Scientific & Chemical Supplies to roll out Sage 1000

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UKs largest independent science equipment supplier set to increase growth by 10 per cent

Sage (UK) Limited has today announced that Scientific & Chemical Supplies has agreed to implement Sage 1000 for 55 users through Sage Business Partner CPiO. This will enable the company to optimise its resources, by automating processes and improving communication between departments. Sage 1000 is one of the most complete business management software packages aimed at the mid-market, combining CRM, ERP, reporting, workflow, web access and self-service.

Scientific & Chemical Supplies is the largest independent science equipment supplier to secondary schools and colleges and also has a rapidly expanding laboratory supply business in the UK. As the company has grown and the sales team expanded, so did the need to enhance the companys IT capabilities. At the heart of the decision to implement Sage 1000 was the need to have a single view across the business, with particular focus on sales and purchase orders as well as stock availability.

Philip Palser, operations director at Scientific & Chemical Supplies said: Like any medium-sized business, we found that as the company grew, our IT systems no longer met our requirements. We needed to move to a more sophisticated IT environment which provides a single view of the business, enabling us to cut costs; but more importantly we also needed to manage our customers better. We are aiming for 10 per cent growth in the next year, and we believe that Sage 1000 will help us to do this, by cross-selling and up-selling to our customers better.

Scientific & Chemical Supplies will also be deploying self service modules as part of Sage 1000, which will allow customers easy and secure access to information, such as the status of their orders. The underlying architecture of Sage 1000 will also enable rapid deployment of dashboards to employees across the company, giving them access to data across the organisation; additionally, the system will provide other types of reporting, setting of individual employee targets and support for workflow management.

Palser said:Sage 1000 is a product based on proven and highly intuitive technology, which for us was a key requirement to ensure as smooth and interruption free an upgrade as possible, with little downtime. The software will provide access to previously unavailable critical data for individual departmental functions and the entire business, while reducing our total cost of ownership.

Palser told Manufacturing&Logistics IT that Scientific & Chemical Supplies is a long term Sage customer having used Sage Line 500 and its predecessors for about 12 years. The rollout of Sage 1000, however, is a big step forward by combining the functionality of CRM with the rest of the business. The company had reviewed other CRM systems; and, of the two products mentioned one was too basic and had reliability issues, whereas the other was complex and expensive.

He also said that this was a bigger project than originally envisaged, with office staff also wanting to use the Sage 1000 CRM feature and not just the company's sales representatives.

Essentially, this has replaced the manual customer contact system and enables sales representatives to get more information and to get this information online.

The company is also evaluating 3G cards to enable mobile access to the system using existing laptopsPDAs were found to be limiting and not cost-effective in this specific application.

David Pinches, Head of Product Management, for Sages Mid-Market Division adds, Businesses have to realise that the sharing of customer and supplier data between departments is critical in gaining competitive advantage. Todays customer demands more from their suppliers, expecting that whoever they engage with will have access to all their details, and that customer service will be fast and efficient. Businesses who adopt this model of sharing data will not only improve their customer retention, but will ultimately drive down costs and increase efficiencies throughout the company.

The implementation of Sage 1000 by CPiO is currently underway and is expected to go live in January 2007.

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