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EH Smith Architectural Clay Products 

Working in partnership with Kerridge CS saves EH Smith dozens of man hours’

Vertical: Distribution

Industry: Builders Merchants

Product: K8

EH Smith APC

About EH Smith Architectural Clay Products

K8 business management software provides KCS customers with a vast range of industry specialist features designed to ensure they have that competitive edge. Sometimes, they need something extra to really make sure they have a real advantage over the competition - and the KCS team works in partnership with customers to create a solution.

One business to have recently deployed an application such as this is EH Smith Architectural Clay Products, a division of independent builders’ merchant EH Smith who have 98 years’ experience in the construction industry as established specialists in bricks and building materials. The Architectural Clay Products division deals with companies specifying large scale projects across the UK, and is well established in the sector as an industry leader.

James Cave, Senior Business Analyst at EH Smith, reveals that creating a tailored application was necessary for the administration team, and how the results have led to considerable time and efficiency savings.

Ensuring customers can deliver great service with maximum efficiency is at the heart of the partnership Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) offers to its customers. This means providing the tools they need to source effectively, stock efficiently, sell profitably and service competitively in their respective markets.

The task at hand

The division operates differently to a traditional builders’ merchant.

James explained that they, 'Work with architects, house builders and the like to specify major infrastructure and skyscraper-type projects in London and beyond, with huge material requirements and a complex supply base.'

In many cases, products need to arrive on site over a long period of time - sometimes up to two years - which makes the operation very complicated. Being able to keep track of, and manage, these projects within K8 is a necessity for the business.

We were setting the projects up within K8 and configuring a certain schedule of deliveries in line with the intended project timescales agreed with both customers and suppliers

However, in the real world, delivery schedules and timescales are subject to change for a wide variety of reasons, which on projects of this scale meant even seemingly minor changes could lead to hundreds of sales and purchase order lines being manually updated and paperwork reissued

James Cave- Senior Business Analyst at EH Smith


  • Saving dozens of man hours
  • Simplification of day-to-day operations
  • Time and efficiency savings across the business
  • Administration team can deal with different scenarios with ease
  • Changing data through a single mass amend grid

The KCS solution

EH Smith and KCS combined their knowledge and expertise to provide a solution that really delivered the efficiencies the business needed. As a result, EH Smith was able to deploy a solution to simplify its day-to-day operations and deliver great customer service.

We worked in partnership with KCS to develop a solution whereby we had a mass amendment ability within the projects module. We can now identify a project, select the changes that need to be made and use that application to bring up all those orders and associated lines.

This enables us to change data such as dates and pricing in a single mass amend grid before processing and regenerating the paperwork in one go.

James Cave- Senior Business Analyst at EH Smith

James worked closely with KCS to specify, develop and test the software in a process that took over 18 months, but the benefits it has brought to the business are considerable. The administration team is now able to swiftly deal with a variety of scenarios, such as when a customer chooses to delay the start of a project and does not want to accept any goods on site.

This development has saved dozens of man hours per month in the team and has been really well received.

James Cave- Senior Business Analyst at EH Smith

Next steps

That spirit of partnership does not stop there. James explained that, 'The next challenge will be handling our year-end supplier price increases - historically this has been a big administrative task for our business when all of these large projects are entered into the system, with delivery lines spanning calendar years.'

'Brick suppliers often adjust their pricing at year end, so we have to go into the system and amend future delivery pricing on thousands of lines. Amending these costs has been a huge manual undertaking in the past. We’ve now got a solution to do that in a much more efficient manner,' he continued.


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