Ernie Wallis, Managing Director of Sheq Safety, started his business nearly ten years ago armed with insights from his experience as a seasoned Financial Manager and his years as a professional football player. The two roles taught him that success on the football pitch and in business demands both the availability of resources—finance, intellectual property, products and staff, for example—and the ability to harness these resources as a team.
That was his starting point when he started up his business to provide customers in industries such as mining and agriculture with a reliable supply of personal protective equipment such as overalls, safety boots, goggles, and gloves. From outset, Wallis’s focus was on bringing more professionalism to the industry through careful coordination of resource usage with partners such as his customers, suppliers, and employees. Today, the company has 500-plus employees, around 45 of which use the Sage Evolution software in their day to day jobs.
The glue between Sheq Safety’s team and its resources is the Sage Pastel Evolution suite, which gives the company a transparent, up-the-minute view of revenues, costs and inventory. Modules that Sheq Safety uses include core financials, job costing, multi-warehousing and the Resolve CRM functionality. The solution has evolved along with Sheq Safety’s business for the past six years, says Wallis. “We have looked at other packages as we’ve grown, but none of them match Sage Pastel’s features and service,” he adds.
Protective work wear is essential in the businesses that Sheq Safety’s clients operate. If there isn’t a reliable supply of the gear that workers need to safely do their jobs, workers are entitled to down tools. The results of not having enough protective clothing on hand to provide for all workers, therefore, could include strained relationships between employers and employees as well as loss of productivity and revenues.
“The supply is critical because it keeps the business going,” says Wallis. “That means we have to not only supply the products, but manage, report and advise our clients about their protective clothing requirements. We see ourselves as a partner.” Sage Pastel Evolution plays an important role in helping Sheq Safety to manage these requirements for its clients.
Sheq Safety operates 50 on-site stores at mines nationwide and produces massive volumes of product—it manufactures 70,000 overalls a month, for example. Because Internet connectivity is limited at these remote sites, Sheq Safety runs independent instances of the software at 50 different sites.
This is challenging from a software support perspective since it means each site must be managed and assisted separately. Sage Evolution enables the company to impose financial control on this complex environment; gain real-time visibility into stock levels at each store; and manage requisitions and invoicing.
“Sage Pastel Evolution’s inventory management module links directly to cash flow, so we always have an up-to-the-minute view of what is happening in the business,” Wallis says. “And the job-costing and multi-warehousing modules are indispensable for cost control.”
He adds: “The Sage business partner Visoft, that provides us with consulting and support services has also played an important role in our success. I can phone them on a Saturday or Sunday, and they’ll always help us with any changes, enhancements or fixes we require. Their expertise has been invaluable to us.”
“The speed of delivery from Sage Pastel’s side is critical because Sheq Safety has no time to lose when it launches a new branch,” says Brent Navias, New Business Development Manager at Sage Evolution. “This is a competitive business with tough service level agreements and any delays in rolling out a new site could cost Sheq Safety the customer.”
Adds Navias: “Sheq Safety has been a Sage Pastel customer for many years, starting out with the Pastel Partner solution before growing into the Evolution suite as its business expanded. It has been rewarding to be part of Sheq Safety’s growth story over the years.
“Today, Sheq Safety receives Priority Support from Sage Pastel because of its size and the complexity of its needs. This ensures that we can rapidly funnel its queries through our support system to keep pace with the demands of its demanding industry.”