Case study: Complete control


22 Aug 2005

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A hot topic in IT is how high-end solutions are filtering down to SMEs. Sage’s Mid-range Market Solution (MMS), is a case in point. It is a suite of business management modules that have made a huge impact on Daragh McGlynn Ltd, a specialist provider of quality-control products to the dairy, general food, industrial microbiology and regulatory markets throughout Ireland.

Sage MMS offers a sophisticated suite of integrated, customisable modules that deliver a full range of business management solutions, from finance and distribution through to manufacturing and e-business. For Daragh McGlynn Ltd it was the ideal tool at the right time.

In common with many small businesses Daragh McGlynn Ltd depends on its suppliers and their after-service skills to alleviate any problems with technology. When you ask its managing director, Daragh McGlynn, what influenced his buying decision on the Sage software, you get a one-word response. “Service. I went with some of the people who had dealt with me with a previous supplier and I knew they were good.”

Advent Processing Solutions was selected as the chosen supplier, a technology partner that has responsibility for software, implementation services and support.

Daragh McGlynn Ltd is five-strong company that imports and distributes instruments for laboratory use, primarily products for food testing. It’s a very competitive niche dealing in high-value goods. A typical piece of equipment can cost as much as €250k, which means prospective customers expect to trial and test them before making their buying decision. This presents logistical challenges that the Sage software effortlessly addresses.

“We are in a very high-tech area of the business and we have to send out equipment for evaluation by food companies and dairy companies,” explains McGlynn. “Previously we had no automatic way of keeping track of where items were but with Sage MMS we can keep much tighter control of where everything is.”

The traceability feature in Sage MMS caters for either batch or serial-numbered items. Serial numbers are used by Daragh McGlynn Ltd for its high-value products, while batch numbers are used for high-volume consumable items. One of the numbers is entered at the point when the goods are received and from there the information is easily accessed and traced in the system. “Reports and enquiries are available in MMS for complete visibility and traceability of batches and serial-numbered items,” says McGlynn.

Sage claims MMS is a back-office solution for manufacturing businesses that delivers a level of financial management that is not supported in other entry-level offerings. “We wouldn’t like to have anything less,” confirms McGlynn, “and we’ve even upgraded what we have on the purchase ledger and accounts side.” He also speaks highly of its Windows-based interface, which makes it easy to use for all the staff rather than just the accountant.

For such a small firm its ability to manage stock as well as accounts is imperative. “We had problems with stock control and stock-taking procedures,” explains McGlynn. “Now, it’s automatically updated through the sales and purchase order-processing routines. We can now also email statements, invoices and purchase orders that is saving us a lot of time and money.”

By Ian Campbell

Pictured are Sinead Hayes, Advent’s sales and marketing manager, with Daragh McGlynn, managing director, Daragh McGlynn Ltd