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Travis Perkins, a materials distributor for the construction industry and the DIY market, has made its biggest investment in enterprise software to support a digital transformation programme aimed at making its staff serve customers better.
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John Carter, CEO of the £6bn turnover Northampton-based company, told attendees of Inforum 2016 in New York City that Travis Perkins chose Infor’s cloud-delivered business applications software to drive a customer-focused digital transformation.
He said Travis Perkins’ “long-serving” managers will be using digital dashboards provided by Infor, which has placed a deal of emphasis on the aesthetics of business software in recent times, especially by way of its Hook and Loop design agency, based in Manhattan.
Carter said ever increasing competition in the building industry means that the company needs to serve its customers better, with a target of £10bn in revenue.
“Our IT systems were developed in the 1980s and are now virtually held together with elastic bands. Our building trade customers want access to product information that is up to date, at any time and in any place,” he said.
“Every builder will have his own idiosyncrasies and we sell more than a million SKUs across the trades. Being able to personalise the experience is vital.”
Travis Perkins operates more than 20 businesses spanning the trade, construction and home improvement markets, with more than 2,000 outlets across the UK.
It chose Infor CloudSuite to deliver a variety of strategic, technical and financial benefits, with an overall stated goal to enhance the experience for its customers in construction trades, as well as for employees.
Carter said: “We have a national footprint and an evolving customer base that is increasingly relying on digital technology to do business. We are embarking on implementing the biggest systems change in the history of Travis Perkins. Infor was an easy choice.”
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Infor Services will manage the CloudSuite implementation for its merchant businesses at Travis Perkins. It is Infor’s biggest customer deal so far, said a UK-based company spokesperson.
Stephan Scholl, president of Infor, said: “To be chosen to support an iconic group such as Travis Perkins, with a rich history that spans more than 200 years, to help transform its business is a tremendous honour for Infor.”
The supplier also announced H&L Digital at the conference, which is a division to provide “end-to-end digital cloud systems”. This will offer digital as a service, which will, the supplier said, help generate revenue streams and create intellectual property for customers. Infor’s chief creative officer Marc Scibelli will head H&L Digital.
Hook & Loop, Infor’s in-house creative agency, was formed in 2012 as an internal-facing organisation with a mission to create good “experiences” for users of Infor software. H&L Digital is a client-facing extension of Hook & Loop, using many of the same approaches, including digital workshops and hackathons.
Charles Phillips, CEO of Infor, said: “Many consulting firms and design agencies claim to help deliver digital transformation to help clients meet the challenges of digital disruption, but because they lack the underpinning technology to effect real change, their customers’ projects often languish, stall or fail to meet expectations.
“With the creation of H&L Digital, Infor can deliver all the components of an end-to-end system as a service: Cloud-based industry applications, dynamic data-driven insights, cutting-edge user experience design and a connected supply chain network.”