After running a generic Sage solution for a number of years, SMC selected Evolution M construction financial management software to support the growing future of the Facilitas Group.
Based in Oxfordshire, Facilitas SMC is a part of the Facilitas Group of companies, and make up the area’s main building contractors. Their clients largely fall into four major categories: Local Authorities, Healthcare, Social Housing and Private Individuals. Previously SMC had used a generic Sage solution that required a great deal of manual configuration; no real-time accurate visibility of job costs was accessible.
Within any established group of companies, there is a strong likelihood that existing software systems may not perform as well as they could. This was certainly true for SMC, and they subsequently drafted in Martin Trower as Financial Controller for the Group, with a view to consolidating and improving the accounting business systems.
Whilst the Sage system already in place had some advantages, Martin realised that a construction-specific solution was more likely to provide the specific integration capabilities that were required. Though the project was focussed on the SMC company, a flexible solution that could work efficiently without the need for excessive configuration and customisation within other Group companies would offer a scalable and cost-effective solution.
Selection of contenders
The task of finding the right solution that could work for SMC alongside other companies within the group was not one that Martin took lightly. Beyond what most would look at, Martin carried out a thorough research selection process that began with 25 different competitors. The final shortlist of four contenders invited to engage were Redsky IT, Easybuild and Sage Construction, as well as our own Evolution M.
As SMC and Facilitas would be moving from a more generic system, Martin was keen for the software to work with existing knowledge and practices. Automatic production and management of the most time consuming tasks would be an advantage, whilst administration of other manual tasks from within the same system would also decrease the need to spend time managing subcontractors and related payments.
Why Integrity Software?
For Martin, the choice was a clear one. Upon first demoing the software, he witnessed the solid core structure that promised a flexible solution, future-proof for both SMC and the wider group. Whilst Evolution M provided a fully integrated construction financial system, it also made monitoring of costs and sales across SMC’s four main revenue streams visible in real time. This accurate job costing reporting was supported by full cost vs. budget analysis, and Martin was impressed by the fact that straightforward summary reports can be run both in and out of the office.
Martin also valued the system for its usability: “It’s quick and easy to pick up and use. Evolution M takes away the onerous, manual tasks and replaces them with automated systems, such as online verification of subcontractors and CIS, production of BACS payments and remittances.” With Evolution M’s built in document management system, necessary paperwork for each of these is housed within one place.
“What really sold me on Integrity was how much they listened to what we needed and subsequently demonstrated how their system fitted our own needs. They were never pushy with their sales approach because they didn’t need to be: both their professionalism and their system gave me reasons to champion them throughout the entire process.”