Following several business acquisitions, BusinessWatch Group, a leading supplier of security alarms, fire alarms and CCTV camera systems to businesses across the UK, is working with leading Sage Business Partner, Datel, to implement and support the company’s new Sage 200 business management solution.
Currently, each of the companies in the BusinessWatch Group uses its own separate accounts package; meaning there are several different Sage 50 systems in operation. Due to the expansion of the Group, the software was starting to “creak at the seams” according to Mark Johnson, Financial Controller at BusinessWatch Group.
Mark explains: “In 2014, the family company BusinessWatch acquired new shareholders who wanted to adopt a ‘buy and build’ strategy to propel the business into national markets. This led to the acquisition of 7 other established businesses over the last couple of years, and the official formation of the BusinessWatch Group of companies.
“In order for the businesses within the group to work cohesively, it became clear that we would need to source a new industry-standard management platform to improve and consolidate the various disparate software systems.”
Once BusinessWatch Group had sourced and decided on its new industry-standard management platform, they began the search for a new ERP solution to complement this.
Mark explains: “Upgrading to an ERP system is something that had been on the backburner for some time. All of the businesses in the group are using Sage 50 at the minute, which can simply no longer provide us with the reliability we need. We have been experiencing a number of data corruptions, resulting in a lot of downtime; having to re-input data is a very slow process.”
Mark compiled a brief which detailed exactly what the business was looking for from their new ERP solution. At this point, Mark already had Sage in mind as their new software partner, as the business’ new internal management platform was designed specifically to work with Sage.
He explains: “I have experience using Sage 200 in a previous role, and knew that the new internal system we had chosen is designed to integrate and work well with Sage.
“This system does a lot of things that Sage 200 does – produces sales invoices, purchase ordering, and purchase invoice processing. These are elements we will use the new internal system for, and then push this information over to Sage so that we can manage purchase ledgers and bank accounts from there. The internal system will give us the industry-specific features we need, while Sage 200 will bring us the stability and scalability we need.”
Discussing why the Group has selected Datel as its Sage Business Partner, Mark says: “We outsource our IT support externally, and tasked them with finding a good Sage Business Partner for us to work with. That’s how we became aware of Datel.
“When we started looking into Datel, we were impressed by their large support department and the fact that the business is very focused on Sage. We were confident that we would get the support we wanted from Datel, and for a price that was in-line with our expectations.”
Andrew Pritchard, Sales Director at Datel, comments: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with BusinessWatch Group at what is obviously quite a turning point for the company. It’s clear that Sage 200 will help them to manage their current and potential acquisitions with much more efficiency.
This is especially relevant on the reporting side of things; by consolidating several different Sage 50 systems into just one Sage 200 system, key people in the business will have improved visibility of much more timely and accurate data from reports, so they can make more informed decisions for the business. We’re looking forward to seeing how the software upgrades will benefit BusinessWatch Group in the future.”