Your business, your way customer day 2012

Published:  19 June, 2012

HUNGERFORD: More than 120 delegates attended the 2012 Kerridge Commercial Systems customer day held on Wednesday 13 June. The company put together a wide-range of programme covering new and improved products, technology developments, customer experiences together with presentations about future direction and product roadmap.

One of the top billings was the latest news about the company’s system hosting services – K-Cloud. The shift away from customers investing in and managing their own server and network infrastructure continues as more businesses appreciate that it’s far better to concentrate on running their organisation and be freed from the responsibilities and challenges of running a computer system. And the pressures and risks if things go wrong. The presentation about the latest K-Cloud solution was backed up by Andy Campbell of Bathstore who talked about his company’s experiences of outsourcing their IT to Kerridge Commercial Systems.

K8 Web Builder, the company’s user-configurable website design and content management solution, was presented for the first time at the event. With its comprehensive ecommerce capability, Web Builder offers integrated functionality for K8 users to provide their customers with easy access to product catalogue, pricing, availability, promotional information, self-service buying and back-office services.

Kerridge Commercial System unveiled the latest K8 Business Intelligence application. Conscious of the growing pressures from customers who want the very best tools to help them keep the ‘finger on the pulse’, K8 Business Intelligence comprises three KPI dashboards – Director, Finance and Manager which include a number of standard information displays and user options to fine-tune presentations as required.

Delegates were also shown SmartPoint, an innovative application that enables data to be pulled in from different systems, including third party content, and presented as an integral display. SmartPoint is designed to help simplify workflows in both operational and management areas, to support customer service and to improve decision making.

Mobile computing continues to gain in importance for distributive trades. Real-time access to K8 via hand-held devices and smartphones provides transport drivers with all the information that they need and no time is wasted checking details about deliveries, drop sequences with central offices and depots. K8 integration also includes start and end of day processes, photography for damaged goods records as well as tracking and management information.

Andy Saunders of SMH Products shared his company’s use of the K8 Hire module. This K8 module is designed to help make equipment hire a smooth, easy-to-operate and efficient operation. It not only provides functions to control every asset and every transaction, its facilities help to manage costs and maintain profitability – from start to finish.

Across the distributive trades, warehouse management remains a major area for opportunities to improve efficiency, speed up processes and to make life easier for both operatives and supervisory staff. The K8 Warehouse Management module, especially when used in conjunction with hand-held computers, is proving its worth across the user base. Delegates were introduced to the latest developments and once more had the opportunity to hear about its wide-ranging capabilities. The past year or so has seen a number of new announcements and developments with the Kerridge Commercial Systems print and document management applications. Presentations covered the depth of the latest innovations in forms and outsource printing services.

No question, a lot has happened at Kerridge Commercial Systems over the past year. Not least of which the company’s acquisition of TIS back in the autumn. David Liddle, R&D Director, talked about the product integration programme that has been carried out and how the partner programme has evolved. He referred to the organisations whose technologies are strategically important to the company Cognito, Centerprise International, Salesi, Atlas and PHD Mail. Oracle in particular remains central to K8 development and the completion of a tough performance evaluation exercise, earned K8 the Oracle Exadata accreditation. Other K8 innovations in the past year cover areas such as delivery management, carrier integration, central purchasing, FIFO costing, batch and serial number input and further enhancements to K8 Financials. The next twelve months are going to be equally busy for Kerridge Commercial Systems. On the agenda include improvements in the manufacturing and job costing areas, there’s more to come in the already comprehensive K8 Financials and Sales Order Processing modules.

Delegates were also given a glimpse into the future, at least from the Kerridge Commercial Systems’ perspective. Building on Cloud technologies and mobile computing where there will continue to be developments – in some cases things have barely got started. There is much to come yet from harnessing the power of social media through integration with business applications. These are challenging times with uncertainties regarding the economic and trading climate. However, the Kerridge Commercial Systems Customer Day gave a very strong indication that there are exciting opportunities for businesses to use technologies to be leaner, fitter and more efficient. Unquestionably, the company is doing all it can to make those things happen for its customers and then going the extra mile is part of the process.

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