With an increasing volume of data and more complex financial processes, Basepoint Business Centres had outgrown their previous systems. In April 2015, the company went live with the Sage 200 Commercials to enhance their reporting and financial processes, reduce operational costs and streamline performance across their 31 locations in the UK.
In summary, Sage 200 Commercials has enabled Basepoint to:
- Easily customise and integrate with third-party systems to fit specific business requirements
- Automate key business processes to reduce operational costs and improve company performance
- Facilitate reporting to provide easy access to business information and improve decision making process
- Benefit from faster, more efficient invoicing and direct debits for complete cash flow control
- Enjoy quick, accurate data entry by specifying defaults to suit typical business processes
- Establish a robust, flexible and future-proof platform to grow the business on
Time for a change
Petra Morris is Basepoint’s Finance Director. She explains why the company switched to the Sage 200 in April 2015. “We’d been using another software product,” she says. “But we wanted to expand our reporting capabilities and automate a number of financial processes. With some customisation, Sage 200 offered these facilities – along with the capability to modify the reports and view information in the way we wanted.”
“In addition to the base Sage 200 platform, we ordered Sage 200 Commercials from Xperience Group - an optional module that can be ‘bolted’ onto and fully integrated with the base suite. By doing this we planned to deliver a more streamlined customer experience at each of our 31 business locations across the UK. To further enhance efficiency we also invested in the Fixed Asset and Direct Debit Modules to enable automation of invoicing and direct debits.”
“Each of our business centres does its own invoicing and previously it had been quite tricky to locate all the various invoices. So not only did we need a system that would allow us to import everything, we needed to make the process simpler and more transparent, enabling Head Office to locate and view invoices with ease – especially as we plan to expand the number of business centres in the future.”
The perfect fit
“As a business, we have highly bespoke requirements which meant that, in order for us to be able to use Sage 200 in the way we wanted, there would need to be considerable customisation. So Xperience worked closely with us to tailor the software to be able to manage our very specific needs. For example, our directors wanted a system that could house four years of historical data - so when we first met up with Xperience in September 2014, we had a fairly long ‘shopping list’!”
“Despite our complex requirements, Xperience were very good at putting together what we wanted, drilling down into all the individual areas to deliver a bespoke Sage 200 Suite with modules, add-ons and customisations that would work for us.
“They also delivered some excellent training, both before and during the ‘Go Live’ in April 2015. Both the installation and the processes leading up to it went very smoothly overall and worked well. Yes, there was a bit of trial and error with things at first, but you’d expect that with such a detailed and bespoke brief.”
Petra is pleased with the way Sage 200 integrates seamlessly with their other software. “We've got a CRM system called Ultrasoft and it integrates very well with Sage. It took a while to get it right, to make the imports work how we wanted, but once the initial work was done it ran very well indeed.
“We’re very impressed with Sage 200 Commercials and use the modules on a daily basis, primarily the Nominal Ledger (to do the management accounts) and the Sales and Purchase Ledgers to send out expenses reports. We also use them to collect the direct debits at the end of the month which run through the add-on of the Direct Debit Module.”
Enhanced reporting processes
Eight months on from the upgrade, Petra is clear about which of the Sage 200 features she finds the most useful. “The main reason we switched was to facilitate easier reporting,” she says. “And with Sage 200 reporting is definitely much simpler and more flexible. We did have to reconfigure a lot of our reports back at the start, but it’s all working exactly as we want it to now.”
“The same goes for the invoicing and direct debits which has given us greater control of our cash flow and reduced the need for manual inputting. Sage processes everything faster which is a big time-saving benefit. Basically Sage 200 has enabled us to be more efficient by achieving more in less time – and with less hassle.”
“It’s now December and things are still going well. We are currently working with Xperience on building on the capabilities of the Sage 200 Suite. For example they wrote a customised management pack enabling us to extract data from Sage into Excel spreadsheets via MS PowerPoint tables.
“We are also looking at a CRM system that we can run out across all 31 centres and are inviting companies to present to us, including Xperience. As we’re already operating Sage 200 it may make sense to go with the Sage CRM as recommended by Xperience but we’re not sure yet.”
“Overall we’re happy with the way the project ran and the way Xperience managed everything. The overall implementation and support have been very good and Sage 200 is doing everything we want it to. Most important of all it has made us more efficient and provided a strong foundation on which to grow the business.”
Based in Windsor, Basepoint Business Centres provide a wide range of high quality workspaces to let in 31 locations across the UK, including serviced and managed offices, workshops, trade counters and studios plus virtual offices with a range of facilities.