In the last quarter of 2015 we set about investigating replacing our existing stock & accounts software. We have been Pegasus Opera & Operations software for over a decade, a major upgrade was imminent, so we set about reviewing if this package was a suitable system to support us in years to come. Guess what - it wasn't on so many levels!
An enlightening journey was ahead of us, looking for alternative applications. We wanted everything to be fully integrated, but most of all we wanted a cost efficient and modern system which moved with the times.
This is how we ended up using cloud based software. Being cloud based we are able to access all of our systems wherever we are in the world 24/7.Gone is the need to have expensive IT equipment and ongoing maintenance costs. Our cloud based systems are fully backed-up on highly secure platforms, another worry gone. If there is an enhancement to the software, it is simply there when we next log in. No longer do we have to wait for an engineer to turn up with a CD and upgrade our software, everything is instantaneous - how very modern!
All of a sudden the world is our oyster when it comes to 'add-on apps' (specialist software which focus on a particular need) - all of which integrate with our systems.
We decided to also look at our CRM software (Customer Relationship Management), could this really be any better? Actually it wasn't hard, our old CRM (Goldmine) whilst it is recognised as one of the market leaders - it was simply too involved, too complicated. If you wanted a specialist to come along to tweak it a bit here & there, he would arrive wearing a black cape and mask on a horse demanding 750 GBP for his trouble for the day. We like to call these engineers 'Robin' - would they be back? Of course, next time there was a major software update, along with their open palm. Next thing you know they were gone leaving you rubbing the dust out of your eyes.
Surprise surprise, we found a cloud based application which fully integrated with our other systems. Of course being modern up-to-date software there are apps allowing us to use it on our mobiles / tablets or browser. So we can access all our comms in true 'anytime, anywhere, anyplace' mode.
What does this all mean?
As a customer, it allows us to remain as competitive as possible, to be even more responsive than we were before. Better product forecasting will help us ensure our stock profile is right.
As a supplier, it means better integration, we will be a more efficient customer and thus less of an 'overhead' to them.
Overall, we have implemented a system which allows us to be flexible.
We look forward to the coming years and are glad we are once again on the leading edge of technology, with the likes of Xero: "Everything you need to run your business - beautifully".