Two businesses, two distinct management software requirements, and the need to get financial reporting into one system. It’s a mighty big data dilemma, but one that the team at Premier Mechanical in Helensville managed to solve with a Xero integration with webSAM. Read on to find what owner, Devin Ashton, thinks of the new system.

The webSAM diary is pretty damn good.

Q: Why did you start looking for a single finance system?

“We were using two systems that didn’t talk to each other for the two sides of the business, the panel shop and then the workshop. I wanted to find something that would integrate to give insight into the overall business performance.

Nicky told us about webSAM and organised a trial for us. webSAM integrated with Xero, which made it a great solution because I had already set up an integration between our panel software and Xero.

Once we got the two businesses going into Xero, it nulled the need for a single system.”

Q: How has webSAM, integrated with Xero, impacted your business?

“I’m not pinned to anywhere in particular”

The flexibility to get anywhere, anytime access is important, I do a lot of billing after hours. If I wake up in the middle of the night and have an idea, then I can log in and just do it.

I have a staff member working from home right now, and it’s meant she’s able to jump online and can do whatever she needs to do at home. Or, if my hard drive dies, I don’t have to call someone to reload it because I can just bring it up on a browser on another computer.

“I can see what’s on the books immediately and go “let’s take on more work”.

The webSAM diary is pretty damn good. I have my diary set to show the 7-day diary, that way I get the view of the whole week and can see what’s booked in. If there are only 4 warrants and 4 services booked and I can see what’s on the books immediately and go “let’s take on more work”.

I wasn’t using the booking diary in Synergy at all, I was using a paper diary. It’s not changeable, I would have to cross something out. In webSAM you can just drag a job to a new time or day. I thought would be something I would use all the time, I don’t actually use it much, not too many people actually change their times”.

“It’s saving us a few minutes per job”

My administrator sends out reminders every 3 – 4 days plus job reminders the day before the booking. I was doing this in Synergy also but the difference is that now when customers reply to a text message, their details come through with the message. Before I would have to run a report to find the phone number to find the vehicle and customer details.

“Now I get a snapshot of very accurate information as soon as I log into Xero”

There’s no estimating where we’re at, or going to look inside each program [for panel beater and the workshop] to create a report, in Xero I can find info in less than 30 seconds.
Profit and loss is the first screen I open each day. I can keep an eye on transactions and see how we’re tracking for the month, and take action to get profit up if need be.

“I’m not spending a few hours each week fixing errors”

Synergy did the job, but the ability to integrate with an accounting system that any accountant in NZ would use makes this a much easier option. I can see how the accounting bill is going to reduce this financial year I would’ve been spending a few hours a week reconciling errors. With Xero, it’s almost 100% success rate for paying the right bill.