Tag: merchant business software

Inventory and Order management system made waterproof in case the cloud starts raining

Heavy downpours are likely from the cloud

We’ve been working harder than ever recently to put the finishing touches to UT400, making it 100% watertight amidst reports that the cloud may start raining. Head of meteorological exclusion Amy Jester commented, “Our developers have been coding around the clock to install the new safety feature Umbrella 2.0, designed to deflect even the heaviest of downpours to keep your business running smoothly, whatever the digital weather.”

OK, OK, you’ve probably realised by now that we’re posting this on 1st April and of course, the cloud isn’t about to start raining. The “cloud” – essentially just a name for systems where all the processing is done on powerful servers in a commercial data centre which users log into from an internet browser device – actually offers loads of advantages over a server based system on your premises, making it more flexible and adaptive than older legacy systems. UT400 is cloud-based, offering you all the flexibility and security that a state of the art cloud system has to offer.

Here are just a few:

(Real) advantages of a cloud system

  • Always on the latest version – new features added by us are instantly available

    Cloud EPOS systems offer many commercial advantages

  • Instant accessibility for the whole team – even when reps are out on the road or logistics teams are in the yard, you can log in from anywhere and have access to accurate, up to date information about the business and everything in it
  • Reduced error and duplication – because 24/7 access is available, there’s less margin for duplication errors and missed data upload
  • Fast system setup – no build time
  • Reduced system maintenance – back-ups and housekeeping are done by us, from where we are, so there are no hold-ups
  • Connect from any internet browsing device, such as smartphones, iPads and Tablets
  • Reliability – the system is mirrored so your data is secure
  • Faster, reliable access for remote branches – Users at remote locations will benefit over a server in your head office
  • Trade during a power cut!! – battery powered 3G/4G devices like laptops, smartphones and tablets will still have full trading functionality even if the power is cut to your site
  • Better customer service – because your team has access to information from anywhere, and because the system is updated instantly with integrated data across the business, you can always offer the most reliable, up to date stock, logistics and service information to your customers and suppliers.

Whatever the digital weather, a cloud system is slicker and more streamlined, offering more competitive pricing and faster maintenance and upgrades. Find out more about UT400 here, or if you’d like to discuss moving across to a simpler way of working, just drop us a line on 01202 861606 or email info@ten-25.co.uk

Get in touch today to discuss your transition to a new cloud system

 

How to grow your business in a low growth economy

Brexit or no Brexit – there’s plenty you can do to future-proof your business

Whatever happens with Brexit, we can help you prepare for what lies ahead

It’s the massive, dithering elephant in every room right now – the uncertainty around Brexit is causing ripples in every direction, and no-one knows what’s going on. The one thing most people do seem to agree on is that, whatever the outcome of current political machinations, it’s likely that the UK economy is going to be in a period of low (if not non-existent) growth for some time. So, in the interests of positive thinking, we’re taking a look at how you can make sure your business is in the best possible position to survive, whatever the outcome.

The pressure of Brexit is on in the construction industry in every way, from material costs and availability to labour and demand. Whichever way it goes, there are plenty of things you can do to ensure your business is in the best possible shape to meet the challenges ahead, whether that’s recession or boom, or anything in between. We’re not suggesting it will be smooth sailing, but there are things every business can do to minimise risks, make the most of existing opportunities and create new ones.

It all comes down to having the right information and using it to plan correctly. Obviously no-one has the information about the external factors that Brexit will influence, but what you do have is the information about your own business. So let your software do the work, and get ready to batten down the hatches.

Pricing

Whatever your pricing strategy, UT400 can cope. Fixed, keen pricing or fluctuating, conditional pricing can both be used with this software system, and it can even help you choose which is the best option for your business. Seasonal variation, bulk discounts, urgency premiums and frequency of purchase can all be built-in, and you’ll always know what margin you’re making on every line of every sale. To read more about UT400 pricing options, just click here, or to find out more about the built-in margin protection, click here.

Stock control

Stock management is one of the most important areas of your business – good stock management facilitates great customer service, optimised use of space and resource, and low wastage. So getting on top of it with a system that helps you to monitor stock levels across all your sites in real time is vital. It’s also important to understand what’s selling when, so you can manage relationships with suppliers, get better pricing, and optimise your lead times for call-off.

Of course, if the UK leaves the European Customs Union then there is likely to be significant delay to all imported materials from Europe, in the same way that materials from outside the EU currently take longer to clear customs. Using data from your historic orders with intelligent reporting and analysis can help you to predict peaks and troughs in demand further out, and streamlining your logistics model can also create efficiencies. No-one is suggesting that there won’t be any issues, but armed with the right information and the best planning processes, you’ll be a step ahead.

Working with the right suppliers

Importing from overseas is often the cheapest and most efficient solution at this point in time; that may continue to be true, or there may be changes to the businesses you work with regularly. Whichever suppliers you choose to work with, you can always make sure you’re getting the best prices, with efficiencies of scale enabled by more effective demand planning, and automatic price checks, credit controls and invoicing will help to eliminate cashflow bottlenecks and hold-ups.

Helping you build the best future for your business

Logistics and operational control

Brexit or no Brexit, no business can rest on its laurels, and optimising the efficiency of your supply chain will always be crucial. Through enhanced analysis and planning, made simple with your industry-specific software, you’ll be able to reduce wasted costs and time, creating efficiencies which can amount to really significant savings in both time and overheads – and of course, enable even better customer service.

Working with the right customers

Just as it’s important to build relationships with the right suppliers, understanding your customers is also critical. Being able to understand at a glance who your brilliant customers are (the ones who order regularly, pay on time and stick with you) and who your not so brilliant customers are (regular time-wasters or payment defaulters) can help you to focus your team’s attention where it makes a difference, and saves a whole load of wasted time. You’ll also be able to see where new opportunities exist with existing customers, and use the learnings and positive experiences with them to attract and retain new business as well.

Using your reporting and analysis features to understand where opportunities lie, you’ll be able to quickly and simply identify where there are chances to generate more orders, more frequency or more value per order, or where inefficiencies exist that could be wasting valuable resources. Your software is there to help you – and we’re here to make sure you get every penny’s worth of value from your software.

Great service

At the heart of every great business is a genuine commitment to provide stellar customer service. Being able to provide reliable, quality service at an appropriate price time and time again will always be of great value to your customers, and your business reputation relies on that service enormously. Everything about UT400 is designed to enable you to deliver the very best customer service, by speeding up processes that typically waste time, identifying the best opportunities at the best prices, and ensuring that your stock management is at its absolute optimum levels. Accurate, up to date information is available at a moment’s notice so daily frustrations can be avoided and the best decisions can be made faster.

Merchant software solutions to help you grow your business

What is peace of mind worth to you?

We could go on (and on, and on) about all the ways that having the right merchant business software can enhance your business, but we’d love to show you instead. If you haven’t yet had a demo of UT400, please do drop us a line (info@ten-25.co.uk or call 01202 861606) and we can set up either an online run through or face to face meeting to demonstrate it. We truly believe it can transform your business and give you every advantage to succeed no matter what the political landscape becomes in the coming months. We’re here to help you build the best possible future for your business.

Clever vs simple – when it comes to pricing, which is best?

No two ways about it – pricing is important, whether it’s product pricing or service pricing. But when it comes to your own pricing system, how you go about it is vital. Do you go simple, always aiming for the keenest pricing to keep you competitive in this internet age of constant price comparison, or do you opt for automatic pricing which fluctuates based on certain criteria?

When it comes to pricing, which is better – complex or simple?

How does automatic pricing work?

UT400, our latest cloud-based inventory and order management system for merchant businesses, has some great automatic pricing tools built into it, meaning you can vary pricing depending on who the customer is, the quantity ordered, delivery type and so on. It allows a flexible approach that enables bulk discounting, regular order incentives and risk-management for irregular, low value or slow paying clients. You can apply whichever parameters you require and the system will work to those settings, so if there’s a discount in place for a particular customer, you’re not reliant on a particular person remembering to apply it, which minimises mistakes and optimises customer service.

What are the drawbacks?

The most obvious drawback is that it’s – well – not simple. People often like to know exactly what they’re getting up front. Modern life comes with a general cynicism about complicated pricing – in short, people tend to assume they’re going to be ripped off, and that complicated pricing structures are in place to mask hidden fees. It’s harder to advertise a lead price on a specific product if that price is only accessible to customers over a certain value; and charging higher prices than you’re advertising rarely leaves customers feeling good about the transaction. So while automatic, flexible pricing can work brilliantly with your best customers, who like to feel they’re being rewarded for their loyalty, it could potentially put off new or private customers.

Why might simple pricing work better?

With simple pricing, what you see is what you get, and these days many businesses opt for the KISS (keep it simple, stupid) approach. There’s an argument to say that, given the price-conscious culture we operate in, simple pricing is best, allowing customers to compare like with like in a very straightforward way to know what the best offer is. That will benefit some customers, but potentially not all. It probably means less margin for error, and your advertised pricing will reflect the prices customers actually pay, so from a service perspective it can be preferable. It could depend on whether your business is more focused on trade customers than private individuals – but there are pros and cons of both systems.

Which is right for you?

As a software system designed specifically for merchant businesses, UT400 can happily cope with either system – or even a combination of the two. For example, you could have all customers up to a certain value paying a set, simple price, with premium customers (based on frequency or volume of orders, perhaps) being eligible for a more flexible system; or have a trade pricing system and a public pricing system. Whatever you decide, UT400 can handle it and show you exactly what’s happening in the business in real time, on any device. It comes down to which is best for sales, and the bottom line, in your individual business.

The information you need to make the right decisions – at your fingertips

So, how do you choose?

Again, we’re here to help. We can assist with testing and measuring either approach, or both, so that you can work out what is best for your business and your customers. We’ve worked with enough builders’ merchants over the years to know that what works for one won’t always work for another, and that customers can be fickle. That’s why we have developed software specifically for your business type, which lets you make those decisions yourself; because no-one knows your business like you do. But we can help you to ask the right questions, and the software will give you the analysis and insights you need, in a straightforward and no-nonsense way, that lets you get right to the answers you need to make those decisions.

Business is rarely simple, and there are always numerous factors at play. Our merchant business software is designed to help you make sense of those factors, so you have the information you need readily available to help you make the best decisions, faster.

If you’d be interested in a chat to find out more, or a system demo, please drop us a line at info@ten-25.co.uk or call us on 01202 861606.