MPM Products to implement Sage 200 to drive business efficiency and guide growth

Why a Manchester-based distributor of pet food products to markets around the world chose to move from Sage 50 to Sage 200

“We used Sage 50 for a long time,” says Joy Stevenson, MPM Products’ ERP Project Manager. “But as we sold into other territories, it became clear that we needed something more suited to our expanding business.”

And just a brief glimpse at the scale of MPM Products’ outreach reveals why the company needed a new solution. Creator of well-known brands such as Applaws, Encore and Nature’s Calling, the company sells its pet-food products to markets around the world - all sourced from international manufacturers.

“We needed a system to provide additional functionalities and facilities,” says Joy. “This meant EDI sales and purchase order automation, including generation and completion, improved stock traceability and control, project accounting and improved reporting capabilities.”

Sage 200 will allow the company, which has a turnover in excess of £50 million, to do all that and more. With its extensive multi-company, multi-currency support, Sage 200 is a natural successor to Sage 50 for MPM Products to manage the growing international demand for its brands.

Selecting and implementing a successor to Sage 50

To bring clarity to the selection and implementation process, the company brought on board Sage Project Manager Roy Blackwell to oversee system implementation - as well as an external consultancy specialising in the selection of business management solutions.

“We conducted an in-depth scoping consultation to define the requirements and features our system would require for the next 5 years,” says Roy. “The result was the decision to implement Sage 200 with additional add-ons and EDI systems.”

Of the process, MPM Products’ supply chain director and project sponsor Marcus Naylor says, “We looked at a number of vendors and solutions before choosing Sage 200. We also assessed Sage X3. It’s a solution that can do an incredible amount, but it was more than the company needed for the foreseeable future.”

And it was this process that enabled MPM Products to choose Sage 200 with confidence, says Joy, “This really allowed us to identify our core requirements - it was more than just a wish list.

“It made the decision to go with Sage 200 a lot simpler. We knew exactly what we wanted.” 

New system, new opportunities

“We have numerous problem points with our current methods,” says Joy. “Purchase order generation and supplier communication isn’t currently consistent, as it’s done via various communication methods such as fax and email.

“Reporting and accounts are currently undertaken via disparate sources and workarounds, with analysis work currently undertaken inside Excel, not Sage.”

With the company’s move to Sage 200, these processes can be unified and streamlined - even if they are undertaken in Microsoft Excel. Sage 200’s support for additional modules and complementary add-ons empowers MPM Products to tailor the system specifically to their needs.

For example, the company will integrate its Excel processes with Sage using Datel’s Fusion Excel Connect, an add-on that instantly transfers Excel data into Sage.

It’s clear that MPM Products has opted to take advantage of this modularity, selecting Sage 200 modules such as Financials, Commercials, Project Accounting and Document Management - in addition to Fusion Excel Connect.

“We serve customers around the world,” says Joy. “Should we decide to create new companies in other regions, Sage 200 and Datel’s support will give us the power and flexibility to do that.”

Datel’s R&D Director and Fusion lead Tim Purcell says of this approach, “Additional add-ons and modules can help businesses bring their existing processes even more in line with their ERP system. It also lets them develop their system at their own pace. If their business grows, their system can grow alongside it.”

Improved business management, improved customer service

With the implementation of Sage 200 comes the opportunity to implement complementary solutions that enhance the system’s core functionality. Here, MPM Products opted for Sales Order Plus and Panintelligence - add-ons that facilitate improved customer service and enhanced business reporting, developed by Datel partners Eureka Solutions and Panintelligence.

For MPM Products, which distributes products to customers around the world, customer satisfaction is the utmost priority, as Joy explains: “We wanted a system that would allow us to provide the best customer service possible. Sales Order Plus will allow us to process orders faster and more accurately.”

This is alongside Panintelligence, a business intelligence and dashboard reporting solution that will provide MPM Products with enhanced real-time insights into their operations. All this will give stakeholders within the company easy and intuitive access to information, allowing them to make effective business decisions - decisions that will enable the company to provide the best service possible for customers.

“These add-ons will save us time,” Joy says, “and make sure we fulfil our promise to customers as fast and efficiently as possible.”

Choosing the right partner

If selecting the right solution is the first step, selecting a partner to implement and support that solution is the second - and it’s critical to making sure a business such as MPM Products is able to maximise the benefits of their Sage 200 system.

“Datel were open when discussing the project,” says Joy on choosing Datel. “They suggested we could use our own resources to do some of the training, which means less revenue for them, but the right decision for our business.

“The level of trust built very quickly. They didn’t insist we needed several products or go for the hard sell. Instead, they helped us establish our specific requirements and suggested solutions to fulfil them. That really confirmed for us that they’d be a good partner. It was a consultative approach, rather than a sales pitch.”

Roy’s extensive experience also played a key part in the process, as he explains: “I was familiar with Datel’s services from an implementation project at a previous business. We were really happy with their services.” 

A Sage Business Partner’s perspective

Datel New Business Sales Consultant, Gregg Pickard says, “MPM Products had a clear idea about what they wanted from their new ERP system. Integrating their processes with Sage 200 will allow the business to thrive both now and in the future.”

Andrew Pritchard, Datel’s Sales Director, says of MPM Products’ decision to opt for Sage 200: “It’s a natural pathway for growing businesses to upgrade from Sage 50 to Sage 200 or Sage X3. Our experience in guiding this development really allows us to implement and support systems that help businesses manage that growth effectively and efficiently."

About MPM Products:

MPM Products Limited is a manufacturer and supplier of well-known brands such as Applaws, Encore and Nature’s Calling established in 2002. The business prides itself on the use of ingredients natural in origin that are sourced in an ethical way, with high welfare standards from sustainable sources. The business has 58 employees and a turnover of £57.3 million.