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Howarth Timber

Timber Merchants


Howarth Timber


Customer: Howarth Timber

What we did: Implemented K8

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Howarth Timber is a timber and building materials merchant operation. Its 29 sites are spread along the M62, down the A1 corridor as far south as Corby, and within the M25. There are approximately 1000 employees.

Paul Cornford, as Group Information Systems Manager, runs a team that is responsible for the IT infrastructure of the entire Howarth Timber Group, as well as the implementation and development of all the systems used by the merchant part of the business.

Paul was part of the team that chose K8, and the software was installed, branch-by-branch, over several months in 2004. Making the right choice of software to drive a business this size is critical. Paul advised those tasked with a similar project: “Don’t get bogged down in writing a requirements tome. Make a list, keep it simple and then make a judgement. We used the ‘MoSCoW’ principle to categorise our list of must haves, should haves, could haves and would likes. KCS won the business on its ability to supply the must haves more or less immediately and the stability of the company as a long term system provider.”

Gains and benefits

  • The introduction of robust and capable financial controls
  • A flexible system that supports the trading mechanisms of the group
  • Accurate stock figures the sales team can rely on
  • A 24/7 operation to support on-line sales
  • Stock held at optimum levels to meet demand
  • Enhanced business intelligence to enable replication of best practice across the group

Case Study


K8 is an intrinsic, strategic component of our business. It does what we want it to do and what it says it will do - which is not always the case with software.

- Paul Cornford, Group Information Systems Manager, Howarth Timber



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