Domayne Engineering Services, South Africa’s only integrated and multi-disciplinary building maintenance management company to offer a 24-hour national service with guaranteed response times, has implemented Pastel Evolution, the mid-market business solution from Softline Pastel, to ensure that its financial controls and management match the efficiency of its services.
Replacing an older accounting package that was no longer being supported, Domayne chose Evolution on ease of use, guaranteed local and long-term support, scalability, built-in customer relationship management functionality, and price.
Domayne Engineering’s commercial manager in charge of information technology, contracts and planned preventative maintenance, David Smith, says: “We were impressed by the fact that, although we needed to customise Evolution to accommodate our need for divisional accounts to be separated and for our financial director to draw reports from the system in a specific format, the cost of implementing Evolution was half that of its competitors.
“At the same time, Evolution was able to reduce our total cost of ownership because it is inherently easy to use and extremely easy to expand to include new branches as we bring them on. We were also able to integrate it into our call centre – which is mission critical to us in that it monitors and manages our 24-hour mobile service as delivered by our 200 field personnel and fleet of 70 vehicles.
“In addition, Evolution’s built-in contact management functionality allows us to automatically keep our senior executives informed of each new contract signed as well as alerting me to contract renewal dates, some of which require me to notify clients that their agreed standard fee escalation percentages will commence for the next year.
“In other words, Evolution allows us to not only control our historical financial information but also trigger and manage new revenue streams.”
Domayne Engineering’s choice of Evolution was also influenced by the fact that there had been limited local support for its original accounting package. “It was enormously risky for us to have only one consultant on whom we could call when we had problems,” Smith says.
“The majority of problems we have had with a business management system were caused by simple user errors that created incorrect balances. We need situations like that fixed immediately and with Pastel’s business partner, Brilliant Link, we are now assured that all their consultants can handle our system – lowering our risk and ensuring our business continuity.
“Also, if we need to change or add functionality to accommodate changes we make to the business, we know that both the software and business skills are available to help us adapt. So far, everything we’ve asked for in the way of changes has been achieved.”
Implementing Evolution across a wide area network for 20 users at Domayne’s head office in Johannesburg and two branches in Durban and Pretoria went smoothly, with data transfer from the original system being handled off-site by Brilliant Link and Domayne users adjusting quickly to the new system.
“We had opted for three weeks of hand-holding by Brilliant Link after go-live but, because Evolution is so easy to use, we ended up needing only ten days,” Smith says.
Softline Pastel managing director, Steven Cohen, says Evolution’s enormous flexibility and depth of functionality makes it a cost effective option for mid-market enterprises wanting to go beyond accounting to a more pro-active, forward-looking operational environment. “Most businesses get to a stage where they need to be able to take efficient administration for granted and therefore have more time and resources to give to making their business more effective and competitive.
“That’s when a business solution like Evolution can add immediate tangible value as well as provide the long-term benefits that make a business sustainable over time.”