With considerable administrative overheads needed to manage their current systems, Cosotto decided to take a leap to Sage 200. This move has allowed them to streamline their distribution processes, allowing them to track deliveries accurately and increase customer satisfaction.
In summary, Sage 200 has enabled Cosatto to:
- Easily and efficiently manage complex processes and share information
- Allow customers and suppliers to access specific data for enhanced customer service
- Combine both front and back-office applications into a single, powerful, integrated solution
- Make smarter, better decisions based on up-to-the-minute information
- Expand and adapt to meet the needs of the business as it grows and changes
The search for an easy to use solution
Steve Wood is Cosatto’s Associate Business Systems Director. He explains how the company installed Sage 200 Commercials.
“We already had an incumbent platform,” he says. “To all intents and purposes it did the job. But it was bigger than we really needed and would have required considerable administrative overheads to keep it running, so basically we had a look to see if there were any systems of similar capabilities but which were easier to use. This is how we eventually settled on Sage 200.”
Steve admits he, personally, wasn’t familiar with Sage, but his Finance Director was “so that was a big help”. Once they had made the decision to go with Sage it was time to look for a supplier “preferably the biggest and most stable Sage supplier in the marketplace both in terms of installation and possible development,” says Steve. “This is how we came across Xperience Group and the first thing we did was to land them with an almost impossible brief.”
Working to a tight deadline
The brief was to move Cosatto from the old system to a fully working Sage system. “Nothing unusual in that,” says Steve, “until you realise they had just three days to do it. “We were completely up-front with Xperience. We admitted there might be problems, but we could make best guesses as to how it was all going to work so on that basis we went ahead.” The reason for such a tight schedule was that the contract with the old supplier was up for renewal. “We didn’t want to be tied in for another 12 months so this left us with a very tight schedule to get Sage 200 up and running. And when I say ‘very tight’ I mean ‘very tight’!”
According to Steve, “What would normally involve at least a month of planning followed by a month of implementation, parallel running, you name it.” Completely unfazed Xperience agreed to the challenge. “To be honest Xperience were phenomenal,” Steve says. “There were a few late nights as you can imagine and our own IT teams were able to assist in some respects. But incredibly, we did it all in just 72 hours and, to be honest with you, the main configuration hasn’t changed since day one. That’s how good it was. OK, we’ve done the odd tweak as we’ve gone along, bolted on a few enhancements and so on, but the basic system is the same. We were very impressed with the speed and accuracy of Xperience’s interpretation of what we wanted to achieve.”
Streamlined processes and cost savings
Since then, Steve always knows he can call on Xperience for support. “Not that we need it much, but when we do they’re very responsive. We’ve got a great relationship with our account manager, Jo Bell, who will bend over backwards to help us. Yes, we feel we’ve got a long-term partner in Xperience.”
In terms of overall system usage, Steve finds Sage 200 “much more streamlined than we were used to. Processing and tracking the whole order process is faster and stock management is more intuitive. Sage 200 has also enabled us to trim down our sales processing team to just two people from the original five, so there’s been quite a cost saving there, too.”
But Steve believes the biggest benefit is from a technical standpoint. “Basically our previous system ran on an Oracle database. We didn’t have any Oracle expertise in-house so we had to bring in a third party. Given that Sage sits on a familiar Microsoft SQL server platform, this opened up a whole world of possibilities for us as well as saving us time and money.”
Recently, Xperience has been undertaking some additional development work on behalf of Cosatto. “Something that couldn’t have been possible with the previous software without investing a massive amount of money,” says Steve.
“Xperience is developing a service to allow our customers to place orders via the website and those orders will be pushed directly into Sage. This will save us time in terms of order processing which is great from a customer service point of view. We’re also looking to expand this functionality to allow suppliers direct access to purchase order information and so on. Really, thanks to Sage and Xperience, the world is our oyster.”
Originally based in Italy, Cosatto manufactures pushchairs, high chairs, car seats and other nursery products and furniture.