Merchant Steel Solutions – History
Merchant Steel’s origin story begins in a Cambridgeshire garden shed belonging to Kev Rayner. Kev recognised the importance of steel fabrication to the construction industry, but he noticed that missed deadlines and backups were creating issues for the industry. To combat these issues, Kev created Merchant Steel Solutions in 2018 and began to produce gates and wrought iron railings out of his garden shed.
Shortly thereafter, Kev and Merchant Steel Solutions were joined by David Biddle who had, just months prior, sold his timber company to retire. After a brief 5 month break, David decided that retirement wasn’t for him and he, instead, became an integral part of Merchant Steel Solutions. Bringing his years of merchanting experience and business acumen to the table, David helped turn Merchant Steel Solutions into a metals stockholder and fabricator that tailors to the building industry. Before long, the pair realised that they had outgrown their garden shed and would need a larger facility. Merchant Steel then relocated to St. Neots
Finding iMetal – The Perfect Solution
Once they were up and running at their new larger facility, David and Kev noticed that something important was missing. David’s previous work experience taught him the value of a modern ERP system. An industry-specific, modern ERP system can be the competitive edge that a new company needs. So, the search was on for an effective system.
The experienced team at Metalogic knew exactly what Kev and David needed… iMetal.
The iMetal system provided Merchant Steel with a comprehensive and affordable solution to meet the challenges they faced with their startup. iMetal is an enterprise class ERP system which provides Merchant Steel precise control over not only their inventory, but their entire business process from quoting/sales orders, to production and shipping, to billing and accounts while also providing the full traceability of casts and physical and chemical properties. The system also needed to assist with accreditation of industry standards and government regulation conformance. iMetal was selected as their preferred solution.
The iMetal project was launched and the implementation was scheduled.
“We were surprised with the excellent support we received from Mark Beard who trained us on the system. He made himself available at any time of day and weekends as he understood my need for training outside office hours.” – David Biddle
Through the implementation, there were also huge challenges; at the time of the implementation, the world was in the middle of the pandemic. Kev and David had to do training while running their business day to day. This was a challenge. Fortunately, Mark broke training down to 1-2 hour segments and they were able to complete everything within two weeks, even through remote training. The Merchant Steel staff is now fully engaged with the system. Each member has different access depending on their job description.
Mark Beard would like to add that this was a unique implementation and presented a few challenges due to the pandemic. Despite this, Mark Beard really enjoyed working with Merchant Steel. He noted that whilst implementing remotely can be challenging, it created some advantage in that he was able to break down the tasks into smaller sections as opposed to being on site where everything must be done at once. This is helpful for smaller businesses with less resources to be able to manage the training more easily.
The flexibility of the iMetal implementation team allowed Merchant Steel Solutions to conduct their business with minimal disruption to their daily operations. The training team was nothing short of impressive as they persevered through the challenges created by the pandemic. As Albert Einstein once said, “in the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.”
“iMetal has offered our team speed and efficiency. From quotation and sales to stock management. One of the most important aspects of iMetal is its full traceability and easy access to real-time stock on the system.” – David Biddle
We are delighted to have Merchant Steel Solutions as a valued partner. The iMetal platform continues to grow not only here in the UK, but also around the world from the Middle East to North America. It’s a small world, afterall.
Merchant Steel Solutions is located at:
Pasturelands Farm, Taylors Lane, Buckden, Cambridgeshire PE19 5UW.
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