Who We Work With
ERP System Selection
Established in the UK in 1979, Autosmart is a leading global supplier of vehicle cleaning products to trade clients, with an annual turnover of >£40m and over 200 employees.
Autosmart develops and manufactures all of its own products in the UK, and distributes them through an international network of franchisees, national accounts and international partners.
Autosmart has ambitious growth plans which was likely to increase the already busy workloads of resources within the business. There was a need to review existing systems and processes to streamline working practices and real time business intelligence and reporting to improve access to key performance metrics. These changes would enable the business to become more agile so that aggressive growth targets could be achieved without exponentially increasing the workforce.
Over the years, Autosmart had implemented numerous IT systems including:
The business had also developed numerous in-house Microsoft Access databases to address specific functional gaps in the above systems. These were dependent on key personnel to maintain, posing a managed but significant risk to the business. There was a lack of integration between all these systems and a reliance of Microsoft Office based technologies for reporting, all adding to the risk and consumption of key resources which provided a historic view of the business performance but with limited functionality to support planning ahead.
Autosmart enjoys a very high staff retention rate, with a significant proportion of the team members having worked within the business for more than 10 years. The implementation of an ERP would be a major challenge for the business, pushing experienced team members to think and operate quite differently. The previous experiences of less than successful system implementations within the business only increased the challenge of implementing an ERP.
We (AHC) were approached by Autosmart’s recently appointed IT Director, Shaun Devey, to put forward a proposal to provide independent, external support to help Autosmart:
We presented our approach to the Autosmart owner and senior Directors and following on from this were engaged to provide the above support.
Working closely with Shaun and his internal Business Change team, we guided the business through our proven approach; starting with a 1 month review and documentation of all processes.
Recognising the already busy workloads of those required for this, we worked around their diaries and scheduled short focussed sessions to minimise the disruption to the day to day running of the business.
Once this review was complete, we presented our findings to the Autosmart board to ensure they were full engaged throughout the project.
We then managed a tender process to obtain proposals from potential ERP vendors, 3 of which were short-listed and invited to undertake a series of detailed demonstrations of their systems against an agreed agenda focussing on the key requirements for Autosmart. During this phase of the project, COVID restrictions required us to move to move to web-based demos which presented additional challenges in ensuring that participants remained engaged in the evaluation of potential systems from various remote locations.
Following numerous sessions over several weeks, Autosmart identified IFS Applications as its preferred ERP system and Anthesis as its implementation partner. AHC worked closely with Autosmart and Anthesis through the due diligence and contract negotiation stages to ensure that both parties were clear on expectations and deliverables and that a mutually agreeable contract was confirmed.
Working with AHC brought significant experience and value to our ERP selection process. The team’s calm and professional approach quickly gained the confidence of our Board and operational teams allowing us to clearly capture, develop and document our needs. We were then introduced to a group of appropriate and well prepared solution providers which really helped us make an informed selection decision.
It is clear that working with AHC has allowed us to select the right ERP Technology and Implementation Partner quickly and has set us on the path of delivering our ERP solution, realising bottom line business value in a relatively short period of time.