Success Stories

Builders Merchants

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Raven Roofing

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Customer: Raven Roofing

What we did: Implemented K8

Site link: ravenroofingsupplies.co.uk

IT Partnership

The relationship between Raven Roofing Supplies and Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) goes back to 2004 when the company started to use an early KCS trading system alongside its accountancy package.

Five years later, during which time Raven opened three new branches, director Mark Applebee said, “I’m in no doubt that the results of the past five years have been partly attributable to how well we have made use of the system and our partnership with KCS.”

Today the company operates from six sites and has completed a transformation from the original contracting firm established in 1971 to a supply only business. There are now several hundred active trade accounts and customers include local homeowners and roofing contractors, large building companies and developers as well as major builders’ merchants. 65 staff are employed across branches in Twickenham, Thatcham, Basingstoke, Hawkhurst, Swindon and Crawley. “What I’m still most proud of,” said Mark, “is the day to day relationship we have with all of our customers and suppliers, no matter what their turnover is. I’m also proud of how our staff remain with us for the long term. To have been with Raven for 20 or 30 years is not uncommon!”

As the company developed further, a decision was made to move to a more sophisticated business management system with integrated accounting. “It wasn’t a given that we would stay with KCS,” remembered Mark, “and we looked at several integrated systems. But one of my colleagues had worked in merchanting, was familiar with K8 and recommended we take a look. We had further expansion plans and it soon became obvious that K8 was a system that could grow with us. And we liked the team at KCS – they were super people!”

Gains and benefits

  • An easy upgrade to K8
  • Minimal training needed for new starters
  • Signature pads are streamlining transactions
  • BI module tracks buying trends and branch performance
  • Stock levels now visible across all six branches
  • Integrated accounting offers customisable views

To find out more about the solutions that we offer, please contact us today.

Read the full story.

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I’m in no doubt that the results of the past five years have been partly attributable to how well we have made use of the system and our partnership with KCS.

- Mark Applebee, Managing Director

 

Electrical Wholesalers

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Aerco

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Customer: Aerco

What we did: Implememented K8

Site link: www.aerco.co.uk

Gains and benefits

West Sussex based Aerco, a distributor of safety critical electrical components for the rail and military aerospace markets, has upgraded to K8, an ERP solution developed by Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS). For the past 15 years the company has been using the KCS One Office solution.

Harry Laughton, General Manager at Aerco, said, “One Office has worked well for us in the past but, as the company has grown, it has been unable to keep up. We were holding the system together through some bespoke programming by members of our team but this meant we needed to keep going in and out of different programmes. It was clearly time to upgrade and, by migrating to K8, we will have everything in one place and our business processes can become more streamlined.”

There will be 55 K8 users within the Aerco team. Between them, they will use all the integrated functionality of the K8 business platform, including financial accounting, trading, logistics and management. K8’s Web Builder will also provide Aerco with a fully integrated web platform where customers can browse product information and availability before placing their orders. KCS offers customers a variety of ways to access their K8 software. Aerco’s K8 will be deployed on an on-premise server.

Harry said, “We chose K8 because we were always happy with One Office, the price was right - and it was good to stick with you guys!”

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By migrating to K8, we will have everything in one place and our business processes can become more streamlined.

- Harry Laughton, General Manager, Aerco

 

Food & Beverage

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BI Europe Ltd

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Customer: BI Europe Ltd

Website: www.bilimited.com

The Client’s Situation

BI Europe Ltd manufactures and supplies a variety of affordable condiments. Initially providing portion control condiments for the travel industry, expansion into the Retail, Food service and industrial clients has vastly contributed to them becoming an established worldwide brand.

They acquired a fully comprehensive ERP solution from Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS), which has successfully enabled the smooth running of their manufacturing & wholesale processes.

For decades prior to K8 LV, BI Europe Ltd had been using a normal server based ERP system, and as Priyan Dhutia, Head of Operations at BI explains: “this was fine for wholesale but we were in need of a complete manufacturing system”. It was at this stage that BI Europe Ltd undertook research into various comprehensive ERP systems, with the aim of finding an approachable company who could provide efficient, adaptable and affordable software. With K8 LV not having such a big brand name as their competitors, they were not even on BI Ltd’s radar to be considered at this stage. This was until they received a call from KCS’s Sales & Marketing Director who was able to offer the solution they had been searching for.

Kerridge Commercial Systems Software

K8 LV is a real-time system reacting to day to day changes which occur within the sales, purchase and nominal ledgers, along with providing live visibility of current and future stock. This system ticked all the required boxes and after detailed consideration and various software demos, KCS were instructed to help support BI Europe move forward as their new ERP supplier.

K8 LV being a fully integrated end to end solution, it provides BI Europe Ltd with various tools vital to their business, such as; Batch Traceability and Recipe Management.

Client Satisfaction

BI Europe Ltd is now a long standing client of KCS, utilising the system and other available modules such as MRP to help with planning and the efficient management of their processes. With a forever remarkable working relationship, the companies work together to provide BI Europe with a smooth operational system.

Read the full story.

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We were really impressed with the presentation, time and effort they invested, the personalised system, price, the whole package.

 

Builders Merchants

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Burnt Oak

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Customer: Burnt Oak

What we did: Implemented K8

Site link: www.burntoaktimber.com

Challenge

Founded in 1995, Burnt Oak Builders Merchants is a family-run business based in North London, with a traditional builder’s yard in Burnt Oak and two warehouses in Harrow. The company sells several thousand product lines ranging from timber, flooring, plumbing and electrical supplies to power tools, bricks and insulation.

Burnt Oak Builders Merchants were experiencing many of the issues associated with using manual systems. These included inadequate stock control, inconsistent pricing and pricing maintenance, disputes and errors, lack of management information and slow settlements from debtors. The company was introduced to K8-SBE – the system being used by two of their suppliers and went live in October 2008.

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Gains and benefits

  • An easy-to-use, functionally – rich system
  • Improved customer service – accurate product and price information at fingertips
  • Business performance easy to control , notably sales, profitability and debt
  • Decisions about pricing and discounts – quick and flexible
  • Sales are processed quickly – efficient and appreciated by customers
  • High quality laser-printed forms present a professional company image
  • Integrated accounts – improves cash flow, saves interest charges
  • Inter-branch trading quick and easy to process – optimises use of stock
  • Better stock control - less inventory carried and carrying stock that customers need
  • Streamlined processes mean a more effective working environment for staff
  • K8 ready to support business development. More branches? No problem.

To find out more about the solutions that we offer, please contact us today.

Builders' Merchants eBook

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With K8 you can review pricing and make instant decisions. That gives us more flexibility in terms of selling, and we know exactly how much we are making on each sale.

- Sanjay Murji, Manager

 

Automotive Aftermarket

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Brookwells

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Customer: Brookwells

What we did: Implemented K8

Site link: www.brookwell.co.uk

Challenge

Brookwell Supplies Ltd is a family-run business supplying the complete range of Land Rover parts and accessories. The company started trading in 1981, from Bovey Tracey on the edge of Dartmoor, and having secured a contract to supply parts to the Royal Navy in Devonport opened a branch in Plymouth. The company is now the largest independent Land Rover parts supplier in the South West supporting customers in many countries around the world.

Brookwells had reached the point where their computer system was no longer meeting the needs of the business. It lacked functionality and there was no development strategy. For Brookwells, investing in bespoke work was not an option and a decision was made to invest in a new system. After thorough evaluation, K8 was chosen, and with the guidance and support of Kerridge Commercial Systems, the implementation was completed in around 3 months from server arriving to go live.

Gains and benefits

  • Modern GUI interface ensured fast user acceptance
  • Sales order processing and search facilities – invaluable for customer service
  • Complete parts supercession records –greater control and actions taken on old stock
  • Access to the whole Land Rover database 86,000 parts – maximises sales opportunities
  • Purchasing tools – easy and flexible to use, save time and support stock optimisation
  • Tailored screens to suit operator requirements –improves productivity and operator control
  • Up-to-the-minute information always available e.g. to view orders and profitability

To find out more about the solutions that we offer, please contact us today.

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We were delighted that no bespoke work would be required... really impressed with what K8 does for the business.

- Jeff Dowell, Managing Director

 

Discrete Manufacturing

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Burtons Medical Equipment Ltd

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Customer: Burtons Medical Equipment Ltd

Website: www.burtons.uk.com

Overview

Established in 1981, Burtons Medical Equipment Ltd manufactures, distributes and services high quality healthcare equipment to the medical and veterinary professions. By 2005, it had become increasingly clear that the company’s existing management system was unable to provide the consistent level of data retention and integrity necessary to cope with the demands of a successful and growing business – especially in such critical areas as stock control – which in turn was putting Burtons’ operating systems under pressure.

In replacing this with a Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) solution, Burtons has benefited from a number of key performance improvements throughout the business. In particular, K8 LV’s market-leading batch control functionality has enabled to the company to provide the level of traceability essential to meet rigorous client KPIs and ensure it meets the quality demands of ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 13845:2003.

Challenge

Burtons recognised the need for a stable, Windows-based platform which would allow for easy migration of existing computer skills within the business.

”At the same time, it had to bring together the three distinct aspects of our production, distribution and support operation with centralised data storage and control,” recalls IT manager, Mike Best.

“By consolidating information in this way, we would have complete visibility of every sale across all departments, so improving internal efficiencies and providing a better service to our clients.”

Solution

Having explored several options, Burtons selected KCS as providing the ideal combination of relevant and robust functionality, personalised.

“In addition, KCS worked closely with us throughout the development to ensure that our processes were perfectly aligned with the software,” he says. “As a result, implementation was smooth and the K8 LV solution has remained remarkably trouble-free ever since.

“Another important outcome of this partnership approach to implementation was a much sturdier and more resilient set of processes fully capable of managing our planned business growth.”

Read the full story.

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KCS worked closely with us throughout the development to ensure that our processes were perfectly aligned with the software.

 

Electrical Wholesalers

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Bonus Electrical

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Customer: Bonus Electrical

Website: www.bonuselectrical.co.uk

Gains and benefits

Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS)’ K8 software has delivered cost and time savings across every area of business for Hull-based wholesaler Bonus Electrical. A key element of the software is its ability to provide the business intelligence that the management team needed, enabling them to analyse sales in more depth.

Company spokesperson, Carl Dearing, said, “Unlike national wholesaling groups, who have very strict rules, Bonus is extremely flexible. We can do things for customers that no one else can. Where local competitors may have one or two vehicles and offer a next day delivery service, we offer a shuttle service using a large fleet of vans. If we have what customers want in stock, the average delivery time is 90 minutes.”

In 2013 the Bonus management team was given the remit to double the turnover in two years and to make the business more profitable. At the same time the incumbent software system was always crashing and the search for a new solution began.

“We ultimately chose K8 because of the attitude of the KCS salesperson,” said Carl. “He really listened to all our concerns and we felt he genuinely understood them. The fact KCS had implemented systems for other electrical wholesalers, whereas the other providers hadn’t, also gave us comfort.”

Being able to send out invoices by email delivered the first immediate cost and time saving benefits. And, on the trade counter, staff were able to access accurate pricing which speeded up service straight away.

Bonus’ Jamie Dawson said, “The integrated POD system is invaluable and helps us deal with queries quickly and more efficiently. Some of our customers ask for a lot of PODs and I often used to waste time wading through files and scanning paper copies for emailing. Now, I just retrieve them from the system by entering the order number. The time this has saved us is incredible.”

Read the full story.

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Our turn over has grown from £3m to £10m in just six years. K8 is supporting that growth because it’s helping us to buy stock in the right quantities and to analyse our sales activities like never before.

- Jamie Dawson, Bonus Electrical

 

Builders Merchants

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Reeds Wantage

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Customer: Reeds Wantage

Website: reedswantage.com

Gains and benefits

Growing business, Reeds Wantage, has chosen an ERP solution from Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) to support its future growth and deliver efficiencies to the business.

Reeds was founded in 1972 as a builders’ merchant and ironmongers. It gradually transitioned away from supplying heavyside materials to focusing on paint, tools and hardware, and today is known primarily as a painting and decorating merchant.

Around two thirds of its customers are trade account holders, the remainder being retail. Reeds Wantage supplies all major paint brands as well as specialist products such as anti-graffiti and fire-retardant paints.

Buyer and Operations Manager at Reeds, Euan Mead, explained, “We started to look for new software around 18 months before choosing the KCS solution. We were using a basic accountancy package that was ‘creaking’ as our requirements grew. We needed something that would improve our efficiency, give us better business insights and, because we are looking to add an additional premise, with multi-location functionality.”

Euan looked at a broad range of options including combining separate accountancy, ePOS and stock management solutions. “This option had several drawbacks including limited functionality, the complexity involved in getting the solutions to talk to each other effectively and redundant functionality where there was an overlap,” he said. The Reeds team also considered more sophisticated solutions - from KCS and other providers – before making their choice.

Read the full story.

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We’re looking forward to increased efficiencies such as integrating order processes with our suppliers and faster, easier price maintenance.

- Euan Mead, Operations Manager, Reeds Wantage

 

Builders Merchants

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Kuipers BMH

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Customer: Kuipers BMH

Website: www.kuipers-bmh.nl

Challenge

Kuipers BMH (Building materials and stone) is one of few remaining independent wholesalers of building materials in the northern part of the Netherlands. Not affiliated with a specific brand or a specific buying organisation, but simply operating from one’s own extensive experience and knowledge in this industry.

Two linked software applications, an accounting software system and an order processing application, had to make way for K8 Babbage of Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS). Kuipers had now been working with the ERP solutions of KCS for almost a year.

“We were in search of a total package which would allow us to choose what functionalities we would or would not be using. Often you will find a basic system with the possibility to keep adding and paying for additional modules. We wanted to be able to choose what we want to use.” (Jan Kuiper – Kuipers BMH).

Kuipers BMH has the ambition to hold a large and accurate range of stock available in each branch, ready for customers operating in the professional building industry. The trading company established in 1998 has grown into an organization of around 60 employees and operates from multiple locations spread throughout Overijssel, Drenthe and Groningen.

Gains and benefits

  • More efficient inventory management, including inter-branch orders
  • Time savings order fulfilment
  • Better and faster insight in debtors
  • Improved access to company wide information

Read the full story.

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We now have better insight into stock, sales and the financial handling of the sales orders. For example, with the help of a few keyboard shortcuts the average takeaway order has now become a lot easier; ten enters less are needed for the same process.

- Rob Kamp, Kuipers BMH

 

Builders Merchants

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John Davey

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Customer: John Davey

Site link: www.johndaveydiy.co.uk

Gains and benefits

At the end of 2013, John Davey, a third generation family owned Welsh builders’ merchant, upgraded from a manual invoicing system to ERP software from Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS).

A year later, General Manager, Rhys Davey, saw that margin and turnover had both increased significantly. He remembered, “Once we had a full year of history within our K8 solution we could see the scope of how much the software had helped us. Our turnover had risen from £1.1m to £1.5m and we were showing an increase of 2% in our gross margin. Using a manual system I think it had been easy to make mistakes in calculations plus we were always missing opportunities to increase our margin. I think the improvements were largely down to being able to work more accurately.”

John Davey has been trading for 50 years and offers a mix of lightside, heavyside and timber to an equal mix of cash and trade account customers. The company operates from one site in Bridgend where five of the 13 staff use the K8 software. With the Pencoed site running at full capacity, there are already thoughts to open a second site in the future. Rhys believes their high quality customer service is what keeps customers coming back.

One key driver to upgrade from a paper system was the time it took Rhys and his team to manually input customer invoices into the accounting system each month end. He said, “It took us seven working days each month to do this – there was paper everywhere! Also, we’d had problems with pilfering and needed a system to monitor our stock levels more closely.”

Rhys started his search for a new system simply by ‘googling’ software and speaking to other local merchants - a few of whom already used K8. He eventually invited three providers to demonstrate their systems. “K8 was in the middle of the road when it came to pricing,” explained Rhys, “but we chose it because KCS offered us a perfect hosting option and also because of the strong endorsements for K8 from other local merchants.”

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In terms of a return on our investment, what we pay for K8 is offset by our increased profitability through being able to keep a better track on our margins, our increased turnover and the time the system saves us. We all find it quick and easy to use – for example our monthly invoicing now takes one day instead of seven!

- Rhys Davey, General Manager, John Davey

Read the full story.

 

Builders Merchants

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Trading Depot

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Customer: Trading Depot

Site link: www.tradingdepot.co.uk

Gains and benefits

Trading Depot, the online trading sister company to Grant & Stone, offers more than 48,000 product lines to a loyal and growing customer base who maintain its ‘excellent’ rating on Trustpilot, the online review community. The company supplies plumbing and electrical products, sanitaryware, flooring, PVC windows and doors, some heavyside materials such as paving and more than 30,000 tools.

“We’re seeing huge growth,” said Trading Depot General Manager Darren House. “While around 70% of our customers are homeowners, the remaining 30% are tradesmen who are happier shopping in an online environment today than they were 10 years ago. Although we don’t offer trade accounts, we offer a choice to builders who are looking for a keener price and are happy to wait a day or two for their delivery. We also offer a click and collect service from our warehouse. I like to think there’s a traditional merchant feel about the business as we offer great customer service including technical support over the phone at pre-purchase stage.”

At the front end of Trading Depot’s business is a Magento eCommerce platform that interfaces directly with their ERP system - K8 - a solution developed by Kerridge Commercial Systems. As each order is placed, the data is drawn into K8 and, if the product is in stock, a pick note is automatically produced in the warehouse and data sent to the labeller ready to print.

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Turnover has doubled in the seven months since K8 was implemented and, although I can’t put that all down to K8, there’s no way we could have managed the current level of business using the old system.

- Darren House, General Manager, Trading Depot

Before going live on K8 in April 2017, the team at Trading Depot had to manually re-key orders in to their legacy ERP system. “It was a really cumbersome process,” said Darren. “We used to print out the orders from Magento and, while one member of staff spent all day re-keying them into the old system, another used to type out the labels! We were working on two totally separate systems and only able to process around 50 – 80 orders each day. Plus, there was a high risk of making errors when retyping postcodes and product codes etc. We upgraded for a short while to exporting orders from Magento on CSV files every couple of hours, and then importing them to the old system. But the process wasn’t reliable so we still printed them out and cross-referenced them manually!”

When Darren joined Trading Depot from sister company, Grant & Stone - which was implementing the K8 system across the group – a demo from KCS showed how upgrading to K8 could totally automate sales order processing. And, he was able to protect the investment Trading Depot had already made in Magento using K8’s Magento plug in. (Companies with no existing eCommerce platform can take advantage of KCS’s Web Builder when they implement K8. It’s a responsive eCommerce suite that enables the fast deployment of fully integrated online trading and a B2B online customer portal.)

The benefits were immediate. As orders come in from Trading Depot’s website or the company’s Amazon or eBay shop, they are automatically drawn into K8 and a pick note for goods in stock is processed with no human intervention. If part of the order is direct, a member of staff briefly intervenes to instruct K8 to send that part of the order directly to the supplier. On the old system the team had to type a separate email to the supplier along with the re-keyed customer information.

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We didn’t lose a single day’s business as we went live on K8, and because the system is really intuitive and we have a young, computer savvy team, we needed minimal training.

- Darren House, General Manager, Trading Depot

“Now that our Magento platform interfaces with K8, customers can see an accurate reflection of our stock levels,” explained Darren. “So many websites tell customers that products are in stock when in fact they’re not. This annoys customers who only find out after they’ve placed their orders, and end up waiting lengthy delivery times rather than risking not getting a refund. We like being straight with our customers and can now confidently show the actual stock position on around 80% of stock in our warehouse or held by manufacturers and other third party suppliers - and we’re working on increasing this figure.”

This new confidence has also enabled Darren to make shipping more profitable because knowing something is definitely in stock means he can offer and charge more for a premium next day delivery service. K8 also allows Darren to take advantage of ‘buy 10’ deals because purchasing and sales can be set up separately - unlike on the old system.

Further significant cost savings have been made from not having to replace the three staff lost due to natural wastage since the implementation of K8. “The business is now so streamlined we don’t need to replace them,” he said. “In fact turnover has doubled in the seven months since K8 was implemented and, although I can’t put that all down to K8, there’s no way we could have managed the current level of business using the old system.”

Read the full story.

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Timber Merchants

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Nordstrom Timber

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Customer: Nordstrom Timber

Site link: www.nordstromtimber.co.uk

Client Focus

Nordstrom Timber is the largest independent timber merchant in the City of Sunderland. Established in 1953 by Herman Nordstrom, the company has grown steadily since then through the leadership of Herman’s son, Alan, and more recently Alan’s son and daughter, David and Lynne.

The company supplies both trade and retail customers from a large site in Hendon. A vast range of timber including C24 grade carcassing, dressed timbers, sheet materials, skirtings and mouldings is stored in one of two warehouses alongside the trade counter, a hardware showroom and a complete showhouse displaying kitchens and bedrooms, doors, windows and staircases. A second warehouse accommodates a joiner shop for the production of bespoke joinery and a machine shop where original interiors for heritage projects can be matched. Recently the company supplied all the interior joinery, including the hardwood paneling, used in the restoration of Sunderland’s Roker Pier Lighthouse.

“We’re most proud of our staff,” said General Manager, David Nordstrom. “Most of them have been with us for several decades and have great knowledge and expertise of our trade. We’re determined to stay on top of what we do and our customers know they can rely on us for good service and good quality materials that are responsibly sourced.”

The Nordstrom team decided to upgrade to an integrated ERP system from Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) as the accounting system they had used for 25 years to manage trade and financial accounting lacked the functionality to make the business more efficient. Office manager, Denise Corah, said, “K8 will give us a full overview of the business all in one place. It will be easier to see what is and isn’t selling and we’ll have full visibility of stock so won’t need to leave the trade counter or call customers back when they enquire about availability. It will make us more profitable too as we’ll have better control over our margins.”

David Nordstrom added, “We’ve been using a hand written manual till system for sales on the trade counter which means if the order has to be processed by a couple of different departments it leaves an opportunity for errors . Also with our joiner shop being in a different building, when K8 goes live across the business we’ll be able to use the Works Order module to relay information and orders more efficiently as well as making sure we’re earning a profit on every job.”

David and his team were introduced to K8 by one of their major suppliers who also use it to manage their business. He said, “We spent the day with them which was a valuable reference. After we’ve gone live, we’ll be able to start using different parts of the system such as suggested ordering and delivery management as we’re ready to. Another reason for choosing K8 was its Web Builder online trading platform which we will use in the future.”

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When K8 goes live across the business we’ll be able to use the Works Order module to relay information and orders more efficiently as well as making sure we’re earning a profit on every job.

- David Nordstrom, General Manager, Nordstrom Timber

Read the full story.

 

Builders Merchants

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Tadhg O’Connor Ltd

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Customer: Tadhg O'Connor Ltd

Site link: www.tocfurniture.ie

Gains and benefits

Limerick based Tadhg O’Connor Ltd, one of the larger stores in the Topline group, is about to implement a new ERP system provided by Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS). The family owned business operates two builders’ merchant branches and a furniture store.

Business is split 50/50 between trade and retail customers and there are more than 600 trade account customers.

Managing Director, Eoin O’Connor said, “We’re successful because our staff offer excellent service and our customers know they can rely on us having the right stock delivered in a timely fashion in perfect condition and at good value.”

The 12-year-old computer system currently used by the company lacks the functionality to bring the business up to the level where Eoin wants it. “One of our guiding principles is to make our customers’ lives easier,” he explained, “and we want to be able to provide them with an eCommerce platform where, not only can they log in and place orders on line and get the same prices they would at the trade counter, but also have the ability to access their invoices, proof of deliveries, open quotations and standard orders etc.”

Client Focus

  • One of the larger stores in the Topline group
  • Business is split 50/50 between trade and retail customers
  • Family owned business operates two builders’ merchant branches and a furniture store

Eoin was also looking for better stock visibility, seamless sales processing (with back to back purchase ordering for specials), greater accuracy with purchasing and tighter margin control. He explained, “We wanted a system that allows some flexibility over what level of discount can be given so we can manage our margin better and increase profitability. Once we’re live on the system I believe K8 may help us achieve up to a 1-2% increase.”

K8 was also chosen because the sales team liked its look and feel. “We also felt that KCS were delivering a more bespoke solution with the potential to give us more flexibility than some of the more widely used systems in our industry,” said Eoin.

The field sales team will be able to access the full system remotely and an ePOD module will allow Eoin’s drivers to capture proof of delivery signatures ‘on glass’. A suite of fully integrated reports will automatically deliver the most important KPIs to the staff who need them.

“Six months after we go live we plan to start online trading, and our goal is for 20% of business to come through that channel within 12 months. Our builder/plumber customers will be able to place orders in the evening rather than having to stop work an hour early to come and see us. With K8 not only will we have better functionality around sales, stock control, purchasing and credit control, the potential of having an online platform is also now within our reach.”

Read the full story.

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We wanted a system that allows some flexibility over what level of discount can be given so we can manage our margin better and increase profitability.

- Eoin O’Connor, Managing Director, Tadhg O’Connor Ltd

Builders' Merchants eBook

 

Distributors

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Site Supplies and Services

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Customer: Site Supplies & Services

Site link: www.sitesuppliesandservices.co.uk

Gains and benefits

Fire protection equipment supplier, Site Supplies & Services, has decided to use a software solution from Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) to manage its Hertfordshire based operation.

Specialising in the supply of sprinklers, dry risers and other residential fire protection equipment, Site Supplies & Services operates alongside sister company, Peter’s Transport Ltd, which looks after its deliveries and collections on a 24/7, 365 days a year basis. Established in 2000, the company has a reputation for providing excellent customer service.

Director, Maggie Wilbor said, “Our business, which is growing year on year, has outgrown the basic accountancy system we’ve been using since 2006. We needed more sophisticated functionality to manage our stock across two branches, our customer data and price lists. We also wanted a system that would be easy for all our staff, including new staff employees, to use. Some of our suppliers also use K8 software and recommended it to us. Other factors in our decision were the confidence we had in the future development of K8 and the knowledgeable team who demonstrated the product.”

KCS solutions can be delivered in a variety of ways and Site Supplies will be accessing theirs via SaaS or ‘Software as a Service’. The software will sit on the K-Cloud and the seven users at Site Supplies will access it over the Internet. A key benefit of SaaS for small or medium sized companies, with no in-house IT expertise, is how the software provider handles all system maintenance automatically and remotely and there is no need for servers on the business premises.

“Our current system makes hard work of daily tasks,” said Maggie. “My trade counter and back office team is looking forward to working more quickly and easily when K8 goes live.”

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Some of our suppliers also use K8 software and recommended it to us. Other factors in our decision were the confidence we had in the future development of K8 and the knowledgeable team who demonstrated the product.

- Maggie Wilbor, Director, Site Supplies & Services

Read the full story.

 

Builders Merchants

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Haldane Fisher

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Customer: Haldane Fisher

What we did: Implemented K8

Site link: www.haldane-fisher.com

Challenge

Founded in 1946, family-owned Haldane Fisher Ltd is one of the UK’s leading independent suppliers to the construction industry. Serving the trade and general public as well as operating a timber business, with fifteen branches in Northern Ireland, England and the Isle of Man.

Prior to installing K8, Haldene Fisher had several disparate systems which needed replacing. The essential requirement was for an integral solution to control the business finances and provide improvements in management information capabilities. The company also needed a system which would enable international trading – notably for the company’s timber import business. The Haldene Fisher K8 system has 200+ users.

Gains and benefits

  • K8 is easy and intuitive to use, for training, operators, to complete tasks quickly
  • Multiple open sessions – means quicker workflow – saves time
  • Better customer service - transaction processing and resolving queries
  • Electronic document management with online access – less search and access time
  • Operational and management reporting – for fast, informed decision making
  • Gross margin controls - profitability monitoring at transaction level
  • Complete control of timber machining and stock – complexities simplified by K8
  • Faster stocktaking – saves time and money, fewer issues, less operational impact
  • Cross branch stock visibility and trading processes easy and quick to process
  • Fast SL and PL reconciliations - complete control – timely attention to issues
  • An excellent ROI – reduced working capital, lower interest charges
  • Future system developments and add-on opportunities
  • Business growth easily accommodated

ASL Case Study

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Kerridge Commercial Systems is a very professional organisation. The experience of their consultants is not to be under-estimated.

- Mary Hannaway, IT Manager

Builders' Merchants eBook

 

Distributors

Previous

J Handford and Son

Next

Customer: J Handford and Son

What we did: Implemented K8-SBE

Site link: www.jhandford.co.uk

Challenge

J Hanford & Son is a family-run business establised in 1880. The company prides itself on being able to offer a professional and efficient service, from initial pricing and advice to reliable and competent deliveries. J Handford & son are one of the few aggregate suppliers in the area who make deliveries directly from their suppliers to their customers.

The company’s previous system had reached the end of the road, it was slow and most processes were carried out manually. One of the challenges was choosing a system which staff would adapt to easily and having contacted Kerridge Commercial Systems, K8-SBE was chosen.

Gains and benefits

  • Implementation completed on time, on budget
  • Easy-to-use integrated functionality, saves time and effort
  • More efficient working environment improves customer service
  • Faster purchase order processing – less effort, saves time
  • Automated processes e.g. direct fax capability – saves time and effort
  • Credit limit monitoring at point-of-sale – tight control of debt
  • Month-end processing is faster, easier and more accurate, quicker reporting

To find out more about the solutions that we offer, please contact us today.

Builders' Merchants eBook

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Month End processing is a lot quicker, easier and more accurate.

- Colin Whittington, Sales Manager

 

Bathrooms & Kitchens

Previous

JHC Hardware

Next

Customer: JHC Hardware

What we did: Implemented K8

Site link: www.jhchardware.com

Challenge

Established in 1968, family-run JHC Hardware is a trade supplier of kitchens, bedroom, shop-fitting and DIY products. The company has continued to expand and acquired tools and equipment distributor RG Laughlin and Sons in 1998. JHC Hardware holds an extensive range of products in its well-stocked 70,000 sq.ft. warehouse with daily deliveries by its own transport fleet.

Having made the decision to upgrade its computer system, the search began for suitable systems for both companies. A new system had to support a high standard of customer service and deliver effective management information. A secure IT partner supplier was essential and the system had to be able to support future growth. After rigorous reviews of candidate systems, K8 was selected.

Gains and benefits

  • A fully integrated trading and financial system
  • Comprehensive and flexible functionality- means tight process control
  • Sales order processing – effective and efficient for high quality customer service
  • Integrated ecommerce trading – opportunities to generate additional business at minimal cost
  • Personalised catalogue information to suit customer needs
  • Price changes easily managed – maintains margin control – protects profitable trading
  • High standard of partner support - complete reassurance
  • A secure long term investment as K8 develops, further benefits will be secured

To find out more about the solutions that we offer, please contact us today.

Builders' Merchants eBook

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The possibilities with K8 are endless with new things, better ways and more opportunities to improve the business. Kerridge Commercial Systems and K8 is the right combination for us.

- Eamonn McNeill, IT Manager

 

Builders Merchants

Previous

Samuel Kirk

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Customer: Samuel Kirk

What we did: Implemented K8

Site link: www.samuelkirk.co.uk

Challenge

Samuel Kirk (Builders Merchants) Ltd is a family-owned business established in 1947 employing 14 people. The company provides a full range of DIY and building supplies for trade and retail customers.

The compelling factors which led to the installation K8 included the inadequacies of the previous system. As a text –based trading and accounting system it required excessive manual intervention, stock control and management reporting was poor, and it was difficult to price products. A new system had to be easier to use. Samuel Kirk installed K8 in 2005.

Gains and benefits

  • Excellent functionality throughout the system – suits the business needs
  • Information at the finger tips – means efficiency, good service and simplifies work-flow
  • Pricing and discounts handled consistently – maintains margin, eliminates costly errors
  • Timber purchasing and sales capability – a complex area fully controlled
  • Credit account controls – few debt issues and better cash flow
  • Special orders fully controlled ensures good customer service is provided

To find out more about the solutions that we offer, please contact us today.

Builders' Merchants eBook

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With K8 you can tell exactly how much you are making and exactly how much you are spending. It gives you a very up-to-date picture.

- Kirk Alerdice, Branch Manager and founder’s grandson

 

Builders Merchants

Previous

Pennypinchers

Next

Customer: Pennypinchers

What we did: Implemented hand held scanners

Site link: www.pennypinchers.co.za

Challenge

Pennypinchers, a division of Steinbuild, has been a customer of Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) for more than 20 years and uses K8 software throughout its branch network across South Africa and Namibia.

A recent project undertaken by Pennypinchers and KCS was to improve the receiving process with a key change being the implementation of hand held scanners. The scanners link directly to K8 using a wi-fi connection and a specific K8 client so information from the scanner is updated in K8 in real time.

Gains and benefits

  • Faster receiving process
  • Improved stock management
  • More accurate sales process
  • Live update between scanners and K8

Read the full story here.

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The major benefit of this process change was being able to speed up the receiving process and get the goods on the shelves and ready for selling faster.

- Nabeela Essa, CIO, Steinbuild

Builders' Merchants eBook

 

Process Manufacturing

Previous

NanoDiamond Products

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Customer: NanoDiamond Products

Site link: ndp.diamonds

Challenge

NanoDiamond Products (NDP), established in 2009, is a thriving and successful manufacturer of industrial diamond products.

The Irish company, based in Shannon, sells mostly to distributors in Europe, North America, India and the Far East, in addition to a small, direct customer base. Such is the nature of its products, quality has to be a given customer expectation; service levels and rapid shipment distinguish NDP and drive its competitive edge.

Prior to implementing K8 Manufacturing, NDP mostly relied on manual systems, but had reached the point where paper-driven processes were becoming too onerous given increased business volumes.

The decision was made that an integrated ERP system was required to take the business forward. Alex Engles, Process and Development Director said: “We chose K8 Manufacturing for its best fit to our requirements; a primary consideration was for a system that we didn’t have to customise to manage the specialties of our business. Going from mostly manual systems meant that we didn’t have much data to convert – it was principally a clean sheet situation for our company in terms of creating data records. What was important; at the time we employed just seven staff, was to go live without stopping the business. Many of our customers work with us on a just-in-time basis; hence uninterrupted service was paramount. Working closely with the Kerridge Commercial Systems team, which had acquired a solid understanding of our business, the implementation went well and the immediate post go-live period was well-managed.”

Gains and benefits

  • Supports specialist ‘BOM’ needs
  • Manages carat stocking/jar unit profile
  • Fully functional picking and packing app
  • Robust product/material tracking
  • Quality certification export facility
  • Supports business development needs
  • K8 was the best-fit choice
  • Successful transition from manual systems
  • Integrated and controlled business processes
  • Considerable manual effort reduction
  • No major customisation requirements

Read the full story here.

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Since implementing K8 Manufacturing, we have doubled our staffing and have a much more stable business to develop.

- Alex Engles, Process and Development Director, NanoDiamond Products

 

Field Service

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Automated Systems Group Ltd

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Customer: Automated Systems Group Ltd

Site link: asl-group.co.uk

Challenge

ASL is one of the UK’s largest independent managed print solutions suppliers. The company’s fully integrated K8 Field Service system is not only essential for managing business operations, but ASL is also harnessing its capabilities to support strategic growth. Notably, the company is progressively deploying the system’s K8 Field Service Customer Portal – enabling its customers to self-serve key requirements.

With around 9,000 devices on contract, Cambridge-based ASL provides its customers with reliable, high performance print solutions. And with printing being such a fundamental capability for businesses and organisations across the spectrum, equipment serviceability has to be maintained and fully supported. When a breakdown occurs, ASL has the resources to respond with efficient, well-managed field engineering and parts logistics services. Bryan Borley, ASL National Service Manager, said: “There’s no doubt that K8 Field Service plays a significant role in our business processes and ultimately helps us to deliver a quality solution to our customers which meets SLA requirements.”

“The K8 Field Service Customer Portal represented a fair investment on our part at the outset – including some specified customisation. We knew that giving our customers the ability to log calls, view status detail, parts and toner delivery tracking and access equipment performance, would be extremely beneficial. They like the look and feel, but more importantly appreciate having live, system generated data. In parallel, by offering a more ‘self-service’ approach to selected customers, we can move towards reducing our own overhead demands and focus more attention on other business priorities.”

Gains and benefits

  • Reduced overheads
  • Fast, accurate billing
  • Supports first-time fix objective
  • Improved data entry disciplines
  • Simplified customer reporting
  • Enhanced customer experience
  • Fully integrated business processes
  • Real-time dashboard information
  • Clear management action areas
  • Sales tool differentiator

Read the full story here.

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By offering a more ‘self-service’ approach to selected customers, we can move towards reducing our own overhead demands and focus more attention on other business priorities.

- Bryan Borley, ASL National Service Manager

 

Builders Merchants

Previous

Goedkoop Bouwmaterialen

Next

Customer: Goedkoop Bouwmaterialen

What we did: Implemented K8

Site link: ggoedkoop.nl

Challenge

Founded in 1932, as a small timber and hardware merchant based in the centre of Amsterdam, Goedkoop Bouwmaterialen now supplies timber, kitchens, plasterboard and tools. The company’s products are used in many building renovation projects in Amsterdam and customers also include numerous DIY businesses.

The family-owned, forward-thinking company installed its first computer system in 1985 – at the time trading systems for wholesalers were in their infancy. Much more recently, as a result of business growth, and the opening of an additional branch, a systems review was required. As members of Sakol, a purchasing association, Goedkoop Bouwmaterialen were recommended to take a look at K8 - one of only two systems that it had identified for its members. The result – an order was placed for K8 and installation followed.

Gains and benefits

  • Process-driven functions maintain a high level of quality
  • Component kits – easily managed and controlled
  • Fast search facilities – means better customer service
  • Inter-branch trading more efficient and simplified
  • Full auditability – everything can be traced to source
  • User friendly functionality – builds staff confidence
  • Information is clearly presented throughout the system

To find out more about the solutions that we offer, please contact us today.

Builders' Merchants eBook

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K8 ensures that we follow the correct procedures to allow a constant high level of quality. K8 is fast, easy to work with and everything can be traced back. It works perfectly.

- Cees Goedkoop, Director

 

Plumbers & Heating

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Pimlico Plumbing and Heating Merchants

Next

Customer: Pimlico Plumbing and Heating Merchants

What we did: Implemented K8

Site link: www.pimlicoplumbingheatingmerchants.com

A new business thrives with K8

South London-based, Pimlico Plumbing and Heating Merchants (PPHM) opened its doors in October 2014. Going live with K8 on its first day of trading, the system has proved to be an invaluable tool from the start. Since opening, the business has grown substantially – exceeding initial expectations. PPHM now serves trade customers across London seven days a week.

Business origins

PPHM was established by plumbing entrepreneur, Charlie Mullins MBE, initially to provide Pimlico Plumbers with its own supplier of products and plumbing parts. However, with the company’s impressive track record of experience and expertise, it soon became clear that PPHM could also meet the needs of independent plumbers. A trade-only, highly responsive service, with extended opening hours to access stock, was a great business model to progress with.

Choosing K8

Although the PPHM considered other systems, the choice of K8 was based on recommendations and the fact that one of its staff had previously used the system helped in the decision process. The challenge for Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) and PPHM was that once the order was placed, system preparations and set-up had to be completed in record time. PPHM Director, Samm Mullins, said, “There was a lot of pressure in getting the business ready – everything had to move quickly. I was very impressed by the hard work and flexibility of the KCS team. Having a live system within four weeks from start to finish, ready for opening, was quite an achievement.”

Customer service is key

Now a seven days-a-week operation, PPHM serves its two customer channels; purchasing, stocking and supply for Pimlico Plumbers, together with looking after 160+ (and growing) independent plumbers and heating engineers located across London. “Our customers are usually very clear about what they want – they sometimes email us a photo if clarification is required for a specific item. With their time at a premium, they have come to expect us to be on the ball, offer any advice that’s required, then be ready to supply and deliver.”

Successful development

As a fast-growing business, one of the keys to success has been the company’s ability to service its customer base. As trading patterns have become established, PPHM has successfully used K8 to balance its stock levels. “Ensuring that we have the correct breadth and depth of stock is absolutely vital for our customers. If we can’t supply, someone else will.” Such has been the progress at PPHM that within six months of opening, a second floor was added to its premises. The company’s van and motorcycle delivery operation has also been ramped up to meet growing demand.

Benefits and value

K8 is working well for PPHM – from purchasing to stock control, sales order processing and financials. “We now use the system to generate automatic stock orders with manual adjustments as necessary. K8 also enables us to order as and when necessary to service our customers – placing orders with our suppliers once or twice a day is not unusual,” said Samm. He went on to say that K8 is also a valuable asset to the business in managing credit control. The system makes it easy to set up new accounts enabling trading with a new customer to start with minimal delay. “In our business, we also have to keep a tight grip on our debt position and if a customer doesn’t pay us on time, we can be straight on to the situation and resolve things quickly. Across the business, if we spot anything that doesn’t look right, we can use the system to investigate the matter and move on with minimal effort.”

There’s no question that K8 has been key to how PPHM has developed since opening. The system is at the heart of how the business operates and services its customers. “With its impressive functionality, the system is both highly capable and forgiving – an essential tool that we use throughout our working day. Quite simply, without K8 we wouldn’t have a business”, said Samm.

Highlights

  • System live on trading day one
  • Intuitive and easy to use
  • No need for specialist IT skills
  • Fully accessible product information
  • Enabling high quality customer service
  • Helping to build solid business reputation

Results

  • Fully managed stock levels
  • Easy ordering and purchasing
  • Efficient transaction processing
  • Supporting business growth

To find out more about KCS and the products that we offer, please contact us today.

Pimlico Case Study

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Ensuring that we have the correct breadth and depth of stock is absolutely vital for our customers. If we can’t supply, someone else will.

- Samm Mullins, Director

 

Field Service

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Kellys Printing Solutions

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Customer: Kellys Printing Solutions

Site link: www.kellysmfp.com

Challenge

Established in 1982, Kellys Printing Solutions supplies comprehensive print management solutions and services. Working in partnership with Kyocera – as the exclusive Scottish distributor, the company currently supports mono and colour desktop printers, copiers and multi-function devices across Scotland. Sectors served by Kellys include education, legal, estate agents and oil exploration - including some printer installations being maintained on North Sea oil and gas platforms.

The K8 Field Service story for Kellys began in 1997 when, having outgrown its largely manual systems, the company implemented what was then a text-based product. Kellys later moved to the Windows-based version of K8 Field Service and in 2013 completed a further major upgrade. Among many functionality improvements, this release included integration with device meter readings which enabled invoice generation to be automated. The Field Service app, which was also implemented, meant that Kellys’ team of field based technicians gained complete control of their service bookings, work flow and parts fulfilment.

At Kellys, contracts range from a single device to large, fully integrated document management solutions across multiple sites. Ruairidh McLachlan, service manager said, “With more than 300 multi-function devices carried in stock at any one time, one of our strengths is being able to supply customers at short notice from our warehouse. Supported by K8 Field Service, we have the capability of being able to install equipment within 24 hours from receipt of order”.

Gains and benefits

  • Intuitive graphical user interface
  • Flexible sales order processing functionality
  • Integrated meter reading for automated billing
  • Real-time engineer communications
  • Mobile app streamlines engineering processes
  • Complete stock control – including van stocks
  • Excellent day-to-day and upgrade support
  • Human error issues eliminated
  • Improved customer service capabilities
  • Lean, efficient business management

Read the full story here.

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The system enables us to operate lean and efficiently in a highly competitive market.

- Ruairidh McLachlan, Service Manager, Kellys Printing Solutions

 

Field Service

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Automated Systems Group Ltd

Next

Customer: Automated Systems Group Ltd

Site link: asl-group.co.uk

Challenge

With 8000+ devices on contract, ASL is one of the UK’s largest managed print solutions suppliers. The company, which employs 100 staff - including 50 field engineers, provides its 5,000+ customers with flexible and meter-based options for equipment, servicing, repairs and consumables. ASL has reported that K8 Field Service has helped to reduce servicing overheads by 15% since implementation in 2013.

Prior to K8 Field Service, ASL used a green screen system, but with ambitious growth plans, a modern, fully integrated solution was needed. Primary requirements included facilities to handle complex billing arrangements, effective mobile communications for field engineering operations and advanced information tools. ASL’s project to review alternative systems ran for six months; three systems were evaluated in detail, resulting in the selection of K8 Field Service.

The 75 user K8 Field Service system went live in April 2013 and has, in line with project objectives, given ASL a cost-effective, scalable backbone to support business development. The system has proven its capability to integrate acquired businesses quickly and cost-effectively. ”Helping us to achieve a 15% reduction in service overheads, K8 Field Service has led to a substantial reduction in the amount of data entry duplication and unnecessary work compared with our previous system. Although our IT programme with K8 Field Service continues to evolve, the business is running more efficiently and the system’s benefits are making a difference.”

Gains and benefits

  • 15% service overhead reduction
  • Powerful field engineer communications
  • Real-time information dashboards
  • Supporting business growth and expansion
  • Fully integrated business processes
  • Efficient sales order processing
  • Flexible, accurate billing
  • Improved customer service

Read the full story here.

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The mobile app has had a considerable impact in improving efficiency, communications and service response times.

- Terry Henderson, Business Support Manager, Automated Systems Group Ltd

 

Discrete Manufacturing

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ADM Pressings

Next

Customer: ADM Pressings

Site link: www.admpressings.co.uk

Challenge

Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, ADM Pressings is a renowned manufacturer of pressings, assemblies and fabricated products for the automotive industry. ADM’s customers include Aston Martin, Bentley, JLR, JCB and Caterpillar.

The company first implemented K8 Manufacturing in 1999 and played a key role in supporting the development of the system’s management information dashboard tools.

The K8 Manufacturing system in use at ADM today is a much more advanced integrated product than the version which was first implemented in 1999. Since then, as the business has developed and newer software releases have been introduced, the system’s value to ADM has grown progressively.

In terms of overall benefit, K8 Manufacturing enables ADM to operate efficiently with tight process controls in every area. From customer contacts, enquiries, quotations and orders through to purchasing, stock control, production scheduling and despatch, the system lies at the heart of the business.

“K8 Manufacturing enables us to fully integrate our business processes and helps everyone to understand how the business operates and interconnects. We also use the system to administer our production assets for maintenance planning, inspection scheduling and repair orders. With everything flowing through to the accounting applications, K8 Manufacturing enables us to manage inbound and outbound invoicing, payables, receivables, cash-flow and payroll very effectively.”

Gains and benefits

  • A robust, integrated software platform
  • Fully supports business processes
  • A scalable system for future developments
  • An enduring, trusted partnership
  • Integrated process control sales order to delivery
  • Effective stock control and purchasing
  • Comprehensive production and resource planning
  • Integrated accounts and robust financial management
  • User-defined and maintained management dashboards
  • Real-time data for effective decision making

Read the full story here.

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K8 Manufacturing enables us to fully integrate our processes and helps everyone to understand how the business operates and interconnects.

- Andy Wingfield, Managing Director, ADM Pressings

 

Discrete Manufacturing

Previous

Martel Instruments

Next

Customer: Martel Instruments

Site link: www.martelinstruments.com

A platform for growth

Martel Instruments, based in Durham, is a long established and successful manufacturer of specialist printers and printing solutions. With an extensive product range, coupled with design software, tooling and manufacturing expertise, the company serves the automotive, industrial, law enforcement, medical, retail and scientific sectors and exports around 75% of its production mostly to Europe and the USA.

As an electronics business, Martel has had to adapt to new technologies, market opportunities and response to customers’ requirements. In 2007, Martel was acquired by an investment company, enabling the company to develop further as a respected manufacturer and supplier. Based on a combination of manual recording and stand-alone, PC-based tools, Martel’s systems had become increasingly inadequate. Growth was inhibited by a lack of management information, business controls and effort was being duplicated. Martel made the decision to implement a fully integrated ERP solution, heralding a big change for the company and its employees.

Considerable benefits

Martel has seen wide-ranging business benefits from implementing K8 Manufacturing. In headline terms, it has helped to support the growth of its product base from 200 to around 500 lines, with an estimated 3,000 variants. “In difficult trading times we have had to become more competitive to serve more customers in more sectors often with exacting requirements. As a supplier of ‘peripheral’ products – our products are mostly integrated into third party-supplied equipment, the system enables us to handle more complex orders. Materials planning for example, is a much more efficient and accurate process than previously. In production areas, the use of barcodes captures every process and component movement, giving us real-time visibility of what’s going on and we can back trace everything if any issues arise.”

K8 Manufacturing’s integrated functionality has enabled Martel to improve how their departments work together. “With a combination of regular call-off orders and customised projects which can have an 18 month gestation, the system is proving its worth in helping us to manage our component ordering with lead times of up to 20 weeks. And to enable orders to be delivered quickly, we use the system to help us forecast our sub-assembly requirements and economic build quantities.”

Highlights

  • Management information culture
  • Answers at the click-of-a-button
  • Back-trace capability
  • Supported product range growth
  • New complexities fully managed
  • Exception reporting and fast resolution
  • MRP manages component lead times
  • A platform for greater competitiveness
  • More time to manage opportunities
  • Optimised workflow practices

Read the full story here.

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No question about it, K8 Manufacturing runs the business and has enabled us to take the business forward.

- Andrew Hockaday, Operations Manager

 

Discrete Manufacturing

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Fluid Transfer International

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Customer: Fluid Transfer International

Site link: www.fluid-transfer.co.uk

Lean principles

Based in Gloucestershire, Fluid Transfer International is a market leader in the design, development and manufacture of aviation and naval refuelling equipment – a major supplier to the Ministry of Defence and UK airports.

Implementing K8 Manufacturing in 2001–the system provides the company with complete process control from sales order through to delivery. Richard Iles-Caine, Finance Director said, “We aim to use just-in-time principles to keep inventory investment to a minimum but at the same time any delays in production can have huge implications. A refuelling truck, one of our core products, typically comprises more than 1,000 items, but only 50 or so cost more than £100. Because every order is bespoke to customer requirements, we work K8 Manufacturing hard to support the whole cycle from quotation to completion.”

The company also has to manage relatively long lead times and with vehicle chassis taking up to nine weeks to arrive from the manufacturer, a large order can take several months to deliver. “We support a combination of new and existing customers, some of whom have programmed replacement or refurbishment cycles. We also have the capability to respond quickly - a significant export order for a customer in Indonesia being delivered in just 10 weeks.”

Meeting customer needs

With such a mix of customer demands, the management team make very effective use of K8 Manufacturing and use its workflow tools to manage situations as they arise. “Manufacturing around 50 vehicle refuellers annually, as well as our other products, we appreciate the system’s versatility in being able to handle all types of purchased parts, assemblies and kits. With each order based on standard labour times and material costs, we use the system for contract reviews to compare actual data and then make any necessary changes for future orders.”

Gains and benefits

  • Complete process control for parts, assemblies and kits
  • Job bar-coding saves time
  • Accurate contract reviews
  • Dashboards aid decision making
  • Monthly accounts produced fast
  • Quick quotations boosts service
  • Configurator tool saves time
  • Fully-managed quality issues
  • Stage payments = better cash flow

Read the full story here.

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In the final analysis, keeping our finger on the pulse of company performance is key. It’s a real plus that the system enables us to publish the management accounts just three days after month end.

- Richard Iles-Caine, Finance Director

 

Discrete Manufacturing

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Anglo Stainless

Next

Customer: Anglo Stainless

Site link: www.anglostainless.co.uk

Challenge

Anglo Stainless is a major stockholder and manufacturer of stainless steel fittings. The privately-owned company serves around 400 active customers, predominantly in the chemical, oil, gas, brewing and food sectors. From its base in West Yorkshire, Anglo Stainless is a well-established supplier in the M62 corridor and throughout the UK, with export sales planned to grow.

In 2008, Anglo Stainless realised that their computer and manual systems were no longer suitable. Duplicated effort was necessary in many areas and although checks and balances were in place, the risks of error had to be reduced to fulfil the need for accurate real-time information. Hence the need for a modern, fully functional, integrated system.

Steve Brooke, operations director said, “We had to increase productivity, make the business run more efficiently and improve traceability of every product. Without investing in IT, growth and development of our business would be much more difficult to achieve.” A key requirement for Anglo Stainless was a system that could support the company’s combined distribution and manufacturing activities - including a direct, seamless interface between the two. “We reviewed a number of alternative systems, all of which had their own particular strengths and we were then introduced to the Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) solution. Ticking all the important boxes, we chose K8 Manufacturing for its rich functionality for all areas of our business, including inter-company trading as standard.”

K8 Manufacturing went live in July 2009 and the benefits of giving the business much greater control, accurate management information and improved decision making tools were soon apparent. “Shop Floor Data Capture was a major gain for us – no more manual monitoring of production data. We were able to review actual versus allowed times on an exception basis – no need to check every job.”

Gains and benefits

  • Shop Floor Data Capture capability
  • Intercompany trading facilities
  • Improved decision-making tools
  • Exception reporting for cost control
  • Electronic invoice submission
  • Control of customer forward orders
  • Full product/order traceability
  • Consistent sales quotation pricing
  • Time savings allow focus on priority areas

Read the full story here.

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By introducing K8 Manufacturing there were opportunities to make better use of our time and resources which meant reducing our costs in real terms.

- Steve Brooke, Operations Director, Anglo Stainless

 

Process Manufacturing

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WhitChem

Next

Customer: WhitChem

Site link: whitchem.co.uk

Challenge

WhitChem is a successful, specialist distributor of chemicals, minerals and polymers representing a number of leading European manufacturers. WhitChem’s extensive range includes products for the adhesives, construction, coatings, filtration, plastics, rubber, textiles and textile coatings industries. The company, which employs around 30 staff, including qualified technical specialists, serves around 1,000 customers throughout the UK from its central warehouse in Stoke-on-Trent.

Prior to implementing K8 Manufacturing, WhitChem were using a bespoke, largely in-house developed system, which although functionally well-suited to the business, was based on old, green screen technology. There were issues regarding future support and development, which, if not addressed, might have exposed the business to risks. A new, flexible, fully integrated system was required, which first and foremost, had to be a very good fit with WhitChem’s proven and familiar business processes.

WhitChem’s management team recognised that they needed a partner which had a proven track record of working in the chemicals sector. Charles Hawley, WhitChem finance director said, “Flexibility and a willingness to go the ‘extra mile’ to meet specific business requirements were high on our list of must-haves. In addition to stock control, purchasing and trading facilities, our new system also needed to accommodate the requirements for handling and transporting chemicals.”

After evaluating a number of systems and suppliers, WhitChem chose K8 Manufacturing and placed the order for a 25 user system. After a period of parallel running which was considered to be an appropriate introduction for the new system, K8 Manufacturing went live in January 2013.

K8 Manufacturing has certainly given WhitChem greater visibility of trading activities and Charles talked about being able to access information more efficiently. “With our previous system, users had become so used to its functionality that there was a sense of carrying out tasks without giving a moment’s thought. Now, particularly at management level, we are developing a much more questioning style, not so much knowing the how to do something but why. And that’s a big plus.”

Gains and benefits

  • Secure and stable platform for the future
  • Tight business controls
  • More visibility of trading activities
  • Faster, more accessible information
  • Queries resolved more efficiently
  • Facilitates a ‘questioning’ management style
  • Increasing business knowledge and understanding
  • Easier to maximise sales opportunities
  • A set of tools to help grow the business
  • Task-driven CRM facilities

Read the full story here.

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With its modern, windows-style graphical interface we are certainly able to resolve queries quicker, which is good for us, as well as improving the service we give to our customers.

- Charles Hawley, Finance Director

 

Discrete Manufacturing

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Variable Message Signs

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Customer: Variable Message Signs

Site link: www.vmslimited.co.uk

Setting the scene

Variable Message Signs (VMS) is the UK market leader for transport signage systems. Serving road, rail, airports and seaport sectors, the Hill & Smith-owned company has considerable technical capabilities as an innovator and developer. K8 Manufacturing is an integral part of the business; processing transactions, controlling costs and managing profitability.

In 2014, Hill & Smith acquired Variable Message Signs. A strategic move that, combined with its Techspan Systems operation, formed a world-class provider, with an extensive, multi-sector product range. VMS and Techspan Systems now operate together as VMS and have one of the UK’s largest installed bases of programmable sign systems. Customers comprise Highways England and Transport Scotland, joint venture organisations and large corporates including Balfour Beatty and Carillion. The merged company processes around 500 to 1,000 orders annually; with a lead time of up to three months. The pipeline is typically 80-200 orders at any one time, which can comprise up to 2,000 signs and equipment provision.

Working with Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS)

Variable Message Signs Ltd were already using K8 Manufacturing and in 2015, the Techspan Systems operation transferred across to K8 Manufacturing, forming part of the project to integrate the two companies. The stock control, purchasing, sales order and job ledger applications are central to managing the business on a day-to-day basis. Louise Martin, Finance Director, said: “With its extensive flexibility, the system allows us to operate the business our way and not according to fixed processes and disciplines. We are in the driving seat with K8 Manufacturing and can easily amend production schedules and customer requirements as necessary.”

More than just a software developer, KCS is fully committed to its partnership role, working closely with customers as needs change and evolve. Referring to the Techspan-VMS integration, Louise referred to a demanding schedule. “Even though we set a tight timetable for the work, we had the benefit of combining two similar trading companies. Full support from KCS’s knowledgeable training team, with their excellent understanding of our business, contributed to the project’s success.”

Job Ledger is key

For VMS, the K8 Manufacturing Job Ledger module is key to managing orders and maintaining accurate records. “The Job Ledger is the system hub and used very effectively across the business. Collating order detail; from sales order input, through purchase orders, weekly time sheet records and parts issued, we have an accurate picture of what’s going on. Work-in-progress adjustments are easily managed, the invoice position is straightforward to determine and hence the values that can be released into the P&L.” said Louise.

Gains and benefits

  • Integrated solution
  • Comprehensive functionality
  • Job Ledger – a vital tool
  • Flexible process disciplines
  • Effective business control
  • Real-time information
  • Platform for future development
  • Close working relationship
  • Excellent training provision
  • Professional help-desk

Read the full story here.

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With its extensive flexibility, the system allows us to operate the business our way and not according to fixed processes and disciplines. We are in the driving seat with K8 Manufacturing.

- Louise Martin, Finance Director

 

Process Manufacturing

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Tor Coatings

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Customer: Tor Coatings

Site link: www.tor-coatings.com

The requirement

For over 30 years, Tor Coatings has manufactured its own branded products as well as products for other well known brands. The Birtley-based business is a subsidiary of RPM International Inc., a multi-national multi-billion dollar business with subsidiaries which manufacture and market high performance coatings, sealants and speciality chemicals.

In 2008, Tor’s management team concluded that their existing software, which integrated stock control, EDI and batch traceability, was no longer fit for purpose as they required a ‘real time’ solution which offered accurate business critical information. Parent group RPM also required improved information on financial performance.

The existing software was also text-based, matching Tor’s past production requirements, but what they needed was a graphical user interface (GUI) solution which could display KPIs in a dashboard style view for management purposes.

The solution

K8 Manufacturing consolidates data from across a business into a single source, ensuring all information is both accurate and up to date. The system was easily configured to work within Tor’s manufacturing and multi-fill requirements, and also offered a till sales module for use with the company’s sales counter.

Gains and benefits

  • Configured to suit the business
  • Complete control of raw materials
  • Improved warehouse management
  • Purchasing reflects sales orders
  • Platform for business growth
  • Opportunities to extend system use
  • Pro-active business management
  • Future proof - turn on functionality

Read the full story here.

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The support we receive has always been very professional. Our on-going relationship and service experience continues to be excellent.

- Jan Roberts, Customer Service Manager

 

Discrete Manufacturing

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Techflow Flexibles

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Customer: Techflow Flexibles

Site link: www.techflowflexibles.co.uk

Challenge

Techflow Flexibles, based in Cramlington, is a market leader in the analysis, design, manufacture and supply of hoses for the oil and gas industry. The company’s customer base includes BP, Total and Samsung, with order values that can range up to £2m.

The company spent several months evaluating a number of alternative systems before choosing K8 Manufacturing - predominantly for its flexibility and tailoring capabilities - a standard system without the need for bespoke developments.

In addition, the company also appreciated that Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) knew the industry and how it operated, but also took the time and effort to understand Techflow Flexibles’ specific business processes. Clearly, implementing a new system represented a major change for the company, Terry McDonnell, commercial manager, said “We needed to improve the quality of our processes for everyone’s benefit. It was also essential to have accurate, real-time management information covering all areas of the business. To an extent, implementing the new system was a leap into the unknown, but with the support of KCS, we were confident of achieving the results we were looking for.”

One step at a time

K8 Manufacturing went live in September 2012 and by taking a step-by-step approach to transform functions in each department, the company ensured that everyone was comfortable with each phase before rolling out the next module. “We took the decision to go for some quick wins, particularly in accounts and purchasing, and be able to demonstrate the benefits to everyone. There were no major issues or stumbling blocks as we progressed, and virtually from day one, K8 Manufacturing began to prove its worth.”

K8 Manufacturing delivering

There is little doubt that K8 Manufacturing is delivering the value and benefits that Techflow Flexibles require. More importantly, the company’s management team and staff are continuing to work hard on stretching the system’s wide-ranging capabilities to suit business requirements. “The job card and bill of materials functions give us complete control of every order and our production planning processes have been improved and are much easier to administer.” The company is also able to use K8 Manufacturing more effectively to manage lean manufacturing principles.

Gains and benefits

  • Stage-by-stage module introduction
  • Complete control of every order
  • Improved production planning
  • Lean manufacturing supported
  • Real-time management information
  • Better informed staff
  • Continuity with established processes
  • Full audit and traceability
  • Platform for growth and development
  • Successful partnership with KCS

Read the full story here.

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With K8 Manufacturing, our staff are now much better informed about what’s going on across the business, the system’s management information dashboards mean that our communications and decision-making processes are much more efficient and accurate.

- Terry McDonnell, Commercial Manager

 

Process Manufacturing

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Steyport

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Customer: Steyport

Site link: www.steyport.co.uk

A system for the future

Formed in 1979, Steyport is a family-owned company, specialising in the manufacture of premium quality paints and wood finishes for the own label market, and a market-leading supplier of printing inks for the wall covering sector. Currently processing nearly 2,000 orders annually, with around 10% of production being exported, the company’s well established client base includes Anstey, Borås Tapeter, Graham & Brown, John Lewis, Laura Ashley and Wilkinson. Steyport operates from a purpose-built 45,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility in Blackburn and has its own in-house R&D facility which develops and formulates bespoke products tailored to meet clients’ individual requirements.

Before choosing their new system, the Steyport management team short listed two products, one of which was K8 Manufacturing, for benchmarking against the company’s business needs. Ultimately, K8 Manufacturing was judged for being the best solution and was also backed by positive industry credentials. “We chose the system for being the best all-round package, that it would be fully supported and continue to be developed.”

Gains and benefits

  • Fully integrated modules for improved efficiency
  • Real-time stock control
  • Accurate job costing
  • Standardised work-flow practices
  • Complete raw material and WIP visibility
  • Product batch control and traceability
  • Dashboards provide at-a-glance information
  • Remote system access for sales order input
  • R&D specification data direct to production

Read the full story here.

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K8 Manufacturing is an essential part of our business. And without it, we would find it very difficult to run our factory.

- Wendy Drake, Managing Director

 

Process Manufacturing

Previous

Hargreaves Foundry

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Customer: Hargreaves Foundry

Site link: www.hargreavesfoundry.co.uk

Challenge

Hargreaves Foundry specialises in the manufacture and distribution of cast iron products. Having diversified and expanded its products to service customers’ changing requirements, the company implemented K8 Manufacturing to take the business forward.

Focussing on the system’s most tangible benefits, customer service features strongly for Hargreaves Foundry. Being able to process orders from national customers with multiple points of delivery, into a single invoice point, is a major time saver. Likewise, accommodating line by line discount structures also ensures accurate pricing. “Stock holdings have been reduced by around 17% - with greater visibility, demand forecasting and max/min functionality. Lead times on standard items have also been shortened by at least two days; made possible by having two months’ supply of finished goods available in the picking area - replenished from bulk storage. With improvements in stock record accuracy, our ‘on time in full delivery performance’, which we were unable to properly measure before, is up from around 95% to over 99%.”

Gains and benefits

  • Business growth and development
  • Efficiency improvements identified
  • Comprehensive process review
  • Swift user acceptance
  • Greater functionality
  • More efficient SOP
  • Better customer service
  • Reduced stock holding
  • Demand forecasting
  • Improved management info
  • Supporting future needs

Read the full story here.

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Stock holdings have been reduced by around 17% - with greater visibility, demand forecasting and max/min functionality.

- Helen Thornber, Group Finance Manager, Hargreaves Foundry

 

Automotive Aftermarket

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Autoparts (South Wales) Limited

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Customer: Autoparts (South Wales) Limited

Site link: www.autoparts.uk.com

Gains and benefits

Autoparts (South Wales) Limited was started by ex-Lancaster bomber pilot, Harvey Edwards, in 1962. Harvey had the highly progressive idea of offering twice daily deliveries when other part suppliers were delivering two or three times a week.

Harvey’s peers didn’t think the business would bear the cost of such a revolutionary idea. However, the growth of the company since then, and its success today, as Harvey’s grandson Nick and his team prepare to upgrade to K8 software, are all testament to what a sound business idea it was.

Nick Edwards said that he decided to move to K8 because he was looking for greater functionality and flexibility than his existing system could provide. “Specifically we’re looking forward to better traceability of all processes within the system, particularly for our internal sales team. I also like how you can attach documents and drawings to sales orders that stay with them all through the system.

Stock management will improve too through the barcode scanning of goods as they are returned and the ability to allocate them into different stock locations – such as core returns, surcharge locations, quarantine locations etc. Using the browser based access to K8 also means that my field sales team can work with the key software modules on their iPads to check stock and raise orders for customers while they’re out on the road.”

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My field sales team can work with the key software modules on their iPads to check stock and raise orders for customers while they’re out on the road.

- Nick Edwards, Managing Director, Autoparts (South Wales) Limited

Sales Director, Brian Thomas, has been with the company for 50 years and can remember when he was given £1 each day to pay for the four gallons of petrol he needed to do his deliveries! “Taking on K8 is undoubtedly the right move for the company,” he said, “it’s a really flexible system that has a good interface with on-line catalogues and our website.

I also like the way that someone from accounts, with the necessary permissions, can drill down to a sales order without coming out of their screen, and how the sales team can have multiple sales orders open.

It’s good that the system will also suggest add-on purchases and alternatives to the salesperson, will flag stock you want to shift, or offer only certain types of parts to some customers – those who only purchase OE (original equipment) parts for example. It will also let us build kits on the fly.”

K8 also supports the foreign currency transactions that Autoparts need and brings a far more comprehensive reporting suite to the business than they are used to. Nick explained “It’s going to be much easier as everything we need to build an interactive report comes as standard. Using K8’s ‘exception’ style of reporting we’ll be able to see who owes us money over a certain amount and we can record and incorporate sales that have been ‘lost’ into our forecasting which will be really useful.”

Read the full story here.

 

Discrete Manufacturing

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Arlington Automotive

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Customer: Arlington Automotive

Site link: www.arlington-automotive.com

Challenge

Car parts manufacturer Arlington Automotive is a division of global supply chain specialist, Arlington Industries Group Limited. Arlington Automotive’s continued growth meant that real-time performance data was a crucial requirement. In 2016, Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) implemented an IoT solution to provide up-to-the-minute performance data of their machine presses, resulting in a 16% productivity gain.

Arlington Automotive first implemented K8 Manufacturing in 1999. Since then, the company has grown considerably. With sales of around 38 million parts, pressure from automotive customers requiring Year-on-Year cost reductions and inflationary wage challenges; Arlington Automotive face on-going pressure to improve efficiency.

In 2016, KCS implemented a solution to link Arlington’s K8 Manufacturing ERP system to two of their presses. Wi-Fi automation devices connected to a micro-switch in each press enabled the presses to become ‘Internet-connected things’. This allowed K8 Manufacturing dashboards to display real-time performance data, updated every minute. A range of dashboard views were developed for both shop floor and back office monitoring, with shop floor dashboards visible on a large format screen located next to the presses.

Garry explained, “Before the IoT project, we had ‘gut-feelings’ about teams of operatives being more efficient at certain types of operations than others on certain presses, however there was no reliable performance data to substantiate this. The data provided has enabled us to optimise shifts. Following the initial project on just two presses, parts per machine have increased substantially and we have been able to see a 16% gain in productivity”.

Gains and benefits

  • 16% gain in productivity
  • Optimised work practices and time savings
  • Direct effect on production rates
  • Increased staff motivation and awareness
  • Increased output and profitability

Read the full story here.

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Since the real-time data has been on display via a dashboard on the shop floor, the time it has taken for presses to be in action at the beginning of every shift has halved. This demonstrated an immediate ROI for us.

- Garry Luke, Systems Engineer, Arlington Automotive

 

Discrete Manufacturing

Previous

Nottage Joinery

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Customer: Nottage Joinery

What we did: Implemented K8

Site link: www.nottagetimber.co.uk

Challenge

A long-established family-run business with over 50 years’ experience, Nottage Joinery has a wealth of knowledge of the timber industry and the manufacture of high class, bespoke joinery. Based in Bridgend, serving South Wales, the company’s customers include contractors, local authorities, trade and the general public.

Prior to implementing K8, Nottage Joinery reached the point where they had outgrown their systems. The controls, the level of integration and functionality required for a developing business were no longer adequate. Moreover, the software lacked the capabilities to handle the complexities of timber purchasing, stock control and customer sale transactions.

The company chose K8 for several reasons: In addition to being able to partner with a systems supplier who understood the timber trade, K8 also had the proven reputation through its use in the timber sector. As a functionally-rich, integrated solution, K8 would enable Nottage Joinery to develop, improve customer services and enhance business management processes in every area. Having considered other systems, the company judged K8 as being the system that met their requirements, would deliver the best results and was ‘on budget’.

Going live in 2009, although there were a few challenges getting used to the system, Nottage Joinery staff put the work in with K8 and the company has moved on. The system has supported sales growth, helped to identify best performing products and enabled the company to maintain a competitive and professional edge. Overall, Nottage Joinery believes that K8 has helped them to become a better company.

Gains and benefits

  • More accurate counter transactions
  • Professional customer documentation
  • Ability for staff ‘to trade’ within set criteria
  • Easier purchasing of stock items
  • Non-stock purchasing functionality
  • Much reduced risks of errors and mistakes
  • Detailed customer history and traceability
  • Greater financial analysis
  • Better business management processes
  • Maintain competitive edge

ASL Case Study

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K8 has enabled us to become a much more professional company.

- Steve Fry, Managing Director

 

Automotive Aftermarket

Previous

Allmakes 4x4

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Customer: Allmakes 4x4

What we did: Implemented K8

Site link: www.allmakes4x4.com

Challenge

Allmakes 4x4 is a leading international trade supplier of Land Rover parts and accessories. Supplying independent specialists for over 30 years, the company can stock every Land Rover part and also offers their exclusive range of ‘Terrafirma’ accessories. Allmakes 4x4 has contracts to supply the British armed forces and agreements with government organisations and NGO’s worldwide. Since implementing K8, the system has helped to streamline business processes and create a more efficient working environment.

Time for Change

Until 2006 Allmakes were using a custom designed system, originally developed in the early 1980’s. Over the years it had been modified and expanded to meet their developing business requirements. However, as Terry Chipperfield explained, “the system just didn’t cope well with many of the things which you’d expect in a 21st century environment. There was no capability for e-business, nor the opportunity for a trade portal. It all worked on the assumption that you had plenty of time between receiving orders and shipping them. Some of the routines on the order processing side were very slow.”

Terry continued, “Also, we were finding it increasingly difficult to get the system supported. We spent time with a Birmingham based software house, to try to bring it up to date, but this proved too difficult. We specified all sorts of aspects that we wanted to see, from improved order processing through to more sophisticated stock control; we spent a lot of time on stock control. Ultimately we decided that we had to change.”

Terry added: “A significant gap in the system’s functionality, for us, was the ability to handle, pack and ship export consignments efficiently. Well over half our business is export. So we sat down with Kerridge CS and developed a suite of programmes to meet this requirement. Nine months after seeing the system for the first time, we went live with K8 on 1st October 2006.”

Trading Systems Review

Allmakes carried out a systems review in 2006. Terry explained: “We looked at a number of alternatives, but one of our major UK based customers in Devon had recently launched K8 from Kerridge Commercial Systems (Kerridge CS.) They were very enthusiastic about the software. I spent a day with them, going through the main features. I was impressed with the speed and simplicity of the order processing, and the opportunities that K8 would give us to develop our business. So we started talking to Kerridge CS.”

Online Trading

The Allmakes K8 Web Portal gives their global customer base the ability to access the K8 system in real time. The portal was developed using the standard API’s (Application Programming Interface) supplied by Kerridge CS. The innovative design of the Allmakes K8 Web Portal was developed with their customers’ specific needs in mind; reflecting the particular demands of the industry. Customers from around the world get secure, real time information on pricing, stock availability, order progress, account details and statements. Most importantly they have the ability to get full product details, including supercessions, and armed with this information, they can place orders directly into the Allmakes K8 system.

Allmakes report a significant increase in sales following the launch of their web portal. The largest order handled through the portal had 980 individual lines processed straight into the system without any manual intervention. For Allmakes, it isn’t just sales, it’s also enquiries which are handled over the internet, so the phones are quieter. Staff have more time to give to proactive selling. Internet trading developed with KerridgeCS has given Allmakes a real competitive advantage.

The Business Benefits

Since implementing K8 at Allmakes, it has helped to streamline business processes and create a more efficient working environment. Terry explains “We particularly like K8’s ability to switch from one process to another very quickly, and the fact that we can access all sorts of information and history, concurrently. We were particularly anxious to start trading over the internet. The tools to do this are provided as standard within K8.” Terry continues: “We also like the comfort that we feel, being with a major provider, who will continue to invest in the development of the product and its support.”

Gains and benefits

  • Streamlined processes
  • More efficient working
  • More proactive selling
  • Fast access to information
  • Better customer service
  • Internet trading capability
  • Significant increase in sales
  • Secure supplier partnership
  • A system for their future

To find out more about the solutions that we offer, please contact us today.

Contact us 

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K8 has provided the means to bring our business forward into the second decade of the 21st century and beyond.

- Terry Chipperfield, Director

 

Timber Merchants

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Barlow’s Woodyard

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Customer: Barlow’s Woodyard

What we did: Implemented K8

Site link: www.barlowswoodyard.co.uk

Challenge

Barlow’s Woodyard specialises in supplying high quality timber products. Its branches in Newbury and Witney stock a huge range of fencing, gates, decking and garden features, many of which are machined or manufactured in the company’s own workshops.

Martha Barlow, an ancestor of the current owner, Peter Barlow, established the company in 1867. “Most of our business is repeat business or comes from customer referrals,” said Peter. “We focus on quality and our products are built to last.”

Until 2008, the company used a basic accounting package but, as the business grew, it became essential to control stock more accurately and, in particular, for the sales team at one branch to see what stock was held at the other. “We looked at several systems,” Peter remembered, “and were impressed by the quality of the KCS sales person as well as the functionality of the system. He took the time to answer all our questions and showed us everything we needed to know. Together the price, the product and the sales pitch nailed it!

“The immediate benefits we saw were at the trade counter. It’s a far better environment for our customers now and it has made life easier for us. We can instantly tell customers if what they want is in stock and the way K8 handles inter-branch transfers is brilliant – we simply process the sale and let the customer know when he can expect the stock to come in.”

Gains and benefits

  • Full visibility of stock held across both branches
  • Enhanced customer service at the trade counter
  • Seamless processing of inter- branch transfers and specials
  • Highly accurate sales forecasting
  • Tighter margin control
  • All the team can now price up works orders
  • Quick and easy import of supplier price lists
  • Real time overview of business performance at any time

ASL Case Study

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The main benefit of using K8 is that I always know where we are – all the business information I need is at my fingertips. I really can’t fault it.

- Peter Barlow, Managing Director, Barlow’s Woodyard

 

Builders Merchants

Previous

Longwater Construction Supplies Ltd

Next

Customer: Longwater Construction Supplies Ltd

What we did: Implemented K8

Site link: www.longwatergravel.co.uk

Challenge

Longwater Construction Supplies Ltd and Longwater(South East) Ltd have decided to use K8, the ERP system developed by Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS). The Longwater companies are based in Norwich and Essex and serve all types of customer from DIY enthusiasts to major groundworking companies.

A fleet of nine trucks in Norwich and two in Essex deliver materials throughout East Anglia. The companies have further plans for growth both geographically and by product. Finance Director, Colin Clark, believes the customer service delivered by a very experienced sales team is what sets them apart from the competition. He said, “Our highlevels of service extend to our yard staff and delivery drivers who all regularly receive praise for their reliability, helpfulness and overall dedication to customer needs.”

According to Mr Clark, the driver behind the software upgrade at Longwater was the need to be in better control of the companies’ success and to be able to develop methods of improvement to a very positive and focused business model. “We needed a system that gave us the ability to fully understand why we are so strong in our competitive market,” he said. “K8 was well known to many of us, as some of our team have used it in previous merchant roles. We also looked at upgrading our existing product as well as solutions from several other software providers.

Read the full story here.

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The KCS offering had a great reputation and was regarded as the market leader by other merchant business owners we questioned.

- Colin Clark, Finance Director, Longwater Construction Supplies Ltd

Builders' Merchants eBook

 

Builders Merchants

Previous

F30 Building Products

Next

Customer: F30 Building Products

What we did: Implemented K8

Site link: www.f30buildingproducts.co.uk

Challenge

F30 was founded in 2012 as a supplier of specialist building products such as structural waterproofing systems and brickwork and formwork ancillaries to the bricklaying and civil engineering sectors.

An accounts package at ‘breaking point’ was the driver for F30 Building Products Ltd (F30) to upgrade to K8 software from Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS). “The program had served us well,” explained F30 Managing Director, Rob Pearce, “But it was starting to slow down and wasn’t capable of managing the volumes of data we are entering as the business grows.”

“We pride ourselves on unrivalled customer service and expert, unbiased technical advice,” he said. Based in Bristol, the company set up a second depot in Plymouth in 2016 and has already opened a second warehouse there to expand the stock profile to meet local demand. Mr Pearce said he has plans to open further branches with locations still to be confirmed.

“We looked at two other ERP systems,” he explained. “But K8 was only ever going to be the system we went forward with. Its scalability and multi-site functionality means it’s really future proof for us. I’m convinced the speed of the system and how it will give us real time information in each depot will revolutionise the business. At the moment we are processing everything including sales, purchasing and accounting at our head office in Bristol, which is frustrating for our team in Plymouth as they are unable to operate autonomously.”

“Stock control and logistics will now be managed on a local level and the branch managers can have complete control over their depots. I know they’re looking forward to this! Being able to drill down into specific data will let us produce detailed management reports quickly and easily and manage KPIs for the team, suppliers and customers. I’m also looking forward to using the K8 CRM system and being able to share and store more information effectively.”

Read the full story here.

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K8 will put us on a level operating field with the biggest names in our industry.

- Rob Pearce, Director, F30

Builders' Merchants eBook

 

Builders Merchants

Previous

TBS Building Supplies

Next

Customer: TBS Building Supplies

What we did: Implemented K8

Site link: www.tbsdirect.co.uk

K8 continues to evolve with TBS

For the last 10 years Nick Porter has been involved with looking after IT at TBS, a two branch merchant business in Northamptonshire. Nick and his seven strong team are also responsible for managing all the IT systems across the House of Goodness group – the company that owns TBS and operates a variety of other businesses including health food wholesaling, farming, timber importing and worktop manufacturing.

The House of Goodness group has used a Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) solution to manage its finance since the mid 90s when the group first progressed from a paper system. When it was time for TBS to upgrade from its legacy trading system, it made sense to consider the full K8 solution alongside the other contenders.

“Our legacy system had been in place at TBS for a very long time,” explained Nick, “and the software simply wasn’t keeping up with the needs of the industry. The biggest issue was trying to integrate it with our website. We wanted to trade more effectively online and, although we had developed various ‘workarounds’, orders still had to be re-keyed and any information was only up to date as of the night before.”

Nick and his team shortlisted three providers including KCS and asked the branch managers and other key staff to score the functionality of each system. “They were all capable systems,” he said, “but K8 scored consistently better across the board - as a whole package it just delivered!”

Read the full story here.

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We’ll soon upgrade to Web Builder’s new responsive version as we know that many of our customers are accessing our site on their smartphones. This upgrade will also allow us to offer online account payment.

- Nick Porter, IT Manager, TBS Building Supplies

Builders' Merchants eBook

 

Bathroom & Kitchens

Previous

Howdens Joinery

Next

Customer: Howdens Joinery

What we did: Implemented K8

Site link: www.howdens.com

Howdens and Kerridge Commercial Systems – working together to build strong systems

A company that operates 642+ branches and manages 450,000 trade accounts clearly needs robust software to ensure sales are processed efficiently and inventory is managed visibly and accurately. Ten years ago Howdens Joinery chose K8, an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution developed by Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) to replace its ageing legacy system. Since then the relationship between the two companies has evolved into a strong partnership that has seen the KCS team working closely with Howdens to help them achieve their business objectives and regular reviews to plan future strategic developments.

Howdens has a simple philosophy according to CIO Clive Cockburn. “We firmly believe that having a kitchen fitted by a trade professional is absolutely the best way of doing it. It’s a complicated process that can involve other trades like plumbing and electrical work. There can also be design changes made along the way. We’re therefore committed to providing a great service to local builders to ensure they always have everything they need in stock at their local depot, to support them as they work and to help them make money.”

Gains and benefits

  • A strong ten year partnership between Howdens and KCS
  • Fast order processing and clear visibility of stock
  • Seamless integration with Howdens' manufacturing solutions
  • A flexible system that suits Howdens' trading style and autonomous depots
  • A scaleable solution used effectively across Howdens' 642+ depots

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In terms of technical scalability K8 is ready to go from 1 depot to 600+. It can be used just as effectively by small businesses as by large operations like ours.

- Clive Cockburn, CIO, Howdens Joinery Co.

Read the full story here.

Read previous stories.

 

Automotive Aftermarket

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Elta Automotive

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Customer: Elta Automotive

What we did: Implemented K8

Site link: www.lucaselectrical.co.uk

Challenge

ELTA Automotive is a major component importer and distributor based in the West Midlands and holds the UK licence for the Lucas Electrical brand. Established in 1993, Elta supplies around 2,000 motor factors and accessory shops from its central warehouse in Coleshill.

Stuart recommended K8 to his managing director because, as well as being a system that was fast and easy to use, he liked how Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) was a ‘one product’ company, committed to developing its core K8 solution. He was also reassured by KCS’s automotive heritage and how several large companies in the industry were already using it successfully.

Gains and benefits

  • There is now complete visibility of the supply chain.
  • Customer service is improved through fast, accurate response to stock enquiries.
  • Pick and stock adjustment errors are now minimal.
  • Reversing costs when customers return products is easy.
  • K8 helps the Elta team work faster and more efficiently.

Read the full story here.

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I know we made the right decision when we chose K8. We gained so much more functionality and now we work faster and much more efficiently.

- Stuart Poole, Product Analyst, Elta Automotive

 

Automotive Aftermarket

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Amex Auto

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Customer: Amex Auto

What we did: Implemented K8

Site link: www.amexautospares.com

Challenge

The automotive after-market in Kenya is fragmented and competition comes from one-branch businesses. Amex Auto have decided to invest in K8, a sophisticated ERP system, developed by Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS). K8 software will deliver the scalable technology they need as they grow from a small, family run business to a multi-branch operation. They are also planning to open 2 distribution centres later this year. The investment they have made in their team will also, they believe, provide a foundation to support their planned growth.

Established in 1988, the privately held company is led by husband and wife team, Sajni Shah and Devesh Patel, who are Co-CEOs. Sajni joined the company in 2013 and saw the potential to take the business to the next level. She moved the company head quarters from the town of Kisumu to the capital Nairobi and expanded to 4 branches. Over the same period of time, the team grew from 4 to 56.

K8 software will deliver the scalable technology they need as they grow from a small, family run business to a multi-branch operation.

Gains and benefits

  • Real time access to actual data and performance
  • The ability to better monitor the performance of each branch, product line and individual salespeople
  • The capability to drill down to gross margins achieved for each product

Read the full story here.

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As Co-CEO I want to support my team to learn as much as they can and build their skill set in their careers. Practical experience in a real business environment will equip a young Kenyan workforce to truly compete.

- Sajni Shah , Co-CEO, Amex Auto

 

Builders Merchants

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Parkers

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Customer: Parkers Building Supplies

What we did: Implemented K8

Site link: www.helpmebuildit.co.uk

Challenge

Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) offers ‘cutting edge software for the merchant industry’, according to Ian Mitchell at Parker Building Supplies. Ian is Information Systems Manager at the leading independent and award winning timber and heavyside builders’ merchant.

The company was established in 1984, since when its philosophy has always been to offer high quality customer service backed up with good stock availability and an efficient delivery service. Today the company employs 280 people and trades from 25 locations across the South East.

“We have used K8 software since 2004,” said Ian. “At the time we needed to upgrade from our existing system to bring about a change of culture and KCS offered the best solution. Since then it has come on in leaps and bounds and we have continued to upgrade to the latest version each time a new version is cut.”

Gains and benefits

  • K8 upgrade means sales team can access software remotely on their tablets.
  • Web Builder will provide a portal for customers to access their accounts and print off invoices, PoDs etc
  • Parker’s now able to plan a ‘click & collect’ service for the future
  • An earlier upgrade delivered K8’s General Ledger - integrated with the trading system

Read the full story here.

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A previous upgrade in April 2015 brought about another major change to our business when we started to use K8’s unified ledgers that are integrated with the trading system, and that put us on another platform for moving forward.

- Ian Mitchell, Information Systems Manager, Parkers Building Supplies

 

Tiles

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Tilespace

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Customer: Tilespace

What we did: Upgraded K8

Site link: tilespace.co.za

Challenge

Tilespace has been a customer of Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) since 2010. They have two branches. Tilespace offers an unrivalled selection of exclusive, imported brands specialising in tiles, sanitary ware, taps and fittings. They recently upgraded from K8.07 to Babbage.

With an executive board counting on 75 years of collective industry experience and bolstered by dedicated and experienced management and staff, the collaboration has been dynamic earning TILESPACE a highly respected reputation in the marketplace. Management’s daily hands-on approach to the business has resulted in a culture of agility, intimacy and virtuosity breeding trust amongst key suppliers and long standing clients.

Gains and benefits

  • The cashbook functionality added benefits
  • Real-time posting of transactions allowing up to date account figures
  • The new look and feel for the Babbage accounting module was a welcomed change
  • Having a web based application where they are able to login to the system and do credit limit overrides on the go
  • Data warehouse providing more in depth analysis of data

Read the full story here.

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Due to all our testing, the great team I had at Tilespace as well as Kerridge Commercial Systems, we had a very smooth Go-Live with almost zero issues.

- Bronwen Fritz, Financial Manager

 

Tiles

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Tileflair

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Customer: Tileflair

What we did: Implemented K8

Site link: www.tileflair.co.uk

Challenge

Tileflair has grown from a single branch business, established in 1972 and trading from a high street location, to the largest, privately owned wall and floor tile distributor in the South of England. The company operates a flagship store in Bristol plus nine other showrooms and two warehouses across south of England.

Tileflair’s managing director is Matthew Johnson. He said, “Our focus is on service which is reflected in our slogan, ‘Create something beautiful’. We make sure we provide a welcoming environment in all our stores so customers are inspired by our room settings and looked after by our staff who are helpful, knowledgeable and, most importantly, genuinely interested in what the customer wants.”

Matthew said that it’s often his trade customers, the fixers, who send in their clients to choose their tiles. He continued, “We also have to provide our trade customers with a service they can rely on. They need to trust us to get the right tiles to the right place at the right time. And this is where K8 software is really important. It enables us to provide that service.”

K8 was installed at Tileflair in 1998. Today there are 50 users and the system processes more than 300,000 transactions each year and holds nearly 13,000 product files. The initial need was for a system that could handle inter-branch trading and they could add branches to as the company grew. “Another reason we chose K8,” explained Matthew, “was because whatever you are doing on the system, you are always ready for a sale. You can keep the sales screen open and just flip back to it. Complete visibility of stock and the abilty to search for products and add them to an order so quickly and easily were other key benefits. It’s also very easy and intuitive to use.”

Gains and benefits

  • Helps Tileflair provide a service that trade customers can rely on
  • Handles inter-branch trading with the ability to add new branches as the company grows
  • Lets the sales team access K8 on their iPads with customers in the showroom
  • Helps the warehouse team plan the most efficient pick routes and measure productivity

Read the full story here.

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18 years later K8 is in widespread use at trade counters, and I still see it offering new and enhanced features that will help both our companies continue to grow.

- Matthew Johnson, Managing Director, Tileflair

 

Tiles

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European Heritage

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Customer: European Heritage

What we did: Implemented K8

Site link: www.europeanheritage.co.uk

Challenge

European Heritage is a family business specialising in the supply of natural stone, porcelain and ceramic tiles - plus associated building materials such as under-floor heating systems, grouts and adhesives. Most of the products sold are imported from Italy.

According to General Manager, Jonathan Nanson, what differentiates the company from its competitors is its high standard of customer service, the expertise of its staff and its extensive and impressive range of high quality products. “We have a very low turnover of staff and, having been based in Fulham for around 20 years, we’re very much part of the social fabric of the community,” he said.

Additional showroom space has been created by the recent development of the company’s period building’s extensive basement, which has provided an astonishing labyrinth of floor and wall space on which to display large format products in varying sizes, colours and finishes.

European Heritage started using K8 software around 12 years ago. Before then the company was using a typical system of individual tills and carbon copy paperwork. “Error comes with paperwork,” remembered Jonathan, “and technology was moving on. The Tile Association recommended we look at K8 as it had been designed to manage the type of products we sell.”

Today there are 18 members of staff using K8 at European Heritage. “Our sales team find it smooth and simple to use and it quickly becomes second nature to new staff,” said Jonathan. “They can find products on the system quickly, what customers have ordered in the past - and from what batch - as everything gets recorded in the system.”

As any tile supplier knows being able to record batch information is crucial to ensure any variance within product ranges is managed. “We demand from factories that their materials are batched or we won’t deal with them,” said Jonathan. “K8 enables us to reference the batches as they are logged in to our depot which has a knock on effect as the products are sold, picked, prepared and delivered so products from two different batches never go out together.”

Gains and benefits

  • Using K8 on mobile devices in the showroom enhances the customer experience
  • Easy for staff to trace the batch a customer has purchased from before
  • Sales trends are monitored by tagging products in the system
  • Sophisticated reporting provides a clear picture of the year to date

Read the full story here.

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Our sales team find it smooth and simple to use and it quickly becomes second nature to new staff. They can find products on the system quickly, what customers have ordered in the past - and from what batch - as everything gets recorded in the system.

- Jonathan Nanson, General Manager, European Heritage

 

Kerridge CS ranked in Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200!

We have been ranked as Britain's 37th fastest-growing International Business

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We are delighted to announce that Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) has been ranked No. 37 in The Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200, a league table that ranks the top 200 of Britain’s mid-market private companies in order of fastest growing overseas sales.