4th September 2020

Happy data

How a large manufacturer found the right fit with Sage X3

F. Ball and Co. Ltd is the UK’s leading manufacturer of flooring adhesives and subfloor preparation products for the contract flooring industry. With impressive growth aspirations, we spoke to Rob Shirley about their long awaited move to Sage X3.

  • Out with the old 

F. Ball found themselves in a typical position - they were using a system that worked well, provided there was the knowledge in-house to use it. It was paper-based, and provided very limited business insight:

“The old system simply didn’t deliver. It was a great transactional system for those who were used to it, but not for people that needed information from it, nor did it provide a full end-to-end system.”
  • Putting in the ground work

As the appointed Project Lead Rob was keen to get it right.

“I wanted to come from the theoretical side and understand what a good ERP looked like. I wanted the right teams, knowledge and framework before we even started to talk to vendors”

Rob’s diligence paid off. When he met Paolo Arcangelo, Datel’s Sage X3 Services Director, and the team at our Connect event in 2019, they ran through the implementation process, and Rob was pleased to know that he had already done the pre-tasks required.

“It was reassuring to know we were coming from the same place - that was the first time I thought Datel would be a good fit for us”.
  • Product then vendor

F. Ball had been using Sage 200 previously, and Rob knew some of the company's other brands had extended it to fit their needs. However, after investigating further it was clear this wouldn’t work for F. Ball. An in-depth assessment of the ERP market identified Sage X3 as a serious contender to be the chosen product. Pleased with the powerful reporting functionality of Sage X3, F. Ball decided that this was their system of choice, but the next question was who to partner with?

“Sage X3 will help us make decisions and provide data in real time. All departments will be informed, meaning less effort and more efficiencies.”
  • A relationship built to last

Rob was impressed with the clients in attendance at Connect 2019, and it was clear how close Datel’s relationship with Sage is since the UK MD and other top Sage management were speaking at the event.

“We didn't want anyone too small, and Datel’s heritage is great. The final clincher was that Datel represented better value over the first 5 years following implementation.”

The current global situation has hampered the process slightly, however Rob and the team are keen to get back to it after the busy summer period. Thanks to a close working relationship with Datel and Rob’s attention to the process, they are on track for Sage X3 to be live by the end of next year.

“It’s important for us to be in a partnership with Datel. We are looking to establish a long term relationship and are excited to benefit from any future product innovations that Sage is able to offer us. It’s been excellent so far and I can’t wait to get going.”