K8 software helps merchant achieve ambitious growth plans

K8 software helps merchant achieve ambitious growth plans

A Goldman Sachs business course inspired a Huddersfield based builders’ merchant to buy an ERP system to help grow his business, and chose K8 from Kerridge Commercial Systems as the software the company would use.

“Three key steps came out of the business plan I developed on the course I followed earlier this year,” said Tony Sharkey, who set up JTD Building Supplies five years ago. “The first was to install business management software so I would spend less time on administration and the second was to start selling products online. I’m proud to say we’ve already achieved both of these and are already well on the way to achieving the third step which will be announced next year.”

Tony worked in the merchant industry for 25 years before setting up JTD Building Supplies and was talked into going on the business course by a friend. “We spent a lot of time in the classroom with very high level tutoring and at first I was really out of my comfort zone. But I know the industry well and the way my business had already grown gave me the confidence to take part,” he said. The intense mix of online and residential sessions culminated with Tony pitching his plan for growth in an Oxford University lecture theatre in front of the other students, senior lecturers and consultants from Goldman Sachs.

Part of the course involved keeping a detailed diary for a week that showed how much time Tony and his fellow director were spending on paperwork. “That really opened my eyes,” said Tony. “We often spent half of every day entering invoices and orders manually.”

Tony looked at a couple of ERP systems but eventually chose K8 because he liked how the financial module was integrated into the trading system and he wouldn’t have to use a separate accounts package. “I liked the KCS sales team too,” he said, “and thought these were people I could work with.”

K8 can be delivered in a variety of ways and JTD will be using SaaS or ‘Software as a Service’. The software will sit on the K-Cloud and the seven users at JTD will access it over the Internet. A key benefit of SaaS for small or medium sized companies, with no in-house IT expertise, is how the software provider handles all system maintenance remotely and there is no need for servers on the business premises.

With K8 processing all of JTD’s sales transactions, Tony will undoubtedly save time. “At the trade counter it’ll be a massive change as my team will be able to use bar code scanners and ask customers to use a digital signature pad. But, I’m also looking forward to the complete visibility K8 will give us across the business. The business intelligence within the system will show us what our customers are buying – or not buying – and our account managers can use that information to target them more effectively. We’ll be able to monitor our KPIs and, for the first time, see exactly what margin we’re making – and where we can improve it. Our rolling stock management works quite well already but K8 will improve that too by the way we’ll be able to book stock straight into the system.”

To find out more, visit: www.kerridgecs.com

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