For the past 15 years, Soil Essentials has been pushing the boundaries of innovative products and services to the UK’s agricultural industry.
Working from an idyllic base at the Angus Glens, the company uses its expertise to merge the latest technologies with long-standing farming practices to provide customers with practical solutions that emphasize agricultural efficiency.
In July 2014, after the company had enjoyed a prolonged period of growth, it implemented SAP Business One from Milner Browne, an SAP gold partner. After struggling with various systems to manage key tasks, Soil Essentials initially considered a number of ERP systems. In the end, they opted to deploy SAP Business One – the world’s most popular solution for small businesses. Kenny Waring, Financial and Administration Manager, explains some of the issues the company was experiencing before it contacted Milner Browne.
What system were you using before the implementation of SAP Business One?
We were using QuickBooks to manage our financials. But this is obviously a stand-alone solution and we had other pieces of software, plus various spreadsheets and other paper reports. It was a real mishmash of everything. That was the overriding factor for us to move to SAP Business One: to get all of our data and operations working from one system.
What sort of issues were these disparate solutions causing?
Because we were using several different types of software there was a lot of data duplication. Things could often slip through the net and we were obviously open to human error. In fact, the management of data was a real issue for us.
Why did you select SAP Business One and Milner Browne?
There were about three or four solutions that we considered. After we had done our research and selected SAP Business One, we got in touch with Milner Browne. They came and did various demos for us and explained how the solution would be of benefit to us.
So what are the main benefits Soil Essentials has enjoyed since moving to SAP Business One?
The fact that everything is in one place is of huge benefit to us. It’s easy going into SAP Business One and checking what our stock levels are instantly. Also, we can see service calls that our customers have made to us and access the history of their accounts easily – that’s another big improvement for us. Storing customer records in a centralised database and having information at our fingertips on the equipment they use is key to us. During the busy seasonal agricultural periods we can have up to 40 service calls a day. It’s essential our support team has this instant access when customers are on the phone.
Has SAP Business One helped with your reporting capabilities?
One thing that SAP Business One has done is help us analyse other areas and aspects of the organisation that we couldn’t do previously. We can drill down into data and look into things more professionally. For instance, the sales analysis tool is really good for analysing what items are being sold and in what locations. That has helped us with our sales strategy and made the reporting process quicker and more in-depth.
SAP Business One helps UK’s Soil Essentials with its sales strategy, makes the reporting quicker and more detailed
In your role, how has SAP Business One helped you in your everyday activities?
The fact that everything is in one place and in two or three clicks of a button I can find the information I am after. SAP Business One has helped us put down the foundations to simplify processes and achieve productivity gains across the business. Everything seems a lot clearer and a lot quicker now.
Have these improvements helped you boost levels of customer service?
Because the system is integrated it’s a lot quicker for us to find things, such as sales orders or customer records. The transparency of orders and access to historical data in customer accounts means we’ve been able to improve the levels of service we offer as a business. We can see what products or equipment customers are phoning up about as soon as they contact us.
Talking about customer service, what is it like working with Milner Browne?
We’ve got our own support team at Soil Essentials, so we know the issues that organisations can be faced with. But the support team is really good at Milner Browne. They are all fantastic, if you ever need to contact them.
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