Epicor BisTrack helps MP Moran improve stock control and enhance the customer experience
• Location: North London
• Industry: Builders' merchant
• Number of Branches: 5
• Web site: www.mpmoran.co.uk
"We have total visibility now and we can report on and monitor everything that's in the system. We couldn't do anything like this before!"
Bart Murphy, Operations Manager | MP Moran
The year MP Moran won a major industry award for 'Best Independent Builders' Merchant of the Year' was the same year the company implemented BisTrack. According to Operations Manager, Bart Murphy, this is not a coincidence. "Since we've been using BisTrack, the senior staff have had time to concentrate on making improvements in all areas of the business."
MP Moran is a family owned business with five branches across North West London and Hertfordshire. The company was set up in 1976 and employs 170 staff. Cash and account sales are split 40/60 across the group with the head office branch set on busy Kilburn High Road. Loyalty cards were introduced recently and have delivered a way of targeting trade customers with promotional offers via text, email and post. Moran's stocks more than 32,000 product lines.
The management team started to look for new software in 2007 because the 'black screen' system they had used for the past 15 years, although fast and efficient at processing trade counter sales, had very limited functionality beyond that. Bart explained, "We had modified it repeatedly over the years to make it work as efficiently as possible on the trade counter but there were restrictions importing data into the system or getting any information out of it. We were starting to think about where we wanted to be in five years time so it was time to change."
After researching the market and speaking to fellow members of the CEMCO buying group, we ended up with a shortlist of two. We chose BisTrack following a very reassuring reference visit to see it working on a busy trade counter and its reputation for continually evolving to meet its customers' needs. We also preferred the totally Microsoft Windows® integrated architecture over the other front runner's combination of Windows and Unix®."
"Changing software provided us with a great opportunity to clean up all our data-products, customers, suppliers-and to overhaul our communications systems. We went live on BisTrack in January 2011 and from day one the system operated perfectly and there were no teething problems at all. Our main goal that day was to sell using the system and to give customers the paperwork they needed. It all worked!"
Since using BisTrack one of the most noticeable changes has been the improved level of control over users of the system. Bart explained, "Before it was a free for all. Now we can control what users do using the permissions set in the system. And through BisTrack's Smart Views and Dashboards our sales staff have easy, fast access to customer data and sales history."
Another major benefit for MP Moran has been BisTrack's customer portal-Web Track. So far around 200 customers have been set up to use it and feedback is very positive. The company's credit control department already operates between 6:30 am and 5:30 pm but via Web Track customers can now access their account information 24/7 and check up to the minute statements and copy invoices etc.
This has relieved pressure on the credit control department. Management information on margins, sales, staff performance and credit control is also provided through the system's Smart Views. Bart said, "The improved reporting has also led to great improvements in stock control. Our huge range was completely unmanageable with our
old system. Now we can look at trends, slow movers and non-movers and we're in the process of implementing suggested ordering. Lack of any stock control was a big driving force for updating the system. Soon we'll be able to let customers see stock levels through the customer portal. BisTrack is really letting us open up the business."
"Purchasing is now based on a system of approvals and if procedures are not followed correctly we have full visibility through system audits to see who has done what. This has stopped large orders being taken at the end of the month and has enabled us to get better rates. BisTrack also tells us how we are performing and what margins we are achieving by product, by department or by sales person. We have total visibility now and we can report on and monitor everything that's in the system. We couldn't do anything like this before!"
A measurable benefit is the saving made on not having to print so many documents at the trade counter. Before BisTrack, counter staff printed around 5,000 or 6,000 documents each month, which then had to be organized and stored somewhere. Account customers now sign for goods using signature pads linked to BisTrack so there is no need to print internal copies. Supplier invoices (around 4,000 each month) are also scanned in to the system, can be found quickly and no longer need to be kept as hard copies. The company has also invested in mobile scanners to do mobile stock counts and stock receipts with the information updating BisTrack data directly. Customers also use these devices to sign for deliveries.
According to Bart, the management team is finding they have more time to spend on things that matter. "It's like we've been freed up and so we now have time to look at our strengths and weaknesses and how we can improve the business. Transport, credit control and purchasing are all handled more efficiently and we've been able to make it easier for our customers to do business with us."
"We're also determined to take every new BisTrack release as soon as it's available, so we can keep bang up to date and get the maximum out of the system. The after sales support is also really pushing things forward for us too. We knew we would see improvements with BisTrack but it has really exceeded our expectations."
Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industries. With more than 40 years of experience, Epicor has more than 20,000 customers in over 150 countries. Epicor solutions enable companies to drive increased efficiency and improve profitability. With a history of innovation, industry expertise and passion for excellence, Epicor inspires customers to build lasting competitive advantage. Epicor provides the single point of accountability that local, regional, and global businesses demand. For more information, visit www.epicor.com.