To get a new ERP system up and running in the space of a month is quite an achievement – that was the task facing WSX, an independent not-for-profit organisation delivering services to SMEs across southern England, including start-up training, loans, events, mentoring and support.
WSX had outgrown its existing legacy system, partly due to changes in the way it handles contracts for development services that are funded by the European Union. “Our sole aim is to help grow the local economy through the services we provide,” explains Financial Controller Samantha Leeds.
Smart purchasing, reporting needed
“Financial control is tight, and so real-time data is essential,” Samantha says. “There are also strict procurement guides, which are different depending on the funding source. Therefore we needed a smart purchase order system to capture all the expenditure, with a wide variety of approval alerts at multiple levels.
“We needed a smart purchase order system to capture all the expenditure, with a wide variety of approval alerts at multiple levels.”
“In addition, we needed detailed reporting that could be customised to each project, along with the Financial capabilities that could be accessed by multiple users, in the office or at home.”
The legacy system had been tweaked significantly over the years, which had slowed processes down by imposing complex procedures. There was also a growing need for eBusiness functions, but adding these was going to cost too much. So WSX went shopping for a replacement system.
Greentree and Sage were both asked to demonstrate, and Greentree got the nod over Sage due to its ease of navigation, its reporting capabilities, its ability to connect seamlessly with Excel, and its Purchase Order functionality.
No time to lose
Greentree Partner Prerogative was charged with beginning the implementation in March 2013, but had to have it ready to go live for the new financial year in April. That this was achieved is a tribute to the spirit of We3 – the unique relationship between Greentree, its partners and its customers.
“We did start the process of reviewing potential systems a little late,” Samantha concedes, “but once we had seen the Greentree product we were confident that our timescales could be achieved.”
WSX’s Systems & Finance Administrator, Julie Pamplin, brought considerable experience in system management to the table, and was able to create the specialised reports and company templates for the new system. By the start of April, the new system was ready to import the financial data.
Shared knowledge gets winning results
“It’s probably one of the shortest implementations that we’ve done,” says Prerogative Project Manager Bernie Small. “However we knew we were dealing with experienced people, who have implemented systems before, and we made sure that we had the right people on it to match their knowledge. We got on well with them; we were on the same page right from the beginning. We knew from the outset what the brief was, and we got on with it and got the results from it.”
“Bernie and her team were extremely helpful with any problems that occurred, and in designing solutions to meet our needs,” Samantha adds.
With its new Greentree system in place, WSX is already noticing the improvements. Supplier invoices are processed more quickly, and the Excel-linked reporting capabilities have accelerated the claims process.
“We are focused on helping individuals and businesses to grow,” Samantha concludes. “Our Greentree system is already making it easier for us to deliver and report on our creative services that benefit so many local businesses, and the region’s economy.”