Utilize helps the Shard achieve a 360-degree view of its accounts
The Shard Viewing Gallery Management Ltd first approached Utilize about new business management software in 2012, almost a year before former London Mayor, Boris Johnson, officially opened the 800ft high viewing platform to the public.
Since that time, London’s newest landmark, which is the tallest building in Western Europe, has become a premium visitor attraction, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
Designed by Master Architect Renzo Piano, the Shard redefined the capital’s skyline and has become a dynamic symbol of London. At a height of up to 244m, it offers spectacular views over London for up to 40 miles. It is almost twice as high as any other vantage point in the city, and the only place where visitors can see the entire city at once.
Built to last, this brand new attraction required a robust accounts solution that would offer the same stability and longevity to its owners. With no existing accounts package in place, the business had a blank canvas to choose a solution that would serve it well into the future and discussions with Utilize soon turned to Sage 200 Extra.
With ticket sales and merchandising being handled by other accounts systems, Utilize was asked to focus primarily on the day-to-day back office functions at the Shard. The business required a comprehensive software package to manage its accounts and provide vital management information for monthly and quarterly reporting.
Lambratu Tejan, Financial Controller, explains: “We needed a system that was capable of handling reporting and forecasting across 4 or 5 separate cost centres. It is vital that we can produce regular P&Ls, trial balances and balance sheets for presentation to the board.”
Utilize had no hesitation in recommending Sage 200 Extra, a powerful program, which provides a unified, integrated view of an organisation’s data via its Business Intelligence module.
But the Shard needed some additional functionality too, such as a web-based purchase order requisition package and the ability to run multiple budgets.
Utilize consultants worked closely with its client until the schedule of works had been defined and approved. Then, together with their integration partners at Roundhouse Software, Utilize set about delivering a Sage solution, tailored to the precise requirements of the Shard.
As a single desktop solution, capable of managing complex processes across an entire organisation, Utilize knew that Sage 200 Extra had the functionality to serve the Shard well into the future.
Its standard Financials module offers management and accounting tools to view the financial position of a company at any point in time, running four key ledgers: sales, purchasing, nominal and cashbook.
The product offers great flexibility to users through its standard features, including web-enabled, interactive dashboards, open and closed period accounting and configurable nominal code structures for in depth analysis and reporting.
By having Sage 200 Extra implemented on an existing hosted platform, Utilize also ensured ease of access, along with other traditional benefits associated with cloud-based solutions, such as simplified infrastructure management and advanced disaster recovery.
But the greatest value came from Utilize’s ability to customise Sage 200 Extra to the specific requirements of its client.
Like many large organisations, The Shard Viewing Gallery Management Ltd needed the ability to review budgets on a regular basis, whilst comparing new forecasts to the original. Utilize extended the Sage 200 Extra system with a Roundhouse module, providing 4 additional nominal ledger budgets, so that budgets can now be revised throughout the financial year.
Furthermore, the Shard requested a web-based purchase requisition system that would enable staff to raise purchase orders in Sage 200 without the need to run a licence. Utilize integrated the web-based SICON WAP system, a software product that provides an electronic means of performing these tasks. Users are able to create a purchase requisition in WAP, which is then sent to a manager for approval. As soon as authorisation has been given, a PO is automatically created in Sage 200 Extra, adding to the overall efficiency of the finance department.
Business-wide, market leading software
In Sage 200 Extra, The Shard Viewing Gallery Management Ltd now benefits from a single solution to manage processes throughout its entire business, integrating accounts, payments, nominal ledger and financial reporting. Additionally, the organisation is making full use of the custom purchase requisition and budget forecasting features delivered by Utilize and its partners at Roundhouse Software.
Benefits of this solution include:
KEY BUSINESS INSIGHT
Sage 200 Extra has ensured high-level financial and operational capabilities to the Shard with quick and easy access to detailed reporting and key business insight.
With Sage 200 Extra installed in a hosted environment, the Shard benefits from the same advantages of any Cloud solution, including greater access for users, simpler management, a reduced requirement for hardware investment and business continuity options built-in.
The Business Intelligence module is a complete business analysis tool that comes as standard with Sage 200 Extra, enabling the Shard to mine data across every aspect of its business. Its powerful analytical tools allow users to slice and dice data quickly and easily, build tailored reports to identify trends and measure performance against difference benchmarks.
RESPONSIVE SAGE SUPPORT
The Shard is now supported by Utilize’s expert team of Sage specialists to ensure the product continues to maximise efficiency and drive productivity within the organisation.
WEB-BASED REQUISITION SYSTEM
SICON WAP provides the Shard with an easy-to-use purchase requisition and approval solution, which integrates seamlessly with Sage 200 Extra.
ADDITIONAL NOMINAL LEDGER BUDGETS
Thanks to a custom Roundhouse module, the Shard can now produce up to 4 additional nominal ledger budgets