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There are many influencing factors which cause merchants to review their computer system. It may be that the existing system has no development strategy or perhaps there are concerns about the supplier’s security. Retrieving information, particularly when serving customers, could be a time consuming and frustrating process. Or perhaps, slow and cumbersome management tools mean that the system is not doing much for effective decision-making and business planning. The acid test – is the incumbent system fit for purpose, or is there a risk that the business is being left behind? All these arguments are fine, but perhaps a little vague. Is it possible to simplify the expectations of a modern, fully integrated system? And then to assess how existing systems are performing.

With its 35 years of delivering class-leading distribution software, Kerridge Commercial Systems has defined four key areas to help sweep away some of the hype. The essential areas, says the company, are purchasing, stock control, sales and customer service. As benchmark groups these headings should help to compare one alternative system from another. And make it easier to judge the best one to suit the business.

Purchasing requires total control. Essential tools include being able to predict and forecast demands and place orders at the right time and on the right terms. With profitability being under pressure, the ability to control rebates is increasingly important. The system should be flexible enough to enable a choice of suppliers, national or international. It goes almost without saying that accurate, up to date management information should be available, and at the press of a button.

Stock control is all about being as efficient as possible. The key is to have a system that will help to optimise stock levels, ideally on a just in time basis. Facilities to support single and multiple locations, branches and central warehouses, means that there is a much better chance of being able to match customers’ needs.

Nowadays, systems really need to be effective selling machines. First and foremost, there are new sales channels to support – the internet being the most significant arrival which enables trading to take place 24/7. Integrated ecommerce tools are becoming a must-have capability and customers also expect ‘fast food’ style responses when they make an enquiry by phone, or in person.

Which brings us on to profitability. The importance of having facilities that enable a constant and careful watch on the margin, of each transaction, has never been greater. Customers shop around and if deals are to be done, having the tools that can give instant warnings if minima are being breached is immensely useful. If the information is there, the right decisions can be made.

The end game of course is to look after customers better than the competition. More to the point, how can the system make the job easier. If its facilities are being used well to support purchasing, stock control and sales process, chances are a better customer service will result naturally. The business will know more about what the customer wants and information will be there instantly to respond to their enquiries. By being able to do all those things more efficiently and more effectively, there will be more time to develop customer relationships. And that you’re the best company to trade with.

Duncan Smillie, sales director: “From our experience the process of evaluating systems can be quite complex and sometimes it is all too easy to get bogged down in detail. More often than not, decisions come down to ticking the basics – principally how effective is the system in handling day- to-day processes, with speed and efficiency being the key criteria. We believe that the headline requirements in purchasing, stock, sales and customer service cover most of what builders’ merchants look for in a system. We also believe that our customers chose us as because of our consistent industry focus, robust product strategy and demonstrable track record.”

Nicholls & Clarke Group have placed an order with Kerridge Commercial Systems for a 200 user K8 system to replace its legacy ERP systems. Through recent growth and business development the company, which employs over 500 members of staff, needed a system which would provide high performance transaction processing. The decision to choose K8 came from a broad evaluation of candidate systems which was then shortlisted for detailed assessments of the three platforms which most closely matched business requirements. Ultimately, the principle reasons for choosing K8 were its fast point of sale capabilities and immense versatility in all areas of the system

David Forbes, CEO of the Nicholls & Clarke Group of Companies commented, “As a company developing and investing in production technology, new product developments and IT systems, we needed a new system that would provide us with a platform for the future. We were impressed with K8’s capability across the board and in particular transaction processing where speed, efficiency and flexibility are essential requirements. This investment involves much more than a new computer system. In making our selection, it was critically important that we would gain an IT partner who we could work with and develop a long and successful relationship. Stability, continuity and the assurance of a product roadmap for the years ahead are vital. With the company’s track record, I believe that Kerridge Commercial Systems will be an excellent partner for us.”

In addition to the fully integrated K8 trading and financial suites, Nicholls & Clarke have specified the latest CRM and Business Intelligence applications as part of the project

Duncan Smillie, Sales & Marketing Director, Kerridge Commercial Systems said, “We are delighted that Nicholls & Clarke have chosen K8. It has been a pleasure to work with their team during the pre-contract stages and in that time we have learned a great deal about their business and understand how they want to use K8. We welcome Nicholls & Clarke as a customer and look forward to supporting them during the implementation and beyond.”

About Nicholls & Clarke

Nicholls & Clarke Group of Companies are British manufacturers, distributors and retailers of over 60,000 building products. Founded in 1875 in the heart of London, the company are a well established company also known as N&C. The Group, made up N&C Nicobond, N&C Phlexicare, N&C Building Materials, N&C Moderna, N&C Olympus, N&C Tilestyle and N&C Glass primarily supply the respective trade, major housebuilders, architects, local authorities and retailers, as well as end users through their nationwide retail outlets.

Comprehensive monitoring and business measurement

Monitoring business performance on timely and accurate information is a key priority for decision makers in the fast-moving distributive trades.

This comprehensive monitoring and measurement software forms part of the integrated K8 trading system, developed to provide one integral solution for wholesalers, distributors, merchants and retailers. K8 will flex in line with your company’s individual requirements, whatever its size and reach, giving you control and visibility across your entire operation.

We’ve built this software to support the way you view and run your business. The Key Performance Indicator reporting tools are designed to present performance against objectives for any branch or trading area, at any financial level from the broadest sweep to the finest detail. You define access permissions to Director, Finance and Manager Dashboards that give different levels of information to your people on the basis of what they need to know to make their decisions.

So, whether it’s a board-level review of operations across the organisation, an accountant’s-eye view of actual versus budget figures, or a manager’s update on sales, stock levels or supplier positions, the picture is clear. Whatever the individual preference, you can switch formats between tables and reports or smart graphical interpretations. There’s no better way to make sure you have the facts, accurate and up-to-the minute, before you evaluate the situation, consider the options and commit resources to action. It’s the only way to ensure that you make intelligent decisions, based on sound business intelligence.

Successful IT partnership throughout the years

The Holding company “The House of Goodness” began as a group collective in the 1970s, made up from members of the Jesus Fellowship Church. The House of Goodness as it exists today started in the late 1970s as a health food retailer with its own farm operating through a small chain of retail stores: ‘Goodness Foods’.

The holding company now encompasses health foods outlets, both wholesale and retailing through the internet. Throughout the last 35 years, House of Goodness has opened several businesses under their umbrella of companies. For example, farming with related and diversified services within House of Goodness itself, TBS Building Supplies, an independent builders’ merchant, ATMOS heating services and supplies, Skaino Services (building construction services) and ‘White and Bishop’ an outdoor leisure/sports equipment and clothing.

 "...The organisation has indeed made significant savings already as gradually each company in the group has had its accounts drawn onto K8.  Such savings are of great importance to acharitable organisation, and something which is a clear return of investment.” - Hilary Oldham.

Today, the House of Goodness group of companies employs nearly 250 people; the annual turnover is growing and now stands at nearly £16 million. In line with the group’s ethical policies, around half of all profits are donated to their working charities, to support all kinds of people in need, with a focus on the marginalized in society. The group holds high in its ethos principles of equality and valuing all members of the team. The group’s business processes and supporting operating systems have evolved and adapted over the years which has ensured continuing success.

House of Goodness and Kerridge Commercial Systems

The House of Goodness became customers of Kerridge Commercial Systems in 1989. Hilary Oldham, Finance Director at the House of Goodness explains: “We were impressed with the ‘Rev 7’ system as an accounts package. We liked its structure, found it easy to use, and particularly appreciated the high level of understanding shown by the Kerridge implementation team. We were also attracted to its affordability given the importance of maximising our charitable donations. Continuing with Kerridge has assisted as we have chosen to centralise the entire group’s accounting functions.”

Evolving IT solutions

House of Goodness faced several challenges with the ever increasing expansion of the business. It was then necessary to expand the IT functionality to ensure the business functioned as efficiently as possible. The objective was to incorporate its craft timber business and products into the system, utilise the sales order processing functionality and benefit from a modern graphical system.  Upgrading to the latest version of K8 proved to be a very good solution.

In 2011, the group took a further upgrade to the K8.09 version, increasing their functionality and providing additional resilience from the Oracle database. In addition, K8.09 now provides a new General Ledger accounting system with enhanced data intelligence reporting, a flexible and simplified data exchange and mapping tool. The system now has 32 users, which also allows the House of Goodness to manage all of their charitable centers on K8, as well as the four commercial companies.

Hilary Oldham explains, “The K8 system helps the group link all areas of the business, from stores and warehouses to its charitable centers, in terms of staff resource. In this way, Kerridge Commercial Systems has supported management’s desire for providing a group service across several totally diverse entities. The House of Goodness now sees K8 as the group’s central accounts product, working out how to maximise its benefits when working alongside the other reporting systems the group uses. The business also needed to know its software provider could move with the times along with the group itself, for instance, moving towards mobile and internet friendly solutions for the trading operations where they are using K8.09 software.”

Today the group uses Kerridge Commercial Systems as a core IT provider; all of the group accounts and some of the trading outlets now operate on K8.

Working with the Kerridge Commercial Systems team

Hilary Oldham explained: “We have been very pleased with the level of training offered by Kerridge throughout the relationship. The planning and implementation of training has been very good and the Kerridge team are highly knowledgeable and easy to work with at every stage. We have found the continuity of staff to be particularly helpful over the years and feel that Kerridge has attained a deep level of understanding about the group’s business and the particular challenges and limitations it faces.”

Long-term benefits and savings

 “The ability of the K8 system to be user defined without having much bespoke work has enabled House of Goodness to set systems to facilitate employees with less experience and qualifications, to perform functions at a high level. The group finds it easy to structure the Kerridge accounting system within its own office systems to facilitate people doing things at this enhanced level.”

 “The efficiency of the software solutions provided by Kerridge Commercial Systems has enabled us to do more - to adopt more of the group functions without having to increase staffing every time.  As the company seeks to maximse the benefits of the K8.09 upgrade this will represent a real saving in terms of employee costs going forward. The organisation has indeed made significant savings already as gradually each company in the group has had its accounts drawn onto K8.  Such savings are of great importance to a charitable organisation, and something which is a clear return of investment.”

As the House of Goodness group continues to adapt and grow, it needs software that does the same. The diversity of the House of Goodness business also requires specialist knowledge and expertise on the side of the group’s IT provider, in order to be able to offer real-world, effective solutions. The House of Goodness has found this with Kerridge Commercial Systems and the K8 system, and looks forward to a continually evolving and fulfilling relationship.

Solution

•   Initially the Rev 7 software platform
•   Upgrade to the K8.07 and K8.09 versions of K8

Services

•   Design
•   Development
•   Installation
•   Support

Benefits

•   Usability and efficiency
•   Saving on employee costs
•   Enhanced reporting facilities
•   Supports the management function

The Key to Integrated and Streamlined Supply Chain Management Proccesses

The supply chain process has always been the cornerstone of any successful distribution organisation - effective supply chain management can set a company apart from its competitors. In today's market, it's vitally important that this process also improves efficiency and reduces costs across the business and the right IT platform makes this possible. The market-leading K8 software solution from Kerridge Commercial Systems is the key to integrated and streamlined Supply Chain Management.

Streamline the supply chain for success

The need for a competitive advantage has never been greater and for distributors this means enhanced supply chain management. That's because logistics and the supply chain is the lifeblood of a distribution business, running through manufacturing, packaging, warehousing, stock management, sales order processing and, ultimately, customer fulfilment. The challenge for all distribution businesses is how to streamline these disparate functions in order to enhance the operational processes overall and ensure customer satisfaction, thereby gaining that competitive edge. The answer is integration.

K8: integration through innovation

Viewing the supply chain as a single integrated operation is essential if organisations are to use international best practice processes. Given that the benefit of adopting 'best practice' is greater cost control, improved efficiency and therefore increased profitability, finding an integrated IT solution lies at the heart of effective supply chain management.

K8 is a fully integrated, functionally-rich trading, marketing, financial and business management system which operates at each and every stage of the supply chain process. K8 offers the key to both the integration and the streamlining of logistics in one single IT solution. This highly advanced and innovative system, powered by Oracle and provided on the most powerful, secure and reliable database in the world, Oracle 11g, is simple to adapt to any business, of any size, and is intuitive to use.

Future-proofing supply chain management

While the importance of supply chain management is common to all distributors, each organisation faces its own specific challenges in logistics, hence the need for a flexible IT system which can deliver where its needed most. The K8 platform is fully scalable and adaptable, offering solutions to small, one-site businesses as well as multi-site, multi-national corporations. Its specific functionality can be honed to address operational issues as they arise, allowing organisations to future-proof their supply chain management. K8 delivers solutions which work today and which prepare for tomorrow.

K8.09 tested and ready to run on Oracle Exadata Database Machine

January 12th 2012. Kerridge Commercial Systems today announced that Kerridge Commercial Systems K8.09 has achieved Oracle Exadata Ready status through Oracle Partner Network (OPN).

Today’s announcement demonstrates that Kerridge Commercial Systems has fully tested and supports K8.09 on Oracle Exadata Database Machine. K8 is a fully integrated trading and financial system for distribution, merchant, wholesale/retail sectors. A class-leading system, it incorporates advanced and comprehensive functionality and has the capability to deliver an excellent range of benefits at both operational and management levels. Kerridge Commercial Systems is a Gold level member of Oracle Partner Network.

Oracle Exadata Ready is part of the Oracle Exastack Ready program, which allows partners, such as Kerridge Commercial Systems, to be recognised by Oracle for developing, testing and tuning their applications on the latest component products of Oracle Exadata Database Machine or Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud engineered systems. The Oracle Exadata Database Machine is the only database machine that provides extreme performance for both data warehousing and online transaction processing (OLTP) workloads, making it the ideal platform for consolidating onto private clouds. It is a complete package of servers, storage, networking, and software that is massively scalable, secure, and Redundant.

The Oracle Exastack Ready program recognises Kerridge Commercial Systems as having applications that successfully use the capabilities of the latest Oracle technology to support their customers.

Ian Bendelow, Kerridge Commercial Systems CEO said, “To have achieved Oracle Exadata Ready status is a fantastic milestone for the company. Oracle Exadata Ready status gives all of our customers, particularly those who handle extremely large business volumes, the clearest reassurance that K8.09 is a world-class performing product.”

With Oracle Exadata Ready status, Kerridge Commercial Systems will receive access to corresponding Oracle branding, logos and related benefits to effectively differentiate their offerings.

“When partners such as Kerridge Commercial Systems leverage the latest component products of Oracle Exadata Database Machine as the foundation for their applications, they benefit from a complete, integrated and cloud-ready infrastructure that will help them utilize new features and functionality and drive innovation,” said Chris Baker, Senior Vice President, Worldwide ISV and OEM Sales. “We are pleased to see Kerridge Commercial Systems achieve Oracle Exadata Ready status as this significant milestone helps equip them to deliver superior value to customers.”

About the Oracle Exastack Program

The Oracle Exastack Program helps enable Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and other members of Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) to rapidly build and deliver faster, more reliable applications. Leveraging the Oracle Exastack Program, qualifying OPN members have access to Oracle performance experts and dedicated labs for testing and tuning their applications on Oracle Exadata Database Machine and Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud. Customers can be confident when selecting Oracle Exastack Optimized applications that they have been tested and tuned to achieve optimal performance, scalability and reliability. Also part of the program, Oracle Exastack Ready is dedicated to helping ISVs run their solutions on the latest major release of Oracle Exadata Database Machine, Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud and their component products, including Oracle Database, Oracle WebLogic Server, Oracle Solaris, Oracle Linux and Oracle VM. These products provide partners with a lower cost and high performance infrastructure for database and application workloads across on-premise and cloud based environments. To find out more, visit http://www.oracle.com/partners/en/partner-with-oracle/differentiate-offerings/exastack-ready-optimized/index.html

About Oracle PartnerNetwork

Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Specialized is the latest version of Oracle's partner program that provides partners with tools to better develop, sell and implement Oracle solutions. OPN Specialized offers resources to train and support specialized knowledge of Oracle products and solutions and has evolved to recognize Oracle's growing product portfolio, partner base and business opportunity. Key to the latest enhancements to OPN is the ability for partners to differentiate through Specialisations. Specialisations are achieved through competency development, business results, expertise and proven success. To find out more, visit http://www.oracle.com/partners/index.html

About Kerridge Commercial Systems

Kerridge Commercial Systems is a market leader in the development and provision of trading and financial software environments for specialist Distribution, Wholesale, Importing, Merchant and Retail industry sectors.

With over 35 years’ experience, Kerridge Commercial Systems, and its flagship product, K8, has the knowledge, expertise and proven track-record to fulfil customers' IT requirements, allowing them to focus on their core business issues.

From single- or multi-branch operations, through to 'point-of-sale' showrooms and warehouses; Kerridge Commercial Systems aims to provide a business solution geared, primarily, towards helping customers:

  • Increase profit potential
  • Improve efficiency
  • Reduce cost
  • Provide superior customer service
  • Gain visibility and control across their organisation

If you have any queries or would like any further information, please contact:

Nell McIntosh
Marketing Manager
Kerridge Commercial Systems
Tel: +44 (0) 1488 662000
Email: nell.mcintosh@kerridecs.com

Trademarks

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates.

We are making excellent progress with the integration of TIS and Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) - Kerridge Commercial Systems signs are now in place at the Bourne End office. A key milestone was reached on the 15th December, with the announcement of the new organisation structure for the integrated business. Many staff from Bourne End recently spent a day at Hungerford to meet with their KCS colleagues.

Across the company there is clearly a growing understanding of each business’s products and services and how the benefits of the acquisition will start to accrue in the coming weeks.

Probably the most significant aspect of the integration process to date has been the formulation and announcement of the new, post-acquisition, product strategy. All customers are in process of being briefed individually on the programme for new and existing products and will be guided according to needs. Again, we stress that customer’s long term interests remain paramount.

Another important project from a customer service point of view is in progress to integrate TIS into the KCS call-logging systems. This will result in us having a single management and control process to monitor call activity and response performance. A dedicated team of analysts with the requisite knowledge and experience will continue to be based at Bourne End.

As you will appreciate, the project will continue for some months yet, but everyone is very confident that by mid-year, we will be working as one organisation and our customers will increasingly be able to take advantage of the benefits.

Kerridge Commercial Systems are delighted to announce that Plumbers Depot have recently signed as a new customer

Plumbers Depot, based in South Tottenham, sell an extensive range of plumbing and bathroom products. The company will be implementing K8 to run their successful operation and have opted for the Kerridge Commercial Systems hosted solution (where the server resources are held at the Kerridge Commercial Systems contracted datacentres).

Commenting on the new contract, Adrian Cannon, new business sales said, "We are pleased to add Plumbers Depot to our client list. They are an exciting and ambitious business and fit very well with our established portfolio within the building supplies industry. I am very much looking forward to working with the Plumbers Depot team in the coming months.”

EDP Limited rebrands to Kerridge Commercial Systems

Combining our industry knowledge and expertise

Read more.

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.”