We believed that Sage 200 Manufacturing was the right product for us, and invited Stonehouse Logic in to talk us through it.”
Chorley-based wax manufacturing firm Kerax Ltd has worked in partnership with Stonehouse Logic since 2008. In that time the business flourished to a turnover of £26m in 2012, representing a 150% increase.
The workforce has also grown significantly. Expansion on this scale requires careful network management and scalable software, matching the changing needs of the business, without a crippling infrastructure investment or restrictive software and hardware updates.
Initially established in 1962, Kerax Ltd is an expert in the field of wax and wax blending. Supplying an extensive and comprehensive range of all waxes and wax blends, the firm is also a large scale producer for the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, industrial and commercial sectors.
At the forefront of wax production, the business invests heavily in new product development, encouraging their chemists to seek new commercially viable wax applications. The head office is located in Chorley, Lancashire and the firm currently employs 67 staff.
Kerax had made a conscious decision to invest in their IT framework, having had difficulties in the past. Before Stonehouse Logic was commissioned, the firm had been using internet-based business management software, which had poor usability, weak features and was not manufacturing specific.
Kerax’s team had also been trying to solve most minor network and software issues themselves, as they had no in-house experts. This had been identified as an inefficiency in the business – Kerax needed a solution which kept the business ticking, and ideally helped it tick faster.
Geoff Strettle, financial director of Kerax, said: “We believed that Sage 200 Manufacturing was the right product for us, and invited Stonehouse Logic in to talk us through it. At our first meeting, it was evident that the team had extensive knowledge, were readily equipped to service our needs and had a very approachable way of doing business. They tried to educate you about how the software could help, rather than sell to you.
“All the team have a strong desire to help and everyone you speak to is very personable. Larger businesses are in the financial position to support an in-house IT presence – we don’t have that luxury, and Stonehouse fill that void very successfully.”
Mark Hope explains how Stonehouse Logic aligned Kerax’s IT systems with their business needs: “Kerax had a distinct need to manage working capital, debtors, stock and product costs. With the installation of the real-time and intuitive Sage 200 manufacturing software, it became far easier for them to analyse the overall success the business was having and deduce profitability.
“We also recommended the installation of a Sage 200 add-on ‘Spindle’. This allows for invoices, statements and acknowledgements to be sent instantly and a proof of receipt generated electronically. This has reduced Kerax’s paper and postage bill considerably.
“With our Gold Network Support we are able to handle any issues that arise for Kerax that could affect the business’ efficiencies, and provide a helping hand with any software difficulties or IT headaches that arise.”
In the past decade Kerax has experienced exponential growth. Stonehouse Logic viewed this growth as a key consideration in the software and support suggested from the start of the relationship. There was a need to ensure the Sage software was scalable and that the server and support package would handle the additional strain of a growing workforce. It was this foresight which will see the IT infrastructure and capabilities seamlessly expand alongside the business for many years to come.