Shetland Recreational Trust decided to invest in 360, Gladstone’s query builder and business intelligence tool.
The trust has worked with Gladstone since 2001 and, in addition to the company’s signature Plus2 member management software, is currently using the Connect online booking system across its eight sport and leisure sites, as well as a Kiosk self-service unit at its largest site. EyeQ appealed to us as it offered us an opportunity to improve both our reporting capabilities and our invoicing procedures.
We had been aware for some time that our invoicing procedures required updating. Plus2 did not link in to our financial software, so we had to create and print our sales invoices from Plus2, and then manually re-enter the details into our accounting system. With 100 invoices to process a month, each with around 10-15 invoice lines, we found this to be very time consuming, taking up to a full day of staff time and inevitably leading to some errors.
We believed eyeQ could help us solve this problem, but while it is possible to create simple reports after the two days’ basic training offered with the product, we knew that for something this complex we required extra support. Gladstone offers all eyeQ customers access to a data consultancy service – provided by a member of its in-house data services team – to assist with exactly this kind of issue.
The service, which was charged per day, involved a consultant visiting us in Shetland for three days in December 2014, to better understand our processes and work with us to find a solution. By looking closely at the mapping of sales products within Plus2 and consulting with the suppliers of our finance package, he created an extract file using the custom SQL feature within eyeQ. This was able to pull the relevant data out of Plus2 and organise it for compatibility, before exporting it into Microsoft Excel for automatic upload into the accounting system.
After leaving Shetland, Gladstone continued to work with the supplier of our finance package to develop the extract file, and after some final testing we successfully completed our first upload in February of this year.
In terms of benefits, the sales invoice interface has made a great difference to our workload, with an immediate staff saving of one full-time day per month – time that can now be spent on other, more valuable tasks – while the automation of the process ensures a much greater level of accuracy.
In addition to these long-term benefits, the project has given us the confidence to work with Gladstone on other, higher-volume interfaces using eyeQ, which we anticipate will result in an even higher financial return to the trust.