Cagney Contract Cleaning has been providing a wide range of professional services to a variety different types of clients since the late 1970s. Now, it supplies hundreds of clients and customers across Ireland with a diverse range of services and products.
In the first part of her interview, Linda Martin, Administration Manager at Cagney Contract Cleaning, discussed some of the issues the company faced before deploying SAP Business One in 2008. Eight years on she explains how the solution has made it possible to accommodate large orders and how SAP Business One has played a pivotal role in helping the organisation grow.
You’ve been using the solution for nearly a decade now. Have you witnessed cost savings over this period?
There’s definitely been cost savings. When you take time to analyse things from a financial point of view it has helped improve cash flow. It’s also helped us to work more efficiently as a business and improve our customer service.
From a financial point of view, has SAP Business One helped improve cash flow with more accurate billing?
Recording audit results has improved. We wanted clear financial reporting for the directors. I have never run a cost benefit analysis. But I know that if we had kept going the way we were going with old system we would certainly be employing more staff than we do now.
Has SAP Business One helped you to strengthen client relationship by responding quicker to issues?
Our relationships with our customers has improved. For instance, if a client wants to know how much they’ve spent with us or how many products they’ve ordered in a certain period, it is very easy to get to that information from SAP Business. So it’s made us more responsive. This might seem basic, but we just couldn’t do it before. We use SAP for a lot of different things in customer relationship management. SAP Business One has made our data more accessible to more people in the company. Previously, we didn’t have anything in our former system that let us set up new accounts or to create service call activities. But now we have got a full history of our interactions with our clients as a reference. We use SAP Business One to enter complaints and compliments, so to us it’s more than just an accounts system to us.
Has SAP Business One helped you deliver projects more easily and on time?
Absolutely. It has helped us grow as a business and the system has always been there with us. We probably couldn’t have coped with some of the larger contracts that we have taken on in the last few years if we didn’t have the system. It’s a nice issue to have when we’re complaining to the sales team about them securing large orders. But we can cope with these because we have SAP Business One to help us.
What about overall levels of efficiency and productivity within the business?
Everything has improved. Our financial reporting and the way its set up is much easier. We don’t have to wait weeks for these. Everything is much more on time.
There are different things like copying and pasting from Excel into SAP that have helped us with our external contracts. We might have staff on site where they don’t have access to SAP. But they can send their orders on and we can just copy and paste them here into a sales order.
Repeat sales order templates have changed the way we do things as well. For example, we would have charged customers the same amount every month for a particular service. It was very rare costs would change so we’d be using the recurring transaction template a lot. But that meant lots of data duplication. SAP Business One takes away a lot of time spent inputting data.
I’m also currently attending the Milner Browne Academy so I’m keen to learn new skills to further streamline processes.
Have you ever calculated a return on investment on SAP Business One?
It’s difficult for me to say because we are just used to using SAP Business One after all these years. We are just used to having everything not being difficult. Since we have taken on SAP our annual sales have increased significantly as we have grown. You can’t manage your business efficiently if you don’t have an efficient system to help you reach your targets.
Since 2008, our staff numbers and the number of cleaning service providers we work with has grown from around 350 to about 550. We have been able to retain levels of administrative staff, despite some difficult periods, by having the ability to analyse and forecast data in SAP.
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