Cagney Contract Cleaning is a multiple award-winning company providing professional cleaning and associated services to a wide range of clients across Ireland. Nearly a decade ago, the company adopted a SAP Business One solution to manage operations with the help of Milner Browne, an SAP Gold partner.
In the first of this two part interview, Linda Martin, Administration Manager at Cagney Contract Cleaning, explains the benefits the company has enjoyed since deployment – and how she’s become somewhat of an SAP Business One evangelist.
Q: What system did you have in place prior to the implementation of SAP Business One?
A: We were using Access Accounting but this was purely financial software. There was also a separate customer and supplier database. We didn’t really have any other systems; although we used lots of spreadsheets for different things in the business. In fact, we had a lot on paper, including Purchase Orders and delivery notes, before we adopted SAP Business One in October 2008.
Q: Why did the company decide to deploy SAP Business One? Did you consider any other solutions?
A: One of our motivations was that we needed to have our stock on the system. We had the choice of either adding on modules or upgrading the Access software, or to have a look around and see what else is out there. So that’s what we did.
Our former accounting software just wasn’t fit for purpose and it needed upgrading or expanding. We spoke with a consultant and he suggested SAP Business One. Then we ended up looking at Access and SAP side by side. After that I didn’t even look around elsewhere, although I was aware of other off-the-shelf products.
It was only really when we went looking that we realised that SAP Business One did a whole lot more than we first thought. So we decided to deploy the software. It was probably more than what we were willing to spend at the time, but I could see how we could use a certain amount of the tools included and we just decided to take the plunge. The company was growing and we needed something that would grow with us.
Q: What sort of problems were the company experiencing before it considered SAP Business One?
A: We had no centralisation. Our old system was only accessible by Accounts Operatives and not by service personnel or managers. Then we had our stock issues. One of the big differences between our old and our new systems is our warehouse management. We were able to change fundamentally how we deliver materials to staff on site or to our customers with SAP Business One.
Before, we temporarily employed another warehouse operative to help our warehouse manager do his job. But thanks to SAP we were able reduce our headcount and process orders with just the purchasing manager – even though we have grown so much. SAP has given us the tools to effectively communicate with our third-party distributor and still keep all the exact information here on our database. When you analyse the whole relationship map from sales order to the supplier and the invoice to the customer it’s very traceable.
When we implemented the software we had an internal wish list. We wanted full user access to everything and we wanted to improve our CRM. We had a manual purchase order system at the time which had a very laborious process when adding report orders. Another thing that attracted us to SAP Business One was the HR module. Cagney had no HR system at all at the time – just payroll. Reporting was also an issue as we needed to better analyse our costings.
Another thing that attracted us to SAP Business One was the HR module, says Irish customer Cagney Contract Cleaning.
Q: How has SAP Business One helped you in your role as Administration Manager?
A: I’m responsible for the administration of the financial tasks. So I can now get the same job done as we grow with the same number of staff that we had before.
People often joke in the office that I’m obsessed with SAP Business One. Some people even say I’m in love with the solution. Recently I actually had somebody from another company who use SAP Business One come and visit me. Their business only use it for financial tasks so he came and sat with me for a few hours to see how we use it for service calls, activities and how sales and servicing teams can communicate with each other using SAP Business One to schedule tasks in diaries and allocate work to individuals.
This interview originally appeared here on the Milner Browne site. Find out in the second part of the interview how SAP Business One has streamline different activities across the business and how Cagney Contract Cleaning is now able to accommodate larger orders thanks to its ERP solution.
Top image via Shutterstock