The Secret(s) of our Success – South Coast Building Supplies
Our customers are the most important part of what we do – they are our “why.” We love getting out to talk to them about how business is going, and we’re immensely proud of their hard work and commercial acumen.
We recently caught up with long-term client Tim Payne, Managing Director at South Coast Building Supplies. We even recorded a little video of some of that conversation – just click play!
Rapid expansion requires agile system capability
Founded in 2008, SCBS has expanded significantly in its lifetime and now operates from four main sites: Andover, Bournemouth and two in Southampton. It offers over 3000 product lines to both trade and public customers, from timber and insulation to landscaping, drainage and plastics materials.
There are many factors playing important roles in the success of SCBS, and as with any business, it is the co-ordinated interaction of all these factors which lies at the heard of its continued growth. From staff commitment to supplier reliability, customer service to accurate accounting, no cog in the wheel can afford to let the side down.
Customer service is key
With over 3000 product lines to keep track of, outstanding inventory management is critical
Nothing but the best quality
We all know the world of business is relentlessly fast paced. “We can’t afford to waste time,” Tim comments. “Anything that saves time is an advantage; for example, the business software we use is robust, without much downtime. Consistent functionality across the different modules means that once you know how to perform one task, you can do anything else as well – raise a PO, prepare a despatch note, keep track of stock. That means it’s easy for any staff member to pick it up if someone is off sick, and also means new staff can get to grips with it quickly.” Having access to up to date accurate information at all times makes quick decision-making much easier, and better informed.
Information is everything
One area Tim says has made a huge difference to the running of the business in recent years has been the increased sophistication of analysis and reporting. “We’ve recently added an advanced reporting module to our system; Afinitis. It’s far easier and quicker to find the information you need using the system than it could ever be doing it yourself. It saves a lot of time and is really accessible.”
It helps Tim run the business on a daily basis and makes many processes far simpler. “You can standardise reports easily and quickly and you know it’s always accurate and reliable,” he said. “You can cut the information any way you need it too, so it has made producing the monthly management report so much easier, with more meaningful analysis that helps to guide us in making better business decisions.”
Tim states that reporting and analysis have definitely made SCBS more profitable; tiny differences here and there, being able to quickly identify profitable business relationships, and nip less profitable scenarios in the bud, all add up to significantly better results. “After discussing possibilities with Ten-25, we’ve recently added a new function which helps us to add restrictions to certain products, which has had a really positive impact on our profit margins. Being able to easily see where the money is coming from – and going – is helping us to do better business on a day to day basis.”
Using the advanced business intelligence software has had a dramatic impact on SCBS, both in terms of efficiency and actual commercial performance. Tim says, “You can standardise reports easily and quickly and you know it’s always accurate and reliable, and it can cut the information any way you need it. It has made producing the monthly management report so much easier, with more meaningful analysis that helps to guide us in making better business decisions.
Congratulations to Tim and the whole team at SCBS – keep up the good work! And remember, we’re with you every step of the way.