Base One selects Synergist for growth

Base One is one of the UK’s fastest growing specialist B2B agencies. Current clients include British Gas Business, Cable and Wireless and Saab. The company has grown considerably over the past five years with a significant increase in online and digital development and recent expansion into Europe, through the creation of offices in the Netherlands, France, Italy and Germany, has expanded its presence.

Variety of packages

John Stanton is Joint Managing Director at Base One and handles all the agency management and accounting systems. “We have used a variety of agency management systems over recent years, which were employed for the timekeeping and job costing aspects, as well as billing and operational functions for the business, but recently we realised that our processes were not keeping pace with the company, and we needed to take a long look at the entire agency management package.”

More sophisticated than most

Stanton added, “Having been in the creative business for a few more years than I care to mention, I was well aware of the majority of agency and business management systems on the market, but during our review process one did stand out as being significantly more sophisticated and more practical to use than most. The system was Synergist. We arranged for demonstrations from Express Systems and talked at length about how it could be used to improve all the management processes at Base One. The sales and support team from Express Systems, led by Jason Neale, provided an excellent introduction to Synergist and showed very clearly how we could really benefit from the package.”

Painless installation

Stanton went on to say, “In October 2010 we made the decision to switch the agency over to Synergist. The process was surprisingly painless, with a lot of work being carried out by the Express Systems’ installation team before we went live. We use Sage for accounting and as Synergist links in to this seamlessly, it presented no problems for business continuity. The business installation team from Express Systems provided full initial training and helped us set up the key elements. I was particularly impressed with the scheduling system, which for me was a key factor in our decision to purchase the system.”

Benefits already showing

“Having been live for four months we are now seeing the real benefits starting to accrue. We have replaced a whole set of time consuming manual tasks, including forecasting, scheduling, job costing, expenses and profitability reports with one easy to use system.”

Highly accurate reports

Julie Morton is the Chief Accountant at Base One, “I am delighted with Synergist because it has saved me so much time when compared to our previous system. From my viewpoint the ability to extract far greater detail on jobs and produce highly accurate reports has been a revelation. Forecasting used to be a nightmare, now it is part of an easy to learn system that can be totally trusted to be spot on”. Julie went on to say, “Being a web based system allows huge flexibility for working. I can be at home with the children and work just as easily, and the fact that it is completely compatible with both Mac and PCs makes agency life so much easier too – creatives on Macs and Account Management on PCs can actually see the same screens!”

Real time saving

“On a more serious note”, revealed Julie, “I have found that the real time saving has been huge. Preparing for an end of month report in the previous system required two days of solid work. With Synergist I can produce the same set of figures with far greater accuracy in just half a day!  The project management system allows ease of data input and output, giving the management team current critical business data whenever they need it.”

Friendly and easy to learn

Julie said, “Everybody in the company likes Synergist. It’s friendly, easy to learn and absolutely right for agencies. Its built-in traffic light system helps keeps jobs under control; even time and cost overruns are immediately highlighted in the traffic light graphic, allowing suitable action to be taken before huge costs are added. I think Synergist gives people far more control. There’s definitely more job ownership and responsibility given to users, and because it’s so easy to use, everyone is far more likely to add new information as they go rather than have a last minute rush at the end of the month. This leads to greater accuracy of up-to-date information, happier clients and ultimately more profit for the company.”

Julie concluded, “We are so confident in the new system that we are adding Synergist to our European operations in the near future and being web based this presents us with no technical or logistical problems whatsoever.”

Paid for itself within six months

John Stanton summarised, “Synergist has changed the way we work. We now know far more about where we are with jobs and finances; what’s happening and exactly when jobs are likely to be finished, as well as having a very good picture of likely future business activities and financial forecasts. It really is a management package that delivers, and I totally recommend anyone involved in the agency business – small or large – to take a good look at what Synergist can offer. I think it is totally reasonable to say that Synergist will have paid for itself after just six months of use, which for me represents an amazing return on investment.”

Further information

For further information on how Synergist can make an impact on your business please contact us .

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