“After rekindling Merlin’s ‘User of the month’ campaign in October, the winner of the November ‘User of the Month’ accolade is Tim Merridew, IT Systems Manager, at Cherwell.” As Russell Marsden, Marketing Manager declared “Tim, a trained Developer, has been selected for utilising Merlin’s Web Service Tool Set to create My Cherwell Online.”
Cherwell are a midlands based supplier of cleaning, hygiene and catering products and a leading member of the Nationwide Hygiene Group, the UK’s largest cleaning and hygiene supplies distribution group.
Tim Merridew explained that “My Cherwell Online, as its name suggests, is a customer-focussed online portal where customers can set up their account in a way which exactly matches how they go about purchasing consumables in their organisation. If required, order lists can also be defined which limit the products that an individual user is allowed to purchase and their expenditure can be controlled by setting a budget”. As Tim Merridew continued: “Merlin Business Software is written in such a way, that’s easy for an external developer, like myself, to understand quickly its underlying logic and workflow and be able to utilise this powerful resource, without the need for any specific or formal training.”
For example, working with a major University, Cherwell have optimised My Cherwell Online to integrate seamlessly with the University’s punchout application, so that the product catalogue within My Cherwell Online is directly and transparently accessed from within the University’s own back office purchase order system.
Communication between Cherwell’s customer’s punchout software and their back office order system, Merlin Business Software, is then facilitated by using XML so that purchase orders placed by the University are directly inserted into Merlin’s sales order processing system without the need for operator intervention.
Jeremy Hodge, Cherwell’s Managing Director, says. “Having Tim, a trained developer as part of the team, means we were able to harness his skills and, in house, create this type of order functionality for our customers. For businesses who don’t wish to run their own IT team, Merlin Business Software, as authors of their own software, are very skilled and equally able to provide bespoke modifications and enhancements, as they are at delivering an all- encompassing back office, ERP, solution.”
“We have already started to see the desired results within the business from My Cherwell Online. With a good proportion of our customers now ordering through the portal, we have dramatically reduced keying of orders into Merlin. In fact we’ve seen the focus of our Customer Services department shift from order taking to proactive up-selling. The flexibility of the Merlin back office system has been crucial in achieving this transition.
Merlin Business Software is a fully-integrated ERP system, specifically designed for Stockists, Distributors, Wholesalers and Merchants. Encompassing Stock Control, Sales and Purchase Order Processing, Financials, Contact Management and Reporting as standard.