Business management system for importer of boilers, radiators and towel rails
"We’d attempted changing just the sales order processing in Line 100 the year before. It lead to utter chaos for both stock and order books."David Gough, Biasi UK’s Financial Director
Rapid growth had stretched Biasi UK’s existing systems to the limit as a result of turnover doubling several years in a row. Their Sage Line 100 system had data reliability problems that resulted in downtime becoming significant and this, with the impossibility to make it match pricing and reporting requirements, meant it needed replacing.
Implementing such radical change caused some apprehension however.
After a review process, Microsoft Dynamics NAV was selected from Technology Management as the basis on which to build a complete new business management system.
Installation was planned and executed in just a twelve week timeframe. Biasi UK’s business is seasonal, significantly increasing in the autumn so the system had to be successfully up and running before this happened.
"The first couple of months we were on the phone regularly. We weren’t used to the system and we kept thinking of new things we wanted it to do. Now we don’t think about it except when Technology Management visit us for our regular systems review."David Gough, Biasi UK’s Financial Director
A detailed plan was drawn up by Technology Management covering all aspects of the project including training needs, data input, development work and reporting requirements. Regular project meetings were held to assess progress and discuss issues that had arisen.
Customer pricing was identified as an area where significant improvements could be made. Biasi required five cumulative line discounts and quantity breaks on product groups. In addition, radiators have to be despatched with either two or three brackets of up to five different lengths depending on the radiators size and weight.
This process has now been totally automated allowing on-screen pricing to be implemented for the first time. Speed and more importantly accuracy have dramatically improved allowing orders to be put onto the system in real time while customers are on the phone.
"Microsoft Dynamics NAV changed the dynamics of our administration within days. We stopped worrying if the data was right and started having time to look at the reports. We found that the information we wanted was available instantly direct from Microsoft Dynamics NAV without needing the dozens of spreadsheets that we had to create manually before. We found that the information we wanted was available instantly"David Gough, Biasi UK’s Financial Director
Three weeks into the project a new server running SQL Server and Microsoft Dynamics NAV was installed and integrated into the existing network. An on-site small training facility was created to remove people from any distractions.
Once a training needs assessment had been completed for each employee, a rolling program of training began. Starting with a standard overview it progressed into individual sessions on a one to three basis to make sure that everyone was completely confident. Regular re- assessment meant that resources were targeted in the most needed areas, ensuring that everyone was confident of their role and responsibilities.
The most complex task was transferring the mass of data into Microsoft Dynamics NAV. The quality of this data was, due to Line 100’s reliability, questionable, meaning that much of it needed tidying up in Access and Excel before it was transferred to Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
Account headers were transferred three weeks before go live and all open transactions during a weekend. Tidying up the data and adding extra information took considerable time but the transfer of balances was straightforward taking less than four hours to complete.