The implementation process of Kellaway Building Supplies' new e-commerce solution was completed in just two months so that the website would be live for the summer period when a lot of home-owners are expecting to stay at home rather than take their traditional overseas holidays.

The South-West based business, which has 16 branches, decided to go live without a full back-office integration due to high demand for its goods and services.

eCommonSense will be working with Kellaway to complete the ERP integration while the website is already up and running.

The pandemic has seen many merchants who rely on offline, traditional sales methods struggle as more trade has shifted online – a trend that is expected to continue.  

CEO Julian Milligan said: "We have been trading for almost 40 years and throughout this period have strived to provide excellent service to our customers and this first stage of the website is a culmination of our own internal efforts in getting our ERP, price book and databases to the level we needed to make sure that our online experience was the same.

“The solution provided by eCommonSense is best-in-class for builders' merchants of all sizes, so the decision to go with them was an easy one.

"In terms of implementation, we could have delayed our launch, but the Covid-19 crisis changed everything. We decided to go live with a simple website and are now working toward implementation  of the full integration with our back-office systems whilst trading online." 

The solution provided by eCommonSense is used by numerous merchants ranging in size from £1m turnover up to £130m although it can serve merchants of any size.

The decision to fully integrate after launch is a trend that eCommonSense MD and founder Andy Scothern expects to continue as more merchants see the need to deliver effective e-commerce solutions to protect their businesses from further disruption.

Kellaway will join a growing list of merchants opting for the eCommonSense website and product management solution, including Inter-Line, who won the 2019 Best Website and Digital Initiative in the Builders' Merchant Awards.

eCommonSense Managing Director Andy Scothern said that the coronavirus crisis accelerated the need for builders' merchants to have an effective online sales presence.

"In normal times we would have delivered a fully integrated solution before going live. We supported Kellaway’s decision to go e-commerce as soon as possible to enable them to operate more efficiently and help service the high demand from the retail market who will be eager to get 'Barbeque ready' during what may be a summer of staycations.

"This will allow them to take advantage of these sales while we continue the implementation of the back-office integration in the background. So they will have the best of both worlds."