Kerridge hosts customer conference

Kerridge hosts customer conference

PBM reports back from Kerridge Commercial Systems’ recent customer conference.

Over 150 Kerridge Commercial Systems customers travelled an estimated 60,000 miles between them to attend the KCS customer conference in May. A statistic, according to UK and Ireland Managing Director, James Mitchell, that demonstrated the enthusiasm K8 users have for learning and updating themselves on current versions and options in the KCS software portfolio.

Conference delegates included companies that were new to the software as well as those who have been using it for 30 years plus. And, among the delegate companies involved in the distribution of timber and other building materials were those who worked in the more niche industries of fish radar systems and ginger biscuits!

This was James’ firstKCS conference, having joined the KCS team in February, and he gave delegates examples of how business technology continues to evolve: “No matter which industry category you see yourself in, the need for technology is evolving and therefore so is Kerridge Commercial Systems to meet your needs. Our desire is to keep building and have available to you the correct technology that will assist your business to perform at its best — irrespective of your chosen route to market.”

The focus of much of the company’s R&D is on the development of mobile apps and Tony Pey, Head of Product Marketing, explained how the use of business apps was “enabling companies to take technology to their jobs — rather than taking a job to technology”. He said: “Imagine being able to build an order on an iPad while walking around the yard or showroom with a customer, instead of having to go back to key it in behind the counter.”

The mobile apps already available to K8 users include ePOD, which now manages over 12,000 deliveries each day. Others in the pipeline include eBranchOrder, an app for placing orders around the branch which also includes functionality for timber companies working with tally quantities; eStocktake, which also manages PI; and eWarehouse — described as a comprehensive solution for managing all warehouse activity.

As part of the company’s strategic growth programme, the acquisition of EDP has brought the Vecta solution for CRM and sales analytics into the KCS portfolio. Noting that more data is now created every two days than ever existed before 2003, Jayne Hill, Vecta Product Manager, explained how data availability and ways of accessing it are key challenges for sales and management teams.

She said that K8 users who have already implemented Vecta are finding that the data sales staff could previously only find by asking someone to run a report ‘was now being delivered directly to the dashboards of the individuals who need it’ and cited the example of one customer who had found that by using Vecta their sales team had 20% more time to spend in front of customers.

Day two of the conference gave KCS customers the chance to focus on specific aspects of the software through breakout sessions on new mobile apps, effective procurement, rebates and price support, smart dashboards, rental business management, manufacturing solutions and more.

JT Dove reports that it has made a significant investment in a new ERP system to improve efficiencies and allow for the next phase of growth.

The chosen ERP system, K8 from Kerridge Commercial Systems, will be used across all of JT Dove’s 19 locations by around 190 users throughout the group, across the branches and in head office. The system will allow for better customer service through better support of the team and their daily activities.

Managing Director Steve Robinson said: “We made the decision to upgrade from our legacy system to improve efficiencies right across the business, in line with our continuing growth. After a detailed review of the ERP market, I have confidence that this is the right System for JT Dove and that there is no other product with such a depth of advanced functionality for builders merchants.”

K8 is a fully integrated system that comprises financial accounting as well as a suite of apps designed to digitally transform delivery, showroom and warehouse management tasks. These are accessed through the KCS Digital Services gateway that enables users to access, and proactively use, data from their version of K8 on an iOS or Android device.

At JT Dove, there will also be 60 drivers using the K8 ePOD app that will enable them to access and manage a branch-generated electronic manifest with signature capture. KCS’s latest generation digital services will also be used to support their digital web development. 

Paula Hayter, NewBusiness Sales Directorat KCS, said: “JT Dove was looking for an out of the box solution with functionality to support every aspect of its mixed merchant business. K8’s timber and bathroom functionality far surpass that of JT Dove’s legacy system, as well as providing the centralised purchasing for core products andsophisticated rebate management they wanted.”

KCS recently acquired EDP, which developed JT Dove’s legacy system. Steve added: “This has given us an extra level of confidence in the implementation, seeing as KCS will be managing both ends of our migration journey.”

To download the builders’ merchants’ eBook from Kerridge Commercial Systems, click here.

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