Consider the points in the article in relation to your business needs for financials, operations and customer relationship management. If they resonate then you have likely outgrown Sage 50 and need to consider upgrading to an alternative to support your business longer term.
Is Sage 50 supporting your growth effectively?
There will be various signs that the Sage 50 suite is not going to take you forward. It might be that you need multiple stock locations, tighter stock control and better proofs and controls for operations. One key area that will be holding you back from a sales perspective is that Sales 50 does not provide an integrated solution to manage your customer sales and the relationships you have with them. Not having an integrated CRM will lead to manual errors and data duplication – both of which are time consuming, bad for business and costly!
Dose Sage input take longer than it should?
Capturing data simply and accurately is essential. ‘Good’ data means that errors are highlighted, and duplications are obvious. This means that when you report on your data the results are accurate. Great reporting helps you to make great decisions.
When it is time consuming and complicated to capture data (which with Sage is often, manually) it is understandable when staff busy with their day to day will genuinely forget or just don’t have the time to capture the data you need. Missing or inaccurate data gives you inaccurate reporting which can lead to flawed decisions.
Are you losing sales by not upgrading Sage 50
On average a sales manager working for a business that uses Sage 50 and a third party CRM system, who takes the not inconsiderable time to reconcile the orders he knows have been won against orders shipped and invoiced will find at least two orders that have either not been processed or have been processed and delivered but not invoiced. It is true to say that the orders are usually small ones – but enough small orders over a year add up!
The use of disparate systems will inevitably result in human error. A fully integrated, single database system will reduce the margin for error dramatically and not only empower your sales force but integrate their activity and data with your central system – real time.
Question: Is your sales team perceived as almost being ‘external’ to the central team? Do both your sales team and your central team experience frustration at not having a clear, accurate and real time view of each other’s data? Surely salespeople should be able to see real time stock availability and the central team, details of quotations and customer visits without manual intervention or logging into another system, relying on the fact that it has been ‘updated’ – to enable this to happen?
Do you need to speed up month end?
Month end is the monthly curse of the accounts and management team. It is not just about closing the ledgers but preparing the month’s performance information business wide. Often by the time the information has been extracted and analysed it is historical. When end of month information can be processed, and reports delivered in a truly timely fashion – it becomes leading information – the kind of information good business decisions can be made on.
Have your operational needs outgrown Sage 50?
Sage 50 has served SME’s extremely well for two decades but as your company has grown and the demands of your industry faster paced it is likely that Sage 50 no longer works for you. With the decision made that you need to review it is always wise to find out how other businesses in related industries have dealt with challenges of a solution review. Strategic planning to identify key trends in your industry will be an incredibly useful exercise to help you understand what you need now to replace Sage 50 and what you are likely to need in light of industry trends and your wider business strategy.
Are you finding Sage updates too expensive?
The MTD changes this year have forced many Sage 50 users on to the subscription model. Essentially the Sage subscription model provides you upgrades every year that you likely will not use if you have integrating software for manufacturing for example. Business have been forced to increase their Sage 50 overhead and, in most cases, have not had the opportunity to review whether this increased overhead is returning an increase in benefits for their business.
Many Sage 50 users remain on perpetual licences and have used a bridging API to cope with VAT returns in the 19/20 Tax year. Prior to automatically moving to the subscription model when they NEED to upgrade (which could be further HMRC changes, the withdrawal of 32-bit software by Microsoft and the impact that has on Sage 50 SDO or a lack of interface with an Office 365 upgrade) it would be wise to review the market place to explore how this increased overhead on software which they have historically owned but will now subscribe to, could be best spent.
Would a Sage 50 upgrade increase your staff efficiency?
Recruiting the right staff and keeping them is a key measure of success for every business. When staff get frustrated because systems are slow or require complicated processes, they are unhappy. Unhappy staff either leave or become demotivated. Tasks such as de-duping records, correcting bad data and manually inputting the same information is soul destroying and prevents staff from being able to truly excel at their job and get job satisfaction while they are doing it.
You rely on your staff. Transform their jobs with better software and they will transform your business!
Thought for the Day
It is important to select a platform that fits your business needs and will support your growth. This will help minimise costs and reduce the time to ROI realisation. Take a look at our case studies to get an insight into how other businesses in related industries have implemented a project to migrate from Sage 50 to Dynamics 365 Business Central.
Contact Qi to have an informal discussion about your current Sage 50 concerns and discuss achievable, affordable Sage 50 upgrade alternatives.