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Should Sage 50 Accounts & Manufacturing users upgrade to Cloud services now?

The Impact of Covid-19 on UK Businesses

The events of the recent weeks have been shocking, upsetting and deeply concerning not only for the UK but for the world.  Businesses have been forced to change their model to extend their ability to work remotely and in many instances in the UK SME manufacturing sector – embrace it for the first time. 

What we now all understand is that the need to be able to continue working effectively when some of our workforce is ‘not in the building’, is crucial.  

Whilst production continues at your physical address, your administration, sales and management teams will be working from remote locations to some degree, for the foreseeable future. 

Whilst restrictions may ease over the coming weeks our old ‘normal’ will not return for many months to come – if ever.  Government support for businesses and its staff cannot go on indefinitely and we must prepare for a sustainable new way of working. 

Sage 50 Manufacturing for the future 

Legacy on-premise solutions will be limping along for now using VPN or RDS set ups, but these are temperamental and slow, affecting productivity and are therefore not ideal as a permanent fixture in the ‘new normal’ we are all facing. 

Sage 50 Manufacturing no longer has a road map for development and in previous articles we have explained how cloud hosting for this application is costly and inefficient.

Put simply its technical architecture, now over 20 years old was not configured with the Cloud in mind.  Businesses need to be able to access the tools that smarter enterprise resource planning systems have to offer to assist with the execution of  manufacturing, assembly and distribution, as efficiently and as profitably as possible. 

Most users of Sage Manufacturing are already aware that the shelf life of their integrated Sage 50 solutions is coming to an end and it is likely that the Covid 19 crisis has made their timeline to upgrade to an alternative, immediate. 

How best to upgrade Sage 50 Manufacturing to the Cloud?

So, what are the options for businesses who use Sage 50 Manufacturing to drive their operation?  Sage 200 is a possibility but is it the right option?   

Sage 50 upgrade to Sage 200 – migration

Take a look here to see how Sage 200 stacks up against other ERP’s also suitable for SME’s who need scalability and performance at an affordable price. 

There is also a common misconception that a move from Sage 50 to Sage 200 will be less expensive and a smoother path for transition.  They are both Sage products so the change will not be so marked, with less learning or disruption involved – right?  

This is where Qi would disagree.

Sage 50 Manufacturing upgrade to Cloud recommendation

Having worked with Line 100 since the late 1990’s which then became Sage 200 (including a manufacturing model based on Sage 50 Manufacturing) we speak from first-hand experience.  As a business, we finally ceased our registration as a Sage 200 Business Partner for Sage UK in 2018 understanding that alternative ERP’s offered far more potential both in functionality and value, to our customers. 

Sage 50 Manufacturing upgrade to Dynamics 365 Business Central – migration

Dynamics 365 Business Central – available in two versions, Essentials and Premium (providing full Manufacturing) supplies a robust solution for businesses of all sizes.  From a single user to a yet undefined maximum user level D365BC, will provide you with full accounting, comprehensive reporting, MRP and MPS, Timesheets, HR, Service Management and Contact Relationship Management.   

Upgrading from Sage 50 Manufacturing and social distancing whilst in lock down. 

This case study centres on a manufacturer in the UK who went live in 10 days FOLLOWING lock down.  Remotely delivered services ensured full and in-tact Sage data migration, training and full go live support.  In fact, to date – Qi has not been on site with this new customer – once!  (Saying that – as soon as we can, it will be great to put a face to a name and shake hands in person.) 

Hybrid approaches may also possible moving forward, with groups of up to 4 persons meeting at a time, 2 metres apart with the necessary health and safety regulations in place.    In this way, project leaders and key managers can meet face to face with a business partner like Qi if deemed essential with larger groups joining that meeting via Teams for example. 

 

Thought for the Day 

 If your business is using Sage 50 Manufacturing, then you are already aware that a move to an alternative will be technically required in the next 3 – 5 years.  The requirements of your business however have changed dramatically since March 23rd .  Our ‘new normal’ cannot just be endured in the hope it will go away.  As a nation of manufacturers – the UK needs to adjust, reform, keep calm, and carry on! 

Please call Qi to discuss how we can upgrade you from Sage 50 Manufacturing to an affordable Cloud based solution.