One of this year's Britain's Fittest Director 2011 prizes is a £15,000 IT assessment by SAP
Small businesses can benefit from investing in powerful IT systems, one of this year’s Britain’s Fittest Director competition entrants has said.
Neil McCorkell from Middlesbrough-based Applied Safety asked software provider SAP to assess his workwear distribution company's needs three years ago.
He said the resulting system has played a significant part in the company’s ability to more than double its sales and believes the investment was value for money.
“Five years ago we set up with an out of the box computer package costing £200 and after 14 months it was a toss up between my wife going to break or the computer,” he said. “It was obvious the software was going to strangle us.”
With the company then making just under £400,000 sales, Mr McCorkell said SAP gave him an assessment of his options and tailored its entry level software package – called Business One – to his needs.
It included financial, warehouse, customer relationship, purchasing and reporting software management. The latest version is remotely hosted.
“There’s absolutely no way we could have grown our sales to that extent without Business One,” said Mr McCorkell.
Four days a month spent sending out invoices to customers became 20 minutes, he said. “I invested £15,000 in the system and the whole package. This will probably see us through to £20m turnover. It was a big outlay for a family company but you would have to be blind not to see the immediate and long term benefits,” Mr McCorkell said.
Applied Safety, which now employs six people, works with SAP’s North East licensee Synkro Solutions, which provides support and runs a helpline. He said he pays “about £1,000 a year” in fees to maintain and update the software. “I can see why people might think SAP is not for me. I am not big enough,” he said.
“But when you put it in it’s immediately seen as an asset of the business and how professional we are.”
The winner of this year’s Britain’s Fittest Director will receive a free SAP enterprise health check that normally costs £15,000.
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