Flying high with Sage Business Cloud

When Flybe launched its ‘Back to Basics’ initiative, the quest to build a fully integrated solution using best-of-breed technology for finance, HR and procurement led to the airline adopting Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management (formerly Sage X3).

"The ultimate goal was more visibility and control by refining and redesigning how we did things across the business,” says Flybe’s finance systems manager, Matt Julyan. “We wanted to make things faster, more efficient and eliminate any potential failure points in our procedures.”

To accomplish this, Flybe designed an integrated network of best-of-breed business software solutions, including web3, AMOS, Airpas and iTrent, with Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management’s finance capabilities at the heart of these interconnected solutions.

“Sage is at the core of our system’s design,” Matt says. “It monitors the financial performance of everything we do, so any interconnecting software has to work with Sage.”

Supported by the real-time data integration solution Talend, Flybe has created a platform that integrates with industry-specific functionality from a carefully selected range of software – including Sage’s enterprise management.

A platform for progress

Placing Sage’s enterprise management solution at the centre of its system provides Flybe with numerous benefits, including the ability to introduce best-practice financial processes. “Sage’s finance functions are built around industry best practice,” adds Matt. “We are now planning to improve, and Sage will be a valued partner to help us on this journey so our employees can really see how much it benefits what they do.”

This ties into Flybe’s aim of driving business-wide consistency and uniformity, as Matt explains: “One of our objectives was to implement a solution that could automate as many financial processes as possible to ensure process consistency. Where needed, the Sage system gave us effective controls to steer and limit those processes.”

But the creation of Flybe’s Sage-centred system brings far more than a change of process for the airline. “It’s much more than a change of method,” Matt explains. “The usability of Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management means employees are far more self-sufficient.

“For example, we’ve now got the ability to create bespoke reports within Sage. People no longer have to rely on a specific person to do it for them.” And continuous business improvement is a core focus for Flybe, as Matt explains: “Where there are changes to the business, we have people dedicated to managing them. My team takes responsibility for making sure the finance system can deliver exactly what the business needs now and going forward."

Partnering for success

To ensure Flybe could achieve the aspirations of its ‘Back to Basics’ initiative, the company turned to its long-standing Sage Business Partner Datel to evaluate Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management. The solution was selected as best-of-breed for the financial element of the solution. From there, Flybe and Datel embarked on implementing the Sage software and integrating it with the other selected applications.

“Datel has been our Sage support partner for over 25 years,” Matt says. “We had built trust in them from previous experience and knew Datel could deliver what we wanted.”

Flybe also decided to adopt Datel’s Managed Services offering to support the business in its focus on continual improvement. “Sage is such a core component for us, and it’s key for us to embrace the rich functionality and best business practice it offers,” says Matt.

“Datel’s managed service is absolutely critical and gives us access to the expertise we need, allowing us to further develop our knowledge of the Sage software. We’ve become more self-sufficient and confident in Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management thanks to the Datel team.”

The same partnership that supports Flybe’s Sage system also assisted with the integration into that system, as each solution constantly exchanges vast volumes of critical information, “Sage’s integration flexibility has been beneficial as we have designed interfaces to fit with the wider systems design,” says Matt.

“Having a partner that understands and can implement Sage on that basis is proving to be very beneficial, especially given the complexities of a best-of-breed solution.

"Datel’s support gives us the confidence we need to continue to improve our processes and drive business efficiency.”

This article was originally featured in April 2018's edition of SupplyChain Digital.