Why civil engineering firm Aspin Group is opting to re-implement Sage 200 with Datel

Aspin Group is preparing for rapid growth – it all starts with the re-implementation of Sage 200

“We looked at our implementation of Sage 200 by our previous business partner and decided to start again,” says Aspin Group’s Chief Financial Officer, Iain Sale. “There was functionality we required that we just didn’t have in our current system and we were not taking advantage of existing functionality.”

As Aspin Group – which provides engineered solutions for rail, highways and general infrastructure sectors throughout the UK – prepares for rapid growth in the coming years, Iain looked to prepare for that growth with the re-implementation of their Sage 200 system.

Kick-starting growth with Sage 200

For Iain - whose previous system-implementation experience includes a £43 million project for the Ministry of Defence - there are key capabilities a business needs to maximise growth, as he explains: “Accessible financial information and the ability to complete accounts and projections within five days of the month end are both incredibly important to effective business management.

“It gives you the ability to make responsive decisions and frees up time for your finance team to do value-added work in the business beyond preparing accounts.”

For Aspin Group, Sage 200 will effectively fulfil those critical requirements, with its drill-down reporting and data processing capabilities, “Sage 200 is a cost-effective solution for what we need our financial systems to do,” says Iain.

“Visibility tends to change a business substantially. Accurate and reliable processes and data are always important, especially if you’re business is changing rapidly.”

When Iain joined Aspin Group in January 2018, he immediately recognised its Sage 200 system wasn’t, as he describes, “quite right.”

“I’ve got a lot of systems experience and I know how important it is that your business management system includes all the underlying processes that the business needs.

“We already use Sage 200, so knew it could meet those needs - but our current implementation wasn’t maximising the system’s potential, it had been massively over-complicated and consequently was not serving the business well.”

Aspin’s existing nominal ledger and cost centre implementations, for example, had over 14,000 different cost-centre combinations. The number of cost-centre combinations the group requires is less than 400.

It’s why partner selection is as critical as system selection, an effective partner should thoroughly understand a business to ensure the system is implemented according to their specific requirements.

From one partner to another - and the future

Initially, Aspin Group contacted another Sage Business Partner about re-implementing their Sage 200 solution. As Iain explains: “Their guidance re-affirmed that Sage 200 met our requirements, but they couldn’t commit to such a rapid re-implementation - thankfully they recommended Datel to us.”

Once complete, the re-implementation of Sage 200 by Datel will lay the groundwork for the group’s rapid acceleration in growth. “Summer will be a critical period for us,” says Iain.

“Re-implementing Sage 200 is about making sure the fundamentals are in place to drive and support that growth which demands operational and business excellence so that Aspin is the partner of choice in its market.

“We need to get our processes right so that the business runs smoothly when we accelerate our growth. Sage 200 and Datel are a big part of that.”

“It gives you the ability to make responsive decisions and frees up time for your finance team to do value-added work in the business beyond preparing accounts.”

Iain Sale, Chief Financial Officer - Aspin Group