It was almost a done deal until a showstopper phone call from the local Greentree Business Partner changed everything.Candis is a subscription-only magazine offering club members exclusive discounts, competitions and offers for a range of family and lifestyle products, services and activities. The magazine includes articles and rich information on topical subjects.
“Our ancient and extremely inflexible legacy system was hugely cumbersome and was well past its sell-by date,” says Christine Blackford, Finance Director at Candis Magazine. Getting data in and information out of the system had become a nightmare. Without the support of a robust business management system, navigating growth was like steering a ship without a rudder.
Christine was well advanced in the evaluation process and poised to make a decision when serendipity intervened by way of a phone call from the local Greentree Business Partner. Although Sage, Access Accounts, IRI S Exchequer and CODA had been looked at, the more she heard about Greentree, the more she liked what she heard. A demonstration sealed the deal.Whilst Greentree is competitively priced as a mid-market business management system, Christine is adamant that although price is always a consideration, it was the quality of its reporting that really caught her eye.
“Excel links in and out of Greentree, adding a whole new dimension to reporting - the value of this for me is immeasurable. It’s enabled me to provide management with a level and standard of reporting they’ve never had before. The similarly positioned systems I looked at simply couldn’t provide this at that price.”
The other systems Christine evaluated required ongoing administration and maintenance, which would effectively require additional IT support. By comparison, Greentree does not and Christine easily administers the system herself. In fact, she says it’s “selfmaintaining”. Greentree is also an extraordinary fit with the Candis publishing, distribution and sales model.
Christine believes that these two factors combine to result in lower IT infrastructural costs, reduced external support time and ultimately, an overall lower total cost of ownership.
She says, “Our Greentree Business Partner has done such an outstanding job of optimising Greentree for our business use that we rarely need to call them these days. However, we know they’re immediately available when we do need help.”
With some previous implementation experience, Christine believes that preparation and a Business Partner with a deep understanding of your business model are critical success factors. Of course, being able to work together towards a common goal is imperative and this made implementation “incredibly straightforward”. Although training is now a distant memory for most staff, Greentree’s ease of use ensured all users were up and running very quickly and they haven’t looked back.When Christine was evaluating various systems, she had a vision of how future growth would impact upon various parts of the business. She wanted a system that would enable that vision. For example, she had a very good idea about how she wanted to design the financial management environment and specifically, how she wanted to set up complex Charts of Accounts, Trees, etc. She had no desire to undertake these sorts of tasks over and over again.
As the business grew, Greentree has enabled her to manage years of change without the need to undertake high-level re-designs of the financial management environment. This has potentially avoided any additional time and cost further down the track.
“Using Greentree has represented a quantum leap from last century into the future. Today, we’re still adapting and growing into it and I can see us using it for many more years to come.”