Ten months after acquiring a U.S. outpost, Britain’s Kerridge Computer Systems (KCS) sold its first K8 software system to an American building material dealer: BR Funsten & Co., whose Tom Duffy Company subsidiary is one of the 10 biggest flooring wholesalers in America. The deal involves 29 branches and roughly 200 users.
Funsten embraced K8 through Dancik International, a Cary, N.C.-based firm that Kerridge acquired last July. Along with launching a marketing campaign in January and making that first sale in May, Dancik also has built up its staff as it vies to make K8 as big a deal in the U.S. as it is in Europe, where it and Epicor lead the market. The company also announced on June 15 that it has made its second U.S. sale to Milwaukee Builders Supply.
To help accelerate Dancik’s progress, three K8 experts from the United Kingdom are moving to the U.S., joining Alan Cross, a Briton who arrived last year and is KCS’ vice president for North America. Cross believes the three newcomers will find much familiarity with their old territories.
“The challenges are identical: thin margins, complex pricing models, complex promotional models,” Cross says. “Customer retention and loyalty is essential. You’re not going to make the margins on brick. It’s going to be on how you buy it wholesale, the efficiency you have in storing, and the feeling the customer has when you serve them.”
Cross said he also has noticed that while dealers can see the ROI from technology, ”that doesn’t mean they’re any less willing to open the checkbook.” That’s one reason why Dancik’s K8 uses the Software as a Service, in which entry costs are reduced because Dancik hosts and maintains the software and the customer only pays for what it uses.