In 1997 the QED Group turned over around £600,000 during its first year of trading. Two years later, an additional unit was acquired before moving to a larger 14,000sqft unit three years later. Now, in 2014, QED’s turnover is in the region of £4.5million and the business is looking to further expand into a second unit, to house its growing operations and an increasing workforce, which now comprises of 37 people.
Before implementing SAP Business One, QED Group had several different computer systems but mainly used a bespoke software package. When this became dated and QED found that the support service was becoming progressively less effective, Matt began looking for a scalable and more efficient alternative.
“The old system was a flat-file database with poor reporting and speed of response that was grinding to a halt,” Matt explains. “If staff wanted flexibility to change something, they often found that another user was adding a record, which completely locked the system. Whilst this is obviously limiting in terms of productivity, it impacted on the service that we could offer and was extremely frustrating.”
Why SAP Business One?
When researching which business-wide ERP software to implement next at QED, Matt viewed eight or nine different types of software, before making the choice to go with SAP Business One. “It just fitted the bill,” says Matt. “Initial costs for the whole system and set-up was better than other similar systems that were available, and the SAP solution offered the flexibility that we needed as a company. We have now had SAP Business One for seven years and the system continues to grow with us.”
“It’s a powerful piece of kit,” states Matt. “Good service is all about keeping promises – whether it’s a promise to deliver in a week or a day. Our internal processes, coupled with the SAP system means that once we have made our checks, we are always able to deliver on our promises.”
From a customer relationship point of view, QED finds the ability to make notes about individual customers invaluable: “Before, we had two disjointed, different systems,” Matt explains. “Now, we always have the right information in one place and are able to note relevant topics of conversation for individual customers. This helps to show that we’re interested in them when we speak to them and really personalises our service.”
Having one system where everything is up to date and in one place also aids the decision making process at QED, with on-demand accurate information instantly available: “It used to take hours or even days to do reports,” describes Matt. “Invariably, it often wasn’t worth the time so reports tended to get shelved and we relied on our gut instinct instead. Now however, we can use our instincts but quickly and easily check that they are right. Functions such as the sales analysis tool in SAP is incredible and these types of functions enable us to make decisions that are based on actual, true fact.”
Why Signum Solutions
Overall, flexibility, expandability and the ability to easily report in seconds were the over-riding reasons that Matt and QED chose to implement SAP Business One. When it came to choosing a software partner, Matt was immediately impressed with Signum Solutions’ industry expertise and no-fuss attitude to helping the QED Group to get up and running quickly and smoothly.
“When speaking to Signum, the no-nonsense manner they had meant that they just listened to what we wanted and about how we worked. They assumed nothing, but helped us through the process, making it simple and easy for us to move forwards and to not get bogged down in software jargon.”
Read the full case study.