Wilford & Dean is part of Newport Pagnell Construction. It maintains and refurbishes urban properties, while also retaining the rare craftsmanship needed to restore, conserve and maintain or repair old and culturally important buildings, sculptures, walls and other historic features.
When Managing Director Simon Haddy joined the company three and a half years ago, his remit was to move the business in the right direction for the future. He recognised that technology would be key to realising the company’s growth ambitions: “The world has moved on a long way from a technology perspective in the last 10 years. It felt like we needed not just to catch up but to get ahead of where everyone else was.
“I identified at an early stage that our finance system, CONSTRUCT, didn’t give me immediate access to data. If I wanted to know about debtors and creditors, or retentions, or who have we paid and not paid, it was a bit of a task to get that information out of the system.”
Last year Wilford & Dean won a significant piece of work that required them to have a common data environment (CDE), so it purchased a standalone, construction-specific, document management system seven or eight months ago. However, according to Simon, the new system just doesn’t cut the mustard.
He said: “Although it’s very effective at a single project level, it’s simply no good as a business tool across the company – we take on around 400 projects a year and it couldn’t stretch across them all. It felt as if we’d spent a fortune but hadn’t really progressed at all.”
When RedSky presented Summit to Simon in November last year, it was nothing short of a revelation: “It hadn’t occurred to us that RedSky would be our answer to the CDE requirement; we’d always seen it as a finance system only. To see that Summit could do a whole lot more for us was a very nice surprise!”
The fact that Summit is a fully integrated system is a massive plus point for Simon and will help future-proof the business. Wilford & Dean has purchased five Summit modules: Document Management, Purchase Order Payment, Business Analytics, Invoice Register and Forms.
“We’re going to be working towards ISO 9001 and ISO 14001,” said Simon, “so Summit will help us along that journey by getting everything in order. We’re also working with the National Federation of Builders to improve our resilience. Summit – especially Business Analytics – will enable us to be ready for economic change and know where we’re at, rather than having to run lots of reports to find out what’s going on.
“Although Making Tax Digital and VAT Reverse Charge legislation weren’t reasons for our decision to migrate to Summit, I must admit that I have breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that we’re introducing a system that will be ready when the new legislation comes into force. Although Making Tax Digital is being introduced in April, by the time we have our first full quarter, Summit will be in place. We would really have struggled without it.”
To prepare for the migration, Simon and his team are having what he calls a “document amnesty”, to start tidying up the existing systems – and that’s no small task for a business that’s been around for more than 200 years. “We’re currently holding 13 years of data when we probably only need two,” he said.
“Once the clean-up operation is complete, RedSky will come in and help us with designing new forms and documents, as well as moving the data across to Summit. Effectively, we want to feel like a brand-new business on day one of the new system, so that everything’s nice and clean, moving forward.”
To find out more about RedSky’s construction-specific software solutions, click HERE or telephone 44 (0)20 3002 8700. Middle East customers telephone 971(0)4 362 5106.