K8 delivers business efficiencies to small family-run merchant, Lakeside Timber.
X-ray leader upgrades its software for improved customer service and reduced costs
Industry: Non-destructive testing (NDT)
Product: K8 LV
JME, the market leader in manufacturing and supplying precision X-ray inspection systems for the non-destructive testing (NDT) industry, recently upgraded to the latest version of K8LV from Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS). K8LV is an ERP system that offers a comprehensive range of modules to help manufacturing businesses track and trace their stock and communicate across all parts of their operation in real time. Implemented in 2020, JME opted to upgrade K8LV to drive efficiencies and help provide better customer service.
Based in Lowestoft, Suffolk, and with over 35 years of experience in the NDT industry, JME has developed a reputation for excellence and high performance. Their delivery and support of industry-leading products like DXB:1 and Betatron, along with their Pipeline Crawler and food inspection systems such as the DFR:1 System, ensure companies can complete inspection activities effectively and efficiently.
Supporting the different precision systems used by multiple customers has meant that JME holds millions of pounds in stock at any given time. Understandably, given the precise nature of their industry, JME must support the products efficiently and adapt to changes when specific system components become obsolete.
‘Managing our stock has become quite a task over the years,’ explains Josh Leech, JME’s Global Sales Manager from their Lowestoft headquarters. ‘And as we’ve developed as a business, our needs have grown to include automated real-time reports and notifications. To streamline our performance and respond to customers quicker, we felt it necessary to upgrade to the latest version of K8LV.’
Since the upgrade, Josh and his team have driven many improvements and efficiencies across their business. For example, the latest version of K8LV allows companies to structure permissions and access controls according to what staff can do within their department. Purchasing rights can apply to staff who need that permission, as well as more bespoke responsibilities, and the easy assignment of these helps JME create a more streamlined and efficient operation.
But, as Josh explains, the area of quote stages and the ability to maintain notifications have made the most noticeable improvement.
‘There were quite a few admin steps we’ve removed by using quote statuses in K8LV to automatically send emails to the relevant staff members depending on the status,’ Josh explains. As a result, such functionality has not only saved JME time but it’s also improved communication between departments. For example, if JME receives a PO while still awaiting payment, they can change the quote status to say the PO is received and pending settlement. This functionality gives JME’s production teams that extra bit of notice, which helps them keep their lead times down.
Josh explained that they can now send production a notification to say an order is incoming, whereas, before the upgrade, it might turn up without prior notice. Such an innovation has improved communications and smooth-running efficiency across JME’s business as they can manage the steps involved in maintaining notifications and inform key staff of the different quote stages for streamlined performance.
Producing accurate reports instantly for each department has also been another game-changer. After all, with so many departments and product lines, it’s essential management can keep on top of the details in each one. Naturally, this is where K8LV’s automated reports have saved vast amounts of time and expense.
‘There’s much more transparency across the business,’ highlights Josh, ‘which helps managers because these automated report processes ensure accuracy. Also, if you get new people in, we don’t have to explain how to produce the reports or worry about new trainees forgetting vital details. The reports synchronise in real-time across departments, so we get an accurate picture without adding to the workload or spending extra time and money on training. Now we can produce insightful and accurate reports at the touch of a button.’
Of course, sustainability is a crucial concern for responsible businesses, so Josh and the JME team are happy with the efficiencies and waste-cutting measures K8LV has helped them make. ‘Such transparency between sales and processing has helped us cut down on shipping and helped us better manage orders. But, similarly, because we’ve now got automated stock control reports, we’re not ordering last minute. Therefore, we’re saving money on shipping and ordering less frequently – all because we can see what’s coming up.’
‘We’re proud to partner with JME as they continue on their digitisation journey with the latest version of K8LV,’ says James Mitchell, Managing Director of KCS for the UK and Ireland. ‘We’re constantly developing our products to answer the specific needs of our customers, and we’re delighted to see that JME is using KCS products to see sustainability and profitability go hand in hand.’