By coincidence the businesses that came together to form the group were all Tharstern customers already, however Precision Proco said that the decision had not been a foregone conclusion.
The group reviewed eight other systems as part of the evaluation, and went into a deep dive with two potential alternatives.
Group commercial director Paul Mason helmed the project. He said the market had changed in recent years, and it was important to make sure the business was using the best solution for its needs.
Tharstern’s hybrid approach – combining web-hosted and on-site technology – also proved beneficial for the group with the main MIS hosted at one site, while the other businesses access it just as if it was also installed at each site.
“Customer experience is more important than ever, and being a multi-site sales and production business, it’s crucial that we offer a streamlined experience where all these sites are seamlessly connected. We are also in the very early stages of implementing Hubspot across the group, and will be integrating this with Tharstern to ensure consistency across our sales, marketing and customer service teams,” Mason said.
The group is also using Tharstern’s Remote Access Portal, which allows staff and customers to access the system from a web browser for activities including quotes, estimates, booking in jobs and progress chasing.
Group operations director Giles Bowes commented: “I’ve always felt Tharstern truly understood the challenges of the digital marketplace.
“They know their stuff and have taken time to understand our business. Any MIS is only as good as the information you put into it. This was a good exercise for us and we feel comfortable about bringing our databases together.”
Tharstern chief revenue officer Lee Ward said the firm was delighted to continue with the partnership, and looked forward to helping Precision Proco take advantage of additional features in the MIS.
“We’ve been part of each individual company’s development over the past few years and we’re really looking forward to bringing the companies together onto one system,” he explained.
“Precision Proco came to us wanting to improve and streamline their business processes and workflow and become even more efficient than they were before the merger. There were previously unused parts of the MIS that they were keen to explore like CRM, scheduling and automated impositions, as well as opportunities to increase visibility across all their sites. They have some fantastic ideas and plans for the future, and we can’t wait to help guide them through the continued evolution of their MIS.”
Bowes said that the recently-acquired Photobox manufacturing facility in London used its own standalone systems, but that it would “readily be integrated and will dovetail in easily” with the rest of the group’s operations.
Precision Printing, Proco and Prime merged last September, creating a £45m turnover group and with ambitions to grow that to £100m. The business acquired fine art specialist WKG two months later, followed by the Photobox facility at the beginning of this month. The group describes itself as a technology and e-commerce company that prints.