Innovative cleaning solutions company Kerrick Industries prides itself on fitting every customer’s needs, and Greentree ensures its customer service and warehousing are spotless.
CHALLENGE: Kerrick needed one system that could handle a sales-driven business, with widely scattered warehouses holding a multitude of parts, and the need to reconcile rapid changes in inventory.
RESULTS: A seamless sales process, better information about stock levels, and no need to hire extra administrative staff despite the growth in business.
The philosophy behind cleaning equipment specialists Kerrick Industries is identical to that of Greentree: they don’t sell products – they sell solutions.
“Business comes and goes in cycles, but there’s always something that needs cleaning,” says Managing Director James Schofield. “But for us, it’s not about the product that we end up delivering – in reality the last discussion should be about what the product is. The nub of the matter is the problem the customer is facing, and sorting it out for them.”
James cites the case of a biscuit factory in Australia that purchased half a dozen highly specialised vacuum cleaners from Kerrick. They had to be configured to dissipate static electricity that made getting rid of flour dust very difficult.
“Of the $8000 that they spent on each unit, the modifications were really only $50-60, but it was knowing how to do it that counted,” James says.
Kerrick’s story dates back to the 1930s, when it began selling US-made steam cleaners to the car industry. It branched out into manufacturing them, then in the 1980s James saw the opportunity to create an Australasian brand that now includes industrial vacuums, sewer and drain cleaners, and high-pressure pumping systems.
“Philosophically I’ve always believed that I’ve got to keep changing or adding product every seven years in order to succeed,” he says.
Today Kerrick has five branches in Australia and five in New Zealand, serving most industrial bases, including transport, mining, janitorial and equipment hire companies. It also operates large parts warehouses in both countries, and an extensive servicing operation.
Technical knowledge is the other key to Kerrick’s success. They can fabricate a product for a customer’s needs if what they want isn’t available off the shelf.
Kerrick previously had separate systems for its financial management, CRM and warehousing, and was quick to realise the benefits that a fully integrated system could bring.
The business is essentially driven by sales orders, and Kerrick now has a single, seamless process. Greentree’s Workflow active desktops enable a person in one office to create a sales order that can be filled using parts sourced from a warehouse in another city.
“We can produce the packing slips and despatch the goods from whichever location, straight to the client,” James says. “It doesn’t really matter what the route is; we can start that sales order and take it wherever we want to go.”
Analysis made simple
Kerrick uses Greentree IQ* for data mining, which has revolutionised its inventory management. James says the ability to interrogate the Greentree database in this way has been “an absolute godsend”.
“We can print out every shipment with its pricing, its margin and its costs, and in a simple process with Excel we can re-upload any price changes that we need to do,” James says. “It means you actually get value out of the stock take, and then you can use Greentree’s ‘trees function’ to control what’s selling and what’s not.
“A stock controller in half an hour can review a reasonably large chunk of data and get the changes loaded, whereas before someone would have to go laboriously into each stock item. The system is able to tell you what is really happening.”
Over-stocking of parts that are no longer selling can be costly, so Greentree delivers the inventory analysis directly to the warehouse staff, who can re-order, guided by the sales figures.
Greentree’s efficiency means that Kerrick is not only saving money by smarter inventory processes; it’s also saved on wages through not having to bring in extra administrative staff as business has increased.
“We know more about what we’re doing, and we’ve been able to tailor the business based on more than just gut feelings,” James says.
James is in no doubt where Kerrick’s future lies.
“Today people are using equipment more for solving problems. We’re now using big boys’ toys to do jobs that used to require 10 men.
“We’re a company that will grow through solving those issues that clients have when they want to get something straight out of the box but can’t. We’re now starting to see more design and build-type work coming into the market, and we’re working with international manufacturers.
“There are some pretty exciting opportunities out there, and Greentree gives us a complete package of tools so we can continue changing and growing our business.”
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ABOUT KERRICK INDUSTRIES
Kerrick Industries is a specialised company, with marketing operations throughout Australia and New Zealand. It has developed a branch network throughout both countries in the Industrial and Commercial Cleaning Equipment field. In the main branches the company has full facilities, and the ability to fabricate specialised vacuum, pumping and high pressure systems. Kerrick represents a large number of companies from throughout the world. Product is sourced from Italy, Germany, the rest of Europe, Canada, USA, Japan and China.
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