Friday, 20 May 2011

Integrating Sage with Software Systems

A common question that we often hear is:

"We have system which stores customer and product information and produces our invoices but we have to rekey all our information into Sage which takes ages and is prone to errors creeping in.  Can you help us?"

We have a solution that will talk seamlessly with Sage to transfer customer, supplier and invoice data.  We can use this with any of our software systems and has the added benefit of saving on Sage licensing as you don't need a licence for each user.  You just need a licence for the server to use in order to talk to Sage. 

We can also provide information back from Sage including paid invoices etc. and have this available in your system.

To find out more about software development contact Ltd on 0845 094 0922.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Case Study: Bespoke Travel Company

This is a typical example of a company using a range of software applications to conduct the day to day running of their business.  The applications didn't 'talk' to each other making rekeying of data an unnecessary burden and so causing the system to be inefficient.

A Nottingham based company approached BlueStar to build a new bespoke software system as they were struggling with their current software. They were having to copy and paste Word documents to create itineraries for their clients.  They were using an on-line CRM to store customer contact details.  It was not ideal and they were having to pay a monthly service charge on a per user basis making expansion expensive. They were using Excel and a custom Access database to build up a costings and to track supplier costs for flights, hotels etc.  This was far from ideal and it also meant that staff had to be in the office in order to use the system.

BlueStar looked at their requirements and their working practices. Initial ideas were discussed and early mock ups produced so they could get a feel for how the new software system would work. These were developed into a working system.

The sections of their new system are shown below:

A comprehensive CRM would form the core of the system.  This would allow all contact details to be stored as well as the type of holiday the customer is looking for.  The CRM would be linked to website so enquiries would be added directly in to the CRM.

Itinerary Manager
The new system had an Itinerary Manager with text and images stored for all locations.  This made compiling itineraries a breeze.  Users could simply selection the locations to be visited and they would compile into a complete customised itinerary. This could be emailed directly to the customer as a PDF.  Different versions of itineraries could be stored on the system do give clients plenty of choice.

Cost Centre
Costs would be stored on the system for flights, transfers, hotels etc. The details of other passengers in the party can be stored too.

Booking Manager
Once the enquiry has been accepted and converted into a booking it then goes into the Booking Manager.  From here confirmation invoices can be produced and emailed to the client.  Additional documentation such as booking forms and ATOL receipts can be produced too.

Web Based Software
The new system has transformed their business.  It is entirely web-based which meant that staff could work from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.  This was fully exploited later when the company set up an additional office in South Africa.  They only had to take laptops and have internet access in order to use the system.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Bespoke Software Development Nottingham

Why Bespoke Software?
Companies often develop an organic approach to their software systems.  They find applications to store customer data, another to calculate and provide quotes, they then have orders coming in from their website which then need to be input into Sage for accounting. 

Over time they find that most applications won't talk to each other so they have to re-key data between them resulting in more inefficiencies.

The options then are to find an off-the-shelf program which has typically been developed for a specific industry sector or go for the bespoke option.

Off-the-shelf systems typically try to cover everything that you may possibly need or more likely everything the developers think you may need.  A lot of development goes into these systems but you probably won't use a lot of the functionality or it may not work the way you want it to.  These systems can be expensive as a result.

Bespoke Software
Bespoke software provides a tailored solution to your requirements.  Your processes are analysed, optimised and the system is developed around your requirements so you aren't paying for something you won't use. It's often much cheaper to get a bespoke software solution rather than off the shelf and the key point to remember is that it will be built around your requirements, no one elses.

To find our more about bespoke software in Nottingham and surrounding areas contact Ltd.  A web based software development company established on 2006.