Builders hard hat

Travis Perkins is targeting IT to drive an important part of cost savings after announcing it will acquire BSS Group, a specialist distributor of heating and plumbing supplies, for £558 million.

The acquisition, aimed at making Travis Perkins the UK’s largest builders’ merchant and plumbing supplier, will deliver £25 million of savings, the company said. Travis Perkins already owns Wickes DIY.

In a statement to financial markets, Travis Perkins said BSS would be moved to its key technology platform, “thereby reducing the reliance on external vendors”.

Travis Perkins develops much of its software in-house, but a spokesperson had not confirmed what the system is based on, or whether it is off-the-shelf, at the time of writing.

“Amongst many beneficial software applications, Travis Perkins’ information technology platform provides managers with real-time access to valuable information, including data on customer and supplier performance and an array of key performance indicators,” the company said in the statement.

Travis Perkins also uses the DataFlux dfPower Studio system to help standardise and improve the quality of product descriptions with its product database, which covers around 240,000 product lines. The aim is to improve the in-store, call centre and online product search processes.

The company said today that combining the businesses would provide “significant” operational efficiency savings, as well as better procurement through an increased scale.

The integration will run over four phases focusing on cutting overhead costs and improving processes, the company said, and was “developed on the basis of previous successful projects”.