Nottingham-based A14 Print was drowning under piles of paperwork and multiple spreadsheets with an old Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that really wasn't up to the job. Not fully Mac-compatible and lacking in any sort of quoting or production management features, the system left the company duplicating much of its paperwork which wasn't leaving management any time to concentrate on growing the business.
KRCS worked closely with A14 to develop a bespoke business app created using the FileMaker platform. Over a period of two months, KRCS not only listened to, but anticipated A14's needs and created a custom-built system capable of delivering the company's tailored customer quote requirements as well as incorporating CRM and marketing capabilities.
FileMaker and the development and support provided by KRCS has simplified administration tasks, improved customer communications and is producing high quality quotes that perfectly complement A14's high-end products and highly-respected company brand.
Comprehensive customer database
A14 Print is dedicated to meeting its customers' needs and offers a design-led print service providing a variety of print finishing techniques. Over the past 15 years, the company has built up a reputation for delivering the highest quality finishes to a huge variety of projects and works closely with customers both in the UK and internationally.
During 2015 the company realised something had to be done about its back office systems as there was much duplication and administration was simply chaotic. Managing Director, Simon Downer, explains: "We were working with eight different spreadsheets for each project. The amount of paperwork was just ridiculous and there was much room for error with so much duplication of entry having to be carried out. I was concentrating so much on not missing anything that I didn't have any spare time to concentrate on growing the business."
A14 needed a comprehensive customer database and the ability to quickly calculate and send professional looking quotes with a look and feel that reflected the very bespoke nature of each job produced. "We didn't want to be stuck with fitting ourselves around someone’s pre-ordained system with just our logo added in the corner." says Simon.
Having looked at off-the-shelf CRM systems he could expand into A14's production management for its specialist printing business, Simon had drawn a blank. "Even though there were 'print-specific' solutions, they just weren't fully customisable. Yes, we could add our logo and address into documents and maybe customise the look and feel slightly, but nothing we looked at allowed for completely custom quote templates, content styles and bespoke product types." he explains.
"We were being asked to pay a lot of money for something that didn't quite give us what we needed. Until we discovered FileMaker."
Simon realised FileMaker and the right software provider could deliver exactly what A14 needed. A bespoke system which was both powerful and flexible enough, all without being prohibitively expensive and which allowed future additional modules to be planned and implemented in stages.
KRCS Sales and Marketing Director, Robert Woods, visited Simon for a face-to-face meeting at very short notice and Simon was impressed that he seemed to instantly understand exactly what was needed. "KRCS was the only company willing to come out to visit a firm of our size." says Simon. "They submitted a proposal within two weeks and we got straight on with developing the software."
The system currently provides CRM and quoting and marketing tools created in the exact style required by A14. Simon and his team now have the ability to create all customer-facing documents, including quotes, emails and letters, exactly how they want them.
"Although creating documents in Microsoft Word allows you to change anything and everything, it's time-consuming and there is always room for error and inconsistency." says Simon. "FileMaker ensures every quote has a consistent look and feel, with exactly the right fonts, logos, sizing and spacing. We produce beautiful, bespoke and high-end products using traditional foiling, embossing and printing techniques. All our products are hand-finished with the greatest eye for detail so the challenge was to ensure the quotations retain that level of quality and precision, to ensure the integrity of the A14 brand." FileMaker and KRCS certainly met that challenge.
Simon says FileMaker has also improved data capture which has seen a step up in the quality and accurate targeting of A14's email campaigns. "Information is so much easier and quicker to find and the interconnectivity is truly outstanding." he says.
"Six months in and I'm extremely pleased with the results." says Simon. "Admin is much simpler and quicker, we have improved communications with our customers and we are producing the high quality bespoke quotes we asked for." We're now looking at an additional module incorporating a new estimating tool which will be shortly be written and deployed."
" We are complete happy with the service and support we've received from KRCS." he adds. They listened, understood our requirements and produced a completely customised system that we could not have achieved any other way for the same outlay. As for FileMaker, we needed a system that would adapt and grow as we grow. FileMaker does exactly that."