11th May 2020 | 4 min read

Fusion Excel Connect saves time for drinks business

Nichols PLC is an international soft drinks company, best known for its iconic fruit flavoured drink Vimto. The growing business has an impressive portfolio of brands and a range of distribution models. We spoke to Kevin Parr, Systems Accountant at Nichol’s about how Excel Connect is streamlining the business. 

Kevin joined Nichols just over 6 months ago and is no stranger to making efficiencies. When he arrived, the finance team were inputting journal entries into Sage manually each month, wasting time and creating opportunities for human error. Familiar with Sage, Kevin knew that Excel Connect could dramatically improve data entry, starting with the General Ledger function. 

  • Powerful data entry at the click of a button

Often a finance team’s preferred application is Microsoft Excel. Since the Fusion Excel Connect functionality is embedded within Microsoft Excel and communicates seamlesses with Sage, Nichols PLC soon saw the benefits. Now the team can tweak the data in Excel as they need, and at the press of a button it is pulled into Sage’s General Ledger. Thanks also to Excel Connect’s data validation tools, entry errors are eliminated saving the finance team a considerable amount of time.

“On average we’re now saving two hours a month. Multiply that by a year and you have 3 working days saved.”

Keen to make additional efficiencies, Kevin approached the Fusion team to learn what other functions could be run through Excel Connect that would add value going forward. As the business sells into many clubs and pubs, the ability to allocate cash quickly and easily was an obvious priority, and achievable with the Sales Ledger Cash function.

  • Working collaboratively to create the right tool

Kevin has worked with the Research and Development team at Datel to set up the Sales Ledger Cash function, and enhance the tool to better work for their needs. Now fully operational, the function is a huge timesaver for both Nichols PLC and other Sage users operating with a lot of cash payments.

“This is a great collaboration, all about making incremental gains in terms of time. Once we have it fully embedded and working, the cost versus benefits to me are clear.”

This type of collaboration is not uncommon for the Datel team responsible for authoring the Fusion products. On working with Nichols PLC, R&D Director Tim Purcell commented: “Working closely with customers on the development of our Fusion range ensures that functionality delivered is 100% fit for purpose and brings maximum value to our customers. Kevin’s input into improving the SL Cash function has meant that the development team fully understand an operational finance function and can build that knowledge into the product update to benefit all Excel Connect users."