- Location: Babbacombe, Devon, UK
- Industry: Ready Mix Concrete, Building Materials
- Number of Locations: 1
- Web site: www.wiltshires-babbacombe.co.uk
"I liked the idea that we could grow into BisTrack over time. Other software companies offer cheaper starter packages with extra bits you have to buy and bolt on as you go along. I decided I wanted a whole package from the start so we can keep expanding into a system already in place as our business grows and changes."
Jack Wiltshire, Director | Wiltshire
Jack Wiltshire, a director of his family company established nearly one hundred years ago in Devon, oversaw the implementation of Epicor BisTrack at the beginning of this year. At a review meeting a few weeks after the 'go live' date, he asked his team to put their cards on the table and say what they thought of it. They said they couldn't live without it!
BisTrack is a fully featured business software solution specifically designed for builders' and timber merchants. Its scalability has given it a reputation as the software of choice for larger independent merchants with 200-300 users. In fact, BisTrack is primarily used in smaller operations where 5 - 50 users log on each day. When you buy BisTrack you are provided with the complete software suite even though you may only want to use 20% of its functionality. This is what appealed to Jack Wiltshire. He said, "I liked the idea that we could grow into BisTrack over time. Other software companies offer cheaper starter packages with extra bits you have to buy and bolt on as you go along. I decided I wanted a whole package from the start so we can keep expanding into a system already in place as our business grows and changes."
Wiltshire's is very much a family firm. Started by Leonard Wiltshire in 1916, brothers Jack and Sam recently took the helm when their father, Andrew Wiltshire, retired. "We're passionate about giving good service and getting things right," said Andrew. "And we like to offer our customers something different and that is why we buy around 60% of our products from independent manufacturers."
The company operates from inside one of its old quarries. Loose aggregates and ready mix concrete are still a big part of their business, and concrete blocks are manufactured on site. They also offer a comprehensive range of drainage and landscaping products. Their customer profile is the usual mix of local house builders and jobbing builders plus landscaping firms and retail customers who want to redesign their own gardens and install their own patios. Last year the business turned over £3.6m.
Prior to using BisTrack, Wiltshire's used a mix of Sage software and manual systems. "This was fine when we were dealing with basic loads of just one order of one type of slab," explained Jack."But we now offer more than 400 different types of slabs and send out multiple order loads. We needed something more sophisticated that could control our stock levels and give us accurate sales information at the end of each day."
BisTrack is used to process sales, manage stock, simplify purchasing, and gather intelligence. However for greater functionality, optional BisTrack modules have been developed such as Web Track for online trading and BisTrack Mobile that enables staff to access the software remotely.
Jack looked at two alternatives before choosing BisTrack and conducted his own research by standing at the trade counters of other local merchants. "A demo from a software provider is all very well, but there's usually too much to take in all at once. I wanted to see how quickly we could serve customers. On busy mornings we can have 60 trucks crossing our weigh bridge in 30 minutes and I need tickets to be produced quickly!"
BisTrack was originally developed to manage timber and processing loose products and ready mix concrete was something it didn't do. Consequently, new functionality has been introduced to manage these products and also to process the manufacture of concrete blocks.
The implementation of a sophisticated software system is complex and, because of the geographical distance between the Epicor office in Manchester and Wiltshire's site in Babbacombe, it was largely handled remotely. In spite of this, Jack developed a close working relationship with his implementation manager as they worked together-usually during three hourly afternoon sessions when each could see the other's screen. He said, "Right from the start the back up was there. I didn't want to be given a disc and be told to get on with it-because that never works."
Over a three month period, existing data was extracted, cleansed, and converted. Document layouts (quotations, orders, invoices, delivery notes, works orders, etc.) and an interface with Sage were established. Smart views were created for management reporting. A test system was set up and used for training all of Wiltshire's six BisTrack users. 'Go live' day came and went smoothly.
Since going live on BisTrack, stock management has sharpened up dramatically. "Now, at the touch of a button, we can see not only what we have, but what's on order, when it's due in, and its history-rather than having to trawl through invoices to get the same information," said Jack. "At the trade counter the accuracy and speed is a godsend. Signature capture means there is a huge reduction in paperwork and all documents are stored and related within the system."
"Often customers say they bought something six months ago but can't remember what it was. Now we can find it easily-by post code, by telephone number, or by product."
"This gives our sales team more confidence when supporting customers on the phone or over the counter. We can also email documents to the customer directly from the system," said Jack.
Smart Views have been created to show information such as average load spend, mix volumes and, after just six months on BisTrack, this business intelligence has helped the team analyse costs and plan investments in vehicles and new product lines. Wiltshire's has a fleet of 14 trucks and all vehicle and weights and measures information required by VOSA is also recorded in BisTrack.
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.