We want an off the shelf solution!

There’s nothing funny about our business!

A standard accounting system will do us just fine!

We don’t want any bespoking done… no thank you!

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It is strange how, at the merest suggestion that we might “do a bit of bespoke work” or “tweak” some of the system to make it a better fit for the company, potential customers go into meltdown. And yet, the consequences of not having the changes made are the dreaded “workarounds”.

 

These might be a spreadsheet or two or three… or a local database here and there… or some manual transfer of data from one system to another. With workarounds, staff can be taking an extra minute or so to process a transaction. That become several hours per week, days per month, weeks per year! Time spent chasing round making sure their transactions are posted, that could have been spent giving customers better service or doing more selling.

 

What are people afraid of? Turnkey started in 1980 as a business which provided bespoke solutions working from a fairly comprehensive base accounting solution. We tweaked it to suit the unique requirements of the customer. In 1996, we moved from our own blue screen, DOS based solution to Navision – a Windows-based accounting system which allowed us to carry on providing those tailored solutions.

 

Today, the tradition continues with the latest incarnation of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, a product which continues to deliver an amazing amount of accounting functionality out of the box, but still includes the development toolset to help deliver that perfect fit. In other words, it was and still is designed to allow the reseller to provide a 100% business solution.

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Today, we have solutions created for Builders Merchants, Hire, Event Management, Timber, Agronomy… and more, all providing a perfect fit to some quite complex needs but built on a fully featured accounting solution. And we have “ordinary” companies too. Those running businesses which buy stuff, add a margin and sell it i.e. companies who could rightly claim to be “no different from anyone else”.

 

But, in truth, they ALL have differences and when the system is “tweaked” to accommodate the differences, they are delighted. Throw away the spreadsheet; delete the database; forget about the mistyping errors as numbers are transferred from one application to another. And stop worrying about the key data sitting on a user’s PC or laptop somewhere that isn’t being backed up! Everything in one place, using the same user interface and working at peak efficiency.

 

The test of this approach comes at two points. When a potential client expresses concern about any bespoke work, we always refer them to our customer list. Reference calls do more than we can ever do to allay concerns. Later on, once the system is installed and the customer identifies new areas where savings might be made, customers have no hesitation in asking for those changes. Because, comparing the cost with the benefit is a simple calculation and almost always makes that bit of “tweaking” a no-brainer.

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So, don’t find yourself having to build your business around the software… make sure the software delivers for the business. And if that means a little or even a lot of “tweaking”, just be glad you chose an accounting system that can do it. Because you won’t get your own requirements specification 100% correct first time, nor will you anticipate how your business will change or grow. But, with the right software solution, that’s one less thing to worry about.

 

 


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Post by Stephen Malloy

Talk to me if you’re considering a business solution. If I don’t know the answer, I will know someone who does.