After an extensive review, we narrowed it down to two contenders; The Sage product seemed to be more flexible and could be more easily tailored to our industry and particular business requirements
Warrington, England (PRWEB UK) 10 April 2013
By early 2010, it was becoming obvious to managers that the IT systems then in place could no longer keep pace with the company’s ambitions for growth. From the Telford head office, Finance Director Andrew Russell recalls: “We’d been running with a Pegasus Opera 2 system for many years, but had completely outgrown it. It was no longer able to provide adequate support. We’d also made two acquisitions and at one point were running half a dozen different computer systems. We needed a solution that we could roll out across all six depots.”
Commenting on the process of selecting a replacement system, Andrew continues: “After an extensive review, we narrowed it down to two contenders: Sage ERP X3 and Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains. The Sage product seemed to be more flexible and could be more easily tailored to our industry and particular business requirements.”
Around 25 staff in three depots now use Sage ERP X3, and these numbers are set to double over time.
Andrew is clear about the benefits of implementing a new enterprise resource planning system, highlighting the improved stock control that is making a marked contribution to profitability and customer service: “We have information from across the company consolidated within a single location and can view this integrated data in realtime, rather than retrospectively. We can see which stock is held at which depot and no longer have to call the depot to check.”
Ruskim Seafoods is about to roll out location control in its warehouses, whereby guided picks will save time by directing pickers to stock items. Improved stock rotation is also firmly on the agenda. Looking further ahead, container management modules are set to improve control of container import operations.
The selection of a Sage Business Partner to implement the Sage ERP X3 solution was just as important as the choice of technology. Recalling initial meetings with the eventual choice, Warrington-based Datel, Andrew notes: “Datel’s knowledge and enthusiasm really impressed us, as well as their commitment to finding a solution that fitted the business and would deliver good value for our budget.”
Datel is the UK’s largest Sage Business Partner and the Datel team’s extensive knowledge of the food and drink industry came to the fore in the area of telesales, which is a critical component of many food businesses. Datel recommended creating a telesales suite that would allow staff to take the order straight from the customer onto the screen and check stock availability there and then.
Andrew says: “It’s worked well. Now, if there are any issues around lack of stock, we can immediately substitute products, rather than having to write it all down, rekey in the information, and then call the customer back. It saves a lot of time and eliminates the errors that arise when you have to keep re-entering data.”
Rather than locating the software in one of the six depots, Ruskim Seafoods opted for cloud-based hosting, knowing this would create a more robust platform for its operations. It chose Datel Advansys, a company within the Datel group specialising in IT infrastructure solutions, as the provider. Andrew says: “We looked around at other hosting packages, but the professionalism of Datel Advansys tipped the scales in their favour.”
Andrew praises the support that Ruskim Seafoods continues to receive: “The whole Datel team is very knowledgeable and can always be relied upon to provide solutions to achieve our objectives.”