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Building merchant – supply and distribution

Aitemology® is partnering with Assembuild Group (Professional Building Supplies Ltd (PBSL) and Securi-Flex (SFX)) as they embark on a PE investment backed programme of technology-related change to deliver greater efficiency and business value in terms of time, cost, and quality.

Assignment summary

To define AGL’s technical ecosystem to create a clear and comprehensive view of the existing IT landscape/estate. The aim of the ‘as-is’ schematic and indicative ‘to-be’ systems/applications/services, infrastructure, integrations, in-bound/out-bound data flows and locations was to clarify the business’ understanding of where the organisation was currently and what transformation/change would be required to meet their future-state ambitions.

Business issues and background

IT had been identified as a key enabler to delivering these goals, and although technology upgrades would support this in the short to medium term, the business would better manage its longer-term strategic objectives regarding acquisition and divestment opportunities (and even potential sale) by defining a future-fit operating model.

Designing a revised or even entirely new target operating model (TOM) around the core people, process, technology, and organisational components (and their touchpoints) would help the group:

  • Standardise, simplify, and streamline how it operates.
  • Eliminate inefficiencies relating to legacy operations and drive consistency throughout the group.
  • Complete acquisition and divestment activities efficiently with optimal effort and minimal overhead.

What we did

We engaged AGL’s leadership team (Managing Director, Finance Director, Marketing Director, and IT Director) to understand the specific business requirement(s) for initiating the technical ecosystem project.

With initial inputs from the CxO established, we reviewed and analysed the available ‘data room’ documentation (business strategy plan, technical due diligence and IT review documents, and a proposed roadmap) and carried out key stakeholder interviews to further inform the as-is landscape. As a result, we were able to define the current-state technical ecosystems for PBSL and SFX, with associated commentary on key considerations, specific concerns, and areas of opportunity.

Following research into some industry-leading enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and associated functionality, we designed an indicative future-state technical ecosystem. We consolidated as many of the business requirements into the ERP as possible, only defining additional systems/integrations where necessary. The result was a simplified, more robust IT architecture which would take advantage of the latest technologies and potentially drive down IT costs.

A comparison between the current- and indicative future-state views also enabled us to highlight several inherent risks, a set of recommendations to address these, and the longer-term change/transformation requirements.

Client benefits

  • The outputs of the technical ecosystem project provided a comprehensive view of the group’s IT landscape which was previously unavailable. This detail helped inform the technical strategy in line with the future vision defined by the Board and senior leadership. It’s created the foundation on which the future-state design is based and established a baseline against which any subsequent technology-related change can be measured.
  • Specific pitfalls and challenges AGL is likely to encounter, and how/when to address these have been flagged so the overall programme doesn’t derail.
  • Additional value can be derived as a by-product from the work’s delivery activities, such as using the outputs of the process design as an input to training material, and/or using the people dynamics review to develop job descriptions for recruitment purposes.
  • We also presented new ideas to enhance the CxO’s ability to run the business, such as using shared/managed services as a mechanism to simplify the management of operating processes and provide better access to relevant data.
  • Alongside technology as key enabler to change, the work has highlighted how important the other TOM components of people, process and organisation are; not only what needs to be done but how it should be tackled and in what sequence.


“Having identified technology as a key enabler to delivering our business strategy and growth agenda we knew we needed professional help. Aitemology® stepped in, really listening, and engaging with us from day one as a proper partner (rather than supplier) should. Their considerable expertise in business- and technology-related change meant they understood the brief straight away; namely how to shape our technology ecosystem/digital requirements, understand the associated impacts on our business operating model, and identify the key considerations, concerns, and opportunities we’d need to address if we were to deliver our business objectives. And they not only helped inform our thinking with energy and insight but identified fresh ideas to benefit our business in the longer term. This valuable partnership has already set us on the path to success.”

Marcus Orchard, Group CEO