Derby-based Browns Builders Merchants, a family-run company with a rich history spanning over a century, recently made the decision to transition to Intact’s innovative merchant software.
Browns, renowned for supplying building materials to both the trade and the public since 1990, recognised the need for a more efficient and streamlined solution to replace their outdated system. After careful consideration and evaluation, they considered Intact to be the perfect-fit platform for their specific and unique requirements.
The decision to move to Intact was driven by Browns’ 14 to 15-year experience with their current ERP system. Initially a step forward, it had become bloated and inefficient, hindering operations, impeding growth, and causing staff frustration.
Recognising the need for a change, Browns embarked on a formalised process of evaluating different systems, pinpointing the specific challenges they needed to address. Their goal was to find a solution that would rectify their current system’s shortcomings, such as managing their core business of selling direct to sites, stock management, control setting, and reducing the time required for certain tasks.
Intact created a customised demo that showcased the full capabilities of Intact iQ, providing Browns with a tangible representation of how their processes would look and how their orders would be handled.
In particular, Intact tackled one of the biggest hurdles for Browns, managing intricate pricing structures for a national housing development with multiple site locations. Their current system’s reliance on a single code per site caused pricing complexities and delays. Intact iQ will provide Browns with a more streamlined and effective method to accurately handle pricing variations.
Browns Builders Merchants also saw the significance of Intact’s PIM integration with NBG (National Buying Group). This integration will allow Browns to access up-to-date codes, descriptions, and pricing updates directly from suppliers, eliminating the risk of selling below cost and ensuring accurate pricing across their product range.
Additionally, implementing Intact’s integrated trade counter will enable Browns to provide a faster and more efficient experience for their customers, including trade cash accounts that were previously unavailable.
The integration of the Intact Cliqx e-commerce platform will enable Browns to offer their customers 24/7 access and enhance their overall experience. And Intact Access 2.0, a mobile application for remote teams, will prove particularly useful for their delivery, rep and management teams. Down the line, the mobile warehouse will be added to further improve their stock management.
The team at Browns, consisting of individuals from various departments, saw that Intact iQ went above and beyond other ERP systems by offering advanced features that could elevate their business. Ed Parlato, Assistant Branch Manager/Buyer, Browns Builders Merchants notes “Most merchant systems can handle our basic requirements, but Intact surpassed our expectations by seamlessly accommodating our specialised requirements alongside our standard merchant processes. We didn’t believe we could find anything better”.
Browns visited similar-sized merchants using Intact during the selection process to see the system in action and witness its transformative impact on their operations. This firsthand experience enabled Browns to marry the theory with the practical side, and in speaking with other merchants, enabled them to see the full potential in Intact iQ.
As the company goes through user acceptance testing, they are already anticipating the benefits Intact will bring to their business. The control desk feature will ensure real-time monitoring and prompt action, preventing backlogs and ensuring tasks are completed without delay. And by eliminating the constant troubleshooting and inefficiencies of their previous system, Browns expects to free up valuable time that can be redirected towards growing their business in other ways.
Ed adds, “The level of access and control we will have, coupled with the flexibility of highlight rules, will allow us to provide extensive user guidance without imposing strict limitations. This will ensure tasks are executed flawlessly, resulting in increased efficiencies, productivity and customer service.”
Regarding the order with Intact, Simon Barber, Head of Merchant Sales UK, expressed his delight, stating: ‘We’re thrilled to announce our partnership with Browns. After years of discussions, it’s fantastic to have such a prominent merchant and another NBG member on board. We look forward to collaborating with Browns for years to come.”