With the opening of a new timber merchant branch last year, PBM reports on Grant & Stone’s decision to extend its use of K8 from Kerridge Commercial Systems with the software said to have particular benefits for timber operations.
Established over thirty years ago in 1987, 50% of Grant & Stone’s turnover is made up from its builders’ merchants operation with the remainder coming from the supply of plumbing and electrical materials. The business – which has recently been acquired by Cairngorm Capital – operates from 29 branches in total, the newest being the family-owned independent company’s first timber merchant which opened last year in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.
Outlining some of the reasons for its ongoing growth, Building Sales Manager, Alan Kent, said: “We’re known for our service being second to none. That’s because we treat our customers as customers, not numbers and that’s where we benefit. Also our product knowledge is very, very good.”
Helping to underpin this commitment to service, Grant & Stone uses K8 — the ERP solution developed by Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) — across the whole business. The merchant said it was therefore an obvious choice to extend it to the new timber operation.
IT Manager, Dave Oliver, explained: “Since implementing K8 two years ago, we now have the accuracy and transparency we were looking for. Booking in and out is now so much better controlled and being a cloud based solution means we have the security of a complete disaster recovery service.
“Using the OMR (Order Margin Review) in particular is helping us to be more profitable. It’s also integrated our sales and financial accounting, which is really good as everything is in one place.
“We’re also interested in the suite of apps available from KCS. Picking timber can be complicated because of all the manual handling involved and the ePick app, which you can use on a mobile phone in the yard, sounds very attractive.”
Grant & Stone has PI (perpetual inventory) set up in all branches so the team knows on a daily basis what the stock position is. At the new timber branch, the team has also been able to make the most of the manufacturing functionality within K8 to enable them to put accurate charges — and therefore extra profit — against a number of processes in the mill, such as cutting and planning.
K8 also maintains the integrity of chain of custody throughout the supply chain, reporting on where the timber is or what it’s been converted to.
The software also has the flexibility to manage stock to tally, sell only full packs, sell loose lengths to tally or, as at Grant & Stone, to import in tally but convert to lengths. Dave added: “Because we already order timber by cube and work out to ‘each’ for our other branches, it made sense to continue to work like this across the group.”
Alan continued: “We’re also planning to use the CRM function within K8. We’ve talked about this a lot, and I see it as a massive benefit. We can give our salesmen tasks, see what customers they’ve called on and what they’ve quoted when they were there.”
Building Director, Mat Miller, said: “Importing is something that interests me and I’m starting to look at the import functionality within K8. We’re also interested in the suite of apps available from KCS. Picking timber can be complicated because of all the manual handling involved and the ePick app, which you can use on a mobile phone in the yard, sounds very attractive.
“We’ve got a fleet of 60 vehicles so we’re also planning to look at the ePOD app so our drivers can manage deliveries and capture signatures on a mobile phone. That will save us a lot of filing.”
Kerridge Commercial Systems ‘highly commended’ by BMF
The Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) team says it was thrilled to be ‘Highly Commended’ by the Builders’ Merchants Federation (BMF) in the Supplier Engagement category at the recent BMF Awards.
“We try to support all BMF initiatives because we believe that working in close partnership with the Federation benefits all its members — and in turn the whole industry.”
Just eight companies were shortlisted from a total of over 300 BMF supplier and service members, with the BMF stating that the nominated companies were those that had most actively sought to gain the greatest value from their BMF membership during the preceding 12 months. This encompassed those that had successfully integrated their membership of the BMF within their sales and marketing strategies, such as lending support through attendance at meetings and events and by various forms of sponsorship.
Paula Hayter, New Business Sales Director at KCS, said: “We try to support all BMF initiatives because we believe that working in close partnership with the Federation benefits all its members — and in turn the whole industry. We were particularly honoured at the commendation in this category as it was the first time a service partner has been nominated for the award.”
The BMF Members’ Annual Conference and Awards were held at St George’s Park National Football Centre on Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 September.
More information on Kerridge Commercial Systems’ solutions for merchants is available in the company’s Builders’ Merchants’ eBook. To download a copy, visit https://info.kerridgecs.com/merchant