By implementing Sage 200, Clicks Digital improved reporting processes, reducing time to produce reports from 20 minutes with an old DOS system to 20 seconds. With better operational performance, they can now focus on growing their business.
If it Ain't Broke, don't fix it?
"Basically we were forced to do it. We didn't want to, but at the time we didn't really have a choice. So we called in Xperience Group and they made it as painless as possible."
Alan Rigglesford, General Manager of Clicks Digital Solutions, is talking about when his business first migrated to Sage accounting software three years ago.
Since then, the Farringdon-based digital printing company has been so thrilled with Sage that "we've been upgrading and adding on so much, it's hard to remember which version we're currently on!" Alan laughs.
From a company that had to almost physically prise themselves out of their DOS-based comfort zone, the transformation has been astonishing. So much so that "everything's perfect", three years on.
If I'd talked to Alan a few years ago, it would have been a very different tale. "We were pretty much in the dark ages", he admits. "We'd been using a DOS-based package from the 80s onwards. And because it worked and we didn't have any problems, we never thought we needed to upgrade. Also, our accountants were trained on that system and they didn't want to change either."
Moving with the times
So why the switch if they were happy with the old DOS system?
"Well you've got to move with the times, haven't you", Alan laughs. "By that time it seemed as if everyone was on Windows - except us! Really, we needed to get ourselves bang up to date and have an accounting system that would automatically back-up, you know all those things you take for granted these days."
But it wasn't going to be easy to persuade the accounting team to leave their comfort zone, which is where Xperience comes into the story.
"Someone else recommended Xperience to us", Alan remembers. "We'd looked at a number of Sage resellers but Xperience came in with the best price and the best professional manner. Basically they were saying 'You're safe with us'."
Alan doesn't profess to be an accountant. "In fact I know very little about accounts, let alone accounting software", he admits, "but Xperience made it so easy to understand. Their sales person, Simon, was especially professional."
Xperience advised the company on the best package for what they wanted to achieve. "Then they performed a really smooth transition from the old DOS system to the new one", he continues.
"They came in, took away our data to ensure it would migrate across to the new system, then came back and proved to us that it worked flawlessly. Once that was done, with various back-ups and things happening, they produced a working copy of the system. Then after a week or two we switched over to the real thing."
Was there any resistance from the accounting team? "Well, Xperience came in and took them through the basic functionality which was a breath of fresh air from my point of view because now everyone was using a Windows-based product instead of the old DOS. Let me put it like this. Steve, our head accountant, hasn't complained! He seems perfectly happy!"
On being quizzed about whether or not Clicks take advantage of Xperience's telephone support, Alan laughs: "Steve, yes, he takes full advantage of it! Basically, the support is perfect."
And the reason for choosing Sage in the first place?
"Obviously we looked at a few solutions. But we felt that Sage was more of a brand name. We also felt that if we needed expert programming and advice then, because it's more commonly known throughout the UK, it would be easier to obtain. Also, I believe the price was a lot more affordable so in a nutshell that's why we went for it."
It's all plain sailing with Sage 200
Has it been plain sailing? "Oh yes, it's all been absolutely fine!" laughs Alan obviously looking back to their initial concerns about mothballing DOS.
"Naturally we have to contact Xperience's customer support over the phone each time we upgrade, like when we upgraded to Sage 200 in September. You always have to clarify one or two things, don't you, but basically everything's perfect - we've had no problems at all."
As a company that prides itself in offering 'quick turn around times' for its customers, speeding up their accounting has certainly been a bonus. Alan gives just one example.
"In the bad old DOS days running reports could take 20 minutes or half an hour but with Sage it's like 20 or 30 seconds. So from the dark DOS ages to cutting-edge Sage 200, it's been a big step in just three years. We're happy and confident which is incredible really considering we never wanted to do it! Basically, we knew that if we wanted to stay ahead, we had to move forward. Xperience 'held our hand' and made it as painless as possible for us."
About Clicks Digital
Clicks Digital is the leading market provider of bespoke digital print solutions, large format and presentation services. They provide dynamic and creatively printed images for many major retail brands and blue chip companies where speed and efficiency is mission critical.