New business Pimlico Plumbing & Heating Merchants and the established TBS Building Supplies have both recently turned to Kerridge Commercial Systems to service their differing IT requirements. PBM presents the details.
London-based Pimlico Plumbing & Heating Merchants has only been trading since October 1st, yet the firm is already reporting that its K8 system is proving to be an invaluable tool for its growing business. Going live on the same day the company opened its doors, Pimlico has had full control of purchasing, stock, sales processing and finances from the start, allowing it to concentrate on delivering a high quality service to its customers.
“Although we considered other suppliers, K8 was recommended to us and in fact, one of our staff had previously used the system which made it an easy decision,” said Director Samm Mullins. “The challenge for Kerridge CS and our new team was that all system preparations and set-up had to be completed in record time.
“There was a lot of pressure with so much going on getting the business ready — everything had to move quickly. I was very impressed by the hard work and flexibility of the Kerridge CS team as having a system live within four weeks from start to finish and ready for the shop opening was quite an achievement.”
Pimlico serves two customer channels — providing purchasing, stock and supply services for its own, well-known Pimlico Plumbers operation and also supplying independent plumbers and heating engineers across London. Having considerable trade experience and expertise already in place, the new company is using K8 to help maintain the correct breadth and depth of stock to suit customer demands.
Samm added: “Although a little daunting to begin with — we are plumbers not computer experts — we soon became comfortable with K8; it’s a very capable, easy-to-use and forgiving system. In this business, our customers don’t have time to spare and time is money. They know exactly what they want and with K8, we can serve them quickly over the counter or with a van delivery. Equally, the system makes it very easy to monitor our profitability and our cash position, and if we do spot something that doesn’t look right, K8 gives us the answer with minimum of effort.”
Ian Bendelow, Kerridge Commercial Systems CEO, said: “We were tasked to meet a very demanding timeframe for Pimlico, but with excellent team work by everyone involved, the system went live on schedule. It’s great that the company’s K8 system is performing well, delivering value and benefits that are so important, especially for a new enterprise. We wish Samm and his team every success.”
An existing Kerridge CS K8 client, Daventry-based TBS Building Supplies has now gone live with the fully integrated Web Builder online trading system meaning that its own customers are now able to look up product information, place orders and view account information on a 24/7 basis.
Nick Porter, the merchant’s IT Manager, said: “This has been a strategic project for the company and a major step forward compared with our previous offering. As a major part of the new TBS website, our customers now have comprehensive catalogue access, real time enquiry and purchasing facilities. Although we believe it’s important to maintain traditional contact telephone and counter services, we recognise that a growing number of our customers want to transact at a time and place when it’s convenient for them. Whether PC, tablet or smartphone, we expect online trading volumes to increase.”
The TBS project involved a number of special developments within the Web Builder application suite, notably to provide postcode specific delivery costs to fit the company’s business model and operational requirements. With the initial roll-out for TBS online trading focussing on trade account customers, there are plans to extend the facilities to non-account customers, credit card payment facilities and then on to serving retail customers in due course.
“We see this as an evolutionary process and we will develop services to suit customer demands,” continued Nick.
Ian Bendelow added: “Web Builder certainly has the potential to help our customers to grow their sales volumes and to do so cost effectively. As well as providing the end customer with facilities that are becoming increasingly commonplace, online trading also means improved efficiencies and time-saving opportunities for merchants.”