The Place Group is a highly successful, professional education consultancy that helps create, develop and build education establishments in the UK. They assist schools and colleges from the design stage upwards, offering knowledge and advice to local authorities and the private education sector, and have assisted many schools in their goals for essential modernisation and course development to meet the core needs of 21st century industry and business.

Developing education

Place brings expertise and development to schools and helps them in making savings and identifying better use of existing budgets, often assisting in combining roles and creating new ways to manage and operate educational establishments. They succeed by highlighting potential areas for efficiency and collaboration, which can not only lead to savings, but also, and probably more importantly, to improved services and even surplus revenue generation which can be pumped back into front line educational activity.

Delivering excellence

Diane Cassidy is the Finance Director at Place Group, “Our business has grown very rapidly in recent years and the most recent changes in local authority budgets have made educationalists look even more carefully at how they spend their budgets in the delivery of the most appropriate services to the community.” She went on to say, “Place Group is working very hard in helping many schools overcome budgetary problems and maximise on the delivery of high quality education services from a reduced budget”.

Administrative tasks

Diane revealed, “As you can imagine, the work we do brings with it a huge administrative task that needs a system in place to collect and collate a wide variety of information, including project management, performance indices, forecasting, time management and financial data.”

Unwieldy system needed update

Diane said, “We had been using a variety of offline spreadsheets and individual software to handle all the administrative tasks, but this had proven to be both unwieldy and highly inaccurate, which is why we adopted a complete, online management system from Express Systems: Synergist.”

Synergist is an innovation

Diane went on to say, “The Synergist software has been a real innovation for our business. We are now able to create month end invoices for all our projects in just two days. Previously the same task had taken our team over ten days to complete. This has had a significant impact on our cash flow over the last few months.

A basis for management

Synergist is the basis for all our management information and is used by the whole team for timekeeping, project management, forecasting, cash flow and invoicing. The system also links seamlessly to our Sage Accounts package. And being available online 24/7 means that anyone can access data and information using secure passwords from wherever they happen to be. From an accounting viewpoint it has revolutionised the year end audit. No longer do we have to search out individual spreadsheets or invoices for the auditors, as everything is immediately to hand on the system.”

Compares very favourably with SAP

“Prior to joining the Place Group”, said Diane, “I was working with Deloitte and regularly using SAP Business Management Software for very large clients. In my opinion Synergist compares very favourably with SAP and is certainly in the same league for functionality, usability and sophistication, but on an understandably smaller scale. I would definitely advise smaller companies to take a close look at Synergist as the ideal integrated management software solution to manage and control their business.”

Reliable and responsive

Diane summarised, “From a support standpoint Express systems has proven to be a very reliable and responsive supplier. Calls and emails are answered very rapidly and any technical issues we may have are quickly resolved. As a result I am very happy to recommend the company to others.”

Further information

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

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