concentrate on delivering a high quality service to its customers

Samm Mullins, director said, “Although we considered other suppliers, K8 was recommended to us and in fact, one of our staff had previously used the system which made it an easy decision. The challenge for Kerridge CS and our new team was that all system preparations and set-up had to be completed in record time. There was a lot of pressure with so much going on getting the business ready – everything had to move quickly. I was very impressed by the hard work and flexibility of the Kerridge CS team, having a system live within 4 weeks from start to finish and ready for the shop opening was quite an achievement.”

Pimlico serves two customer channels; providing purchasing, stock and supply services for its own, Pimlico Plumbers operation and also supplying independent plumbers and heating engineers across London. Having considerable trade experience and expertise already in place, the new company is using K8 to help maintain the correct breadth and depth of stock to suit customer demands.  “Although a little daunting to begin with – we are plumbers not computer experts - we soon became comfortable with K8; it’s a very capable, easy-to-use and forgiving system.  In this business, our customers don’t have time to spare and time is money. They know exactly what they want and with K8, we can serve them quickly over the counter or with a van delivery. Equally, the system makes it very easy to monitor our profitability and our cash position, and if we do spot something that doesn’t look right, K8 gives us the answer with minimum of effort.”

Ian Bendelow, Kerridge Commercial Systems CEO said, “We were tasked to meet a very demanding timeframe for Pimlico, but with excellent team work by everyone involved, the system went live on schedule. It’s great that the company’s K8 system is performing well, delivering value and benefits that are so important, especially for a new enterprise. We wish Samm and his team every success.”

11th February 2015: Ndlovu Fencing, trading as Stafix Electric Fence Centres, is the Southern African distributor and importer of the international Stafix and JVA range of electric fencing energizers and components. They also supply Roboguard and CP PLUS CCTV products and accessories as well as gate and garage door automation systems.

Stafix MD, Shaun Williamson, says “Stafix started in the 90’s, but the CEO Maurice Williamson introduced high-powered electric fencing to the Southern African market in the 70’s. With many years of in-field practical experience and technical knowledge in the erection and installation of electric fences, automatic gate motors, and intercom systems, Stafix now provides customers with all the necessary products, equipment, service and advice that they require for their installation needs in the Agricultural, Wildlife and Security fencing sectors.”

Stafix selected the K8 ERP solution from Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) to support their business and provide a firm foundation for their continued growth. The initial rollout of K8 will be for 60 users for the Central South African based branches. Phase 2 will follow in the Southern regions, adding another 60 users to the system and includes the manufacturing arm of the business. This will bring the total branches to approximately 20. K8’s comprehensive functionality includingn offline tills, central forecasting and data warehousing, helped secure the deal over competitor offerings.

K8 will be replacing a system which the client has outgrown and found lacking in inter-branch functionality, sales order and stock visibility as well as finance requirements for global credit control and consolidation. Furthermore K8 will help the business to improve their supply chain and control margins.

KCS South Africa Managing Director, Des Nangle, says, “We are very pleased to welcome Stafix to the growing number of multi-branch distributors who use K8 on a daily basis for accurate stock and financial information. These customers rely heavily on Kerridge Commercial Systems to supply and support business critical technology. Stafix is a prestigious organisation and we are looking forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership”.

Stafix Financial Director, Mrs Heidi Williamson, commented “K8 is a well-recognised solution in South Africa, and is well known for its tradingand distribution functionality.

With Stafix continuing to grow we need to have a successful ERP partner to grow with us. Data integrity is a vital part of any business today, so it is very important to choose the correct ERP solution.”

Contact us: info@k8.co.za

Leading synthetic lawn supplier to implement new fully integrated system

14th January 2015: ArtificialGrass.com has signed an order for an 18 user K8 system. Set to replace the Rutland-based company’s existing systems, K8 will provide ArtificialGrass.com with wide-ranging benefits; notably to support continued expansion into the builders’ merchant sector. K8 will be deployed on a hosted, cloud-based platform, enabling the company to develop its trading activities, without the day-to-day system management and maintenance overhead.

Pete Toghill, ArtificialGrass.com, Commercial Director said, “Our existing systems have served us well, but the business has grown significantly, and together with the lack of integration and management reporting constraints, meant that it was time to invest in our IT platform.” ArtificialGrass.com put a number of leading systems through a rigorous selection process before making the final decision. “We chose K8 for the system’s intuitive user functionality, together with Kerridge Commercial Systems’ strengths, particularly the company’s resources, technical competencies and proven reputation.”

With the project schedule for K8 in place, Kerridge CS and ArtificialGrass.com are now working together on preparing the system’s implementation. Workshop sessions covering areas such as warehouse management and finance will ensure that K8 processes are delivered to secure the maximum benefit for the company. “K8’s management information dashboards will make it considerably easier to see how the business is performing and to anticipate any risks. In overall terms we can be much more pro-active. With the K8 Web Builder application, our customers will have 24/7 online access to make enquiries, order stock and review their accounts. K8 Works Order and delivery management applications will also be valuable for us”, said Pete.

Ian Bendelow, Kerridge Commercial Systems, CEO, said, “We welcome ArtificialGrass.com and their choice of K8 to support their business. We are ready to help them achieve their operational and strategic requirements, particularly in the development of customer service processes, management controls and reporting.”

Pete Toghill concluded, “Unquestionably, K8 offers us considerable opportunities, will streamline our trading processes and make it much easier for our customers to do business with us. There’s great buy-in from our staff and, as we operate without dedicated in-house IT resources, in choosing Kerridge Commercial Systems, we have a long term partner to support us.”

12th January 2015: TBS Building Supplies, the Daventry-based builders’ merchants, has launched a new, fully integrated online trading system. The Kerridge Commercial Systems Web Builder platform, an integral part of class-leading K8 system used by TBS, means that customers are now able to look up product information, place orders and view account information on a 24/7 basis.

Nick Porter, IT Manager said, “This has been a strategic project for the company and a major step forward compared with our previous offering. As a major part of the new TBS website, our customers now have comprehensive catalogue access, real time enquiry and purchasing facilities. Although we believe it’s important to maintain traditional contact telephone and counter services, we recognise that a growing number of our customers want to transact at a time and place when it’s convenient for them. Whether PC, tablet or smartphone, we expect online trading volumes to increase.”

The TBS project involved a number of special developments within the Web Builder application suite, notably to provide postcode specific delivery costs to fit the company’s business model and operational requirements.  With the initial roll-out for TBS online trading focussing on trade account customers, there are plans to extend the facilities to non-account customers, credit card payment facilities and then on to serving retail customers in due course. “We see this as an evolutionary process and we will develop services to suit customer demands,” said Nick.

Kerridge Commercial Systems, CEO, Ian Bendelow, said, “We are delighted that TBS has chosen K8 Web Builder – it’s clearly set to play a key role in developing their business and meeting customer requirements. Web Builder certainly has the potential to help our customers to grow their sales volumes and to do so cost effectively. As well as providing the end customer with facilities that are becoming increasingly commonplace, online trading also means improved efficiencies and time-saving opportunities for merchants and distributors.”

21st November 2014: Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) are pleased to announce that they are sponsoring Jeremy Webb and his team, who are planning to row across the Atlantic in a world record-breaking time. Jeremy, former KCS staff member and former employee of RGB Ltd, a long-standing KCS customer, will be crossing the Atlantic in the “The Toby Wallace” as part of a 7 man crew in aid of the North Devon Hospice. “The Toby Wallace” and the “Oystershack” will be going head to head across the Atlantic to try and break the world record of a gruelling 32 day crossing, starting from the Canary Islands and ending in Barbados.

The crew have arrived in Puerto de Mogan (the Canary Islands) where the race begins, to start their preparation. In 30 degree heat, they suffered some logistical problems with engines and trailers, which were soon fixed, and have since spent a few days putting hand lines and finishing touches to the boats before heading out for some trial rows and trimming the boat. They are now down to a 7 man and 5 man crew (from 8 and 6) due to late health problems.

Jeremy and Oliver (another crew member) had the task of packing the food onto the boat. They had 588 bags of freeze dried meals (3 each per day) 196 snack packs and 294 protein drinks, to last them throughout the voyage. While they were hard at work doing that, the rest of the team were checking the electrics and painting blades.

The “Toby Wallace” and “Oystershack” crews are on standby to leave Puerto de Mogan on Sunday 23rd November. They are monitoring the weather system closely to ensure a safe departure. While they are on standby they have been doing plenty of safety drills, on water training and getting used to life on-board as this will be their home for the next month or so.

Ali Hunt, North Devon Hospice’s Head of Fundraising, said that Jeremy’s journey would be something very special: “I was blown away when Jeremy told me he was going to be rowing across the Atlantic, but the fact that he is also attempting to break the world record is just amazing. While it’s sure to be gruelling, it will also be the experience of a lifetime. We’re so thrilled that he is choosing to raise money for North Devon Hospice. Without support like this, we wouldn’t be able to provide our care to local people affected by cancer and other life-limiting illnesses.”

KCS are pleased to be able to support such a challenging task and a worthy cause. We wish both crews good luck and a safe and exciting journey. We will keep you up to date on their progress!

For more information or to donate, click here.

To follow their progress, click here.

Evergreens UK, the country’s largest stocklist of artificial grass, have placed an 18 user order for K8. Evergreen sell their products through a mixture of distributers and licensees around the UK as well as through independent merchants. Other brands within the company include Lazy Lawn and Artificial Grass UK. Evergreens also install their ‘fake’ grass at numerous high profile events around the world.

The artifical grass supplier chose K8 due to the breadth of functionality in one single integrated product, where e-commerce, works order, delivery management and business intelligence modules, amongst others, are paramount to business success.

To find out more about Evergreens UK, visit their website.

Leamington Electrical Distributors opens with fully integrated system

10th November 2014: Kerridge Commercial Systems announces that Leamington Electrical Distributors (LED) has implemented a cloud-based K8 solution.  The system went live shortly after the new business opened for trading in September. K8 applications that are proving particularly beneficial to LED include fully integrated stock control, sales, purchasing, accounts and management tools.

LED Manager, Jim Knight, said, “We needed a system that would help us to run the business efficiently from day one and to support future growth. Although we considered other systems, K8 offered all the functionality we needed as standard. There were no optional extras or hidden costs. With a business such as ours, maintaining a close watch on profit margins is essential and K8 gives us the detail with every transaction. Up to the minute stock, cash, debtor and creditor positions are at our fingertips.  Our customers don’t have to wait at the counter for an invoice or delivery note. For us, K8 is quick, efficient and intuitive to operate, and the service from Kerridge Commercial Systems has been excellent from the first contact. “

Ian Bendelow, Kerridge Commercial Systems CEO, commented, “We are delighted that LED has chosen K8 for their new business. It’s clear that the system is already helping with their buying and selling processes, as well as monitoring business performance. Having chosen the cloud deployment, the LED team are able to focus on operational priorities, without the day-to-day concerns of looking after a computer system. We look forward to a long and successful partnership with LED.”

22nd September 2014: Drakewoods is a family orientated, owner-managed business that prides itself in the strong principles of honesty, integrity and service excellence. By buying directly from the manufacturer and selling to the end user, Drakewoods is able to cut out the costs associated with the ‘middleman’.

Drakewoods is an official distributor of most well-known tool brands, including Gedore, Bosch, Metabo, Makita, Somta, FEW, Lasher and Irwin Record, to name a few. Their customer base is extensive and covers various sectors including manufacturing, motor, agriculture, shipping and petrochemical. Drakewoods also have a waste management business, E-Waste Africa, that offers corporates and Government institutions a number of options for lamp waste disposal: onsite storage, collection, crushing and their specialty, lamp recycling.

Discussing their decision to choose K8 to underpin their future business, Thilen Naidoo, Managing Director of Drakewoods, said, “We were looking for a system that performed well on the trade counter, was easy for the user to adopt and also offered a comprehensive integrated environment right through to the General Ledger. Other items that we found attractive were K8’s standard functionality that manages Buy-Outs and Special Buy-Outs which forms a significant part of our business. The system’s stock management system and the various statuses that can be tracked on products, such as reserved stock and products awaiting delivery, will certainly add value to our business. The Kerridge Commercial Systems team demonstrated from the start their familiarity and experience in the industry and we hope to draw on this in the future.”

Des Nangle, Managing Director of Kerridge Commercial Systems, South Africa commented, “We are delighted to be working with Drakewoods Pietermaritzburg, with its rich history and vast experience in this market sector. They join a growing number of like-minded businesses using the K8 system, and we welcome them to the K8 community”.

Jane Furse Building Supplies approaches 10 years of success founded upon K8 software

13th August 2014: A growing business in the Limpopo Province of South Africa took a big step forward in 2005 when they decided to migrate to K8. Jane Furse Building Supplies, an Essential Hardware store in the rural town Jane Furse, used K8 to evolve from a trade counter store to a self-service retail environment and has since continued to grow.

Business owner Muneer Essa, a man with vision, realised that they need a software program to assist with the various aspects of building and maintaining a successful operation. In the case of Jane Furse Building Supplies, an efficient, user-friendly stock control system was of utmost importance.

“Our employees are all from the rural areas surrounding the town. This means that they do not have the same exposure to information technology like their counterparts in the cities, thus we needed a simple yet effective program,” says Mr Essa.

After investigating several options, Kerridge Commercial Systems’ product, K8, came out tops. “We started off with just 10 users and have grown to over 60 users.  K8 has made a huge and positive difference to the way we do business,” says Mr Essa.

“We serve the distribution trade and retail industries. When Mr Essa approached us to assist in moving his business into the future, we gladly accepted. By implementing K8, Jane Furse Building Supplies can forecast more accurately, enable a reduced stock holding and ultimately gain greater control of their business. Jane Furse Building Supplies is a great example of the scalability of K8 and they are now able to compete with the big names in this industry,” says Eugene Vreugde, a Kerridge Commercial Systems sales executive.

Today Jane Furse Building Supplies is the biggest seller of cement and water tanks for a single store in South Africa. “We are the only hardware store serving the Sekhukhune rural district. The nearest big town, Polokwane, is some 150km from where we are situated. People living and earning good salaries in the cities, send money home to their families in our area. They build the most beautiful houses and they need us to supply them with building material,” says Mr Essa. “We rely heavily on K8 to keep our stock updated in order to supply the right product, on time, which is key to our success.”

16th July 2014: Since their inception in 1997, DAR Automotive has been a reputable supplier of world-class brands in industrial and automotive engineering components.

The company has 3D design, project management and drafting capabilities, it always strives to offer their clients cost savings and value engineering. DAR Automotive Director, Yolande Roy, said on the new partnership “We found the K8 system to be user friendly and together with KCS’s flexibility in structuring a cost-effective proposal, that made sense to both DAR and KCS, made our ERP selection even easier.” DAR Automotive also supplies world-class brands in industrial as well as a range of automotive glass, lamps, body panels, propeller shafts, brake parts, gaskets, radiators & fans, tensioners, CV joints & shafts, engine valves, electric fuel pumps, clutch kits and suspension parts.

“K8’s rich trading as well as specific functionality in associated, alternative and product supersessions provided a great value proposition. Their understanding of our business made it easy for us to choose K8 over the competition,” added Yolande.

Des Nangle, Managing Director, commented: “Kerridge Commercial Systems has a great record in supporting suppliers of automotive parts, our flagship product K8 has rich functionality and the ability to scale to the future growth requirements that DAR aspire to. They had the choice to use the system the parent company has standardized, but chose to implement K8. We are pleased to have them join the large user base we have in South Africa”.

Long established oil business invests in market-leading K8 software

26th March 2014: Shrewsbury-based Morris Lubricants, has placed an order for a 50 user K8 solution from Kerridge Commercial Systems.  K8, which is a leading, fully integrated package for the distribution sector, is scheduled to go live at Morris Lubricants later this year. One of the key requirements for the company is to use K8 to improve its warehouse operation which currently processes around 40,000 orders annually.

Neil Taylor, Morris Lubricants IT manager said, “Our existing system has served us very well for many years – it’s reliable and robust, but technology has moved on. It was clear that newer applications could deliver additional significant benefits to the company. Although we looked at a number of ‘stand-alone’ products, we had to consider our future requirements as a whole. After a detailed review of its integrated capabilities, K8, our systems partner’s premier solution, was without doubt, the right choice for our business. K8 will give us advanced, integrated capabilities in key areas such as warehouse management – including barcode scanning, use of hand-held terminals and customer relationship management tools.  We will also gain powerful business intelligence and more sophisticated, real-time reporting facilities. In terms of specifics, full product traceability is now a key requirement for our type of business and K8’s integrated tools handle those needs very well.”

Morris Lubricants will be working very closely with Kerridge Commercial Systems throughout the project. Teams from both companies will ensure that the transfer of business processes is completed smoothly and successfully, with user training being a major component. “Introducing K8 will act as a catalyst for introducing process improvements and we are very enthusiastic about making the system work as efficiently as possible for us.”

Ian Bendelow, Chief Executive Officer at Kerridge Commercial Systems said,“ Morris Lubricants took a very professional approach with this project. They not only spent time evaluating how K8 would benefit their business, but also ensured that the management commitment and user support would be in place to achieve a successful implementation. We are very pleased that Morris Lubricants have chosen to renew their investment in our products and look forward to seeing the company putting K8 to work for them.”

Programme centred on customer engagement, training and product developments

The 2014 Kerridge Commercial Systems customer conference, which was held recently in Daventry, introduced delegates to the company’s product roadmap for the coming year. The wide-ranging programme also covered many recent developments and highlighted how Kerridge CS is expanding its resource and service capabilities to meet changing customer demands.

Ian Bendelow, CEO, said, “Our annual conference showcases how we are striving to progress our product and service capabilities. Equally it’s about spending quality time with our customers, exchanging views and generating ideas. But perhaps the event’s most valuable purpose is to remind us about the importance of understanding and responding to our customers’ requirements and new technologies. We were also delighted that once again, a number of our solution partners were able to attend and demonstrate their latest offerings.”

The bigger economic picture

In welcoming Tanya Beckett as conference guest speaker, Sales and Marketing Director, Duncan Smillie, commented, that although the past few years have been particularly challenging on the economic front, the situation now is much more encouraging. “We invited Tanya to the conference to talk about how the recession and financial crisis came about. More importantly we also asked her to give her impression of where things are now headed.”  Covering interest rates, inflation, bond investments and trade patterns, Tanya’s clear and well-informed presentation reminded delegates about the bigger economic picture, with anecdotal references in a session that was both enjoyable and thought provoking.

New developments, enhancements and cloud solutions

Conference delegates, representing many distributive trades, manufacturing and service sectors, were introduced to system developments and enhancements across the Kerridge CS product groups. Presentations covered the latest equipment hire, field service, delivery management and centralised purchasing applications. K8’s capability to support pan-European trading also featured. Martin Turbitt, Chief Technical Officer, provided a comprehensive review of the company’s cloud solutions and introduced the cost saving, technical and operational benefits. He also talked about how Kerridge CS cloud systems could be deployed very quickly and introduced the basic Silver, mid-range Gold and the all –encompassing Platinum service packages. “There are compelling reasons why cloud solutions are proving increasingly popular. With access to 24/7 proactive infrastructure monitoring and system management, customers who choose this route really can spend much more time running their business.”

Users tell their stories

Customer experiences are always a popular part of the conference programme and this year was no exception. In a number of focussed break-out sessions, KPIs reporting, workplace and dashboard tools were presented from first-hand user perspectives. Delegates from the manufacturing sectors also heard about how shop floor data capture and product configurator tools are proving particularly beneficial. Ecommerce integration for online trading is gaining presence in many sectors and a customer experience, that was covered last year, was brought up to date. A customer’s recent experience of implementing the latest K8 release was explained in clear, ‘as it happened’ style and complemented by an overview of METIS, the Kerridge CS Prince2-based upgrade project management process.

Training and learning counts

User training is unquestionably a major factor in maximising operational benefits of any business. Not just in terms of the pre- and post go-live stages, but also through maintaining an ongoing commitment to training and learning is equally imperative. Trained employees move on, knowledge transfer is easily diluted; new people join and so on. Alan Cross, Kerridge CS Chief Operating Officer, said, “We believe it’s more important than ever for us to help our customers maintain a high standard of system skills and knowledge. Training and learning not only improves productivity and morale, but also demonstrates commitment, encourages new ideas and process reviews.” Along with an expansion in the company’s team of training consultants, Kerridge CS now offers a broader mix of training provisions. Alongside traditional classroom courses, there are more video-based training tools - which are becoming more sophisticated, and an expanded range of short, bite-sized online courses. ”We will work with each customer, establish the most appropriate programme for their business and if needed, can offer specially tailored courses for a particular application.” Alan also told delegates that the company is investing heavily in internal training for its consultants. “Every consultant attends our K8 ‘Boot Camp’.”

Closer engagement – New Customer Advisory Board

Mike Beech, Product Marketing Director, set the scene to expand customer engagement channels and emphasised the importance of more participation and closer working relationships. ”It’s essential that we grow our understanding of the business issues that our customers are facing. By asking for more feedback, listening more and inviting ideas much more openly, we can take our product development programme to a new level. We want to know about our customers’ real concerns. What’s difficult or too complicated, be it in using the software or off-system processes? How can we make things easier? To make this happen, we are looking to augment the role played by our user groups and are in the process of setting up a Customer Advisory Board.   Together with more sector and market research, this combination will help drive our engagement processes and support future phases of product development.  I would be delighted to hear from any customer who would like to know more about joining the Customer Advisory Board.” (Please contact mike.beech@kerridgecs.com)

Progressive roadmap and future developments

Wrapping up the main conference’s main session, R&D Director, David Liddle, took delegates through many of the current K8 developments, explaining the benefits and functionality available now and in forthcoming coming releases. He demonstrated the latest Oracle search tools which use ‘fuzzy’, ‘soundex’ and ‘stem’ capabilities and also presented K8’s new integrated ‘High Charts’ presentation format.  Returning to cloud technology, the company continues to make progress in delivering K8 via mobile devices. “Meeting our customers changing expectations, the latest release of K8 is available via web browser, with greater device and operating system independence. Using K8, via any smartphone or tablet, be it out on the road, in showrooms or warehouses, is becoming an essential capability that will make a big difference to how our customers use their system,” said David.

Finally, delegates heard about how Kerridge CS is addressing the growth of the 24/7 market place, specifically the new buying and selling channels. “For one thing, it’s becoming much less acceptable for user access to be interrupted by ‘after hours’, stand-alone processes and data file updates. We are working on a ‘zero blackout window’ for K8 and although this will be technically challenging to achieve, it will give our customers a true 24/7 trading capability. Couple those developments with K8 online trading portal integration - Amazon and eBay, add social media to the mix and it’s clear that we are in a tremendously exciting phase of business IT and process evolution,” said David.

Continuing our partnerships…

Summing up, Ian Bendelow said, “It was great to spend time with our customers and I very much hope that the conference programme helped to stimulate some thoughts and ideas. In the coming 12 months, it would be great to see our customer engagement processes develop – particularly through the Customer Advisory Board. With the new training initiatives, we will be doing all we can to help our customers to expand their system skills and knowledge. And lastly, we will continue to support every customer, work with them in solving business issues and keep our substantial R&D programme moving forwards.”

Customers at the forefront for new Devon merchant

24th March 2014: Customer satisfaction is at the forefront of Rock Trading and Distribution, the new Devon-based distributor that will be opening its doors on Tuesday 1st April. Giving the company the best possible start, it has chosen K8, the market-leading IT system which will go live from day one.

Owned by Rawle, Gammon & Baker Holdings Ltd, Rock Trading and Distribution will be supplying builders’ merchants and regional developers throughout Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, with a range that includes engineered wood products manufactured to customer requirements, operating from their base in Umberleigh.

Finance Director Paul Turner said, “At Rock Trading and Distribution, we believe the level of customer service we are able to deliver will be one of the most important aspects of the business. And because of this, we want to ensure we have the right systems in place from the start.

We chose K8 for its powerful, integrated applications and proven reputation. It means that we will be able to manage and develop the business using the system’s sophisticated financial, sales, purchasing and stock control tools. We also believe K8’s works order capabilities will be invaluable and help us to create efficiencies when manufacturing roof trusses, flooring and I-beams for our customers.”

Rock Trading and Distribution will be growing its merchant and regional developer customer base throughout the West Country, as well as supporting RGB’s business requirements. The new venture is set to increase the group’s buying power, competitive advantage and extend its range of customer services in the builders’ merchant sector.

Ian Bendelow, Chief Executive Officer, Kerridge Commercial Systems, which develops the K8 system commented, “Implementing a new system for a new business is always very exciting for us. In starting with what amounts to a clean sheet, we are working with the Rock team to ensure the system meets their customer-focused requirements as closely as possible, and ready for their opening. We wish the new business every success and look forward to a long and beneficial relationship.”

Kerridge Commercial Systems is pleased to announce the signing of a new 20 user K8 solution with Awesome Tools, a South African distributor. This deal will be hosted at the Teraco Hosting Centre.

Awesome Tools were looking for a new ERP system to replace their old accounts platform. They selected K8 as it was the only integrated, scalable ERP solution that would fully meet their needs for strong and complex trading functionality. The comprehensiveness of K8 also meant that, unlike other offerings, no bespoke development was needed, ensuring that the solution could be installed easily within the requested time-frame.

Awesome Tools have been expanding rapidly and had outgrown their existing system. They needed a new solution that would cater for all aspects of their business and support them in their continued expansion. The prospect of having an ERP system without any new developments meant that K8 could immediately deliver a range of business benefits; notably to drive sales performance as well as improving internal and customer-facing processes and documentation. K8’s Data Warehouse functionality will also enable Awesome Tools to harvest management information to help drive key business decisions.

New management appointment to lead region development

25th April 2014: Kerridge Commercial Systems today announces the expansion of its business operations in the Benelux region. Focussing on the distributive trades and logistics sectors, the company will target single and multi-location SME businesses to grow the user base for its renowned, integrated K8 system. Available in both Dutch and French languages, K8 is already used by distribution businesses in the Netherlands with support provided by the Kerridge Commercial Systems office in Sliedrecht.

To strengthen the company’s management team and as part of this expansion programme, Kerridge Commercial Systems has appointed a new business development manager for Benelux. Michiel Bakker, who joined the company earlier this month, has worked in the ERP systems marketplace for 16 years and returned to Europe from the US a year ago.

Ian Bendelow, Group CEO said, “With his proven capabilities in sales, consulting and project management, Michiel has the qualities that will enable us to progress this important market and maximise the opportunities open to us. We will be looking to grow the team in Sliedrecht over the coming months, particularly in training, consultancy and support. Michiel’s local knowledge will be invaluable as we progress.”

Michiel Bakker said, “I am delighted to have joined a company that has such a first class product and service portfolio. There’s certainly a great team of people in both the UK and the Netherlands. Already there are some key initiatives to introduce K8 to new customers and we will also be looking to partner with national trade organisations. The coming months are going to be exciting and challenging as we push ahead with our European plans. I am looking forward to putting K8 on many companies’ system shopping lists.”

Countdown to the 2014 Customer Conference is underway and we are pleased to announce that experienced business journalist and economist Tanya Beckett will be ourguest speaker on the day.

Conference preparations are moving along extremely well and the programme will soon be finalised.

It’s also great to report that many of you have already registered - it really helps to have a good idea of numbers as early as possible. If you haven’t registered yet, please go to our website to book your place.

Our guest speaker at this year’s conference will be Tanya Beckett, respected business journalist and TV broadcaster. Tanya will be talking about the UK business economy, where we’ve been, where we are and where we are headed. Tanya’s well informed ‘bigger picture’ perspective should prove immensely useful as we come out of the worst recession of our lifetime.

Whether you are coming to your first conference or are an experienced veteran, we are striving to provide you with a worthwhile, enlightening and thought provoking event. There will be something for everyone covering all product platforms. For new users through to those who have amassed years of systems knowledge, our aim is to provide you with ideas and reflections to take away.

New certification strengthens successful long-term relationship

16th April 2014: Kerridge Commercial Systems is delighted and proud to have gained new certification as an IBM Business Partner. This prestigious status follows successful assessments of staff competencies in the latest IBM Power Series and System X technologies. Business Partner status enables the company to continue installing and supporting IBM equipment; a capability that’s been in place since 1990.

The long term association with IBM is firmly centred on company’s mission to deliver high quality IT solutions. In parallel to advanced, integrated software applications, customers also expect a reliable, proven and technically capable hardware platform. Working with IBM not only ensures that Kerridge Commercial Systems offers what is regarded to be one of the best technologies available, but also maintains continuity in expertise and experience to protect customers’ system investments.

CEO Ian Bendelow said, “There is no doubt we have a very successful strategic relationship with IBM. Working with such a premier company over many years, has enabled us to meet the requirements of our customers, deliver a high standard support and progress our technology platform in line with new developments. Choosing IBM means peace of mind for customers and a robust position to move their businesses forward. Quite simply, we believe that we offer a winning combination of systems and technology which our customers truly appreciate.”

Kerridge Commercial Systems’ wide-ranging capabilities are also being used to meet the growing demand for system hosting. Hosting is a cost-effective alternative to managing an in-house server, frees up time and resources to focus on operational requirements and business development. Norman Thompson, Head of Technical Services for the group’s manufacturing and field service operation, said “We are now able to host IBM Power servers running AIX as an alternative to Linux-based servers. It’s increasingly clear that hosting represents excellent value for money and avoids the need for our customers to maintain in-house IT expertise. Our remote system management service provides a team of skilled technicians available to resolve any issues that may arise.”

Contract signed for new, fully integrated system

29th April 2014: Kerridge Commercial Systems announces that DBM Group has placed an order for K8 - the market-leading integrated solution widely used by UK builders’ merchants. Kent-based DBM will use their new system to improve business efficiencies, develop customer service capabilities and support future growth. The 26 user K8 system will be implemented across the group which comprises DBM Civils, Discount Builders Merchants, Medway Builders Merchants and One Stop Builders Merchants.

Branch manager Lukha Singh who led the project to choose a new system said, “Our business has grown substantially in recent years and our existing systems lacks the integrated functionality that we now need. K8 will provide us with first class sales, purchasing, stock control and financial tools, reduce paperwork and streamline our processes significantly. Not having to manually cross-check orders with invoices will save a lot of time and much greater visibility of real time information will speed up our sales counter operations.”

DBM Group’s decision to implement the system followed a thorough review of suitable alternatives and ultimately, the choice was between K8 and another leading system. The company chose K8 for its proven, wide-ranging capability and well-established reputation in the builders’ merchant sector. “Knowing that the system is used by many builders’ merchants across the South East is very reassuring. We are confident that K8 will serve us extremely well,” said Lukha.

Major supplier builds for the future with K8

23th April 2014: Kerridge Commercial Systems announces that Kent-based Gill Aggregates has placed an order for K8, the market-leading integrated solution for the distributive trades. Gill Aggregates required a new system that would enable them to improve business efficiencies, develop customer service capabilities and support future growth.

Director, Harvey Sanger, said, “Our business has grown substantially in recent years. To all intents our existing systems have reached their end of life and no longer met our more demanding requirements. Principally, K8 will provide us with first class sales, purchasing, stock control and financial tools and streamline our processes. Across the board, the system will enable us to reduce the amount of paperwork that our team have to contend with. Product and transaction data will be much more visible which will enable our staff to speed up sales operations.”

Gill Aggregates decision to implement the system followed a thorough review of alternative solutions and ultimately, the choice was between K8 and another leading system. The company chose K8 for its proven, wide-ranging capability and well-established reputation in the builders’ merchant sector. “Given that the system is used by many builders’ merchants across the South East, gave us that extra degree of reassurance that K8 would serve us well,” said Harvey.

Kerridge Commercial Systems CEO, Ian Bendelow, said, “We are delighted that Gill Aggregates has chosen K8. Our task now is to guide the company through the pre-installation stages and prepare for the go live later this year. We will do all we can to ensure their K8 system is ready to help them achieve maximum value from their investment.”

Specialist hardware supplier goes ahead with K8

Kerridge Commercial Systems are delighted to announce that Drakewoods Pietermaritzburg, a specialist supplier of hardware, engineering, machinery and industrial tools, has decided to place an order for K8. They will be implementing K8.09 for their 15 user branch based in in Pietermaritzburg Kwa – Zulu Natal. Drakewoords are the official distributor for many well-known branded tools including Gedore, Bosch, Metabo, Makita, Somta, FEW, Lasher and Irwin Record, to name a few.

The company is owner-managed and family-operated, founded in 1961, Drakewoods quickly established itself as a major player in the industry. Their customer base is extensive and covers various sectors including manufacturing, motor, sugar, agriculture, shipping and petrochemical. Drakewood has chosen to implement K8 due to its comprehensive trading functionalities and specific features in back-to-back sales. Favourable references from other K8 customers in similar vertical markets similar greatly influenced the buying decision.

For more information please visit http://www.drakewoods.co.za/

Electrical distributor invests in advanced integrated software

Lockwell Electrical Distributors has signed with Kerridge Commercial Systems for a new, 100 user K8 system for their 19 branch operation. K8, which is used by a number of leading companies in the electrical/electronics sector, will deliver wide-ranging benefits to Lockwell branches and head office operations. K8 was chosen following a detailed review of 20 alternative solutions.

Ian Wright, Lockwell operations director said, “Our headline objectives were to enhance our business processes, introduce new technologies, and deliver more value and benefits to our customers. Essentially we wanted a system that would ‘future-proof’ the business. From the outset, this was a board level project, during which we discovered the potential of the latest ERP systems. Our decision for K8 was based on two main criteria: Ultimately we could see the system was the best fit for our requirements and secondly, Kerridge Commercial Systems not only has extensive market knowledge, but offered us new ideas about how we could take the system forward. We clearly saw how K8 could help us to improve our efficiencies, save time and money. It was the clear choice for us.”

Lockwell took a very measured approach on their journey to choose a new system. Although they recognised the need to replace a text-based system, part of the software and partner selection process had to consider how the implementation would be project managed and achieved successfully. A key requirement from the start will be the integration of supplier price files which will save the branch staff a considerable amount of time and effort, particularly for special order items.

Duncan Smillie, Sales and Marketing Director at Kerridge Commercial Systems said, “To assist Lockwell  in their evaluation process, we provided a K8 test system which gave them first-hand appreciation of the user interface, navigation tools and also introduced the system's flexibility and tailoring. Our discussions also introduced Lockwell to some of the more recent K8 innovations such as website integration and digital signature capture.”  

Planning the implementation is now underway in readiness for going live in early 2015. With Lockwell and Kerridge Commercial Systems working closely together, it’s a major project that will have an immediate impact on the business. Ian said, “New hosted servers are being installed and we expect to begin user training in April. Having identified that the whole company will go live at the same time, we will use a ‘train the trainer’ approach to help our staff, along with number of project champions to support everyone through the coming months. For us the go live will be first major milestone and after that we will progressively add other K8 applications. We are excited about enhancing the value of this long term investment in our business.”

Newton Abbott company chooses market-leading solution

20th February 2014: Kerridge Commercial Systems announces that Supa Roofing & Power Tools have signed an order to implement a new, 11 user K8 system. The Newton Abbott company’s existing systems will be replaced by K8’s fully integrated suite of applications which will deliver process improvements across trading, financial and management functions.

Supa Roofing and Power Tools Finance Director, Dennis Waterman, said, ”After using a bespoke, Sage-based package for over 20 years, we have reached the point where our business requirements had changed. A more advanced, functionally-rich system was required to take the business forward and provide our staff with the software they need to do their job more efficiently. We chose Kerridge Commercial Systems primarily because of their reputation as a market-leader in our industry. When we saw K8 demonstrated, it was clear that the system would suit our purposes and help us to enhance our business significantly.”

“We are delighted that Supa Roofing and Power Tools have chosen K8 and look forward to a long and successful relationship with this thriving company. Now working with their team to plan a smooth and successful implementation, we want to ensure that the benefits of using K8 start from day one,” said Kerridge Commercial Systems sales director Duncan Smillie.

7th March 2014: Kerridge Commercial System South Africa are pleased to announce that Murendi Building Supplies have signed up to go ahead with K8 for their 7 branch business and 15 user supplying building materials direct to the public. They are based in in the Rural Areas of Limpopo province.

Murendi were looking for a system to manage their 5000+ stock items across their branches. The company’s key requirements were centralised around business management information, stock visibility, forecasting and single customer visibility across the business. K8 ticked all the boxes from reporting to managing stock in multiple locations and managing customer accounts.

Ealing Boards & Timber set to gain from new IT investment

19th February 2014: Kerridge Commercial Systems announces that Ealing Boards & Timber have placed an order for a 5 user K8 system for their two branch operation, based in West London. Moving from predominantly manual systems, K8’s principle applications – stock control, sales order processing, purchasing and financials, will provide the company with much greater control and visibility of business operations.

Jay Pindolia, sales manager of Ealing Boards & Timber, said, “Before making our decision, we looked at a number of systems and talked to a several businesses in our sector about their IT experiences. There was little doubt, that as a class-leading product, K8 is an excellent fit for our requirements. The system will enable us to be much more efficient and give us opportunities to increase our profitability. Coupled with Kerridge Commercial Systems’ reputation for delivering quality support and its commitment to sustained product development, I believe we have made the best selection for the future of our business.”

With preparations already underway, Ealing Boards & Timber’s new, fully integrated system will go live in the spring.  “The transition from manual systems to K8 will be fully supported by our consultants. They are ready to use their experience and guide Ealing Boards & Timber through the set-up, training and go-live stages,” said Kerridge Commercial Systems sales and marketing director, Duncan Smillie.

About Ealing Boards & Timber

Established in 1973, the company stocks an extensive range of building supplies. Timber, tools, plumbing, electrical supplies, ironmongery, paints, and work wear are available from its West Ealing base. Ealing Boards & Timber also provides picture framing, glass and timber cutting services to its trade and retail customers.

New 50 user system projected to deliver significant benefits

20th January 2014: Kerridge Commercial Systems announces that FGF, leading suppliers of insulation products, have placed an order for a 50 user K8 system. K8 is widely regarded as one of the foremost integrated solutions for the distributive trades and is used by many leading companies across multiple sectors. Replacing the company’s existing Strategix* platform, FGF’s K8 system will be deployed at their Birmingham head office and regional locations in Bristol and Manchester, with a go live scheduled for summer 2011.

FGF’s decision to migrate to K8 from OneOffice was based primarily on the need to modernise the company’s IT systems. The company is seeking to gain the benefits of having more advanced, integrated and ‘competitive edge’ capabilities to meet both current and future business requirements.

Peter Orrell, FGF finance director, said “Given the nature of the project, we took some time evaluating the options and considered a number of ERP systems. Ultimately, we chose K8 for its extensive functionality and proven track record in the sector – a significant number of companies use K8. We were particularly impressed with the system’s ease-of-navigation in areas such as quotations, sales orders, works orders, stock movements and purchasing. Operationally, we are particularly looking forward to exploiting K8’s unique Workplace interface which will provide users with immediate access to role-specific reports and metrics. K8’s development roadmap also gives us the security and peace of mind necessary to support our medium and long term business plans.”

With the initial implementation focusing on core functions and business processes, to include K8’s Works Order Processing application – the company manufactures external cladding which is cut to size for each customer’s order. Future extensions are likely to include extending the use of K8’s powerful Business Intelligence and integrated CRM applications. The introduction of handheld devices for digital signature capture is on the list to further improve business efficiency and customer service.

Duncan Smillie, Kerridge Commercial Systems, sales and marketing director said “FGF are replacing a system which has served their business very well for many years, but have recognised that it’s now time to move on. Prior to making the decision to implement K8, we worked very closely with FGF’s management team, advising them on the options available and how the migration will be managed. With investments of this nature it’s crucial for everyone to feel reassured that their new system will match the outgoing system’s functionality and more importantly, to understand how its benefits will be achieved.”

As part of the project, Kerridge Commercial Systems are supplying FGF with a new Intel/Oracle server and an additional print server for documentation processing. The new hardware will be fully supported by Kerridge Commercial Systems with an inclusive full service package.

Delegates enjoy a full and varied programme, product and service updates, and more

14th November 2013: More than 70 delegates attended the 2013 Kerridge Commercial Systems Customer Conference held recently in Muldersdrift, with everyone enjoying an engaging, content rich programme. A great networking opportunity and a number of Kerridge Commercial Systems’ business partners also contributed to the event’s success.

Opened by managing director, Des Nangle, who set the scene with a review of the company’s plans and progress in Africa, the presentations then moved into the all-important area of product development. Tony Pey, the UK-based product manager, brought everyone up to speed with a strategic update, delegates then heard about recent functionality changes in K8 including local market specifics. 

New integrated system for Dudley-based business

11th November 2013: Bob Richardson Tools, which also trades online as ToolsToday.co.uk, has placed an order for a 14 user K8 system which is scheduled to go live in February 2014. Based in Dudley, Bob Richardson Tools carries an extensive range of more than 10,000 products from top brands such as Draper, Sealey, Teng, DeWalt, Stihl and Stanley.

K8 will be used to help the company to achieve greater efficiency and deliver a more professional customer service. Manager Tom Richardson said: “Our current system has become very dated and doesn’t provide us with the fully functional ordering and receipt processes that we require. More importantly, the growth of ToolsToday.co.uk, our online business, has made it imperative for us to have an efficient, integrated trading system that connects our busy website with back office processes.”

Subscription option for the market leading software

We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of the market-leading K8 business management system as a SaaS solution (Software as a Service). With limited up-front capital investment required, the all-inclusive per user/month pricing covers the K8 software and database licence, helpdesk support, system hosting, server capacity and system maintenance.

This subscription-based model is ideal for businesses looking for maximum flexibility in their IT investment strategy. And to protect the business in the event of a major incident, comprehensive disaster recovery services are also part of the K8-SaaS package.

4th October 2013: South Africa lighting distributor Eurolux, who have used Kerridge Commercial Systems’ K8 fully integrated trading system since 2007, report that around 40% of its sales orders are now being received via EDI (Electronic Data Interchange).

The EDI project first went live in February 2012 and now, more than a year later, eight of Eurolux’ largest customers are submitting their purchase orders direct from their own systems into K8 - a fast, efficient and highly effective process. Unquestionably, the benefits of all-round time savings, reductions in data entry, improved customer service levels and stimulating additional business opportunities mean it’s an emphatic win-win position for buyers and sellers alike.

Obeco to implement K8

25th Sept 2013: Obeco (O. Behrens & Co) one of Namibia’s leading tile, sanitary ware and plumbing supplies distributors, has signed a contract to implement a 55 user K8 system. The decision to invest in K8 will meet Obeco’s primary need for a fully integrated, scalable system to replace their existing ERP platform. The company is looking to K8 to deliver a range of business benefits; notably an integrated web-based trading facility which will use K8 Web Builder to drive sales activities, as well as improving customer-facing processes and documentation. Obeco will also harness K8’s advanced management information and BI functionality to support key business decisions. The company will use the system to help fulfil strategic growth plans across Namibia.

23rd Sept 2013: We are pleased to announce that David Harrison & Sons, electrical distributors based in Huddersfield, have placed an order for a 14 user K8 system.

The system will go live at their Huddersfield and Halifax branches later this year. K8 will provide the company with modern, integrated functionality, a windows-style interface and wide-ranging opportunities to save time and effort in their business processes.

Kooltech moves to K8

24th July 2013: Kooltech, a leading distributor of air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, has placed an order for a 50 user K8 system for the company’s 8 branch operation. K8, the fully integrated system for the distributive trades, is set to help the company develop its competitive position and improve customer service standards.

In addition to K8’s core distribution modules including sales, purchasing, control and finance, Kooltech will also be implementing WebBuilder, K8’s integrated ecommerce solution.

Delegates enjoy a full and varied programme, product and service updates, and more

More than 150 customers and business partners came together on the 12th June for the 2013 Kerridge Commercial Systems Customer Conference held in Daventry. Representing many industry sectors, delegates were treated to a programme which was designed, from the outset, to be rich and varied in content and to provide valuable and thought provoking ideas to take away. Among those attending were delegates  who had travelled from Ireland, South Africa and Australia.

Company developments – service and support

CEO Ian Bendelow, began the conference with a review of company performance and internal developments. He outlined the growth of the customer base and gave a snapshot of product strategy, including manufacturing and service management systems following last year’s acquisition of Datawright. The programme moved on with Alan Cross, chief operating officer, who not only highlighted support team performance over the past 12 months, but also introduced a number of new initiatives designed to increase service levels for both new and existing customers - notably an online call progress facility. Alan introduced the latest enhancements to the K Cloud solution and the ability to take delivery of the K8 benefits from the KCS hosting centres. All of which improve still further the already widely adopted K Cloud solution that many clients prefer.

5th June 2013: Kerridge Commercial Systems announces that ERIKS UK, the leading engineering services provider and industrial distributor, has placed an order for a K8 system which will be implemented across more than 150  locations across the UK.

Brian O’Leary, Management Services Director, said “K8 will strengthen our cohesive approach across the many channels of the company, supporting our network of service centres, repair workshops, distribution centres and core competence centres. The system will also further enhance our ability to deliver operational efficiencies and value to our customers into the future. For ERIKS, having a single platform across all our businesses will create a more complete picture of our customers and how they operate, allowing ERIKS to form deeper and more effective partnerships.”

ERIKS chose K8 having reviewed systems from all of the major ERP providers. The contract for K8 was signed after a lengthy and detailed evaluation process involving multi-disciplined teams from both companies. Before making the decision, a conference room pilot was conducted to ensure that K8 had all the required capability and functionality. It was essential to ensure that K8 delivered the operational performance necessary for a large and diverse, multi-site organisation and also that the migration to the new system could be completed in a smooth and seamless process.

17th May 2013: Kerridge Commercial Systems announces that Elta, the long established automotive bulb, wiper and EMS specialist, is investing in K8 - the market leading, integrated solution for the distributive trades.

The company’s decision was based on a number of key criteria and followed detailed evaluation of a number of alternative systems.

Ian Hallam, Elta managing director said, “Our current systems comprise several disparate software platforms which we have now outgrown. For us K8, with its integrated functionality, is a modern, well-proven system, with an excellent reputation. Across its range of capabilities, there is considerable potential to help us take the business forward, particularly in warehouse and customer relationship management areas. Choosing K8 was made easier because, given the company’s single product strategy, it was important to know that our investment would be focussed on the system’s development programme. We will therefore benefit from new introductions as K8 progresses.”

The contract for K8 will also include a comprehensive user training programme, installation consultancy and on-going system support. K8 will be configured for 19 system users, together with 8 users in the warehouse operation who will use hand-held devices to process inbound and outbound stock movements, without the need to use a fixed point PC terminal. The system is scheduled to go live at Elta in August.

Motovac invests in new IT system

16th May 2013: Kerridge Commercial Systems and IT Junxion - its local partner, announces that Motovac, the Botswana automotive parts distributor, has signed for a 180 user K8 system. K8 is an internationally-renowned integrated ERP system designed specifically for the distributive trades.

Running on Linux, K8 will replace Motovac’s existing disparate, non-integrated systems which involve many time-consuming manual tasks. Oracle-based K8 will help Motovac to increase efficiency, achieve greater control and improve trading and profitability across its 21 branch operation.  The system was chosen after a detailed evaluation of the company’s specific requirements which included integrated trading, purchasing, stock control and distribution functionality.

Sajith Nair, Motovac IT Manager , said “In choosing Kerridge Commercial System and K8, we have found an IT partner with a strong pedigree. K8 will add value to our business, enable us to streamline our processes and help us to continue our growth strategy. Kerridge Commercial Systems and IT Junxion clearly understand our challenging trading environments and specific business needs. We are very confident that our decision is the right one for the future of our business.”

“Standard functionality such as alternative, associated and superseded products demonstrate its trade specific functionality and expertise” says Sameer Patel – Motovac Operations Director

With K8’s thin client network overhead and its offline trading capability, the system is ideally suited to Motovac. Its high performance and proven capabilities mean that K8 is cost effective to deploy and maintain.

9th May 2013: TBS, who recently implemented Kerridge Commercial Systems’ K8, have now placed an order to add K8 Web Builder – the company’s integrated online trading solution, to their IT capabilities. The introduction will enable TBS customers to place orders, look up product and stock information as well as access account and trading history on a 24/7 basis – Web Builder is a very cost effective investment.

Jan Walsma, TBS managing director said, “Introducing an online trading facility was a logical step. Through implementing K8 Web Builder, we will be able to extend our customer reach significantly and deliver a better service on all fronts. We estimate that K8 Web Builder will give us the sales benefits similar to that of having an additional branch at a fraction of the investment. For us, the big factor in choosing K8 Web Builder was the seamless integration from our website front end into our K8 system. It also has an intuitive content management system which will make our online trading function straightforward to take care of and then develop as things progress.”

TBS will find it very easy to manage their online trading facility using K8 Web Builder and their customers will appreciate the value and convenience. Information will all be in real time – product and pricing data is all drawn from K8. Special offers, promotions, news and announcements can all be deployed very quickly and start delivering valuable benefits. K8 Web Builder also includes online payment card validation as well as supporting customers with credit account facilities.

Kerridge Commercial Systems announces that H&B Foods Limited (t/a Cheese Cellar) have placed an order to implement K8, the class-leading fully integrated system for the distributive trades.

As an existing customer, Cheese Cellar currently uses Kerridge Commercial Systems’ OneOffice. Now with an annual turnover in excess of £70m, the company has grown substantially since the system was installed, including the integration of its other businesses into a single organisation.

The main drivers for a new system included a requirement to improve the efficiency of their warehouse and logistics operations. And in addition to moving from their existing platform, K8 will also replace a number of bespoke, in-house developed sub-systems, resulting in greater process consistency across the business.

Financial controller, Stella Coudjoe, said, “OneOffice has been a very good solution for the company during a time of change and expansion. We need an IT platform to take us to the next stage and prepare for the future, and hence it was time to consider the options. Fundamentally, as well as a need to improve operational efficiency, we require more sophisticated CRM and business intelligence capabilities. Although we knew that Kerridge Commercial Systems had a proven solution with an excellent reputation, we carried out detailed assessments of several alternative systems before choosing K8 for its superiority. We are pleased to continue our relationship with a company that we know well.”

Presented at the Waldorf Hotel, London, 20th March 2013

Kerridge Commercial Systems is delighted to have won the 2013 Oracle Customer Award for ‘Best innovation in creating new markets, products and services’.

Oracle said that the nomination was in recognition of the investment that the company has made in conjunction with Oracle, and its commitment to delivering high performance products.

Ian Bendelow, CEO, said “Winning the award reflects a considerable amount of dedication, hard work and technical achievement by our development and technical teams, and a very proud moment for everyone at Kerridge Commercial Systems. Attending the awards event, along with other leaders in the IT sector, is a reminder that product qualities and performance standards in our industry continue to rise and are kept under close scrutiny by our stakeholders. It is essential that we continue on our own path, striving for excellence and that we raise our game at every opportunity.”

K8, the fully integrated system for the distributive trades, achieved Oracle Exadata Optimized Status in 2012 - an important landmark which supports Kerridge Commercial System’s position as a class-leading IT partner for its customers.

We are delighted to announce that Kerridge Commercial Systems has been nominated for the 2013 Oracle UK Customer Awards in the category – ‘Best innovation in creating new markets, products and services’. The winner will be announced at the Waldorf Hotel, London on the 20th March.

Sales and marketing director, Duncan Smillie said "This nomination is in recognition of the investment that we have made in conjunction with Oracle and our commitment to delivering high performance products. K8, our fully integrated system for distributive trades, achieved Oracle Exadata Optimized Status in 2012 - an important landmark which we believe endorses our position as a class-leading IT partner for our customers."

For the full story on Kerridge Commercial Systems achieving Oracle Exadata Optimized status click here.

Iliad, one of South Africa’s leading suppliers of building materials, has successfully completed the initial phase of its new 100+ location K8 implementation. K8 was chosen as the ERP component of its IT standardisation strategy.

Prior to the commitment to K8, Kerridge Commercial Systems products were already in place at Iliad and have played an integral part of the company’s impressive growth for more than a decade. With K8, IT standardisation is enabling the introduction of best practice processes and system controls across the company. In addition to upgrading the existing systems, K8 is replacing a number of disparate non-integrated systems – a situation that had arisen as a result of business acquisitions.

Deirdre Ackermann, group CIO, explained the company’s choice, “It was important for us to know that our ERP provider had the necessary expertise and experience to implement the new system successfully. We knew that Kerridge had a proven track record, both in South Africa and the UK”

Ongoing client liaison was another important consideration for Iliad. “Kerridge worked closely with us in the project’s design and development and preparation of our customisation requirements. With an existing long term relationship in place, we were assured of full support from Kerridge through the roll-out and beyond.“

Des Nangle, MD Kerridge Commercial Systems (South Africa) said “K8 is an ideal solution for Iliad, being a fully integrated and scalable solution. It enables organisations to control multiple trading divisions which may have different process requirements and operational characteristics.“

To meet Iliad’s requirements, Kerridge Commercial Systems developed K8 to operate on an IBM xSeries Intel platform with Oracle RAC and Dataguard, resulting in a robust, cutting edge scalable solution. K8 is being rolled out to all 112 Iliad locations during 2012. The project involves an in-house Iliad team who are being fully supported by Kerridge Commercial Systems consultants and technology specialists. Following roll-out, Iliad will manage their new K8 system independently on a day-to-day basis.

Looking towards the future, the flexibility and scalability of K8 will support Iliad in all areas of business development. The use of best practice processes will not be sacrificed as the business grows and volumes increase. K8’s powerful integration will ensure that full day to day control and management will be maintained.

About Iliad Africa Ltd

One of South Africa’s leaders in the sourcing, distributing, wholesaling and retailing of general and specialised  building materials, an industry which is worth R40 billion per annum. With a customer base which ranges from corporate developers and construction groups to do-it-yourself home owners, Iliad has an impressive national footprint which includes a General Building Materials division comprising 55 stores and a specialised Building Materials division operating from 57 outlets nationwide. This success has been as a result of an ambitious growth strategy including key acquisitions within the industry.

Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) is an international software development and IT services business with 36 years of experience in serving distributive trades across many sectors. Distributive trades include wholesalers, distributors, merchants, and retailers.

KCS has its headquarters in the UK with offices in Ireland, the Netherlands and South Africa, supporting more than 700 customers with 50,000 users at more than 3,500 locations across Europe, Africa, Asia and Australasia.

KCS has achieved Oracle Exadata Optimized status through Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), demonstrating that the K8 enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution has been tested and tuned with Oracle Exadata Database Machine to deliver speed, scalability, and reliability to customers.

K8 is KCS’s single, fully-integrated business management solution. The system is flexible and robust enough to address complex business requirements while providing an easily accessible and navigable user interface. A comprehensive, functionally-rich ERP solution, K8 covers all key, operational areas including retail, ecommerce, supply chain management, financials and customer relationship management (CRM).

KCS has a solid understanding of how Oracle Engineered Systems can provide customers with business gains through outstanding technical performance. The company became an early adopter of Oracle Exadata Database Machine, resulting in a dramatic increase in K8 sales processing performance, demonstrating its suitability for providing greatly improved online transactional processing (OLTP) power for any customers handling large volumes of sales and business transactions.

With K8 running on Oracle Exadata Database Machine, KCS customers can expect to realize significant throughput performance gains. Increased processing capabilities significantly accelerate sales-per-second throughput and reporting performance, reducing wait times across large, multi-user populations. K8 on Exadata delivers a 16x increase in sales per second, compared to previous hardware benchmarks.

https://blogs.oracle.com/exadatapartnercommunity/entry/kerridge_commercial_systems_kcs_achives

Distribution and logistics organisations can now benefit from a fully optimised distribution and workforce management system provided by Kerridge Commercial Systems, in partnership with Cognito.

Utilising Cognito’s best of breed mobile workforce management technology, the K8 ePOD solution integrates its full capabilities with a hosted, real-time communications platform. This is complete with a dedicated workflow application that resides on the mobile worker’s handheld device.

The solution enables organisations with significant transportation, distribution and logistics operations, to push delivery manifests to drivers; prompt drivers through their daily tasks, enforcing compliance; receive real-time updates on individual deliveries; and once the manifest is complete, receive a manifest
summary or debrief.

“In a highly competitive market, producing an optimal delivery route, managing staff and keeping in close contact with them is essential for maximising customer service performance and driving down costs,” said Duncan Smillie, Sales & Marketing Director at Kerridge Commercial Systems. “The challenge is to streamline distribution operations from the first customer contact through to on time and in full delivery. Working with Cognito, our integrated systems provide exactly this, and our customers can benefit from seamless delivery and optimal service.”

A managed and locked down environment is at the core of the solution, ensuring that the mobile worker’s handheld is a dedicated work tool, with the ability to be controlled and updated by managers remotely. All data processed through the handheld is fully auditable and a comprehensive time stamped audit trail provides the back office with the exact status of each message, even if it has been stored due to network coverage.

Daventry-based TBS goes live with 60 user K8 system from Kerridge Commercial Systems.

Kerridge Commercial Systems today announces that TBS has gone live with a new 60 user K8 system which is in place serving their three branches in Daventry, Southam and Towcester. K8, the leading trading and financial solution for the distributive trades, replaces TBS’s existing system which was approaching end of life. The company’s primary requirement was for an advanced, fully integrated solution which would enable them to manage their branches more efficiently and effectively.

Although K8 is used by TBS’ parent company House of Goodness, the decision by TBS to take the system was made only after five alternative solutions had been thoroughly evaluated. The TBS management team carried out their own independent assessments of each system’s suitability for builders’ merchants. A functionality score card approach was used to review the key areas of their business requirements.

Jan Walsma, managing director TBS said, “Overall, the project has gone very smoothly and the customer facing staff have taken well to the new software. Throughout the process, there was great teamwork and communication between our staff and the Kerridge Commercial Systems’ consultants. With the basics in place, we can now move on to using the higher levels of the system’s capability and management reporting tools.  This will be followed by developing K8’s CRM and workplace functionality to drive home greater benefits for the whole business.”

Duncan Smillie, sales and marketing director, Kerridge Commercial Systems, said, “We were delighted that TBS chose K8 and so extend our successful and well-established relationship with House of Goodness. We appreciate that K8 was not an automatic selection for TBS and for the system to be chosen on its own merits. The TBS approach once more confirms K8’s position as a highly capable and powerful solution, not just for builders’ merchants but across all sectors of the distributive trades.”

Kerridge Commercial Systems announces that Hariche Group, one of Mozambique’s leading distributors of steel and building materials, has signed a contract to implement a 30 user K8 solution.

The decision to invest in K8 was to meet Hariche Group’s need for a fully integrated, scalable system to replace a predominantly accounting-based platform. K8 will provide the capability to support business growth, implement more efficient processes, together with advanced management information and reporting functionality.

Hariche MD, Hariche Arquissandas, “K8 is a stable, robust and comprehensive solution that will grow with our business. It will also help enable us to exploit the many new and exciting business opportunities here in Mozambique - K8 functionality, in areas such as kits and works orders, will prove particularly beneficial.  In the longer term, we want to take full advantage of K8 mobile technology, which will give our sales team remote access to the system, as and when they need it.”

Des Nangle, MD Kerridge Commercial Systems South Africa commented “We are delighted that Hariche Group has selected K8 – an ideal platform for this dynamic, growing organisation. We are ready to give them our full support as they prepare to take on K8 and exploit its extensive functionality and deliver the benefits to their business.”

Gaborone-based company set to grow the success of market-leading K8 solution. Kerridge Commercial Systems, leading software solutions partner for the distributive trades, today announces the appointment of IT Junxion as an authorised distributor in Botswana.

The company is expanding its customer base in Botswana and this appointment is in response to the increased demand for the K8 system in the country. IT Junxion are Kerridge Commercial Systems’ first distributor in Botswana. They have been chosen because of their established reputation, technical expertise, local market knowledge and proven capabilities in developing business opportunities.

Des Nangle, MD Kerridge Commercial Systems South Africa, said, IT Junxion is ideally situated. In just one square mile in Gaborone, we already have six customers with over 250 users and our user base is continuing to grow. Local expertise and resource is increasingly important to provide high quality support for our customers in Botswana. We already have an excellent working relationship with IT Junxion. And the company, headed up by Bhavesh Naik, is well known and respected locally.”

K8 is a perfect fit for the trading environment in Botswana. The system has already proven its capability in the country. It’s in use by businesses who operate with tight profit margins, have large and varied product ranges to maintain and who need to deliver high levels of customer service.

Bhavesh Naik said, “Using K8, customers have the clear advantage of a fully integrated, real time trading environment. By being able to deliver accurate, quality information, management decisions are more informed and easier to make. Finance departments can enjoy the benefits of much tighter control, detailed reporting and data analysis. K8 is unquestionably rich in functionality and its very thin bandwidth requirement is ideal for the network resources in southern Africa.”

Reflecting on the future Nangle commented, “We are excited at the opportunities available to us in Botswana. Working with IT Junxion, we will continue to deliver easy-to-use, scalable and beneficial solutions to our customers. K8 will help them to become more effective, more efficient and ultimately more profitable. As our distributor, IT Junxion will help us to achieve that goal.”

Kerridge Commercial Systems today announces that following a series of demanding assessments and benchmark reviews, K8, the company’s integrated trading and financial ERP system, has achieved Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) certified status.

TEC Certification is an impartial review that verifies a software product’s ability to address business processes and meets the stringent guidelines specified by TEC’s analysts. K8 is now able to bear the TEC Certified seal signifying that Kerridge Commercial Systems’ responses to TEC’s request for information (RFI) satisfactorily describe the product’s capabilities.

Ian Bendelow, Kerridge Commercial Systems CEO said, "This is a significant recognition for K8 and confirms that the system conforms to TEC’s well-defined standards. It has been taken through a particularly close scrutiny using TEC’s comprehensive ERP software model."

K8 performed particularly well throughout the evaluation. To begin with, its support for multiple companies, brands, branches currencies and language capabilities was highlighted as being very well built. In terms of ease of use, product layout, task performance and integration capabilities K8 also came out strongly. Likewise in workflow design criteria - information retrieval, system security and reporting capabilities the system received equally positive assessments. TEC also reported that K8’s ease of implementation was well regarded in terms of server and database platforms together with good set-up flexibility.

TEC said that the K8 Warehouse Management module and the credit management functionality deserved special mention. The system’s flexibility and robustness to support complex business operations with its easily accessible and navigable user front end also shone through. They went on to say that the K8 screens are well designed and operations flow seamlessly, presenting information to the user without being overly cluttered.

The K8 project spanned the seven Voltex divisions and approximately 80 trading branches with 1,250 users now operating the system. Voltex selected K8 for its ability to financially integrate its business divisions and deliver a high level of customer service at each of the branches.

Eric Immermann of Voltex commented, “K8 enables transparent reporting and consolidation across our regions and is supporting our key corporate business decisions. The system has integrated our trading branches to enable efficient inventories to meet customer demands. K8’s ease of use has meant our users have adopted the system quickly, resulting in minimum disruption to us and more importantly our customers. We face some unique infrastructure challenges in South Africa and K8 is perfectly suited to that situation by having only low bandwidth demands between branches reducing the demands on our network.”

Des Nangle, MD KCS South Africa said, “I congratulate the Voltex team on the success of this project and much is owed to the partnership approach adopted by the two companies. The project teams worked closely together to ensure that K8 was configured to meet Voltex requirements and fully prepared for the branch roll-out.”

The success of the project was put into context when Voltex won the prize as the Bidvest Group’s company with the most improved year-on-year audit; using K8 for financial management and whilst completing the branch roll-out. “The K8 project has been a huge success for Voltex, delivered on time and on budget. It lays the foundation for a long partnership with Kerridge Commercial Systems,” said Eric Immermann.

International distributor invests in new IT system

1st November 2012: Kerridge Commercial Systems today announces that European distributor SIG have signed a contract for K8 – the market leading trading and financial system. K8 will be installed into the company’s 300+ branches across the UK covering around 2,000 users. A market-leading system, widely used by the distributive trades, K8 will provide SIG with advanced integrated capabilities across its customer-facing delivery operations, back office and management information areas. The system will become an essential asset for business improvement, decision making and performance monitoring.

Prior to placing the order for K8, SIG carried out an exhaustive market review of suitable systems. Ultimately, at the end of a very comprehensive selection process, K8 was chosen. SIG considered that K8’s capabilities delivered the greatest range of quantifiable benefits. Furthermore, the system offered impressive functionality and flexibility which were important requirements given the company’s diverse product base and operational activities.

A strategic acquisition which will result in a powerful manufacturing and distribution software capability for the market leading systems company.

19th October 2012: Kerridge Commercial Systems Limited (KCS) today announces the acquisition of Datawright Limited. Based in Washington, Tyne and Wear, Datawright, with its Kingfisher product, specialises in solutions for the manufacturing sector with a client base in the UK and an international presence in China, Sweden, UAE and the USA.

KCS, based in Hungerford, Berkshire, with its leading K8 solution, specialises in business management solutions to the distribution industry. The company has operations in the UK, Ireland, Netherlands and South Africa supporting customers in 15 countries.

Ian Bendelow, (CEO of KCS) comments, “We are very pleased to make this strategic acquisition. As our customers in the distributive trades continue to take control of their supply chain, they are looking to differentiate themselves through offering value-added processes and many require their systems to have manufacturing functionality. As a consequence of this acquisition, our customers will be able to take advantage of a fully proven manufacturing module which will be added to the K8 system. Equally, I believe that the strength of the larger KCS group and its enhanced product capabilities will enable us to achieve growth in the manufacturing sector.”

“The two companies have known each other for many years and share a common technology platform and we will immediately set about integrating the two systems to provide a single solution which will bring significant additional benefits to our customers. To reflect our new strategy, Datawright will become KCS Datawright and Kingfisher will be re-branded as K8 Enterprise. “

Jim Symonds (Managing Director of Datawright) comments, “This is a very positive move both for our customers and our people. Having known Kerridge Commercial Systems for many years, I believe that our cultures are remarkably similar. We both work extremely closely with our customers, have the same strong work ethic and we share a common technology platform. The greater development capability, resource and market presence of the combined organisation means that our customers will be able to benefit from better products, broader knowledge and experience together with a larger user community. The KCS expansion plan will also mean career development opportunities for our staff which are important considerations in the fast-changing world of IT. After 10 years as a Datawright customer and 18 years with the company, I am proud to be able to hand over the reins to the safe hands of Kerridge Commercial Systems, whose drive and integrity will take the company forward.“

Ian Bendelow says, “I’d like to thank Jim Symonds for his tremendous support. We have a great opportunity to deliver considerable benefits to our customers and our staff. We will continue to grow the business by making sure that we bring easy to use, scalable and flexible solutions to help our customers become more successful and more profitable.”

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EDP Limited rebrands to Kerridge Commercial Systems

Combining our industry knowledge and expertise

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Pete Clegg, Sales Account Manager said of the rebrand: “We have grown from a business with sixty people to an organisation with more than 850 and are now part of a strong global brand.”