Expert for Website and Product Data Management Solutions

Andy Scothern

Managing Director

profile

As an award-winning website entrepreneur, Andy has become one of the most authoritative digital commentators for the construction materials distribution industry with regular articles in the trade press as well as being a presenter at events run by the BMF, NMBS and UFEMAT. After designing the BMF’s CPD-approved course on digital transformation and trading online, Andy has delivered this to numerous merchants and suppliers over the past few years.

Having started his career as a joiner and builder, Andy has combined this valuable first-hand experience with working in technology, both in and out of the industry, to digitise numerous global brands. It was this rare combination of skills that led to his appointment as Director of Digital for Jewson before starting his own company, eCommonSense.

His global perspective of digitalisation across a range of sectors has helped Andy show the construction supply industry what ‘good’ looks like in the field of technology. Andy’s experience is something that will be ever more critical as merchants emerge into the post coronavirus economy.

eCommonSense

eCommonSense provides award-winning eCommerce and product management software to the building merchant and materials supplier industry.

It is the only website solution tailored specifically for the industry that can translate the branch business model online with all the additional functionality you would expect to find in a physical branch and includes an integrated product database.

Currently using the platform are many of the most innovative and well-respected merchants such as Haldane Fisher, Lords, JT Dove, TJ O’Mahoney, Collier & Catchpole, Interline, Kellaway, BPS and many more.

The merchant-specific functionality adds value for merchants, suppliers and customers by improving efficiency, saving time and increasing sales.

Visit: www.ecommonsense.com 

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/ecommonsense/

Twitter: @e_CommonSense

eCommonSense Comment: Q1 2022

While significant financial investment in cutting edge technology is unobtainable for many small to medium sized merchants, digital solutions are necessary to make their business attractive in an increasingly competitive labour market. In fact, digitalisation is a cultural journey as much as a technology one and to navigate it, the right talent must be attracted to provide the diversity and skills required to be successful.

For businesses looking to attract the best millennial and Generation Z talent, misconceptions around a lack of career progression and out-dated processes are a common problem. According to one PWC study, opportunities for career progression is the top priority for graduates considering a workplace, while over half said that an employer’s provision of state-of-the art technology was an important factor.

Flexible working is increasingly important to younger generations or those with family commitments. Whether prospective employees are looking to work from home on a full or part-time basis, employers will struggle to meet this demand with technology systems that require full time office attendance.

As highlighted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the implementation of specialist technology facilitated a transition to remote working across the merchant sector, allowing many staff to successfully undertake their role from home.

Being able to log-in to business systems from any location allows all departments to view key business data and do their jobs, at least in part. While this might have taken some getting used to, this shift has highlighted the fact that many prospective employees now expect and demand it.

Career advancement opportunities are of vital importance for young people, with many seeking ongoing training opportunities within their role. Without a robust digital infrastructure, we can’t convey the image of a progressive and adaptable industry which is committed to improvement, and younger recruits will be deterred.

From attracting the best talent, to scaling and opening new sites, digital solutions are increasingly being viewed as the key to future success and arguably the best way to combat the lack of diversity within the sector, without which any aspirations of digitalisation will not be successful.