One of Europe's biggest providers of software for the construction supply industry is using this week's International Builders' Show as the launch pad for selling its systems in the United States.
Britain's Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) will market its K8 software through Dancik International, a Cary, N.C.-based maker of software for flooring dealers that KCS acquired last year. COO Alan Cross says K8 is used by more than 700 customers in the European construction and building distribution industry, including the giant French firm Saint-Gobain. Collectively, K8 is in more than 5,000 branches and 70,000 users.
"We serve the majority of the largest suppliers in the United Kingdom," Cross said. "We naturally saw the opportunity when we acquired Dancik to bring K8 to the U.S. market. K8 is hugely successful in Europe and we're confident it's a great fit for US distributors for their wholesale and retail operations."
KCS is the biggest of several software companies seeking to enter a market dominated to date by Epicor, DMSI, Spruce, and Ponderosa; a number of dealers also have written their own computer programs over the years. Cross said KCS already is used to competing with Epicor, the No. 1 provider to U.S. dealers.
Unlike other would-be competitors that are coming in from sectors like the auto parts industry, KCS is "100% focused on the distributive industries," Cross told ProSales during a Jan. 11 interview. Its integrated programs handle in-store sales, online sales, the processing of customer orders, financials, inventory management, and customer relationship management. Dealers can get K8 as a cloud-based system or install it in their servers. KCS also can manage a dealer's entire network if desired. KCS offers K8 for both rent and on a licensing basis.
U.S. operations for K8 will be run out of Dancik's headquarters in North Carolina, Cross said. A field sales staff is being put together now, and the company has begun looking for American dealers to test the software.