Builders merchant reacts to beat postal strike

Independent builders merchant Martin & Partners in Northampton has brought in a new EDI process to speed up communication with customers.

Builders merchant reacts to beat postal strike

The company used the recent postal strikes as the catalyst for change within the business, managing director David Dickens told

“Martin and Partners is no different to any small business and we had to think how we could and should change and become more efficient and effective,” he said.

“The current postal strike start to bite, with millions of the items being held up with indeterminate delivery dates and future strikes planned we had to make sure we could still continue to communicate with our customers.”

The company contacted their IT supplier, The Project Network (TPN) and together with Solarsoft (ERP system provider), enabled some software functionality within the systems to allow Martin & Partners a simple way of creating electronic copies of invoices and quotes that could be emailed out to clients rather than posted.

“This means that we can reduce our costs, and help the environment, by reducing our need for printed and posted documents. Plus we can even get our PO’s and invoices out to our customers quicker and help the cashflow,” Dikens continued.

“A solution was implemented and tested within a day, and at no cost. The result of this work is simply better efficiency in work process for Martin & Partners resulting in a tangible cost saving over the year – especially on admin and paperwork costs.

“By introducing a form of EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) between Martin & Partners and our customers and suppliers we are now another step ahead of the competition, are helping save the environment with lowering the paper usage, and more importantly, will not suffer from any ill effects the postal strikes may bring.

“Since we implemented the service we have been talking to our customers to understand their preferences for information and the electronic information is proving very popular. We can still send paper copies if we need too but we now have a system which we can use for rapid dispatch of invoices and PO’s but we can also include marketing information and special offers to our customers.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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