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Thomas Graham & Sons Ltd

Thomas Graham & Sons Ltd remains a family owned, independent company, with their head office in Carlisle and branches at Egremont, Kendal and Morecambe. Thomas Graham is also members of the THS buying group.

The Products

Thomas Graham are stockists of many leading brands of power and hand tools plus a huge range of abrasives, cutting tools, fasteners, pipe fittings and safety wear. At the last count, their product range exceeded 35,000 product lines.

Thomas Graham also source “specials” (often within 1-2 days) – another side to the business which allows customers to get the range of materials they require. Their steel stock range includes heavy section (joists, beams, columns etc), flats, angles, hollow sections, plates/flooring, sheets, panels/rolls and reinforcing.

Stainless, aluminium and bright can also be supplied.

The Requirements

Thomas Graham had used their existing system for many years, however, whilst the system had served them well, the Management team felt that it needed modernising with further improvements and developments to match the ever-changing demands of their business.

Any new system needed to be fast and flexible with a sophisticated yet easy to use telephone and counter sales order processing system which fully integrated with stock control, purchase order processing and accounting ledgers. It was also important that the new system could be modified as and when required

to meet Thomas Graham’s exact requirements and have the facility to cope with multi-depots, special one-off products and flexible special pricing on a per customer basis. Other key requirements included concise, accurate and flexible management information / reports for all branches.

The Solution

Merlin was installed in June 2001onto a new Unix Central Processing Unit with modern fault tolerance capabilities and “hot-swappable” hard disk drives and this provided a fast, efficient and reliable platform.

All the training and implementation was completed and relevant data converted, several project meetings and careful planning by both Thomas Graham and Merlin Business Software ensured the installation went very smoothly and as a result Thomas Graham were able to take full advantage of the many benefits Merlin had and continues to offer.

Other Benefits

Improving Sales Efficiency

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.

Managing Sales Performance

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

Use Customer Stock Codes

Ability to use customers own stock codes for searching on sales order / quote input and printing their stock codes on delivery notes and invoices.

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.

Contact Management

Allows operators to record and view conversations, letters, quotations and mail shots details behind each customer record.

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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