in Sage April 18, 2018
Case Study - The Paint Shed
The Paint Shed operates a growing group of trade paint stores across Central Scotland. We began working with them back in 2014, and have worked in close partnership with them since to ensure they have the systems in place to support the continued successful growth of their business.
"The team at TMS took the effort to understand our business - and the challenges we face - during our implementation of Sage 200 - which was invaluable in helping us set it up in such a way that would support what we were trying to achieve - particularly in relation to the management information we were looking to get from Sage 200."
Jonathan Bowie, Finance Director, The Paint Shed
The Paint Shed's main requirements when first approaching TMS was a system that would both provide accurate stock control (across all of their locations) and current & accurate financial information about the performance of each individual store. To meet these requirements, we recommended & implemented Sage 200c Professional (at the time known as Sage 200 Extra). The powerful stock control functionality within Sage 200 met their requirements exactly - supporting multiple warehouses, and tracking stock movements via purchases, sales, store by store transfers and stock takes.
During the implementation, we faced a number of 'challenges'...
Challenge #1 - Reporting / Management Information
For the store by store management information required some bespoke development was involved. Firstly, the 3 tier nominal hierarchy available in Sage 200c Professional was perfect - allowing cost centres to be created for each geographical region and departments for each store. This structure allows The Paint Shed to 'slice' their information exactly as they required for their management reporting. Where our bespoke development came in related to removing the possibility of user error - we amended several routines in Sage 200c such that the underlying postings would be driven by the login location of the PC (i.e. all postings by Edinburgh Store #1 would automatically go to the correct nominal ledger department, with no possibility of user over-ride).
The above set-up; along with the powerful Excel-based reporting available with the Business Intelligence module of Sage 200c Professional; allowed The Paint Shed to achieve the level of management reporting that they had always sought - namely 'push button' P&Ls for each individual store.
Challenge #2 - Speed of Sales
In the retail environment that The Paint Shed operate in, the speed of the sales process is key - it was imperative to The Paint Shed management that a sale is completed in as efficient a manner as possible. To achieve this, we implemented:
- Barcoding - each till was fitted with a bar-code scanner to allow sales be carried out by 'scanning' the items (which was a new feature for The Paint Shed - not possible with their previous system). The bigger challenge here though was importing the bar-code data into the system in the first place, and we had to work closely with The Paint Shed staff to help them pull this data together for import into Sage.
- Bespoke Sales Process - we walked through the process of entering/completing a sale with the Managing Director of The Paint Shed and together identified any point of user interaction in the sales process in Sage 200c that was unnecessary (or introduced the risk of manual error). We then customised the sales screens to completely automate these points - thus significantly increasing the speed of the process.
Challenge #3 - User Training
Given the high number of users to be trained, combined with the geographical spread of those users. and need to deliver the training in a method that would cause minimal disruption to the running of the stores, user training itself was a challenge. For this, the training suites we have at our Larbert office were invaluable, as we were able to run regular training courses throughout the implementation to which each store could send one or two staff to. Our training suites have a PC with Sage 200c Professional installed on it for each user, so we were able to provide genuine hands-on training, rather than just 'lecture' style, which we find to be far less effective.
What comes next? Further enhancement...
Having gone through the above, by the end of the implementation process we had The Paint Shed on a stable platform, with all users well trained in the use of Sage 200c Professional; and it set-up in a way that met & supported their key requirements for purchasing the system in the first place.
This was however just the start of our journey with The Paint Shed. We view the initial implementation as just the first phase and have a team in place to stay in regular contact with our customers to ensure we're aware of how their requirements and ambitions change over time - and to ensure that Sage 200 is always supporting these ambitions in the best possible way. As The Paint Shed has looked to improve and grow over the years, we have worked with them on a number of further Sage related projects to ensure it aligns with & supports their business goals.
For details of how we have worked with The Paint Shed to continue to enhance their Sage 200c system over the years, please look out for the 2nd part of this case study next month.