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Fred Balls Fasteners Ltd

The Products

Fred Balls Fasteners has one of the largest stock holdings of fasteners in the UK. Fred Balls are suppliers of Nails, Woodscrews, Tap Screws, Brackets, Hinges, Poly Top Pins and Customer Special fastening items from around the globe.

The Requirements

The Bespoke system Fred Balls previously used was limited in functionality and software developments, leaving the company in a situation where they required a
new system. They were looking for transparency of the business operations in a new system and required a more dynamic approach to the running of the business from an IT perspective.

“The biggest benefit that we see from Merlin is transparency. On our previous system transparency was very difficult, now we’ve got a system where we can see everything on the screen, you can drill down, export data and manipulate it, it’s just absolutely excellent”

The company was looking at growing with a system that was fully supported, which was at the forefront of IT Developments, but cost effective.

“Were starting to develop electronic data capture with bar-coding, at the same time the use of EDI and the use of mobile devices”

“As a small company, Merlin provides many benefits because it allows us to control our cost base tightly which in turn grows the business without adding a load of extra cost”.

The Solution

After a review of four systems, Fred Balls purchased their system from Merlin Business Software.
Throughout all the initial exploratory meetings and consequent software presentations, Merlin had been able to demonstrate their suitability specifically for industrial distribution environments. Fred Balls were also very impressed with the knowledge, ethic and expertise that Merlin’s staff demonstrated and the fact that the Merlin system was a true Windows written software package.

Other Benefits

Improving Sales Efficiency

Ability to cope with high volumes of enquiries, technical notes, alternative products, customer notes, and instant access to stock file details have enabled telesales staff to be more effective when handling customer queries, objections, and general enquiries. Process orders efficiently and rapidly. Repeat orders rapidly generated from previous customer sales history screens.

Managing Sales Performance

Sales staffs are able to negotiate on prices whilst staying within company guidelines on margins and profitability.

Sales History

Instant customer history available whilst processing sales orders; shows what was previously purchased, how many, when and at what price without having to look up previous records.

Smart Stock Control

Automatic matching of goods received against outstanding customer orders enables immediate despatch of those orders or operator can cherry pick customer orders when appropriate.


A sophisticated, yet user friendly report writer, allowing greater depth and flexibility of management reporting information as well as tailor-made reports.

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