IT products – November 2019

IT products – November 2019


Elliotts selects Intact iQ

Set to be rolled out across its network of 13 branches, Elliotts has selected Intact iQ to replace its current ERP software solution. The independent merchant’s Managing Director, Tom Elliott, said: “For a long time, the systems we use as a business have been growing in the impact they have. While the market we operate in appears fairly simple from the outside, the level of complexity behind the scenes is huge. It’s in the way that we use our systems that we can simplify and control the underlying complexity for our users and customers.

“Intact iQ offers us a highly flexible and intuitive framework that will allow us to continually improve the way that we operate, taking away the burden caused by drawn-out processes, and freeing up time to focus on providing exceptional customer service.”

Patrick O’Toole, Elliotts’ Business System Manager, added: “Intact iQ is so adaptable and this level of flexibility — married with Intact’s comprehensive understanding of the UK builders’ merchant industry — gave us the confidence that it would support both our current and future business ambitions. It’s also so intuitive and easy to use, especially at the trade counter.

“Looking to the future the RESTful API Intact offers will give us the capability to develop innovative apps to serve our customers/staff better, safe in the knowledge that such apps will be fully integrated in Intact iQ.”


Merlin Business Software

Key features

Merlin says that it remains “one of the few UK-written independent merchant software solutions, with a single one-off license cost approach and extremely attractive annual software maintenance costs.” The company has been supplying the merchant sector for over 40 years and states that it “works tirelessly” with its customers to introduce new and innovative features into its standard software on an ongoing basis.

A recently introduced Rebates module, for example,now incorporates price support / ship through contract price management.  The module enables merchants to handle all the popular rebate methods that they enter into with any supplier and shows all of the agreements where there may be a combination of rebate schemes across a product range, individual items, customers and date ranges.  This can also be configured around the rebate schemes merchants give to their customers, and the company says that the module is “proven to reduce the time taken to otherwise manage complex rebate schemes off-system with manually-managed, cumbersome spreadsheets”.

Its EDI module is designed to reduce manual business processes and their associated business costs, whilst the company has offered Electronic Proof of Delivery (EPOD) solutions in different guises for “many, many years” to provide an efficient, low-cost customer-facing solution.

The technology also underpins Merlin’s Drivers’ app to allow signatures to be captured at the point of delivery and the app is driven from the firm’s Delivery Planning Module, which allows drivers to have a full, manageable schedule of all the drops they have been assigned whilst also ensuring that the planning of the vehicle loading and drop sequence is simplified.

In addition, Merlin’s CRM can be expanded upon to accommodate busy telesales departments and the company also offers a CRM/Order Capture app for working around the trade counter, yard and even on-site when visiting customers.

MAM Software

Building Plastics Wales selects MAM Trader

Having recently opened its second branch, family-run Building Plastics Wales was on the lookout for builders’ merchant software that would be simple to implement across the two locations and would support the needs of its growing business. Opting for the flexibility of the cloud-based version of the system, MD Vaughan Colley said: “We had been looking for a new software provider for the past two years, but had held off making a decision. One of our employees had used Trader in a previous job and it came highly recommended.

“One of the main attractions for us was Trader’s easy-to-use interface. Our staff have found it extremely easy to pick up and think the system is great, which has made rolling out the software much quicker than we anticipated.”

Trader is backed by a UK-based team of professionals, who are on hand to help customers with everything from implementation to training, and offering technical advice. Telephone support is available seven days a week during extended business hours.


Border Merchant Systems

CounterAct Software update  

The latest CounterAct updates (2-8B) are now being issued to Border’s customers and the upgrade features over 620 changes and improvements to the software. Highlights include the ability to mass-release delivery notes and improvements to the way electronic signature capture pads operate for account collected sales. Other enhancements include tools to determine how effective a supplier is by using data to show orders that have been, for example, delivered on time, in full or not arrived.

Border has also enhanced the way CounterAct deals with specials. Users can now set a default analysis group for specials from a supplier as well as specifying the default margin that should be made on new special products from particular suppliers.

In recent months, Border has welcomed Devizes and Westbury Building Supplies as new CounterAct users.

Aphix Software

Award wins

Having secured a listing as one of the Top 10 eCommerce solution providers in the UK (Retail CIO Outlook) earlier this year, Aphix Software is celebrating again after winning the Best B2B eCommerce Solution for Wholesalers and Distributors category at the inaugural eCommerce & Payment Awards ceremony, which took place in late September at the Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin.

The judges praised Aphix for its “innovative platform” which provides wholesalers and distributors with a complete omnichannel solution to sell their products online and on global marketplaces such as Amazon, Facebook, Instagram and Google.

In making their selection, the judges noted how the platform integrates the eCommerce operations with a company’s existing ERP software and the efficiencies this brings in terms of more automation and less manual processing of sales orders.

Aphix Software

OGL Computer

Survey findings

A new survey commissioned by OGL Computer of 255 managers of UK wholesalers, distributors and merchants reveals that in the construction and building supplies sector, the use of multiple systems — i.e: different software for warehouse management, inventory/stock control, accounting software, CRM, ERP, etc — and an inability to break away from manual processes in managing business operations are holding firms back.

Critically, all respondents said they still use some level of manual processes with 31% citing them to be “ineffective in managing business operations”. According to the research, all of those interviewed said inaccurate data is a key factor affecting company profitability with 50% putting it as a top-three reason, followed by Brexit impact and manual processes, both at 38%.

Survey respondents confirmed that eCommerce is growing in significance, with 19% stating that being able to sell products online easily is really important to them. In the era of digital transformation, cloud computing is a driver for change with 63% of respondents agreeing that hosting applications and data in the cloud has improved efficiencies and productivity (or would improve them, if implemented). Despite the benefits, however, fears about security persist as 44% expressed concerns about the security of their data in the cloud and so are reluctant to move over core applications.

Further details on the survey — along with OGL Computer’s response to the findings and its ‘Top five tips for a smooth ERP installation’ — are available on the PBM website.

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