James Hargreaves, one of the UK’s top merchants*, with over 65 branches, recently implemented the Intact iQ merchant ERP solution across their head office and branch network of 350 users. The team are already witnessing significant business benefits as a result.
Before using Intact
Hargreaves who had been using their previous software solution since 2010, made the decision to invest in the Intact iQ solution as they were no longer confident their current system could support their future needs. Intact iQ now provides the group with a future-proofed platform that will enable Hargreaves to easily grow, diversify & scale their operations in line with their strategic aspirations.
- Working outside the system using numerous external processes to retain required business control
- Limited functionality regarding intelligent stock replenishment, rebate tracking and real-time margin visiblity
- Over-reliance on previous software vendor for system changes
“We took the decision to move systems because we were unable to gain the level of information and control that we required from our existing system. We were using numerous external processes to give us the control we needed but this was cumbersome. Intelligent stock replenishment, flexible rebate tracking and real-time, true margin visibility were central to our needs and were limited in our old system. We also wanted to make changes to our system via our in-house team as our needs evolved, rather than working outside of the system or relying on a software vendor.”
After using Intact
Gordon continues, ‘By adopting Intact iQ we believe that we have achieved these goals and more. In hindsight, the decision to Go-Live on the 2nd of March proved to be a Godsend. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic there has never been a greater need to be able to pinpoint your margin earned, net of rebates and supplier price support, in order to guide the decision as to which branches can continue to trade and which ones are just costing us money.
Whilst it was a major challenge to try to map out all of the processes from our old system, it was worth it. Thankfully Intact iQ allowed us to import our old data in a matter of hours. However, it’s only when you get a prototype of the software, developed to your original specification, that you realise how many gaps there are in your own process map. Happily, Intact iQ is sufficiently versatile to allow major changes to be made, almost on the fly, versus having to stick to a rigid configuration plan. As we were ticking off requirements that had been met, we were adding new ones. In truth, until you start seeing the information presented within the software, it is very difficult to visualise your final requirements.’
- We have a rich replenishment system for the first time that responds to the level of sales that we are making, as well as anticipating changes.
- Rebates are accruing and their impact is being passed through to allow us to view our true cost at point of sale.
- We have a system that allows us to change screen layouts without development so that staff with differing roles in the business can see different information.
“I am delighted to say that we have in place a business software system that will allow us to make rapid adjustments that reflect the required changes to our operation.’
In summary, every day Intact iQ highlights new problems or inefficiencies to be resolved. That is fantastic in my eyes. We are a successful business but if there were no improvements to be made, you could say that we had peaked and the only direction of travel would be downwards. We are engaged in a continual process of change and improvement.’
*Builders’ Merchant Journal Trailblazers 2020