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expanding the world of sage

GM Coachwork partners with Datel for Sage X3 implementation

15th November 2017

Forward-thinking vehicle conversion company, GM Coachwork, has chosen to implement Sage X3 with the help of leading Sage Business Partner, Datel. The new ERP system will allow the business to enable more accurate reporting so that it can continue its rapid growth.

Based in South Devon, GM Coachwork specialises in creating innovative mobility solutions for wheelchair users, including vehicle adaptations. The company has been leading the way in wheelchair accessibility since 1988, under the ownership of David Vooght. In 2017, his son Graham, took over as managing director, following his previous role as commercial director.

The phenomenal growth of GM Coachwork in recent years has meant that its current combination of systems, Sage Line 50 and Microsoft Access, were no longer meeting the needs of the company. Now with a £40 million turnover, the company needed a more integrated solution, that would fit the business’ evolving requirements.

Graham Vooght, Managing Director at GM Coachwork, comments: “We have seen tremendous growth over the last few years, with great year-on-year results. This progress has meant that we have now outgrown our current systems, which we needed to re-evaluate to ensure we futureproof the company.

“Sage 50 has historically worked well for us, but as the number of sales has increased, reporting has become a very admin-heavy process. However, we knew we wanted to stay with Sage, so we started to look at the other versions, as we thought they might be a better fit for the business.

 
“In June, we attended Datel’s Connect 2017 event, which helped us to decide on Sage X3. It offered us the opportunity to meet other customers and discuss our options with experts in this area. Overall, it was a useful experience, and we would recommend attending an event before deciding on an ERP system.”

After conducting the research, Sage X3 was found to be the ideal solution for GM Coachwork, with the ability to integrate information and processes across different departments, allowing a complete overview of business activity and simplified data analysis. This has become more important for the company in recent years, as it now operates over two sites, with over 120 employees.

With an increased number of sales orders to be processed, having one central point where all data will be synchronised will save time and costs. GM Coachwork also chose Sage X3 for its innate flexibility compared to traditional ERP systems, that could allow for continue best practice as the company grows. Plus, its modular approach means GM Coachwork has the opportunity to tailor the financial structure to its future needs, ultimately helping to improve business profitability.

“Sage X3 immediately stood out to us for its reporting capabilities. Datel was also quick to reassure us, providing in-depth information and thorough pricing guidelines. We particularly liked the process charts in the admin section, that will help us save time and reduce the need to train staff – as employees will be able to learn on-the-job themselves.”

Graham Vooght, Managing Director, GM Coachwork

Vooght continues: “Sage X3 immediately stood out to us for its reporting capabilities. Datel was also quick to reassure us, providing in-depth information and thorough pricing guidelines. We particularly liked the process charts in the admin section, that will help us save time and reduce the need to train staff – as employees will be able to learn on-the-job themselves. The safeguards that we can add to the reporting also mean that we can reduce the number of potential errors when inputting discounts to customers, for example.”

Jeremy Cook, New Business Sales Consultant at Datel, adds: “GM Coachwork already had a clear idea about what they wanted from their new ERP system: it needed to be an integrated all-in-one solution that would improve accuracy across the business. Attending the Connect 2017 event gave them the confidence to make the change and see it in action.

“We are aiming for Sage X3 to go live in October 2018, to coincide with the end of their financial year. As part of phase two and three in the years following the launch, we will also look at the extra features that were of interest, such as the introduction of automatic barcoding for more accurate billing.”