Builders’ merchant goes cloud-first to break down data silos, improve visibility - The EE

Builders’ merchant goes cloud-first to break down data silos, improve visibility

Data technology provider InterSystems is supporting Ireland-based builders’ merchant and home improvement specialist, Chadwicks Group. The aim is to underpin its digital transformation strategy to enhance efficiency and improve the experiences of its customers.

This strategy has enabled Chadwicks Group to move away from siloed legacy IT systems to a modern, cloud-first infrastructure — based on InterSystems IRIS data platform — that allows data to flow to the point of action. Increasing its digitisation will prove crucial in the coming months as Chadwicks Group looks to lead the market for digital sales within the Irish merchanting sector.

Colm Scannell, head of IT, Chadwicks Group, comments, “This is a key strategic initiative for us, and our digital transformation was dependent on getting the foundations right. Chadwicks has a long history of making it easier for time-strapped customers to do business with us, so we needed a modern, highly performant integration solution that could be understood and supported by our own internal IT team. With InterSystems IRIS now a fully-live and critical part of each of our infrastructure, we’re able to rapidly build new solutions, which enables us to get new projects up and running quickly and maintenance is very simple.”

After rigorous market research and evaluation, Chadwicks Group chose InterSystems IRIS to integrate new best-of-breed solutions with its mission-critical central enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other legacy systems.

Chadwicks Group needed a platform to facilitate real-time exchanges of complex information between an array of new and legacy systems, and therefore accommodate all types of interfaces and standards from web services, to JSON and FTP. During performance testing, InterSystems IRIS became the clear choice to facilitate Chadwicks Group’s requirement for high-speed and high-volume processing of data.

Graphical tools within InterSystems IRIS allow Chadwicks Group’s internal IT team to visually diagram processes, transformations, rules, and workflows. This allows them to focus on the logical interactions between systems, rather than coding, resulting in faster development of solutions that meet business requirements, and easier modification of existing applications.

All data is automatically stored in the embedded database and available for real-time reporting and analysis. This level of intelligent integration has allowed Chadwicks Group to accelerate digital transformation, allowing the business to quickly and seamlessly connect solutions and realise value almost immediately.

Currently, Chadwicks Group has gone live with three new systems – a new accounts payable solution to handle high volumes of transactions, a steel mill test report system, and a product management system, to digitally transform departments across the organisation. The new systems were implemented by InterSystems’ Dublin-based systems integration partner, Grapevine.

While the building industry is among those badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Chadwicks Group has used this time to further explore the possibilities of digital transformation, with the next phase set to build out its ecommerce capabilities to become the lead in digital engagement within the industry. The InterSystems IRIS platform will continue to play a critical role as Chadwicks Group answers the growing demand for online services among its B2B client-base, including click and collect functionalities.

As well as going live with the three new digital projects and exploring new developments in its ecommerce platform, an electronic proof of delivery system is currently being piloted.

John Kelly, sales manager, InterSystems UK&I, adds, “Chadwicks Group has been the cornerstone of the merchanting industry for 200 years and this digital transformation project will ensure it continues to adapt to the changing requirements of its customers and benefits from a more agile IT infrastructure. The reliability, scalability, and performance of InterSystems IRIS, as well as its ability to facilitate data exchanges in real-time, will be crucial as Chadwicks pushes on with the creation of an online transactional website and captures this lucrative market.”

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