Installation commenced in September at the Feltham, Middlesex-based firm and it will be fully operational by Easter, with Geoff Neal investing a “six-figure sum”, according to managing director Sam Neal, who stressed the upgrade was a “huge undertaking”.
Having previously had five iterations of its self-built MIS, Neal said the purchase was driven by the arrival of two new members of staff in 2015: operations director Craig Thornhill and finance director Kevin Playle.
“We were never going to be able to integrate our own MIS to it and we have been looking at this for five years or longer but we didn’t have the right skillset within the business,” said Neal.
“When we appointed Craig and Kevin and saw those two people are very analytical, very practical and they have worked in bigger organisations with similar joined-up systems, the business case they could create and the experience and expertise to deliver it was there."
Once fully installed, the MIS will have been configured with integrated accounts, repro, Pressroom Manager and stock control, along with a CRM, with Neal adding that he was always going to opt for a fully configured product.
“It is a reasonable sum of money and I think it will offer great value when it’s done but that will only be reasoned if you join it all up,” he said.
“Because it’s fully joined up the biggest thing we want to give back to our business is time and we will now be able to give some time back to account managers, estimators and sales people, who will have more information.”
Tharstern global sales director Lee Ward described Geoff Neal as a good example of a company that can see the benefits of using its own system but required “further advancements with MIS”.
Running two Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106 machines, one of which was the first Drupa-specified model in the UK, the £13m-turnover outfit employs 87 staff and also runs a Heidelberg Anicolor and a range of finishing equipment.