Scottish specialist ironmonger and industrial supplier SIIS has quadrupled in size over the last 10 years. With four separate sites, over 10,000 product lines, functions including retail, tool hire, repairs, a power tool showroom and employing over 30 staff, it became clear that the old system just wasn’t coping. As Sales Director Grant Fobister said, “We needed a system which could manage our stock and profitability at a touch of a button, as well as offer many functions for reporting branch profitability on a daily basis.”
Thanks to a recommendation from a local timber merchant, SIIS approached us to see what we could do to help. We are delighted that they chose to work with us – and even more delighted that they are so pleased with the product and service they’ve received.
It was a relatively tight turnaround from initial approach to implementation, and UniTrade360 went live on 1st January 2014. Account manager George Ritchie worked closely with the SIIS team to ensure we understood the requirements, both from a software perspective and a staff training one. All the relevant training and demonstrations were fitted into a pretty slim timetable, but we made sure every staff member was confident prior to go-live.
Now a couple of months down the line, SIIS is getting on well with the system. Grant says, “The system is absolutely living up to expectations. The Trading Analysis function lets you analyse all areas of the business, which we could never do before. It also lets me see margin and sales of every depot at any time of the day in real time – so no waiting for overnight updates which was a major drawback of the other systems we had looked at.”
He adds, “Our stock take at the end of February with Unitrade360 showed what a great system it is.! The ease of being able to locate the products and amend locations was fantastic, and the stock sheets and input process after the count is brilliant and user friendly, as is the whole system.”
Any new system will incur expense, but we tried to be efficient. For example, although SIIS bought in the new servers to host the system, we were able to install on existing work stations, networks and printers.
Striving to make the switchover as seamless (and painless) as possible, George says, “SIIS continues to use the same accounts package (Sage) with our system, preventing any upheaval for the accounting department. We were able to take customer/supplier data from Sage and upload to Unitrade360 using our Data Services Tool. We also extracted product data from their old trading system and using our Data Services tool allowed SIIS to formulate a new product analysis reporting structure that suited them.”
We always try to make our customers’ lives easier and it’s wonderful when we get feedback to say we’re doing exactly that. As Grant says, “We have a great partner in Ten-25, and the UniTrade360 system allows us to grow our business as well as our profits and margin due to the controls the system puts in place, and reporting and highlighting of stock and margin.” SIIS is well prepared for their future growth, and we will proudly continue to partner the business into what looks like a very bright future.