At the end of 2016 Blue Rock Systems were approached for an informal coffee meeting with some roofing industry experts, to discuss a new venture they were considering. What followed from that winters day meeting has been nothing short of remarkable.
The business they were about to start was still nameless, but their aim was clear. They had identified a need for competitively priced roofing materials with the personal service, care and attention you only find from an independent business.
So, in early 2017 Roofbase.com was born…
Software options for the brand new Roofbase business were plentiful with all the myriad of accounting systems available (Sage50, Xero, QuickBooks etc), all claiming they could handle the small start-up and help them through their first few years in business. The new owners realised that these systems, for the first months at least, would typically be adequate for what they needed. However, adequate was not enough; they had grand plans for the business and the brand, which needed the backing of a better and more tailored solution.
Intact iQ from Blue Rock Systems offered all of the benefits of the accounting functions they had explored with others, but also came with a vast amount of industry focused tools (such as dedicated trade counter selling, detailed stock control and buying features, workflow alerting and reporting). Alongside this, it also delivered an attractive user interface which was completely definable around each user or team in the business.
Blue Rock Systems also offered an unrivalled amount of experience and knowledge of delivering software solutions across the building sector. They also offered a full hosted infrastructure option which removed the need for Roofbase to purchase any physical servers. This gave the new team at Roofbase the confidence to place their order in late January 2017 for the Intact iQ system which would be delivered entirely across Blue Rock’s hosted infrastructure setup.
Within 6 weeks of their order with Blue Rock, the Roofbase team were planning to open the doors and start welcoming their first customers to their new branch in Swansea, South Wales. Both the logistics in getting ready to open their branch whilst also getting setup on a brand-new system proved a frantic time. But within those weeks, the system and access were ready and the doors to Roofbase in Swansea successfully opened.
The Swansea branch, being staffed by experienced and trusted roofing merchants, proved an almost instant success. Equally the Intact iQ system and the way in which it had been configured around the new business was giving the business owners the instant views and controls they required. With all the pertinent information to hand, the owners started investigating a second branch location.
Within 6 months of the doors opening on Swansea, Roofbase opened their second branch in Exeter. The immediate benefit in the hosting infrastructure and Intact iQ setup they had invested in had become apparent as the Exeter branch opened with ease.
Steve Lloyd, Roofbase Managing Director commented, “Following the immediate success of the Swansea branch we always had plans to grow, and grow quickly if we could. The first few months trading was great, we knew we had a model that could be repeated in other major cities that we felt had a gap in market for our experience and service.”
6 months into trading and already 2 branches opened, Roofbase continued to grow from strength to strength and by March of 2018 and only a year of trading, they cut the ribbon on their 3rd branch.
Steve and the team continued to scour the country to find other suitable cities and locations that had a gap in the market for their expertise and stock ranges. This led to an incredibly busy summer in 2018. Roofbase opened the doors to 2 new branches on the same day in June!
Both Leicester and Plymouth were able to open simultaneously as the model for the branches was now set, but this was also testimony to how easy and repeatable the model was with their software and infrastructure partner, Blue Rock Systems. Discussing that time, Steve Lloyd commented:
“We really felt confident in our approach of branch openings by then. The speed and ease in which the Intact iQ system could be rolled out by Blue Rock really helped us. The hosted infrastructure meant as soon as those branches had an internet line in place then we could instantly access Intact iQ.”
“The software itself was proving more and more valuable as each branch opened, not least due to how easy it was to use, but also due to how it had been configured to do exactly what we needed it to. This meant adoption of the software at these new locations was almost instant and getting them up and trading and making money for us was very smooth.”
Fast forward to March of 2020, and their brand and branch network has continued its growth path. This has culminated in the opening of their latest and 7th branch in Gloucester and has meant within ONLY 3 years the business has gone from a start-up to having branches in Plymouth, Exeter, Bristol, Swansea, Cardiff, Gloucester and Leicester.
Before the COVID crisis the business had a target turnover of £18m for 2020, a quite amazing success story for a business only 3 years old. For the team and directors at Roofbase, their success has been well thought and hard fought, but what is next for them?
Steve Lloyd commented. “We are all going through uncertain times at the moment. We have stayed open throughout and whilst trading has been more difficult with regards to the new measures we have had to consider to keep our staff and customers safe, we have coped very well and the business is in great shape coming out of this.”
“With the recent travel restrictions and the wide spread of our branch network, I have again been reminded of the strength of the Intact iQ system. Daily it provides me, automatically, of the areas within each branch that I need to focus on. This is something that simply I would not have been able to do in any other system and something I could not live without now.”
“I think the remaining part of this year will now be one of consolidation, we have had enjoyed a great 3 years of growth, but we now look forward to 2021 when we hope to continue our story. We are always looking for new opportunities and strive to continue providing the levels of service our customers have become used to.”