In 2008, Essex-based. family-run Hutton Kitchens replaced its Sage accounts package, bespoke-developed Access database and Excel spreadsheets in favour of KBBSmart from Smart Systems The job of KBB Smart was to take over all the functions provided by these three previous systems – and to do them a great deal better.
In 2021, KBBSmart is working across the entire Hutton Kitchens business from the initial design creation through pricing, ordering, warehousing, supply, installation, invoicing and management reports. In fact, KBBSmart, sitting at the heart of the operation and containing all the relevant information about everything, was even used to send letters to the company’s clients announcing that sadly it had to shut down temporarily (due to an absence of supplies) during the first lockdown.
Ed Scott, a director of Hutton Kitchens, assessed various systems before choosing KBBSmart, which “looked as though it would be the best for us, offering flexibility and the ability to control everything.” He has been proved right.
Once a design is created in the company’s CAD package, the file is exported to KBBSmart, and from then on, its entire progress is logged and controlled using KBBSmart. Taking the information from the design, KBBSmart provides a quotation, with any amendments also being recorded straight into the Smart system. It is used to generate the contract including payment schedule and terms and conditions for the customer. KBBSmart is used by Hutton’s purchasing team to check all the elements of the new kitchen and any ‘tweaks’ are again kept within the Smart system, which is then used to place the order directly on the relevant suppliers. Once the confirmation is received from the suppliers, this is checked against the Smart records and logged.
“A key benefit of KBBSmart is that we can access it from anywhere, at any time. This has always been extremely useful, but during the pandemic has been even more critical because any aspect of any project can be checked from anyone’s home location (or elsewhere) day or night.”
The warehousing staff use KBBSmart to log in deliveries, and the accounts team use it to produce all invoices. It is used to produce the delivery note for the kitchen to make its way to site. The flexibility and customisation of the Smart system means that it can easily handle part deliveries of kitchens when, for example, the appliances are to follow at a later date.
All remedials are logged in Smart, and the system is used to order replacements.
“The old accounting system was very cumbersome when it came to job-costing. KBBSmart is completely different. I can see within seconds the status of every project, down to individual items, including what we expected to pay for something, what we actually paid and thus the profitability of a job, down to the last penny. This includes taking information from timesheets for installers, for example, so that we have a complete picture of the overall cost of a project, covering both products and services.
“When past customers contact us with a query or the need for a replacement, their job can be found within seconds and we can easily see what they need and how we can help them.
“For Hutton Kitchens, KBBSmart is a powerful, flexible complete project management tool providing the ability to control everything in the business. Everyone uses it in all the different departments, all the time. It enables us to automate all the processes (in some cases with fewer staff) and with no time-consuming, error-prone manual intervention.”
Hutton Kitchens was founded 29 years ago, and installs about 150 kitchens each year, working both with developers and homeowners.
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