“Most companies of our size buy a software package and change the way they run their business to fit the package. We have been lucky enough to work the other way. aACE started with a basic structure which was then tailored to our specific way of working.” – Peter Osborne, CEO, Special EFX Ltd., U.K.
For several years, Special EFX ran their business using a European ERP solution that they found to be unreliable, inconsistent, poorly supported, and inflexible. Driven by dissatisfaction with that software, they sought an integrated business solution built on FileMaker Pro, which they knew from experience had proven reliability. They made contact with the team at aACE through the FileMaker website and instantly knew that they’d found their solution. Special EFX began working with aACE in 2007, and since that time the product has evolved greatly. They have also been able to extensively customize their aACE solution to fit their particular business needs, which include operating three companies from the same database, supporting the use of multiple currencies, and accounting for European sales tax.
CHALLENGES & aACE SOLUTIONS
Prior to discovering aACE, Special EFX was using a product called Daybook, built on the 4D platform, which was no longer being updated. They found Daybook to be unreliable and inconsistent, with poor or no support when things went wrong; as a result the Special EFX staff had no confidence in the software and employee morale took a hit. aACE offers world-class support and frequent updates to ensure that it is always running at peak performance.
In addition to being unstable, Daybook could not be modified to suit Special EFX’s particular needs, which include multi-currency support, support for European VAT taxes, and other nuances of running three very different European businesses out of one solution. Instead, they had to rely on slow and clunky workarounds. aACE can be easily customized to fit almost any business.
Special EFX is mainly Mac-based and had been using FileMaker Pro for many years. When they decided to replace their previous software, they knew their new solution had to be Mac-compatible. aACE is a cross-platform business management software for Mac and PC that’s built in FileMaker.
In addition to offering the full range of CRM software, aACE provided Special EFX with a fully-integrated financial suite giving real-time status updates on all of their accounts. This and other features give them a full view of their business all from one software solution.
A Tailored Fit
aACE was easily tailored to meet Special EFX’s specific operational needs, including support for multiple currencies and European sales tax, as well as detailed enhancements for their particular industry.
The team at Special EFX has been thrilled with the support offered by aACE, which allows them to focus on managing their businesses instead of managing their software. aACE has direct IP access to Special EFX’s server for diagnostics and periodic upgrades, ensuring that their aACE solution will always run smoothly.
By allowing Special EFX to focus on their business rather than their software, aACE has, as CEO Peter Osborne put it, “released [them] to make more money from [their] business.” Special EFX has doubled their sales in the last three years, but thanks to the high degree of automation provided by aACE, they’ve also been able to control and reduce pro rata staff costs.
Special EFX now runs three very different companies — dealing in trophies, wind turbines, and trailers — from the same integrated aACE database, with plans to add even more.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
Here is what Special EFX’s CEO, Peter Osborne, has to say about the results of the aACE software implementation:
“I cannot begin to tell you what a breath of fresh air this has been for us. Implementing aACE is the best thing we ever did. The solution evolves with us as our needs change.
[I would recommend aACE to] any SME who wants tight control, instant up-to-date information over all aspects of their business without the need to plough through acres of data, and optimal automation of all sales and functions, irrespective of Mac or Windows platforms. In short, I have no hesitation in fully recommending aACE as a truly great enterprise solution. We are truly proud to be part of the aACE family.”