Albion Computers, based in London’s West End, is an IT and Internet service provider. The company sells Apple products as well as PCs, VoIP contracts and Internet services. It aims to provide a total solution for business and educational institutions, enabling them to deal with just one service provider for all their computing and communication needs.
Albion Computers previously operated a number of different systems, says sales director Mark Herman. “We have used Access Accounts and Great Plains, and in both cases we had to have numerous additional systems to run the business. We had multiple Filemaker databases for contacts, maintenance contracts, servicing and several more besides, separate systems for email and calendars, and for point of sales in the shop. Data varied between the systems, and no one had the complete picture.
As the business grew, it became increasingly important to implement a system that would improve visibility and co-ordination across the organisation, improve data consistency and reduce the need to rekey information.
The company decided to implement Standard ERP, initially just for their administration, but also in their stores. Albion now has 26 users across multiple sites, using functionality including accounts, order processing and stock, purchase orders, quotations, point of sales, repetitive invoicing, calendar, to do lists, faxing and service orders.
The company is also now looking at implementing HansaWorld’s real-time web shop. “This would dramatically reduce the time required for content management,” says Albion’s Mark Herman. “It would also give us new customer service features such as automated SMSs to customers when their goods have been delivered.”
“[Standard ERP] has allowed us to do away with all our old systems at one stroke,” says Herman. “We’ve replaced them all with a single, truly integrated business system that offers a great deal of extra functionality. Our salespeople can see credit control history for our clients, and credit controllers see the status of orders and repairs. This increased visibility of data across the organisation has provided even more customer relationship benefits than we expected.” HansaWorld’s mobile access capabilities have also provided unexpected benefits for Herman and his sales team.
"The software is so fast I can connect to it using my mobile phone as a modem and log in to the office without delays or frustration. I can run my entire sales team from the software, and remain in touch with all sales cases wherever I am."
Mark Herman | Sales Director
Herman adds that the software was inexpensive to purchase, has been cheap to run and very easy to use: "We have not needed special training for several of the components we have rolled out, as the consistency of the design has made the new elements intuitive to understand. New staff take to the system quickly and become productive with minimal guidance."
The most impressive element of HansaWorld’s design, says Herman, is that all the disparate parts of the system are in the same application, and have been designed completely consistently. It’s the most truly integrated system I’ve seen, and the benefits to our business have been substantial.