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To deliver its 25 per cent growth forecast this year, one of the UK's leading manufacturers of integrated access control systems, Poole-based TDSi, is investing in software to improve its processes and productivity rather than simply increasing the number of staff. To make this happen the company is introducing Sage 200 and Sage CRM software and has appointed award winning Sage Partner Pinnacle to support its implementation.
TDSi Managing Director, John Davies, explains how the business has operated historically, “Here at TDSi we like to have ‘one view’ of the customer. Back in 2006, we invested in separate accounting and CRM software systems that were integrated to provide this view. At the time the providers were relatively new to the market and have generally worked for us, but coordinating and measuring marketing campaigns and generating reports on our pipeline and sales funnels were difficult on our old system.
Reporting on data had also become a challenge. The team kept experiencing a time lag, which meant that when it came to decision-making, the information was out of date at the time of need. Going forward the company wanted to upgrade to a single solution by implementing joined-up enterprise resource planning (ERP) technology to streamline processes, improve efficiency, and support business growth.
By appointing the right solution and partner, TSDi has the confidence to take the next step. John continues, “It’s something that’s been in the pipeline for a while; we knew it would be an intensive project. However, Pinnacle does more Sage 200 implementation projects each year than any other reseller and that provided the comfort and confidence we needed to press the button on the project.”
There were a few reasons for going down the Sage 200 software route, as John explains, “We appointed a new financial director in 2018 and she’d used Sage 50, so it was already on our radar prior to our merger with French-owned VITAPROTECH in 2019. The fact that they use Sage too cemented the decision for us to make the move to Sage 200.
Always seeking to improve its customer service, the fact that the team will be able to see a single view of the customer at any touchpoint within the business, whether that’s technical support, sales, marketing, or finance, is going to allow TDSi to make the whole customer experience even more efficient.
The TDSi search for a Sage Partner was thorough, “We produced a list of six companies and shortlisted to two,” says John, “having discovered Pinnacle, we verified their experience with our accountant and other business owners. Price wasn’t actually the main decision-making factor, Pinnacle’s project management structure was good, and they provided a well-laid-out timeline – there were no stones unturned, and it was clear, everyone at Pinnacle knows exactly what they’re talking about.”
Following an initial project meeting in mid-May, the Pinnacle team is currently building a test system using TDSi information for the company to trial in June/ August, with a go-live target date of September 1st.
Pinnacle Mark Green, Business Development Consultant, said, “It’s great news that TDSi has selected Pinnacle to ensure a smooth implementation of the Sage 200 software. Having gained a good understanding of TDSi’s products, functions, and future aspirations, the priority right now is to take the company’s data and shape a system that establishes efficient accounting, business management, and supply chain processes and above all makes everyone’s lives easier.”
Looking forward to using the new Sage 200 and Sage CRM system, John adds: “Pinnacle is already sending through ‘How to' videos to support us with business functions like marketing.”
TDSi Marketing Manager, Zara Taylor, explains how the new system is going to improve the email marketing process, especially, “At the moment, the email system is a separate entity so we can’t track activity against our CRM contacts. Going forward, we will be able to send out the emails using Sage CRM, track who is opening what, view trends, and calculate ROI by campaign. We’ll be able to analyse at a micro-level and improve our targeting in the future.”
There are other areas of the business that will benefit from the new system too, as John points out: “There’s much more flexibility with the Sage system, for example, we’ll be able to load pricing information directly into customer profiles, which will mean we have the ability to provide a faster turnaround time for quotations.”
To make management reporting much easier, TDSi has also opted to use Pinnacle’s “Data Analytics” package, which will enable the team to produce reports directly from Sage 200 rather than having to manually manipulate standard system reports.
This will help with both the flow of data between TDSi and group level and will also improve communications with the company’s UK-based subcontract manufacturer, as John explains: “It will be much easier to create the demand forecasts we send to our manufacturing partner, which helps them to understand our needs for the next 6-12 months. This will ensure stock continuity for our customers. We’re also going to be looking at integrating a barcoding system to assist with stock management and project installation planning.”
Pinnacle’s project management structure was good, and they provided a well-laid-out timeline – there were no stones unturned, and it was clear, everyone at Pinnacle knows exactly what they’re talking about!