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Ark Trading

"I was impressed with the dedication and knowledge portrayed by the Kerridge Commercial Systems team."

- Paul Koster, Managing Director of Ark Trading

Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) is pleased to announce that Ark Trading Namibia is live on K8. Ark Trading was established in 1980, and is one of the oldest suppliers to the building trade in Windhoek, Namibia.

Read the full story here.

BPX

"Our new website, with Web Builder, is a milestone initiative for BPX."

- Managing Director, Guy Collins

As a OneOffice user, BPX decided that Web Builder, with integrated e-commerce and back-office capabilities, was the most effective platform for the project. Given the size of the company’s product range, it was clear that this would be a complex project for BPX.

Read the full story here.

Tileflair

K8 enhances our efficiency, so that we can provide an even better customer experience

“Our focus is on service, as reflected in our ‘Create something beautiful’ slogan. K8 has enabled us to enhance this, giving us access to a wealth of information at a single click.”

- Matthew Johnson, Managing Director, Tileflair

Tileflair’s initial need was for a system to handle inter-branch trading, to replace a previous system where processes were cumbersome. It was also looking for an IT partner that really understood the tile business.

It opted for a distribution system, rather than an EPOS product, and Kerridge Commercial Systems was chosen from five short-listed suppliers. The system went live in December 1998 and, in 2007, Tileflair upgraded to K8. Then, in May 2015, it upgraded to the system’s latest version.

Read the full story here.

Business Insight open day 2016

This week’s Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) Tile & KBB Business Insight event proved a big hit with guests, who gained valuable insight into how to prosper in today’s digital age. Speakers included Phil Crowshaw from The Geeky Group; Tileflair’s Matthew Johnson and Kay Porter, from The Tile Association (TTA). Mike Beech and Paula Hayter from KCS also kicked-off and concluded the agenda, before a lively QA session that continued into lunch.

Phil Crowshaw’s presentation included essential advice on how to be found on the web, with a focus on good content marketing that “cuts through the noise.” Matthew Johnson also shared his own experiences and his plans on how to stay ahead - with help from KCS.

Guests commented that the content was “really valuable and insightful” and that “it allowed me to stop in my tracks and focus on some really important issues which are shaping our industry, right now.”

“We’re delighted with the feedback received from those that attended – and thank our guests and speakers for joining us in Leamington Spa.  We’re hoping to schedule further free Business Insight events later this year and would love to receive feedback on what guests would like to hear – and from those who’d like to share their own digital experiences,” commented Mike Beech, KCS product marketing director.

KCS is a key IT supplier to the tile and KBB industries. For more information, please contact marketing@kerridgecs.com or visit www.kerridgecs.com.

Electro Tech

"We currently have to run multiple systems to manage the various aspects of our business. With K8, I will have one version of the truth." - Hardy Spoerer, Managing Director, Electro Tech

Electro Tech has been in operation since 1989, and is a wholesaler of quality electrical products. Their head office is based in Windhoek with branches in Prosperita, and Swakopmund.

Read more to find out why Electro Tech chose Kerridge Commercial Systems.

Business Insight open day 2016

Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) has confirmed the line-up for its Business Insight Open Day - for the tile and KBB industries – which will be held in the Midlands on Tuesday 23rd February.  The ‘free to attend’ event will include presentations from Tileflair’s Matthew Johnson; Phil Crowshaw from the The Geeky Group and the Tile Association (TTA).

The programme will focus on IT-related issues faced by the tile and KBB industries and will conclude with a QA session and complimentary networking lunch.

Starting at 9.30am, the event will be hosted at the award-winning residential conference venue, Wood Grange in Leamington Spa - set in 16 acres of stunning grounds, close to major road and rail networks.

After registration and coffee, key-note speaker, Phil Crowshaw will explore the technological and cultural changes taking place and will guide attendees on how to survive and prosper in The Digital Media Revolution.

Matthew Johnson – Tileflair’s Managing Director - will then share his own case study, explaining how “moving with the times” has shaped his business.

TTA’s Kay Porter will also discuss the Association’s place in the industry and member benefits – and KSC’s own presentations, by Mike Beech and Paula Hayter, will kick-off and conclude the agenda, with a focus on Online Trading and Customer value vs discounting.

KCS is a key IT supplier to the tile and KBB industries. Tile clients include Beccles Tile Centre, Ceramic Tile Warehouse, European Heritage and Tileflair.

To register for the free event, please contact marketing@kerridgecs.com. 

Dancik International lights up Las Vegas

The week of January 19-22 was a very busy week for Dancik International! Design & Construction Week® (DCW) featured the co-location of International Builders Show (IBS) and the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show® (KBIS). This year, DCW also included the International Window Coverings Expo (IWCE) and The International Surface Event (SURFACES). This mega-event, held in Las Vegas, brought together more than 110,000 builders, general contractors, remodelers, designers, flooring professionals, as well as product specifiers from around the globe. Dancik embraced the challenge and came out on top.

The week began with the International Builders’ Show. This was our first opportunity to introduce K8 to a large crowd in the North American market. The IBS team was led by our Senior Pre Sales Consultant and K8 expert. They stayed busy talking to potential customers, demonstrating the robust capabilities of K8.

SURFACES started one day after the start of the IBS show. The SURFACES team diligently presented Navigator demos during the 3 day event. Existing customers and new prospects were impressed with Dancik, our products and how we are moving forward. Dancik was well represented as a professional and progressive software company.

We all share a sense of pride in our accomplishments during Design & Construction Week®. Two Dancik teams, two trade shows, two new booths, new branding, a new product and more connections than we can count would have been a challenge for some but for Dancik it was a success.

Each team will continue to be busy at upcoming events and trade shows as we strengthen our influence in the flooring, tile, home décor and wholesale distribution markets.

Britain's Kerridge Commercial Systems brings K8 to America

By Craig Webb

One of Europe's biggest providers of software for the construction supply industry is using this week's International Builders' Show as the launch pad for selling its systems in the United States.

Britain's Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) will market its K8 software through Dancik International, a Cary, N.C.-based maker of software for flooring dealers that KCS acquired last year. COO Alan Cross says K8 is used by more than 700 customers in the European construction and building distribution industry, including the giant French firm Saint-Gobain. Collectively, K8 is in more than 5,000 branches and 70,000 users.

"We serve the majority of the largest suppliers in the United Kingdom," Cross said. "We naturally saw the opportunity when we acquired Dancik to bring K8 to the U.S. market. K8 is hugely successful in Europe and we're confident it's a great fit for US distributors for their wholesale and retail operations."

KCS is the biggest of several software companies seeking to enter a market dominated to date by Epicor, DMSI, Spruce, and Ponderosa; a number of dealers also have written their own computer programs over the years. Cross said KCS already is used to competing with Epicor, the No. 1 provider to U.S. dealers.

Unlike other would-be competitors that are coming in from sectors like the auto parts industry, KCS is "100% focused on the distributive industries," Cross told ProSales during a Jan. 11 interview. Its integrated programs handle in-store sales, online sales, the processing of customer orders, financials, inventory management, and customer relationship management. Dealers can get K8 as a cloud-based system or install it in their servers. KCS also can manage a dealer's entire network if desired. KCS offers K8 for both rent and on a licensing basis.

U.S. operations for K8 will be run out of Dancik's headquarters in North Carolina, Cross said. A field sales staff is being put together now, and the company has begun looking for American dealers to test the software.

Craig Webb is editor-in-chief of REMODELING and PROSALES. Follow him on Twitter at @craiglwebb or @RemodelingMag. cwebb@hanleywood.com

FloorCoveringNews

Guest Column: Clear strategy, execution led to successful integration
January 18, 2016

Jan 18/25; Volume 30/Number 15

By Alan Cross

Four months after KCS Commercial Systems (KCS) acquired Dancik International, I am reflecting on the events that unfolded after the deal was closed. More than anything else, I am looking forward to a bright future for the business. We had a very clear strategy and plan that had to be executed from the first day post acquisition. In addition, we had a number of key objectives and time frames that we felt had to be achieved to make the integration of the businesses a success.

The first part of the plan included a relocation from the KCS corporate headquarters in Hungerford, United Kingdom, to Cary, N.C., the home of Dancik International. It was vital for us to have an executive presence here in the U.S. through the transition process that saw Mitch Dancik, founder and owner of Dancik, and his wife, Thuy, slowly exit from the day-to-day business operations. Without a KCS presence there was huge potential for a vacuum; we had to demonstrate our commitment to the people at Dancik, and that was our absolute first priority.

This focus on the staff included my one-to-one meetings with each of the 53 Dancik employees. It was insightful and important for me personally to meet everyone to give them a personal look at KCS, discuss our business plans and to listen to the feedback that I felt was crucial to create a new team dynamic and build trust.

To parallel the team integration, KCS wanted to ensure that existing Dancik customers had clear and unambiguous communication detailing the strategic vision for the business. The key messaging saw KCS committing to the long-term future of the Dancik Navigator product. The software is functionally rich and designed specifically for the floor covering distribution market. We didn’t hesitate in stating our clear intention to continue to develop, support and sell the product across North America.

Dancik customers have been supportive of the acquisition. This was underpinned by record attendance at the annual Dancik user conference, Connect 2015, held over two days in October last year. KCS CEO Ian Bendelow opened the event which showcased the new rebranding of Dancik in line with KCS.

Connect 2015 was a huge success, and it was clear the customers were extremely positive about the future prospects of working with the new Dancik. We were able to highlight our product roadmap, have senior level discussions with a number of our customers and also showcase the opportunities to introduce new product modules available today from KCS, which will further support customers in achieving their business objectives.

Looking toward the future, I am excited about the prospects for the Dancik brand in North America. We have invested in the team, adding more resources to support growing customer demand. We have published our product roadmap for Navigator and all ancillary modules and launched its K8 software solution focusing on construction (building supplies, electrical and plumbing wholesalers and lumber) distributive trades that underpin the main customer base in Europe.

We have acquired a great business with a proven product and a bright future. We have inherited an amazing group of software professionals who are committed to supporting our loyal customers.

“The system has improved customer processes, operational efficiency and productivity” - Ryan Cairley, Project Manager, LSK Supplies

LSK chose our K8 system to support future growth, by implementing a cloud based system to minimise IT overheads. This has benefited them by providing:

  • Greater efficiency and productivity
  • Improved customer processes and service levels
  • Significant gains from digital signature capture
  • Real-time management information

Read the full story here.

Business Insight Day

Join us at our free Business Insight Day for the Tile, Kitchen and Bathroom industries, 23rd of February 2016. The day will be held at Woodland Grange in Leamington Spa.

We will be covering a number of topics to help you make the most of your business, all presented by industry experts. Gather tips and techniques to make the most of web, social media and your customer data. Hear how TileFlair have developed and grown their business.

IAAF

We are pleased to announce that we are now members of the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF). The IAAF started trading in 1930 as the only trade association for the automotive aftermarket. Their aim is to “promote all aspects of the aftermarket and support every part of a member’s business and provide beneficial services.”

We are looking forward to working with the IAAF and all its members.

We are delighted to announce that we will be attending Automechanika Birmingham on the 7th – 9th June 2016 at the NEC Birmingham stand 11C2.

Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) provides K8, the market-leading trading and business management solution designed for automotive distributors, part suppliers and motor factors.

If you would like any information prior to the event please contact our Automotive specialist, Mark Darley - Mark.Darley@kerridgecs.com

Howarth Timber celebrates 175th anniversary

At the flagship event at the Leeds United Conference Centre, Howarth Timber set up a live K8 system linked to their remotely-hosted server. Customers who attended the ‘Trade Day Bonanza’, were able to buy from a specially-created and priced catalogue of 1000+ products and either collect them on the day, or have them delivered by their local Howarth branch.

Successful planning and execution

Key to the event’s success was the support from Howarth’s suppliers, who not only provided an impressive showcase exhibition for visitors, but arranged for stock to be delivered to Elland Road especially for the day, essentially on a sale or return basis. Paul Cornford, Group IS Manager, said, “This was a major project with lots of preparatory work for our branch team to set up the ‘event branch’, but from an IT perspective, everything ran perfectly. Although we had a 4G back-up facility, which was thoroughly tested in advance, connections to our hosted server worked very well throughout the event. Our sales counter terminals and the Wi-Fi terminals located around the exhibition area delivered excellent and seamless performance that was easily comparable with our branch operations. In short, we have proved that K8 can be used in pop-up shop environment – a reusable model for the next time.”

Commercial success

The event, held on the 13th November, was attended by more than 1,200 trade and retail customers. Throughout the day, there was a real buzz in the conference centre, the supplier stands were kept busy and clearly the special offers proved very attractive. There was plenty of advice on hand from the suppliers’ staff and the Howarth team, manning the adjacent Wi-Fi terminals, completed customer orders for collection or delivery. For customers without an account, credit card facilities were provided with PIN machine connections.

Kerridge Commercial Systems CEO, Ian Bendelow, said, “We were delighted to support this landmark event for Howarth Timber - the first time that K8 had been used on such a scale in a ‘pop-up’ shop environment.  Our team that attended confirmed that K8 ran very well - all credit to Howarth for setting things so successfully, managing the complex logistics and providing a great opportunity for their customers and suppliers alike.”

Howarth online

In addition to the event’s trading operations, Howarth also used the opportunity to showcase its fully responsive online store which, integrated with K8, is growing in popularity amongst customers. Marketing Manager, Neale Brewster, said, “Our online store, launched in the Spring, is designed to complement branch operations - meeting the needs of customers who might want to shop outside of opening hours or merely to order online for fast collection. It’s proving to be a very important facility and although we continue to maintain personal contact with our customers, there’s a growing need to offer 24/7 access to stock and self-service operations.” 

About Howarth

Celebrating 175 years of trading in 2015, the Howarth Timber Group has grown to provide not only the widest range of products, but expertise, service and knowledge that can be relied on. Now the UK's largest privately-owned timber company, its origins can be traced back to 1840 when it commenced trading as Hudson & Co. Over the years the Howarth Timber Group has expanded from a one man company to an employer of more than 1,000 people specialists who know the industry inside out.

Today, the Howarth Timber Group encompasses a network of 29 timber and builders' merchant branches geographically spread across the country, complemented by dedicated manufacturing divisions supplying class-leading windows and doors and highly specialist timber engineering products and services. The group has achieved Chain of Custody certification covering all divisions, proving compliance with government specifications for timber sourced from legal and well-managed sources. The accreditation also confirms that the company meets the requirements of the construction industry's independent third party audit organisations.

Key Facts

  • 175th Anniversary event required set up of special ‘event’ branch
  • Catalogue of 1,000+ products created
  • Stock delivered, booked in and ready for sale
  • Communications links thoroughly tested in advance
  • Systems “performed perfectly”

We are delighted to be attending the annual IAAF Awards Dinner at the ICC, Birmingham on the 17th December and are looking forward to an enjoyable evening with colleagues and companies from across the automotive industry.

The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation represents the largest number of parts distributors and suppliers within the independent automotive aftermarket. The IAAF Awards Dinner follows on from the IAAF conference – the automotive aftermarket’s largest industry event.

Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) supplies the leading trading and business management software, K8, designed for automotive distributors, part suppliers and motor factors. Attending on the night on behalf of KCS will be Mark Darley and Paula Hayter. If you would like any information prior to the event please contact Mark - Mark.Darley@kerridgecs.com

Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) are delighted to be sponsoring the Hungerford Victorian Extravaganza for the 2nd year running. On the 11th of December, local dignitaries will turn back the clock to the 1800’s and celebrate the 24th Annual Hungerford Victorian Extravaganza.

The evening will open at 5pm with music from the Hungerford Town Band and the Scottish Pipe Band. The High Street will be busy with Victorian organs, steam engines, and a variety of themed stalls. Many people will be in Victorian Dress. At 7.00pm the Grand Parade starts in Bridge Street followed by fire-works at the three Swans Hotel.

For more info visit: http://www.hungerfordchamberofcommerce.co.uk/victorian-extravaganza/

Dancik CONNECT 15

Dancik International, a US-based Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) company, recently hosted their 2015 CONNECT user conference at The Cary, North Carolina. With more than 100 delegates representing nearly 50 customers, CONNECT 15 was a great success by every measure.

CONNECT 15 was used to introduce KCS to the Dancik customers and to share product strategies. Customers took the opportunity to play an active role in the event by providing crucial feedback both individually and as a group, networking with other Dancik Customers and, most importantly, having some fun along the way!

Mitch Dancik, founder of Dancik International, opened CONNECT 15 with the rationale behind the recent acquisition of Dancik by KCS. This was followed by an introduction to Ian Bendelow (KCS CEO): Ian outlined the history of KCS, their market profile and their typical customer base.

The two day event comprised a series of presentations, breakout sessions and demonstrations. Speakers and topics included; Alan Cross (KCS COO) who presented what Dancik have delivered over the past 12 months and their future plans, including a published and accessible roadmap via the Web and the potential to introduce other KCS Products into the Dancik portfolio, such as Web-Builder, K-Print and an interface to K8 GL financials.

Mark Mashewske shared the Dancik product roadmap and a prototype of the new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) product. David Anderson and John Gulas highlighted ways customers can save money and run a more efficient warehouse and Marie Sutherland encouraged attendees to consider if they’re leaving money on the table by not fully leveraging their existing technology investment.

The highlights of the programme were Dancik customers sharing their success stories. LuAnn Doyle from Ohio Valley Flooring gave advice about implementing Navigator.  George Young from TranSouth Logistics talked about their success with Integrated Warehouse Management System (IWMS).  DJ Lee from Professional Flooring Supply shared his experience with the benefits of using Sales Portal. Jeff Dudzik from Virginia Tile shared tips for encouraging a culture that embraces change and drives for operational improvements.

An extremely popular event was The Navigator Order Challenge! Delegates could compete against each other to post the fastest time to place an order through Navigator. Congratulations to Tina Boyle from Louisville Tile Distributors who won the challenge, entering her order in less than 30 seconds!

“At Dancik we are continually looking to build our relationships with our customers, developing our solutions and services in line with their needs. Customer conferences, like this one, help us to facilitate that. If our customers are going to take time out of their extremely busy schedules, it was vital that their interests were at the heart of the event. I believe this factor, combined with the desire by our customers to maximise the opportunities and potential of their IT investment, led to the fantastic turnout and all-round success of the event,” said Mitch Dancik.

Dancik CONNECT 15

This year's TTA Tileman's Lunch will be held at Sartoria in Savile Row and will be taking place on Wednesday 9th December in London. Adrian Cannon will be representing Kerridge Commercial Systems at this event.

If you would like to get in touch  prior to the event you can contact Adrian directly by using the email address below:

Adrian Cannon: Adrian.Cannon@kerridgecs.com

Elta Automotive Opt for the Cloud

Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) is pleased to announce that Elta Automotive have decided to migrate their K8 system to a KCS hosted service.

Elta is a major component distributor based in the West Midlands and holds the UK licence for the renowned Lucas Electrical brand. Established in 1993, Elta supplies motor factors and trade customers across the globe, operating from its large, central warehouse in Coleshill. The company’s stockholding includes in excess of 5.5 million components and a product range of over 15,000 lines.

KCS hosted service offers customers 99.5% availability in centralised data centres, with KCS performing all system administration and management including data backup and restore.

Leading the project management from Elta, Stuart Poole commented “We were keen to move to a hosted solution to improve our disaster recovery capability. It also means that we don’t need to worry about maintaining the hardware, leaving us to focus on more strategic IT initiatives.”

Stuart also commented on the affordability of the solution “Once we factored in all of the direct and indirect costs of maintaining a server, we realised that there wasn’t a major increase, yet we would be getting much better service and level of business continuity.”

KCS provides a full-range of hosted and managed services, from hosting a customer’s own hardware, all the way through to providing a full SaaS offering. Many of KCS’s customers are moving to the cloud and the majority of new customers are now opting for SaaS where their K8 software and all hardware can be paid for monthly by the number of users. See our website for more details.

TBG

We are pleased to announce that Kerridge Commercial Systems are now members of the Timber Buying Group (TBG). Founded in October 2013 it is the industry’s first category focused purchasing initiative. TBG works with a number of partners to provide members with support and advice beyond the purchasing. We are looking forward to developing strong partnership with TBG and its members.

More about TBG here.

More about K8 here.

This year's Builders' Merchants Awards for Excellence will be held in London's Lancaster Hotel on 20 November 2015. James Harmer and Adrian Cannon will be attending what promises to be another exceptional event by the team at Builders’ Merchants News magazine. They will be representing Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS), which offers K8, a fully integrated business management and trading solution, used by many of the leading building supplies merchants.

If you have any questions prior to the event you can contact Adrian and James directly by using their email addresses below:

Adrian Cannon: Adrian.Cannon@kerridgecs.com

Paula Hayter: Paula.Hayter@kerridgecs.com

They look forward to seeing you there!

Read more about the event here: http://www.merchants-awards.co.uk/

Nominate here: http://www.merchants-awards.co.uk/enter-now

We are delighted to be attending The Build Show (part of the UK Construction Week 2015), which will take place 6th - 8th October 2015 at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham. We will be joining more than 1000 exhibitions and 55,000+ building and construction industry contractors and professionals. Adrian, James and Paula will be ready to answer your questions about our award-winning ERP System.

Return of The Great K8 Order Challenge

Once again we will be running “The Great K8 Order Challenge”. Anyone is welcome to come and visit our stand B4/10 to have a go. The task is simple – raise and complete a 4-line cash sale as quickly as you can. The prize will be revealed at our Stand on the first day of the event. At NMBS Exhibition in April this year our winner walked away with a magnum of Moet & Chandon, you can read more about it here

Read more about UK Construction Week here.

Read more about K8 here.

We look forward to seeing you there!

This year Paula Hayter and James Harmer will be attending BMF Members Day (Wednesday 16th - Thursday 17th September).

In their own words: “we are very excited to come back and catch up with the current and new BMF Members. This event is always brilliantly organised and provides great insight into the industry which we are very proud to serve!”.

For more information about the event and speakers please visit: http://www.bmf.org.uk/members-day-2015/

If you have any questions for Paula or James before the event about how we may be able to support your IT needs, you can contact them directly using the email addresses below:

James Harmer: James.Harmer@kerridgecs.com

Paula Hayter: Paula.Hayter@kerridgecs.com

TTA to host business insight

Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) is holding a tailored Business Insight Open Day, for the tile and KBB industries, at The Tile Association in Stone, Staffordshire. The event will take place on Thursday 26 November and is free to attend. As well as exploring a raft of IT-related issues, the programme will also feature renowned industry speakers and presentations from leading tile businesses. The morning itinerary will conclude with a QA session and a networking lunch.

In response to industry feedback, key discussion areas on the day will include On-line trading – double your floor space and footfall; Social media - the business version; and Customer value vs discounting – getting to know your customer through CRM.

KCS is a key IT supplier to the tile and KBB industries. Tile customers include Beccles Tile Centre, Ceramic Tile Warehouse, European Heritage and Tileflair.

To register for the free event, please contact hello@kerridgecs.com.

Bolt and Nut Centre

Bolt & Nut Centre, owned by Brandon and Daphne Fisher is headquartered in Pietermaritzburg, the capital city of Kwa-Zulu Natal. They have branches in Port Shepstone and Johannesburg and specialise in supplying tools, bolts, washers, anchors, chemicals and abrasives.

Bolt & Nut Centre have over 7000 line items and are Pietermaritzburg’s largest and most comprehensive stockists of fasteners. They supply to the Construction, Engineering, Motor, Electrical and Farming industries as well as to small enterprises, Home DIY enthusiasts and hobbyists.

Mr & Mrs Fisher first spoke to Kerridge Commercial Systems back in 2014 and at the time decided to investigate other cheaper solutions in SA, but they soon realised K8 is the correct ERP to grow their business, so they signed up and are now part of the KCS family.

Bolt & Nut Centre is currently using a system with separate servers in each location. Consolidation of data is a manual and time consuming process, often resulting in inaccurate financial figures. The KCS award winning K8 product will be implemented on a central server, providing live sales data that can be easily consolidated to give an accurate view of the status of all aspects of the trade and finance areas of the operation.

They have signed up for a SAAS solution, hosted at the KCS data centre and will be going live on the latest version of the K8 software; Babbage named after the “father” of computers Charles Babbage.

Brandon Fisher, Owner of Bolt & Nut Centre said: “We decided to go with K8, as we need the correct system to handle our future growth plans. We are planning to open more branches in all provinces in SA, so having a central, tried and tested solution with consolidated visibility across all branches is very important for us”

Des Nangle, Managing Director of KCS SA said: “I am very pleased that Bolt and Nut Centre have re-evaluated our K8 proposition, and I am confident that they will realise a return on investment soon after going live. Our hosting SAAS option provides a transparent cost model for growing companies, and is also indicative of our faith in the K8 product in a market where revenues are dependent on having customers stay on your platform for longer.”

Company History

Bolt and Nut Centre was purchased in 1987 by Ted and Louisa Nutting who built the business from humble beginnings into the strong and successful business it is today. They achieved this success by offering clients good honest service that they could depend on. Ted’s philosophy was to always put the customer first and deliver fast friendly service to every customer, no matter how big or small their purchase.

This dedication to superior service has become the trademark of Bolt and Nut Centre.

Today the company is owned by Brandon and Daphne Fisher. They purchased the business in 2011 and have continued Ted and Louisa’s tradition of service excellence.

“We’ve been in the industry for over 25 years we have very good relations with a considerable number of suppliers and our staff have the technical expertise to correctly advise our clients on their requirements.”

www.boltandnut.co.za

Welcome Dancik International

23rd July 2015: Today Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) a global company headquartered in the UK, has reached an agreement to acquire Dancik International, a US headquartered company, and its successful suite of products. This acquisition is a key strategic investment for KCS and a welcome development for Dancik, as together, the two companies will form one of the strongest ERP offerings for the distributive trades.

Currently KCS offer the market-leading and award-winning K8 ERP system underpinning over 700 distributive trade customers world-wide, including builders’ merchants, automotive parts distributors, food wholesalers, electrical distributors and many other distribution verticals. Dancik International have a suite of products including their Dancik Enterprise System (DES) with Navigator, an ERP solution for the flooring, tile, stone and home décor industries.

Going forward, KCS will be promoting both their existing products and the Dancik product range, each targeted at their core vertical markets, in line with the group strategy of providing deep domain expertise and fit. The acquisition of Dancik also provides an exciting platform for the launch of K8 into the US and Canadian markets.

Speaking about the acquisition, Ian Bendelow, CEO of KCS commented “This is a key strategic acquisition for us. It immediately gives us presence in the North American market and a platform for growth in this important region. Dancik aligns with our successful business strategy of focusing on trading and business management solutions for the distributive trades, including wholesalers, distributors, retailers, merchants and resellers. Fundamentally both Dancik and KCS offer customers value by bringing functionally rich solutions that are vertically focused to the needs of our customer; continuous development that is highly responsive to our customers evolving market; and our people who have deep knowledge of our customer’s vertical market. Dancik and KCS are a great match.”

Mitch Dancik, Chairman of Dancik International commented “The acquisition by KCS brings together two great companies with the desire to deliver focused solutions to the distribution market. The combined resources of the two companies will provide a critical mass for us growing sales and market share of all our products. We are also really pleased to have found a company with matching values and the same level of ambition.”

Dancik International will operate as an independent business unit of Kerridge Commercial Systems and will retain its name, although with a new brand to emphasise the synergy with KCS.

For more information, please contact: marketing@kerridgecs.com

Download Press Release

Two day conference provided great insights to KCS Customers

The 2015 Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) Customer Conference provided delegates with a diverse and stimulating programme covering the latest in the company’s software solutions and more. With briefings and presentations on a range of the latest products and service initiatives, the conference focussed on how KCS customers could add value to their businesses using IT, both strategically and tactically. The company’s technology partners were well represented in the partners’ lounge with the opportunity to meet Cognito, GenerateUK Digital Marketing, Interoute, The Logic Group, OCSL, Oracle and PHD Mail.

The highlight of the conference - a two day event for the first time, was the introduction of the latest K8 release – named K8 Babbage. Delegates also learned more about Web Builder – the company’s integrated electronic trading application.

Company updates

Some significant developments in the company’s support and training provisions were announced.

In particular, COO Alan Cross said that his team will be focussing more on reducing the need for customers to make support calls. “We are confident that by working together, a combination of training and extending knowledge, our customers will not only be able to gain more value from their systems but also make fewer support calls”.

Mike Beech, Product Marketing Director, brought delegates up to date with the work of the Customer Advisory Board. Introduced in 2014, the CAB has already proved to be a valuable resource in delivering ideas and specific user requirements into the product development cycle.

The first day’s opening session also included a review of the technologies that support KCS’s cloud and hosting services. A growth area for the business with an increasing number of customers making the switch away from on premise servers. Being able to more focus on the business – means less time spent on system management.

Ready for the future

Tom Richardson, Product Manager, introduced K8 Babbage to the conference. Continuing K8’s progressive and evolutionary path, this latest version has been enhanced in several key areas. Consolidating a number of previous releases, over 180 enhancements have been made in a programme that has involved over 1,800 QA tests and checks. Notable changes include browser client functionality – enabling specific enquiry functions to be accessed via any device on the move. An improved hire management application has been introduced, together with superior graph and charting capabilities, and additional facilities to handle returns and tools to streamline user management. An integral part of the Babbage programme, KCS has introduced a number of tools to help customers upgrade to this latest release – notably from K8.07 and K8.09 platforms.

Customer insights

Automotive parts distributor FPS (fpsdistribution.com), a KCS customer since the early 1990’s, implemented K8 Babbage in February and became the first customer to go live on the release. Jonathan Eden, Head of Business Systems at FPS, presented the upgrade experience: how the project was initiated, the rationale behind it and the process through to go live which involved 380 users across 20 branches. In a break-out session on day two, Jonathan and the KCS FPS project manager, explained the process in detail and how teams from both companies delivered a successful project.

Continuing the customer experience theme, now a regular conference feature, Stuart Baker, Training and Implementation Manager for SIG, talked about the implementation of K8 as a new user. Focussing on the K8 Delivery Management applications, Stuart explained how installing K8 needs to be a change management exercise. He referred to the importance of taking people on the journey, appreciating the impact of the process and system has on all stakeholders. Guest speaker for the evening reception and dinner was best-selling author, presenter and business guru Geoff Burch. Entertaining and thought-provoking, Geoff delivered an informed perspective on topics drawn from his considerable international experience, with a focus on customer service and managing the overall customer experience.

Engaging Breakout Sessions

Day two of the conference comprised a programme of break-out sessions which ensured that the event truly had something for everyone. There was more detail about K8 Babbage – including the financial suite. Delegates could also take on-board the latest K8 developments in reporting, data warehousing, business intelligence, rebates and special pricing facilities. Web Builder, the integrated ecommerce application, was covered by Lawsons’ (lawsons.co.uk) own implementation experience and a technical overview by KCS specialists. A meet the ‘K8 Experts’ group, representing all key areas of the system, was on hand to talk about any specific issues or concerns on a one-to-one basis. A series of sessions, delivered by KCS partners, briefed delegates on WAN solutions, SEO, ecommerce, mobile proof of delivery and EFT systems.

The conference also embraced the needs of customers from the manufacturing and field engineering sectors. The K8 Enterprise solution, which is used in a wide range of diverse industries, featured in a series of sessions focussing on business intelligence, call logging and its field service mobile app. Customer experiences covered shop floor data capture, workflow management, dashboard facilities and ecommerce functionality.

Summing up, CEO Ian Bendelow said, “Our annual customer conference has become a flagship event in our calendar. Each year, we strive to make the event as beneficial as we possibly can, not only for our customers, but also our technology partners who play a key role in meeting our customers’ ever-changing requirements. Much more than an opportunity to share how we are investing in products and services for the future, bringing everyone together also creates a stimulating environment. Open discussion leads to ideas being generated which is exciting and rewarding for everyone.”

Putting ERP software to the test

On Thursday 16th April, Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) were attending the annual NMBS exhibition at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

The biggest and best NMBS exhibition yet, the venue was buzzing and no more so than on the KCS stand where we were running "The Great K8 Order Challenge”. The task was simple – raise and complete a 4-line cash sale as quickly as you can on K8. The prize – a magnum of Moët & Chandon champagne for the fastest time on the day.

Competition was fierce from the start with various people setting fastest times, before Jamie Paradise topped the leader board with 29.6 seconds – the best in the morning. This was then eclipsed by Glen Selfe (Plumb-IT) with 25.9 seconds, a time that stayed at the top of the board until Phil Smith (Embrass Peerless) put in a best time yet. It looked like Phil was going to take the champagne until Steph Smith (Primaflow) managed to take the lead with an amazing 19.9 seconds – the first to crack under 5 seconds per line.

Not to be beaten (obviously a champagne fan) Phil returned and clocked an outstanding 17.6 seconds on his second attempt, a time that proved to be unbeatable! Well done Phil – the worthy winner of our first K8 Order Challenge.

Most of the competitors had never used K8 before and our winner, Phil Smith, was also a novice – testament to the ease of use and lightning speed of our Sales Order Processing software for trade businesses.

If you think you can do better, come along to our Customer Conference (LINK) where we will be running the competition again. Alternatively, send us a video-clip of you taking a 4 line order on K8 and we’ll award prizes for the quickest and funniest and will post a few on to our YouTube channel (marketing@kerridgecs.com) . If you are doing your own order lines – only one can be scanned (too easy otherwise) so at least three items need to be found and keyed in.

We’ll look forward to seeing your video clips or seeing you in person at the next Great K8 Order Challenge!

Supporting multi-branches a key factor for selection

Braytons supplies their products across South Africa and also to neighbouring countries. Their product range includes roof trusses, laminated beams and structural timber. Their services include plotting full scale drawings for contractors using Braytons; onsite visits and site measurements; and sales and delivery of their products.

Bradley and Clayton Tiley, Directors of Braytons Timbers, said: “We couldn’t support the multi-branch scenario on our current system, nor could the system cater for the volume of transactions we have to process on a daily basis. K8 offered us a great solution to manage all our needs going forward, specifically the multi-branch functionality.”

Des Nangle, Managing Director of KCS SA, commented: “K8 has been the choice of software for many timber merchants, with key functionality like stock by tally specification and tally length in metres, centimetres or millimetres, key to the succesful running of a timber yard. We are very pleased to have Braytons Timbers join our timber customer base and we are confident that K8 will support their current and future business aspirations”.

The installation will be a SaaS setup with 30 users.

The project will start with the first installation at Braytons’ Johannesburg branch and will be quickly followed by the Dundee branch, KZN.

Pupkewitz MegaBuild is one of Southern Africa’s largest and most professionally run building and hardware supply operations. They service their customers through a chain of owned branches, multiple depots and franchises. They have been a leading supplier of building goods since 1925.

Megabuild operates from 16 branches across Namibia. The latest branch was opened in December 2014, in Windhoek in the Grove Mall. This branch is a retail focussed outlet, where the other operations are more trade and contractor based. The new retail store will act as a proof of concept and the blueprint used to enhance their overall retail offering. This model will be rolled out to other branches in order to extend the retail focus of those branches.

The new store required 50 additional K8 users to their current compliment of 320. The system is hosted at SALT, a Kerridge Commercial Systems partner data-centre based in Windhoek, and will be managed remotely by KCS Managed Services.

This is one of the largest hardware retail stores in Namibia with 6,000 m² (66 0000 ft²) covered space and a 6000 m² yard. The store features 19 till points with advanced bi-optical scanning technology as well as Point of Sale pole displays and automated flip lid cash drawers. In addition, electronic shelf “talkers” have been installed, each with an interface to K8, to automatically update selling prices.

Megabuild has been a KCS customer since 1998. KCS also recently implemented K8 at their sister company, Megatech, a reseller and distributor of electrical products.

Danie Du Toit, Financial Director, Megabuild said: “Rolling out K8 for the new store was easy and cost effective. We have been using K8 for 17 years now and the K8 software is key to our growth”.

Des Nangle, Managing Director of KCS South Africa, said: “Pupkewitz Megabuild has been a long-standing customer of KCS and I have really enjoyed working in partnership with them, and watching how their business grew. K8 is a very scalable and flexible product, proven with the ease with which Megabuild has been able to rollout K8 to their retail store, where speed is of the essence. K8’s ability to simultaneously process many POS transactions live to General Ledger is a key benefit for this environment”.

Your business, your way.

Kerridge Commercial Systems Brand Update

As a successful company, with a strong reputation for technical expertise and a team committed to excellent customer service, Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) has a bright future. However, we thought our brand wasn’t reflecting our ambition, our innovation or our desire to deliver market-leading products to our forward-thinking customers in the distributive trades. So we have made a few changes, starting with the website (www.kerridgecs.com).

Our dynamic new look and feel is designed to position us for continued explosive growth and world-wide expansion. Our new visual identity and brand language have been created to underline our position as the market-leading ERP solution provider for distributive trades.

Our Mission

Our brand story starts with our mission and the four cornerstones of our value proposition - to help our customers ‘source effectively, stock efficiently, sell profitably, and service competitively’. These four areas are embodied in our new logo – the smooth, magenta diamond with four parallel, stylised ‘S’s, perfectly synchronised with each other – as you would expect of an integrated, fully-featured ERP solution designed specifically for the distributive trades

Our Customers

Our star-studded customer references cover all verticals in the wholesale and retail markets and our flexibility and innovation enables us to partner customers for the long-term. We continue to deliver solutions to customers large and small across the distribution chain, including distributors, wholesalers, merchants, resellers and retailers. We have ensured that customers were consulted in developing our new brand and have been the first to see the new look & feel.

Our Company

The growth and success
 of our company – past, present, and future – relies on our market-leading products, specialist services and support, dynamic team, and network of partners. We continue to innovate and look to add increasing value to our customers and wanted to ensure this was reflected with a modern look. For example, we are using a new typeface, Aguda, that conveys dynamism, modernity and clarity, with smooth, rounded forms that echo our logo.

Our Expertise

Our technical experts’, immersed in the distributive trades for over 35 years, are thought leaders in developing technology for this sector. This ensures our innovative products meet our customers’ needs – now and in the future. The distinctive magenta colour is retained and emphasised, tying our past to our future, and setting us apart from the competition in this market.

While our strategy stays the same, the new look and feel reflects our dynamism and commitment to stay at the forefront of IT for the distributive trades. Our mission to help our customers source, stock, sell and service is embodied in our new logo and we continue to focus on innovating and delivering market-leading ERP solutions built for the distributive trades – only now we are reflecting this with a dynamic, modern brand!

9th April 2015: Auto Express, a relatively new business based in Gabarone, Botswana are distributors of automotive parts. The proprietors were previously directors in a large automotive parts distributor that implemented an alternative ERP System throughout their business.

Discussing their decision to choose K8 to support their new business, Mitul Patel, Auto Express Director said: “I was looking for a direct sales and support model and we did not want the implementation allocated to a partner. Our previous system had 3rd party custom developed software for key modules like POS, Stock Management and Financial Reporting. We opted to go for Kerridge based on their success with Motovac, EuroCar Parts (UK) and the largest Hardware trading businesses here in Botswana”.

K8 offered Auto Express a fully integrated solution with one price per user that included all modules. Furthermore, Mr. Patel found that the consultants provided by the incumbent did not have industry knowledge. “I felt that money was wasted having to teach the implementation partner about the terminology of my business and industry, that I thought they would have knowledge of”.

Des Nangle, Managing Director of Kerridge Commercial Systems, South Africa commented: “The automotive aftermarket parts sector is a key growth area for our K8 Product and this is a significant deal as it strengthens our opportunities with tier one prospects in South Africa. Some of the UK’s largest part resellers have standardized on K8. We are very pleased that Auto Express have entered into this partnership with us”.

Auto Express will go live with 4 branches and 30 users.

K8 will most likely be rolled out next year to the retail stores initially. A key K8 differentiator was the powerful search functionality, which will make it easy for branch staff to find products, in a market sector with many product alternatives and successors.

April 7th 2015 - Oracle today recognised Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) with its 2015 Oracle Excellence Award for Oracle ISV Partner of the Year – UK. KCS is a Gold level member of Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN).

The Oracle Excellence Awards for Specialized Partner of the Year - UK encourage innovation by OPN members, who use Oracle's products and technology to create value for customers. The award reflects KCS’ success in adopting OPN’s Specialized approach which is aimed at enabling partners to establish industry recognition by following a formal process to become Specialized in key Oracle solution areas.

KCS was presented the 2015 Oracle Excellence Award for Oracle ISV Partner of the Year– UK for demonstrating excellence in Oracle enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions for the Distributive Trades. KCS deliver K8, a market-leading ERP solution based on Oracle technology and focused on meeting the needs of distributors, wholesalers, retailers and merchants. By using Oracle Database and Oracle Linux, K8 is scalable from 1 or 2 users to many thousands, and can provide business resilience with Oracle’s replication and failover solutions.

Ian Bendelow, CEO of KCS received the award “We are delighted to be recognised by Oracle for our innovation in Oracle ERP for distribution market. With K8, our distribution customers get a functionally rich, fully integrated business system and, through the use of Oracle technology, one that scales and performs among the highest levels, providing an enterprise-class solution no matter the customer’s size. We constantly review our customers’ ever growing needs and believe Oracle products can offer a true business advantage to them.”

“KCS has demonstrated an outstanding level of innovation in delivering proven, Oracle-based solutions that solve our joint customers' most critical business challenges,” said Will O’Brien, Vice President, Alliances and Channels, UK and Ireland. “We congratulate KCS in achieving the 2015 Oracle Excellence Award for Oracle ISV Partner of the Year  – UK. This achievement is a testament to their dedication to excellence and to providing customers solutions and services that drive real business value and results.”

Trans Natal Glass is a long standing third generation family business established in 1964 and is better known to their customers as the Glass Factory. They specialize in the distribution of décor, glassware and gifting with a small percentage of manufacturing in the form of decorative glass cutting.

Trans Natal Glass is South Africa’s premier glassware and home décor distributor. They import and wholesale an array of glassware and décor pieces, and are well-known for their collection of Somerset Crystal Glassware. Their range of over 2500 products includes drinking glasses, tumblers, bowls, platters, vases, candle holders, decorative items, containers, bottles and much more to suit all needs and tastes.

Trading is at the heart of the business as they import and distribute to major retailers and a large number of gift shops, interior decorators and event management businesses, they also export to neighbouring countries. They have a walk through showroom for the general public, which has 4 POS terminals.

Craig Birnie, Managing Director of Trans Natal Glass says: “I have identified functionality such as, import costing, two stage receipting and advanced sales capability as key differentiating factors from other systems I have reviewed.”

Des Nangle, Managing Director of Kerridge Commercial Systems, South Africa commented: “We are delighted to be working with Trans Natal Glass, Krugersdorp, although we have a large footprint in distribution, it is great to sign up a niche customer. Our software is geared for supporting the seasonal and fashion led forecasting that drives the buying patterns in this sector, we are pleased to have them on board.”

Established in 1936, Johannesburg-based Transtool are in the tool distribution and wholesale market sector. They stock leading tool brands and are the sole agents in South Africa, exclusively importing and distributing Forge Hand Tools and DIY Products. Their main focus is the wholesale industry.

Before selecting and implementing K8, TransTool consulted various other companies in their industry sector for advice on ERP software providers, and soon came to the conclusion that K8 was the market leader. After reviewing their options, TransTool migrated away from their AS400 platform and opted for a full SAAS option, hosted at Teraco. TransTool went live with their K8 solution in the first week of March 2015.

TransTool opted to implement the standard K8 functionality as this best met their company needs - they had no complex financial requirements in terms of buying from their suppliers; no uplifts in purchasing; or discount terms in selling. TransTool have adopted the K8 processes as they essentially run their business by “keeping it simple”. They were most impressed with the fact that the implementation would require no customisations or modifications in order to fit their business. The Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) Go-Live team and consultants did create a number of specific reports but this was the limit of what was needed to tailor K8 for TransTool.

Chris Beedle, Managing Director of TransTool, says: “We were looking to upgrade our old out of date software package and noticed that more than a few of our suppliers and customers were using K8. We looked into it and when we met with them we were very impressed with what we saw and even more impressed that we didn’t have to deal with greedy and pushy third party re-sellers, we dealt directly with KCS.”

“The KCS consultants were extremely professional, diligent and patient with us, which resulted in our Go-Live going super smoothly with basically zero issues. The process was made so easy thanks to the whole team at KCS and their efforts.”

Woodie’s DIY Ltd, operating from 37 locations across Ireland, have signed up to implement K8 software across their branches to simplify and move business processes forward. The K8 system will be used to manage quoting, selling, deposit taking and placing orders with suppliers for their Kitchen Sales.

The challenge for Woodie’s in the past was the ability to easily produce quotations based on the CAD drawings. These drawings could also be amended between quotation and sale and re-quotes would be required – K8 is able accommodate these changes and also ensures that Woodie’s would only be quoting on active components from their suppliers. KCS’s track record in Kitchen Sales and the ability of K8 to interface with many CAD Solutions, allows for amended quotations to be created at the click of a button from the revised drawings.

Once a sale is made, the latest iteration of the quotation is simply converted to a sale which triggers a Purchase Note to be sent to their supplier, who can then commence planning. Deposit payments are also tracked against the order, so that customers who wish to pay over a period of time can be tracked in real time.

Project Leader from Woodie’s, Gavin Lambkin said “We look forward to partnering with KCS as they bring a wealth of experience and expertise to help us grow our kitchens and bathroom business.”

Key to the selection of K8 was in some part due to KCS’ experience with other companies, both inside and outside of The Grafton Group, where we have a proven track record in both, kitchen sales and wider joinery markets. The fact that K8 will also sit alongside the existing POS system and that there will be minimal if any impact on that system was also very important to Woodie’s.

Ian Bendelow, CEO of KCS added: “We are delighted that Woodie’s have selected K8 and we look forward to expanding our relationship with The Grafton Group even further as we roll out this project. Our software is designed to work in complex environments, where it is not a typical 'box-shift' operation and has been part of the attraction for numerous customers over the past 12 years since its launch”.

Dear Customer,

We would like to make you aware of some important changes that HMRC has announced with regard to the calculation and payment of VAT on Prompt Payment Discounts (PPDs). These changes will impact all suppliers who offer and all customers who receive PPDs, where an invoice is issued. (A PPD is often referred to as a settlement discount.)

Effective from 1st April 2015, suppliers must account for VAT on PPD’s in the amount they actually receive and customers may recover the amount of VAT on PPD that is actually taken in the payment to the supplier. Adjustments will need to be made at the point of payment to reflect the new VAT calculation methodology.

Further details on the changes coming into effect can be can be found on the HMRC’s website.

To support the regulative change, you will need to make an update to your system. However, what update(s) you will need and how these are applied will depend upon whether or not you use settlement discounts (PPDs) and whether you are using non-standard invoice formats and customised reports for VAT analysis purposes.

If this impacts you, please e-mail us on VATsupport.k8.uk@kerridgecs.com stating whether you issue or receive PPDs. Once we receive your e-mail, we will get back in touch with a specific action plan for you that covers both the version of the software you are on and also the changes needed to comply with the new HMRC rulings that impact you.  KCS PSG consultancy team can be contacted  to make changes to non-standard stationary and/or reports.  Should you wish to use this service please advise as part of your response.

If this raises any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us through the email address below.

Best regards,

Kerridge Commercial Systems Ltd.

Email: VATsupport.k8.uk@kerridgecs.com

11th February 2015: Ndlovu Fencing, trading as Stafix Electric Fence Centres, is the Southern African distributor and importer of the international Stafix and JVA range of electric fencing energizers and components. They also supply Roboguard and CP PLUS CCTV products and accessories as well as gate and garage door automation systems.

Stafix MD, Shaun Williamson, says “Stafix started in the 90’s, but the CEO Maurice Williamson introduced high-powered electric fencing to the Southern African market in the 70’s. With many years of in-field practical experience and technical knowledge in the erection and installation of electric fences, automatic gate motors, and intercom systems, Stafix now provides customers with all the necessary products, equipment, service and advice that they require for their installation needs in the Agricultural, Wildlife and Security fencing sectors.”

Stafix selected the K8 ERP solution from Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) to support their business and provide a firm foundation for their continued growth. The initial rollout of K8 will be for 60 users for the Central South African based branches. Phase 2 will follow in the Southern regions, adding another 60 users to the system and includes the manufacturing arm of the business. This will bring the total branches to approximately 20. K8’s comprehensive functionality includingn offline tills, central forecasting and data warehousing, helped secure the deal over competitor offerings.

K8 will be replacing a system which the client has outgrown and found lacking in inter-branch functionality, sales order and stock visibility as well as finance requirements for global credit control and consolidation. Furthermore K8 will help the business to improve their supply chain and control margins.

KCS South Africa Managing Director, Des Nangle, says, “We are very pleased to welcome Stafix to the growing number of multi-branch distributors who use K8 on a daily basis for accurate stock and financial information. These customers rely heavily on Kerridge Commercial Systems to supply and support business critical technology. Stafix is a prestigious organisation and we are looking forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership”.

Stafix Financial Director, Mrs Heidi Williamson, commented “K8 is a well-recognised solution in South Africa, and is well known for its tradingand distribution functionality.

With Stafix continuing to grow we need to have a successful ERP partner to grow with us. Data integrity is a vital part of any business today, so it is very important to choose the correct ERP solution.”

Contact us: info@k8.co.za

Pimlico Plumbing & Heating Merchants making full use of IT

5th February 2015: London-based, Pimlico Plumbing & Heating Merchants (Pimlico), which has only been trading since October 1st, is reporting that their K8 system is proving to be an invaluable tool for their growing business. Going live with K8 on the same day the company opened its doors, Pimlico has had full control of purchasing, stock, sales processing and finances from the start. Using K8, the company has been able to concentrate on delivering a high quality service to its customers

Samm Mullins, director said, “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. 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, having a system live within 4 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, 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.  “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.”

Leading synthetic lawn supplier to implement new fully integrated system

14th January 2015: ArtificialGrass.com has signed an order for an 18 user K8 system. Set to replace the Rutland-based company’s existing systems, K8 will provide ArtificialGrass.com with wide-ranging benefits; notably to support continued expansion into the builders’ merchant sector. K8 will be deployed on a hosted, cloud-based platform, enabling the company to develop its trading activities, without the day-to-day system management and maintenance overhead.

Pete Toghill, ArtificialGrass.com, Commercial Director said, “Our existing systems have served us well, but the business has grown significantly, and together with the lack of integration and management reporting constraints, meant that it was time to invest in our IT platform.” ArtificialGrass.com put a number of leading systems through a rigorous selection process before making the final decision. “We chose K8 for the system’s intuitive user functionality, together with Kerridge Commercial Systems’ strengths, particularly the company’s resources, technical competencies and proven reputation.”

With the project schedule for K8 in place, Kerridge CS and ArtificialGrass.com are now working together on preparing the system’s implementation. Workshop sessions covering areas such as warehouse management and finance will ensure that K8 processes are delivered to secure the maximum benefit for the company. “K8’s management information dashboards will make it considerably easier to see how the business is performing and to anticipate any risks. In overall terms we can be much more pro-active. With the K8 Web Builder application, our customers will have 24/7 online access to make enquiries, order stock and review their accounts. K8 Works Order and delivery management applications will also be valuable for us”, said Pete.

Ian Bendelow, Kerridge Commercial Systems, CEO, said, “We welcome ArtificialGrass.com and their choice of K8 to support their business. We are ready to help them achieve their operational and strategic requirements, particularly in the development of customer service processes, management controls and reporting.”

Pete Toghill concluded, “Unquestionably, K8 offers us considerable opportunities, will streamline our trading processes and make it much easier for our customers to do business with us. There’s great buy-in from our staff and, as we operate without dedicated in-house IT resources, in choosing Kerridge Commercial Systems, we have a long term partner to support us.”

12th January 2015: TBS Building Supplies, the Daventry-based builders’ merchants, has launched a new, fully integrated online trading system. The Kerridge Commercial Systems Web Builder platform, an integral part of class-leading K8 system used by TBS, means that customers are now able to look up product information, place orders and view account information on a 24/7 basis.

Nick Porter, 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,” said Nick.

Kerridge Commercial Systems, CEO, Ian Bendelow, said, “We are delighted that TBS has chosen K8 Web Builder – it’s clearly set to play a key role in developing their business and meeting customer requirements. 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 and distributors.”

21st November 2014: Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) are pleased to announce that they are sponsoring Jeremy Webb and his team, who are planning to row across the Atlantic in a world record-breaking time. Jeremy, former KCS staff member and former employee of RGB Ltd, a long-standing KCS customer, will be crossing the Atlantic in the “The Toby Wallace” as part of a 7 man crew in aid of the North Devon Hospice. “The Toby Wallace” and the “Oystershack” will be going head to head across the Atlantic to try and break the world record of a gruelling 32 day crossing, starting from the Canary Islands and ending in Barbados.

The crew have arrived in Puerto de Mogan (the Canary Islands) where the race begins, to start their preparation. In 30 degree heat, they suffered some logistical problems with engines and trailers, which were soon fixed, and have since spent a few days putting hand lines and finishing touches to the boats before heading out for some trial rows and trimming the boat. They are now down to a 7 man and 5 man crew (from 8 and 6) due to late health problems.

Jeremy and Oliver (another crew member) had the task of packing the food onto the boat. They had 588 bags of freeze dried meals (3 each per day) 196 snack packs and 294 protein drinks, to last them throughout the voyage. While they were hard at work doing that, the rest of the team were checking the electrics and painting blades.

The “Toby Wallace” and “Oystershack” crews are on standby to leave Puerto de Mogan on Sunday 23rd November. They are monitoring the weather system closely to ensure a safe departure. While they are on standby they have been doing plenty of safety drills, on water training and getting used to life on-board as this will be their home for the next month or so.

Ali Hunt, North Devon Hospice’s Head of Fundraising, said that Jeremy’s journey would be something very special: “I was blown away when Jeremy told me he was going to be rowing across the Atlantic, but the fact that he is also attempting to break the world record is just amazing. While it’s sure to be gruelling, it will also be the experience of a lifetime. We’re so thrilled that he is choosing to raise money for North Devon Hospice. Without support like this, we wouldn’t be able to provide our care to local people affected by cancer and other life-limiting illnesses.”

KCS are pleased to be able to support such a challenging task and a worthy cause. We wish both crews good luck and a safe and exciting journey. We will keep you up to date on their progress!

For more information or to donate, click here.

To follow their progress, click here.

Evergreens UK, the country’s largest stocklist of artificial grass, have placed an 18 user order for K8. Evergreen sell their products through a mixture of distributers and licensees around the UK as well as through independent merchants. Other brands within the company include Lazy Lawn and Artificial Grass UK. Evergreens also install their ‘fake’ grass at numerous high profile events around the world.

The artifical grass supplier chose K8 due to the breadth of functionality in one single integrated product, where e-commerce, works order, delivery management and business intelligence modules, amongst others, are paramount to business success.

To find out more about Evergreens UK, visit their website.

Leamington Electrical Distributors opens with fully integrated system

10th November 2014: Kerridge Commercial Systems announces that Leamington Electrical Distributors (LED) has implemented a cloud-based K8 solution.  The system went live shortly after the new business opened for trading in September. K8 applications that are proving particularly beneficial to LED include fully integrated stock control, sales, purchasing, accounts and management tools.

LED Manager, Jim Knight, said, “We needed a system that would help us to run the business efficiently from day one and to support future growth. Although we considered other systems, K8 offered all the functionality we needed as standard. There were no optional extras or hidden costs. With a business such as ours, maintaining a close watch on profit margins is essential and K8 gives us the detail with every transaction. Up to the minute stock, cash, debtor and creditor positions are at our fingertips.  Our customers don’t have to wait at the counter for an invoice or delivery note. For us, K8 is quick, efficient and intuitive to operate, and the service from Kerridge Commercial Systems has been excellent from the first contact. “

Ian Bendelow, Kerridge Commercial Systems CEO, commented, “We are delighted that LED has chosen K8 for their new business. It’s clear that the system is already helping with their buying and selling processes, as well as monitoring business performance. Having chosen the cloud deployment, the LED team are able to focus on operational priorities, without the day-to-day concerns of looking after a computer system. We look forward to a long and successful partnership with LED.”

22nd September 2014: Drakewoods is a family orientated, owner-managed business that prides itself in the strong principles of honesty, integrity and service excellence. By buying directly from the manufacturer and selling to the end user, Drakewoods is able to cut out the costs associated with the ‘middleman’.

Drakewoods is an official distributor of most well-known tool brands, including Gedore, Bosch, Metabo, Makita, Somta, FEW, Lasher and Irwin Record, to name a few. Their customer base is extensive and covers various sectors including manufacturing, motor, agriculture, shipping and petrochemical. Drakewoods also have a waste management business, E-Waste Africa, that offers corporates and Government institutions a number of options for lamp waste disposal: onsite storage, collection, crushing and their specialty, lamp recycling.

Discussing their decision to choose K8 to underpin their future business, Thilen Naidoo, Managing Director of Drakewoods, said, “We were looking for a system that performed well on the trade counter, was easy for the user to adopt and also offered a comprehensive integrated environment right through to the General Ledger. Other items that we found attractive were K8’s standard functionality that manages Buy-Outs and Special Buy-Outs which forms a significant part of our business. The system’s stock management system and the various statuses that can be tracked on products, such as reserved stock and products awaiting delivery, will certainly add value to our business. The Kerridge Commercial Systems team demonstrated from the start their familiarity and experience in the industry and we hope to draw on this in the future.”

Des Nangle, Managing Director of Kerridge Commercial Systems, South Africa commented, “We are delighted to be working with Drakewoods Pietermaritzburg, with its rich history and vast experience in this market sector. They join a growing number of like-minded businesses using the K8 system, and we welcome them to the K8 community”.

Jane Furse Building Supplies approaches 10 years of success founded upon K8 software

13th August 2014: A growing business in the Limpopo Province of South Africa took a big step forward in 2005 when they decided to migrate to K8. Jane Furse Building Supplies, an Essential Hardware store in the rural town Jane Furse, used K8 to evolve from a trade counter store to a self-service retail environment and has since continued to grow.

Business owner Muneer Essa, a man with vision, realised that they need a software program to assist with the various aspects of building and maintaining a successful operation. In the case of Jane Furse Building Supplies, an efficient, user-friendly stock control system was of utmost importance.

“Our employees are all from the rural areas surrounding the town. This means that they do not have the same exposure to information technology like their counterparts in the cities, thus we needed a simple yet effective program,” says Mr Essa.

After investigating several options, Kerridge Commercial Systems’ product, K8, came out tops. “We started off with just 10 users and have grown to over 60 users.  K8 has made a huge and positive difference to the way we do business,” says Mr Essa.

“We serve the distribution trade and retail industries. When Mr Essa approached us to assist in moving his business into the future, we gladly accepted. By implementing K8, Jane Furse Building Supplies can forecast more accurately, enable a reduced stock holding and ultimately gain greater control of their business. Jane Furse Building Supplies is a great example of the scalability of K8 and they are now able to compete with the big names in this industry,” says Eugene Vreugde, a Kerridge Commercial Systems sales executive.

Today Jane Furse Building Supplies is the biggest seller of cement and water tanks for a single store in South Africa. “We are the only hardware store serving the Sekhukhune rural district. The nearest big town, Polokwane, is some 150km from where we are situated. People living and earning good salaries in the cities, send money home to their families in our area. They build the most beautiful houses and they need us to supply them with building material,” says Mr Essa. “We rely heavily on K8 to keep our stock updated in order to supply the right product, on time, which is key to our success.”

16th July 2014: Since their inception in 1997, DAR Automotive has been a reputable supplier of world-class brands in industrial and automotive engineering components.

The company has 3D design, project management and drafting capabilities, it always strives to offer their clients cost savings and value engineering. DAR Automotive Director, Yolande Roy, said on the new partnership “We found the K8 system to be user friendly and together with KCS’s flexibility in structuring a cost-effective proposal, that made sense to both DAR and KCS, made our ERP selection even easier.” DAR Automotive also supplies world-class brands in industrial as well as a range of automotive glass, lamps, body panels, propeller shafts, brake parts, gaskets, radiators & fans, tensioners, CV joints & shafts, engine valves, electric fuel pumps, clutch kits and suspension parts.

“K8’s rich trading as well as specific functionality in associated, alternative and product supersessions provided a great value proposition. Their understanding of our business made it easy for us to choose K8 over the competition,” added Yolande.

Des Nangle, Managing Director, commented: “Kerridge Commercial Systems has a great record in supporting suppliers of automotive parts, our flagship product K8 has rich functionality and the ability to scale to the future growth requirements that DAR aspire to. They had the choice to use the system the parent company has standardized, but chose to implement K8. We are pleased to have them join the large user base we have in South Africa”.

Programme centred on customer engagement, training and product developments

The 2014 Kerridge Commercial Systems customer conference, which was held recently in Daventry, introduced delegates to the company’s product roadmap for the coming year. The wide-ranging programme also covered many recent developments and highlighted how Kerridge CS is expanding its resource and service capabilities to meet changing customer demands.

Ian Bendelow, CEO, said, “Our annual conference showcases how we are striving to progress our product and service capabilities. Equally it’s about spending quality time with our customers, exchanging views and generating ideas. But perhaps the event’s most valuable purpose is to remind us about the importance of understanding and responding to our customers’ requirements and new technologies. We were also delighted that once again, a number of our solution partners were able to attend and demonstrate their latest offerings.”

The bigger economic picture

In welcoming Tanya Beckett as conference guest speaker, Sales and Marketing Director, Duncan Smillie, commented, that although the past few years have been particularly challenging on the economic front, the situation now is much more encouraging. “We invited Tanya to the conference to talk about how the recession and financial crisis came about. More importantly we also asked her to give her impression of where things are now headed.”  Covering interest rates, inflation, bond investments and trade patterns, Tanya’s clear and well-informed presentation reminded delegates about the bigger economic picture, with anecdotal references in a session that was both enjoyable and thought provoking.

New developments, enhancements and cloud solutions

Conference delegates, representing many distributive trades, manufacturing and service sectors, were introduced to system developments and enhancements across the Kerridge CS product groups. Presentations covered the latest equipment hire, field service, delivery management and centralised purchasing applications. K8’s capability to support pan-European trading also featured. Martin Turbitt, Chief Technical Officer, provided a comprehensive review of the company’s cloud solutions and introduced the cost saving, technical and operational benefits. He also talked about how Kerridge CS cloud systems could be deployed very quickly and introduced the basic Silver, mid-range Gold and the all –encompassing Platinum service packages. “There are compelling reasons why cloud solutions are proving increasingly popular. With access to 24/7 proactive infrastructure monitoring and system management, customers who choose this route really can spend much more time running their business. “

Users tell their stories

Customer experiences are always a popular part of the conference programme and this year was no exception. In a number of focussed break-out sessions, KPIs reporting, workplace and dashboard tools were presented from first-hand user perspectives. Delegates from the manufacturing sectors also heard about how shop floor data capture and product configurator tools are proving particularly beneficial. Ecommerce integration for online trading is gaining presence in many sectors and a customer experience, that was covered last year, was brought up to date. A customer’s recent experience of implementing the latest K8 release was explained in clear, ‘as it happened’ style and complemented by an overview of METIS, the Kerridge CS Prince2-based upgrade project management process.

Training and learning counts

User training is unquestionably a major factor in maximising operational benefits of any business. Not just in terms of the pre- and post go-live stages, but also through maintaining an ongoing commitment to training and learning is equally imperative. Trained employees move on, knowledge transfer is easily diluted; new people join and so on. Alan Cross, Kerridge CS Chief Operating Officer, said, “We believe it’s more important than ever for us to help our customers maintain a high standard of system skills and knowledge. Training and learning not only improves productivity and morale, but also demonstrates commitment, encourages new ideas and process reviews.” Along with an expansion in the company’s team of training consultants, Kerridge CS now offers a broader mix of training provisions. Alongside traditional classroom courses, there are more video-based training tools - which are becoming more sophisticated, and an expanded range of short, bite-sized online courses. ”We will work with each customer, establish the most appropriate programme for their business and if needed, can offer specially tailored courses for a particular application.” Alan also told delegates that the company is investing heavily in internal training for its consultants. “Every consultant attends our K8 ‘Boot Camp’.”

Closer engagement – New Customer Advisory Board

Mike Beech, Product Marketing Director, set the scene to expand customer engagement channels and emphasised the importance of more participation and closer working relationships. ”It’s essential that we grow our understanding of the business issues that our customers are facing. By asking for more feedback, listening more and inviting ideas much more openly, we can take our product development programme to a new level. We want to know about our customers’ real concerns. What’s difficult or too complicated, be it in using the software or off-system processes? How can we make things easier? To make this happen, we are looking to augment the role played by our user groups and are in the process of setting up a Customer Advisory Board.   Together with more sector and market research, this combination will help drive our engagement processes and support future phases of product development.  I would be delighted to hear from any customer who would like to know more about joining the Customer Advisory Board.” (Please contact mike.beech@kerridgecs.com)

Progressive roadmap and future developments

Wrapping up the main conference’s main session, R&D Director, David Liddle, took delegates through many of the current K8 developments, explaining the benefits and functionality available now and in forthcoming coming releases. He demonstrated the latest Oracle search tools which use ‘fuzzy’, ‘soundex’ and ‘stem’ capabilities and also presented K8’s new integrated ‘High Charts’ presentation format.  Returning to cloud technology, the company continues to make progress in delivering K8 via mobile devices. “Meeting our customers changing expectations, the latest release of K8 is available via web browser, with greater device and operating system independence. Using K8, via any smartphone or tablet, be it out on the road, in showrooms or warehouses, is becoming an essential capability that will make a big difference to how our customers use their system,” said David.

Finally, delegates heard about how Kerridge CS is addressing the growth of the 24/7 market place, specifically the new buying and selling channels. “For one thing, it’s becoming much less acceptable for user access to be interrupted by ‘after hours’, stand-alone processes and data file updates. We are working on a ‘zero blackout window’ for K8 and although this will be technically challenging to achieve, it will give our customers a true 24/7 trading capability. Couple those developments with K8 online trading portal integration - Amazon and eBay, add social media to the mix and it’s clear that we are in a tremendously exciting phase of business IT and process evolution,” said David.

Continuing our partnerships…

Summing up, Ian Bendelow said, “It was great to spend time with our customers and I very much hope that the conference programme helped to stimulate some thoughts and ideas. In the coming 12 months, it would be great to see our customer engagement processes develop – particularly through the Customer Advisory Board. With the new training initiatives, we will be doing all we can to help our customers to expand their system skills and knowledge. And lastly, we will continue to support every customer, work with them in solving business issues and keep our substantial R&D programme moving forwards.”

New management appointment to lead region development

25th April 2014: Kerridge Commercial Systems today announces the expansion of its business operations in the Benelux region. Focussing on the distributive trades and logistics sectors, the company will target single and multi-location SME businesses to grow the user base for its renowned, integrated K8 system. Available in both Dutch and French languages, K8 is already used by distribution businesses in the Netherlands with support provided by the Kerridge Commercial Systems office in Sliedrecht.

To strengthen the company’s management team and as part of this expansion programme, Kerridge Commercial Systems has appointed a new business development manager for Benelux. Michiel Bakker, who joined the company earlier this month, has worked in the ERP systems marketplace for 16 years and returned to Europe from the US a year ago.

Ian Bendelow, Group CEO said, “With his proven capabilities in sales, consulting and project management, Michiel has the qualities that will enable us to progress this important market and maximise the opportunities open to us. We will be looking to grow the team in Sliedrecht over the coming months, particularly in training, consultancy and support. Michiel’s local knowledge will be invaluable as we progress.”

Michiel Bakker said, “I am delighted to have joined a company that has such a first class product and service portfolio. There’s certainly a great team of people in both the UK and the Netherlands. Already there are some key initiatives to introduce K8 to new customers and we will also be looking to partner with national trade organisations. The coming months are going to be exciting and challenging as we push ahead with our European plans. I am looking forward to putting K8 on many companies’ system shopping lists.”

Countdown to the 2014 Customer Conference is underway and we are pleased to announce that experienced business journalist and economist Tanya Beckett will be ourguest speaker on the day.

Conference preparations are moving along extremely well and the programme will soon be finalised.

It’s also great to report that many of you have already registered - it really helps to have a good idea of numbers as early as possible. If you haven’t registered yet, please go to our website to book your place.

Our guest speaker at this year’s conference will be Tanya Beckett, respected business journalist and TV broadcaster. Tanya will be talking about the UK business economy, where we’ve been, where we are and where we are headed. Tanya’s well informed ‘bigger picture’ perspective should prove immensely useful as we come out of the worst recession of our lifetime.

Whether you are coming to your first conference or are an experienced veteran, we are striving to provide you with a worthwhile, enlightening and thought provoking event. There will be something for everyone covering all product platforms. For new users through to those who have amassed years of systems knowledge, our aim is to provide you with ideas and reflections to take away.

Kerridge CS ranked in Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 for the second consecutive year

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We are delighted to announce that Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) has been ranked No. 98 in the Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200. The league table ranks the top 200 of Britain’s mid-market private companies in order of fastest growing overseas sales.