200 good reasons to upgrade your ERP, says Sage’s Geraghty

Oisin Geraghty, Sage Ireland

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15 June 2015 | 0

As the economy turns a corner, we are seeing mid-market Irish businesses look forward with optimism. Many are growing and hiring new staff; others are starting to look at expansion through exports; some business owners who weathered tough times may now be considering an exit, with valuations rising again.

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Many of these companies have one thing in common: their business software has not kept pace with their renewed ambitions. From talking with customers and prospects, we hear of countless businesses still relying on old, legacy platforms. Here is a simple test: if auditors visited your business tomorrow morning to conduct due diligence, what would they find?

Ideally, they should find a business that is able to quickly see every facet of the organisation from a single screen with just a few clicks. If we take that as a starting point, the key to achieving this goal is having an enterprise resource planning solution.

Sage 200 does just that. With a single platform, our ERP solution gives managers a full view across their business, from lead to cash. Once a sales opportunity presents itself, through to when that same customer receives an invoice, Sage 200 records every interaction at every stage of the process.

Earlier this year, Sage launched the latest generation of Sage 200, with a new interface and one-click access to key areas of the software. It has modules designed to address the challenges of particular industry verticals such as manufacturing or distribution, and it comes with customer relationship management as standard.

“An auditor should be able to quickly see every facet of the organisation from a single screen with just a few clicks. If we take that as a starting point, the key to achieving this goal is having an enterprise resource planning solution”

What is more, because Sage 200 has been designed to meet the needs of mid-market companies in Ireland and the UK, there’s less customisation needed than with generic ERP products that were built for a global audience. Our partners can have a basic Sage 200 version up and running in 10 business days.

It is only fair to point out that upgrading a system as widely used in a business as ERP may cause some disruption, but I would argue that it is a small pain for a large gain.

Not only is Sage 200 faster to implement than competing platforms, we maintain a 1:1 ratio between the software licence fee and the professional services costs — so there is no expensive extra charges that can double the cost of your investment.

Sage works exclusively through partners in the mid-market space because we do not claim to be everything to everyone. There are so many industry verticals, all different from each other, and they require the specialist knowledge that a third-party integrator is best placed to provide. Sage partners understand the specific challenges facing customers. Our youngest partner has been in business for a decade, so they can call on a huge amount of experience, with the support of a cash-rich multinational employing 250 people in Ireland. There are already 7,500 customers using Sage 200 in Ireland and the UK, and 14,000 globally using Sage CRM. Collectively, we’re taking the pain out of running a business for many mid-market enterprises. Our customer retention rate of 97.8 per cent speaks for itself.

For businesses still looking to maintain control over their costs, there is more good news. We are offering Sage 200 for a regular, pay-as-you-go charge, so there’s no penalty for choosing the on-premise version over the cloud option.

My own feeling is that many businesses move to the cloud more because they are attracted by the monthly billing model than because of any advantages of the technology itself. While Sage software is ready for the cloud, we are aware that some our customers might not be. Some of them are understandably nervous about moving vital company data to the cloud, so we prefer to have a discussion with them, find out what they’re comfortable with, and give them options to suit their risk appetite.

Customers that were previously using Sage 50 also qualify for discounts when upgrading to Sage 200, and they benefit from having a consistent look and feel between the two products, minimising the time for your staff to get used to the new system.

Using information from Sage 200, owners and managers can make more informed decisions about the running of the business, and match resources to the customers that are buying from them today. By looking right across the sales pipeline, you can quickly see what deals are likely to close and when, real-time stock levels, delivery times and the people needed to fulfil the order.

Isn’t it time you unleashed the true value in your business?

 

Oisin Geraghty is senior sales manager for Sage Ireland

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