Commercial Feature: Business Systems

All the latest news in Business Management Software that can help our readers.

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software provides numerous advantages for retailers

ERP can revolutionise the way retailers manage and streamline their operations. Here are some key benefits:
Centralised Management: ERP software integrates all aspects of retail operations into a single unified system. This centralisation allows retailers to efficiently oversee stock, sales, purchases, customer data, and financials from a single platform, eliminating data silos and enhancing decision-making.

Enhanced Efficiency: Automating routine tasks like stock management, order processing, and invoicing saves time and reduces human errors. Retailers can optimise processes and focus on core business activities, ultimately leading to increased productivity and reduced operational costs.

Real-time Data Insights: ERP systems offer real-time analytics and reporting. Retailers can access critical performance metrics, sales trends, and stock levels instantly, enabling them to make data-driven decisions promptly. This agility helps in adapting to market changes and customer preferences quickly.

Stock Optimisation: With ERP, retailers gain a comprehensive view of their stock across various locations. This enables them to maintain optimal stock levels, avoid stockouts, and reduce overstocking, leading to minimised stock holding costs and improved cash flow.

Customer Relationship Management: ERP solutions include CRM functionalities, allowing retailers to manage customer data, track interactions, and personalise marketing strategies. Building stronger customer relationships enhances loyalty and boosts sales.

Streamlined Supply Chain: ERP facilitates seamless communication between suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers. Retailers can forecast demand accurately, manage supplier relationships, and coordinate logistics efficiently, resulting in a smoother supply chain.

Compliance and Security: ERP systems aid retailers in adhering to industry regulations and security standards. Data encryption and role-based access controls safeguard sensitive information, protecting both the retailer and their customers.

In conclusion, ERP software empowers retailers with the tools needed to optimise operations, enhance customer experiences, and stay competitive in the fast-paced retail industry. By leveraging the advantages of ERP, retailers can achieve sustainable growth and long-term success.

Cut down on paperwork with effortless document management

Dealing with the constant influx of paperwork and manual data entry can be overwhelming, leading to valuable time and resources being wasted. The key to overcoming these challenges and achieving greater efficiencies relies on harnessing cutting-edge solutions that effectively simplify and streamline your document management processes. Intact inDocs is an innovative solution that effortlessly handles all your document management needs. This new addition to Intact iQ’s next-generation ERP software, combines cutting-edge technologies like QR Code, OCR, and PDF text scraping to provide an easy and integrated document storage and retrieval system. This in-house development ensures a reliable and integrated solution without the need for third-party platforms.

There are two main components to Intact inDocs: inScan and inAP. You can choose to use either one or both applications depending on your needs. With inScan, you can digitise and organise your documents effortlessly. From proof of deliveries to purchase invoices, it automatically links documents to relevant transactions in Intact. No more sorting required!

inAP revolutionises your purchase ledger management, reducing manual data entry and freeing up time for more strategic tasks. It utilises text scraping and OCR for accurate data extraction, and with its web interface, you can make informed decisions swiftly. With Intact inDocs, you can bid farewell to manual paperwork and embrace streamlined and efficient document management.

To learn more about inDocs document management or to see how Intact iQ can get you operating at your best, get in touch at 042-9331742 or email

Family-run merchant up their game with a digital trading system for a more efficient and profitable business

Renowned bathroom, plumbing, and tile merchants, McDaids, have implemented K8 Trader from Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) as their new digital business management system so they can improve efficiencies and deliver greater customer service in-store and online. KCS is a world-class ERP and business management software provider for merchants, distributors and retailers, and K8 Trader is their comprehensive cloud-based solution for small to medium-sized businesses.

Having used and evaluated a number of systems, McDaids are embarking upon a profitable new chapter in their history with K8 Trader as they expand and future-proof their business.

Established in 1974 on the Isle of Doagh, McDaids is a family-run business that sells to the trade and consumers from their extensive store in Buncrana, Co. Donegal. “It’s great that K8 Trader is fast,’ says Lisha Mhlanga, McDaid’s IT & Marketing Executive. “Product enquiries happen instantly, meaning we can serve customers quickly and further improve our service levels.”

One key differentiator is K8 Trader’s ‘one-screen’ functionality. This feature makes it easy for staff of all abilities to administer the various parts of a successful merchant business, with instant access to the information they need. Also, the tilespecific features create a smoother sales process for the business. For example, a big challenge for tile merchants concerns how they calculate the tiles needed for a project.
“Instead of our sales staff working out tile quantity requirements by hand,” Lisha explains, “they simply input the length and width into K8 Trader to instantly learn how many tiles and boxes are required for the project. It’s a very intelligent system, yet so simple in how it helps us maximise sales and minimise potential wastage.”

McDaids are delighted with the speed of their new system in processing sales orders and enquiries. With K8 Trader’s fast Sales Order Processing module, products and records appear instantly. As the movements are updated immediately within the system, McDaids can confidently sell without multiple checks.

“Before, we’d have to devote two days to running stock takes. But with K8 Trader, sales and goods receive updates immediately, so we’ll always have the correct closing stock value. Also, seeing instant trading stats – with positive and negative results for each line – saves time and helps make better decisions. K8 Trader is a real game changer for us.”

“We’re delighted to partner with McDaids,’ explains James Mitchell, KCS Ireland & UK Managing Director. “We’re always innovating and delivering software solutions to help our customers be more successful. One such example is WebPro, our fully integrated B2B and B2C web platform, which McDaids will shortly introduce in their business. Once in place, McDaids will save more time and lose that second layer of processing as orders taken on the website feed directly into their management system for immediate processing.”

“We can trade with increased confidence because K8 Trader is a cloud-based system,” Lisha concludes. We know that all our customer data is secure and protected in case of any cyberattack or system failure. So, we can get on with providing outstanding service to our customers without worrying about
backups or server maintenance.

You can learn more about the advantages of K8 Trader at

Intact Software – Data and Decisions

The Hardware Journal asked Justin Lawless, CEO at Intact, headline sponsor at The Hardware Show 2024, to outline some key data reports that are available to Hardware Stores & Builders merchants through their ERP Software.

Mark Twain said, “The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them”, and I’m pretty sure he’d say the same today about data. We’re continuously collecting data in our businesses, and we’re told of its value, but it’s only valuable if we get curious about it.

As providers of data collecting tech, we often get asked about trends in trends, that is to say, what are people in our industry measuring these days? I wanted to share some of these insights; they may be valuable to someone who reads it. So, what are people in the industry thinking about and looking at

Justin Lawless, CEO Intact.

Trade Customer Pricelists and Terms Analysis – Agreed pricelists stick around much longer than initially planned, so analysing them is a good idea. Here are a few things many of our users are considering:

  • Keep it simple – Excessive complications in pricing erode margins and make it onerous to review and revise. Despite expiry dates being set, rolling them forward unchanged is more straightforward and, therefore, too common. The old approach was to give each customer a price to maximise profit, but when prices started moving quickly upwards, this became impossible to maintain. The new policy is to boil down and simplify customers to groups and then attach prices to those smaller groups.
  • Discounts given on non-price-sensitive items is margin that the merchant could and should retain.
  • How often are your staff overwriting agreed prices at the time of transacting? Measuring manually priced items (or margin) by customer and by salesperson/rep can paint a meaningful picture. Overriding the system suggested price can tell us a couple of things:
    • lots of manual price overriding – perhaps the prices aren’t competitive enough.
    • low levels of manual price overriding – maybe the prices are too competitive.

Transaction analysis is always the favourite, but what are people looking at right now on top of their regular budget vs actual and actual vs last year vs last month?

  • % and monetary value of discounted transaction lines – self-explanatory and nothing new to anyone in this world (this ties in with pricelist maintenance)
  • Single line transactions – how many, how often, and why? Related products are an opportunity to upsell when prompting the user and customer at the point of sale.
  • Average order values – YoY, Year over rolling 12 months, Month over Month Last Year
  • Volume, Volume, Volume – the ups and downs of material prices make value less informative when analysing comparatives – though it requires a wellmaintained product and product classification dataset.
  • Trending product categories – energy saving, renewables, and water products continue to outperform other categories.

The Customer – in this people-to-people business, your customer is getting much attention from your competitors, so paying attention to trends is essential. Here are some of the things our users are keeping an eye on:

  • Customer loyalty – sales drift, what was the customer buying from you and is no longer buying? Once again, this can be related to agreed price lists which is why it started in position one on this list!
  • Customer contacts – how often are your customers being contacted by your team? How can it be measured if it’s not in the CRM?

New accounts not (or under) trading – setting up a new account can take time, depending on your process. Check to see new customers and how much trading they have been doing since they became a customer. Many are now storing an expected budget against each customer and monitoring it to actual performance.

Invoice Queries and Invoice to Credit Note ratio trends understanding the reasons for raising credit notes is topical at the moment, so capturing this information will be helpful in better understanding any trends, for example, if many credits are being raised, and ‘Pricing Adjustment’ is the selected reason, this once again links back to pricelists and terms.

Quotation Analysis – a particular favourite – how much time are your staff spending creating quotations?
Finding the correct products, ensuring accurate pricing, and sending them to your customers. And then, too often, not being followed up. What is the conversion ratio per rep? Much value is locked up in ‘active and unfollowed’ quotations that can be a daily or weekly task for the team. It can also provide essential insights into your pricelists!

Budget variances – We see budgeting trending toward quantity, volume or weight-based budgets to smooth out price fluctuations.

An important thing to think about when analysing customers is to group them into cohorts based on size or location, industry, or branch. Contemplating opportunities that might exist with one customer while analysing another only makes sense if the customers are in the same cohort, i.e., seeking upselling opportunities by measuring if Customer 1 is buying X and is also buying Y – only works if the control customer 2 is a similar size or industry or dealing with a particular branch.

The Products – Supply chain constraints drove particular behaviours in the market, added to inflation, and
normalising made replacement product costs lower. As such, specific attention is being paid to the following:

Stock accuracy – more frequent cyclical stock checks and ABC revisions are more common now.

Specials/non-stocked items – are the right items being stocked and sourced from the right vendor, or are alternative suppliers and manufacturers being sought?

Specials/non-stocked items received and not yet delivered or, worse, cancelled, a.k.a Dead Specials.

OTIF – on time in full – on both the sales and supplier side – how often are these goals being achieved by
both you and your suppliers, and are there particular products or suppliers that underperform?

These are some of the trends we are seeing across the marketplace at the moment, and perhaps one or two of these might inspire you to look at your data differently or more frequently.

Our philosophy is ‘record your data, measure your data, control your processes’ when it comes to the purpose of your system. I’d love to hear from anyone about other essential measures in your business data and why –

Magico AB Commerce – Creating Smart Commerce

Why Magico?
Magico is an award-winning eCommerce agency that has been delivering online solutions to Irish retailers since 1999. All their online stores are built on their own proprietary eCommerce platform, AB Commerce.

Magico’s focus is to get your company live fast and grow fast. They work closely with ambitious retailers who see their team as an extension of their own internal team. This partnership approach is how they have taken retailers across many industries from six figure revenues annually to six figure revenues per month. Today they are proud to work with some of the country’s best known and loved retail brands including,,,,,, and many more.

Why AB Commerce?
AB Commerce is a turnkey eCommerce platform supported by a local expert community. It brings all the technical features of a modern cloud-based eCommerce platform to businesses that want to do more, better, faster and go beyond the online boundaries.

  • Magico own the platform, they control it
  • AB Commerce is Irish owned and Irish developed for Irish Retailers
  • AB Commerce integrates with leading ERP/ePOS systems including Intact, SAP B1, Epicor and Meridian
  • AB Commerce (Analytics Based Commerce) offers powerful analytics driven out of the box solution to start selling fast
  • AB Commerce is one common shared platform with regular free and paid upgrades, so your online solution never goes out of date

AB Commerce offers powerful B2C & B2B capabilities Magico AB Commerce allows retailers to focus on what they do best, trading in their businesses, safe in the knowledge that their digital flagship store is operating seamlessly. For more information visit

LCMS Ltd – Credit Management and Cash-Flow Solutions

LCMS Limited is an Irish company based in Naas that provides services in areas of credit control and overdue account collections to individuals, partnerships, companies, and government bodies/agencies. They operate in the most efficient and professional way which has allowed them to build a portfolio of satisfied clients from a spectrum of industries.

They also pride themselves on their ability to maintain a professional and quality relationship between their clients and their customers. This preserves future business to allow their clients to grow by successfully unlocking their money.

LCMS are certified compliant to international standards ISO27001 and ISO9001, so their clients are assured that their data is handled and processed to the highest international standard. They are members of the Credit Services Association in the UK and were recently recognised for Excellence in Credit and Debt Management services for the public sector.

LCMS now offer a highly efficient outsourced credit control service where they can contact your current customers in your company name remotely using your phone number to ensure efficient payment of your invoices with all the administrative pressures taken away. Their friendly and highly trained credit controllers can increase your cash-flow while saving you in areas such as staff time, annual leave cover, phone and letter costs and PRSI etc. while also allowing your business to expand.

HAI Members are offered an initial free one to one consultation. You can contact Billy Nolan, Director of Operations at LCMS at 045 431143,

BOI Payment Acceptance

BOI Payment Acceptance (BOIPA) has partnered with Hardware Association Ireland to offer members exceptional value and service on card acceptance. They have a terminal option for every scenario – in-store, on-the-go, over the phone, online. They can help you accept payments wherever your customers are.

Why choose BOIPA?

  • No hidden fees – No PCI fees, Authorisation fees, Minimum monthly fees.
  • Next Day Settlement – The money will be in your account the next working day (irrespective of who you bank with).
  • Simple switchover – Digital boarding process and easy set up.
  • 24/7 customer support – and nationwide field engineer team.
  • Integrated with leading hardware EPOS systems including Agility Software.

Visit for more information.

Unleashing efficiency: CORE retail and complementary apps

In the hardware and building materials sector staying ahead of your competitors requires efficient operations, streamlined processes and innovative solutions. At CORE Tech they understand the unique needs of hardware merchants, as they have been developing innovative solutions for over 40 years.
CORE’s ERP system forms the backbone of hardware and builders’ merchants’ operations. It can integrate various business functions such as sales, inventory management, pricing, purchasing and financial accounting into one easy to use platform.

While their ERP system empowers your business with a solid foundation, they understand that hardware merchants face unique challenges that demand specialised solutions. That’s why they offer a suite of powerful apps designed to supplement and enhance their ERP system, driving efficiencies throughout your business. These apps can be run from any Android or IOS device – removing the requirement for
an expensive outlay on computer hardware.

CORE Sales order app is a powerful tool for your sales team. With real time accurate information such as product prices and customer information at their fingertips, sales representatives no longer have to phone in orders or wait until they have access to a laptop. This empowers your sales team to close deals faster, provide accurate quotes and ensure customer satisfaction.

Being efficient on the shop floor is also crucial – CORE have a range of easy-to-use apps designed specifically to cater for these needs – including stocktaking, cycle counting, sales, purchasing, goods inwards and in store pricing and labelling.

They have seen how their mobile solutions transform day to day operations. Also, they can help you eliminate the issues of disputed deliveries and cumbersome paperwork with their proof of delivery app by enabling drivers to capture signatures, photos and even GPS co-ordinates when dropping onsite.

“We have recently completed stock takes across our branch network, using the CORE Stock mobile app with Bluetooth barcode scanners. Feedback from our staff was very positive and I would be happy to recommend this to others.” Michael O’Driscoll, Bandon Co-Op.

Analytics Dashboard drives informed decision making: CORE`s analytics dashboard integrates seamlessly with their ERP system, providing you with visualisations, key performance indicators to monitor sales trends, inventory turnover etc.

As a hardware store or builders merchant you need a comprehensive system tailored to your unique requirements. CORE goes beyond that by offering a suite of powerful apps that complement their ERP system, revolutionising the way you do business. From streamlining operations and optimising inventory management to empowering your sales team and providing valuable insights, their ERP system combined with complementary apps drives efficiency, propels growth and positions your company at the forefront of the hardware merchant industry.

For further information visit

Avoiding burglaries, damage and financial losses to large structures

In the Hardware & Building Materials sector warehouses, yards & sheds contain immense amounts of valuable stock, often worth millions of euros. Any breach can cause significant financial losses and can also cause emotional and mental strain on employees and owners. This industry, in particular, relies on storing stock in large and sometimes unprotected structures which makes them vulnerable to theft. To provide peace of mind to owners and ensure secure safe storage of their stock, Mynet have outlined essential guidance on optimising large structure security.

Implementing video surveillance system – remote monitoring
Effective video surveillance cameras play a crucial role in ensuring large structure security and offer a cost-efficient alternative to security guards. The mere presence of cameras often serves as a deterrent to potential criminals. In the event of an intrusion, the Mynet intervention specialist’s monitoring the facility is notified for immediate action. This includes alerting the appropriate authorities and keyholders/owners.

Through the use of video surveillance, you can also effectively monitor health and safety procedures to ensure compliance with standards. This helps to mitigate risks, minimise liability, and prevent work-related injuries.

Public adress (PA) system and audio warnings
Audio warnings, delivered through a Public Address (PA) system, are an essential component of any remotely monitored surveillance system. These warnings, dispatched by the Mynet intervention specialists, play a vital role in enhancing the proactivity of CCTV systems. With an audio warning, intruders instantly become aware that they are being monitored, and that the authorities are on their way. In fact, Mynet have statistics that say almost all incidents of theft can be potentially prevented through the use of live audio warnings.

Intruder alarm
Having an Intruder Alarm system installed on your site is crucial and can effectively deter potential intruders and prevent any damage. Once a sensor is triggered, you and/or the monitoring centre will be immediately notified of any unwelcome presence on your property, enabling you to take prompt action to safeguard your site. It’s a smart idea to think about installing an access control system, proper lighting, and fencing around your large outdoor structure to ensure your valuable items are securely stored. This way, you can feel confident that everything is well-protected.

For further information contact, Ana Zupetic,, or on 062 69112 / 083 892 6264

IntelliBrand introduces new customer sales health features

WASP Technologies have recently added extensive new features to their IntelliBrand Sales Platform, which leverage AI to provide greater information around your customer sales health.

No more sifting through endless spreadsheets and struggling to make sense of your sales data. There is now a smarter and more efficient way to analyse your customer sales health.

IntelliBrand sales health features are designed to provide in-depth insights into your customer sales like never before. Using advanced machine learning algorithms, IntelliBrand effortlessly analyses your customers and product sales data, allowing you to uncover hidden patterns, trends, and opportunities that can significantly benefit your business’s bottom line.

With IntelliBrand, you can effortlessly track key metrics such as customer retention, churn rate, revenue growth, and sales forecasting. The intuitive interface makes it easy for you to understand the health of your sales at a glance. Furthermore, IntelliBrand’s powerful predictive analytics capabilities empower you to anticipate customer behaviour and make data-driven decisions to drive revenue growth.

Sales reps now have detailed customer health information available to them at their fingertips in their IntelliBrand app, with the ability to view dashboards and drill into sales data.

They can set filters to focus on customers in decline and with no orders YTD, so that actions can be taken to increase sales and meet targets. It will highlight those customers that have not been called on recently to prompt a call and get their sales back on track.

Don’t let valuable insights slip through the cracks. Unlock the full potential of your sales with IntelliBrand.
For more information and a demonstration of the IntelliBrand Health feature, please contact