Brisbane Sound Group (BSG) is one of Brisbane and South East Queensland’s premier providers of audio and lighting equipment.
Overview - Beginning life in 1986 as a second hand sales and hire shop, BSG has grown substantially over the last 25 years. Today, it includes a full service department, production, installation, technical support and training, and has a huge showroom and demo facility.
Not surprisingly however, as the business added new departments, it became harder and harder to see what was going on across the whole company.
Something had to be done.
Two too many databases
According to Michelle Williams, Business Development Manager at BSG, there were simply too many databases in the mix.
BSG were running three separate systems – MYOB Retail Manager for sales and installation, Paperworks for servicing and MYOB Premier for accounting.
“If my boss asked me for a report on something, I’d have to go to about five different locations to get the information I needed,” she says, “and it took ages”.
One of the main problems was that Paperworks wouldn’t ‘talk’ to Premier, according to Williams, “even though we were told by the Paperworks team that it would when we purchased it – and on many occasions since”.
When it became clear there was no way forward with separate systems, BSG started looking for an all-in-one solution.
CRM a key requirement
As BSG’s service department had grown most over the years, meeting their needs was paramount to the success of the implementation.
“They were the ones using Paperworks,” says Williams, “so we urgently needed a replacement”.
BSG had a number of other key requirements too – not least, that any system they implemented came with an integrated CRM module.
“We wanted our sales guys to be able to quote directly from terminals in our showroom,” she says, “and for the orders to be able to progress automatically from there into the rest of the back office”.
Williams also wanted to replicate many of the processes and procedures that the installation department had been running in MS Excel.
Right features at the right price
In the quest to find a system that was flexible enough to meet the needs of all departments, BSG looked at a number of the off-the-shelf packages.
“We considered Ostendo pretty seriously,” says Williams, “but despite being priced very competitively, it wasn’t right for us”.
BSG also considered several bespoke ERP solutions, but found the cost was about half as much again as they wanted to pay.
That’s when MYOB EXO, with its integrated CRM module, became the front-runner.
Working with MYOB’s ‘best people’
Williams says she called MYOB and asked for their best people. A couple of days later, she was sitting down with Al Emery, Managing Director at Momentum, MYOB’s Maroochydore-based implementation partner.
“Al brought a copy of the program and showed me how it might work at BSG. I went through the requirements for each of our departments and together we nutted out the workflows.”
Configuring job costing for the repairs department took some thought, according to Williams.
“When we do repairs, we are often dealing with items that haven’t been purchased through us in the first place, so we had to create a lot of new assets to accommodate that.”
Momentum configured a number of other custom solutions too, including:
1. SMS-ing customers
This involved creating a number of additional fields in EXO to allow BSG’s service department to notify customers by text message when their repairs are ready.
2. Price update utility
This allows BSG to apply specific mark-up rates to spare parts.
3. Auto purchase order solution
Sometimes, when BSG are doing repairs, they need to purchase low value parts. Because the suppliers of these parts often have minimum order quantities, Momentum created a solution that allows BSG to keep adding small orders to an order template. When they reach a certain amount, the purchase order can be sent off.
Williams says she’s glad she went with Momentum.
“Throughout the process I’ve been very impressed with their service,” she comments, adding, “every little thing I asked for, they went above and beyond to give it to me”.
According to Momentum lead consultant Mani Duggal, who oversaw the implementation and training on the project, the respect goes both ways.
“There’s no way this implementation would have been as successful if Michelle hadn’t been driving the change from her end. She really made sure everyone at BSG embraced the new system.”
With the system installed now for nearly six months, Williams says the ability to access information instantly makes a huge difference.
“It doesn’t matter what I need to do – check a profit and loss report, take look at aged debtors or call up a BAS statement mid-month – it’s never more than a click or two away.
“Previously, gathering information for reports would take an entire day. Now, the same process takes a few minutes, which means I can get on with what I’m doing.”
Staff have taken to EXO quickly too, especially the sales team – who can produce quotes from the shop floor at the touch of a button.
“The service guys were the only people who really gave me any heat because of the switch,” says Williams, “but even they can see how much it benefits us”.
Data integrity is king
In the future, Williams says they may start using EXO’s accounting, payroll and asset register functions in their hire department (which operates as a separate company). But for now, they’re just happy to have data integrity across the three other departments.
“In the process of going from three databases to one, we’ve pretty much eliminated human error,” says Williams.
“And without the need for additional, external programs,” she continues, “we can see clearly exactly where we’re at in one place. That’s massive.”