Gary Milks, IT Manager | Merkley Supply Ltd.
Merkley Supply Ltd. is well known in the construction and home building industry in the Ottawa-Carleton, ON Canada area. It is the largest supplier of masonry products in the area, supplying an impressive 80% of the building and renovation projects in the region.
Since the mid-70s, Merkley has invested in business automation technology as a means of making operations more efficient, providing superior customer service and to better understand their customers and markets. “Our manufacturers tell us we’re on the cutting edge,” says Robert Merkley, President & CEO.
Higher margins alone payback BisTrack every year
Merkley implemented the BisTrack solution in 2007 and immediately began reaping the benefits of its efficiencies and insight into the business. By 2010, Merkley estimates that the increased margins alone will more than payback the system every year.
“The bottom line has come up by about a point,” says Gary Milks, Merkley’s IT Manager. “That was kind of a surprise to everybody, but it’s because we can gain a handle on things so quickly now.”
“The shipping department is more efficient, and that’s probably a ¼ point margin gain. We’re up about another ½ point of margin because pricing and markup is automatic now,” says Robert Merkley. Milks elaborates: “We can react quickly whenever the costs come in and adjust our pricing faster.”
Information visibility key to making better decisions and improving performance
Robert Merkley has dual 24” monitors on his desk where he keeps an eye on BisTrack’s dashboards of the company’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Mounted on the wall in his office is a 55” monitor. “When we’re having executive meetings or reviewing opportunities, we bring up all the data from BisTrack so that everyone can see it at once,” says Milks.
Sales and marketing strengthened
Merkley Supply uses BisTrack’s dashboards and quick lists extensively to monitor everything from quote activity and sales performance to delivered orders past due. “They’re able to track things easier and people are taking an active interest,” says Milks.
Merkley Supply makes extensive use of BisTrack’s CRM features including: automating task reminders, monitoring sales opportunities, delivering marketing campaigns, and synching up communications and calendars. Merkely expects one marketing campaign to boost sales by up to a half million dollars.
“We are very proactive and try to push the sales and marketing envelope. The guys are doing things quicker now,” reports Milks. “CRM is keeping our sales from dropping off even when our competitors are down 15% or 20%.”
Mobile applications yield cost savings
Merkley Supply uses BisTrack’s Mobile applications to improve efficiencies in inventory management, receiving and soon picking.
Milks estimates that using BisTrack’s Mobile Inventory application has resulted in a 40% reduction in labor effort to perform an inventory count, with 75% reduction seen in one product.
Merkley is also outfitting all trucks with GPS and its drivers with handheld devices loaded with BisTrack’s Mobile Delivery application for electronic signature capture and photos of delivered goods. But some cost savings surprised even Merkley Supply’s management.
These measures virtually eliminate customer delivery disputes, as well as summer overtime delivery hours, and truck and inventory misappropriation. “Some results were definitely an eyeopener,” says Milks. “We didn’t realize that people were taking advantage as much. So that’s been a bonus for us.”