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SPE Signs

Design Services

“We found that GreyRidge very quickly gained a good understanding of how we work, especially since our business ‘is a little different’”

Curtis Johnson, Partner, SPE Signs

About the Company

Established in 1990, SPE Signs began specialising in the supply and servicing of Estate Agents residential and commercial For Sale and To Let signs. Over the years their customer base grew along with their reputation for providing a second-to-none quality of service in a highly professional environment. SPE Signs very quickly became leaders in our specialist field of Estate Agent signs around the Huddersfield, Halifax, Holmfirth, Wakefield and Barnsley districts. SPE Signs is proud of its reputation and helps most leading estate agents in the area to sell houses.

The Challenge

SPE Property Signs already had an older job recording system when they initially approached GreyRidge. They made this approach primarily due to concerns with the level of support they were receiving from their existing Software provider. In addition they were aware of some inefficiencies and lack of functionality in the existing software that required SPE to perform certain key activities manually. Specifically, two areas needed particular attention:

  • Daily job processing involved printing job sheets and manually allocating these to vans.
  • Monthly invoicing was also a manual process with customer invoices created manually (using job reports) in the company accounting system.

The Journey

After an initial round of discussions about requirements, SPE asked GreyRidge to produce an initial description of the new software system. Happily, this initial draft was close to the mark and after a short round of fine-tuning SPE decided to proceed with the system. In early 2013, SPE and GreyRidge agreed final details such as data usage (customers need to upload images to the system) and user numbers. Once these details were agreed, SPE decided to go ahead with the project. Partner Curtis Johnson says “We found that GreyRidge very quickly gained a good understanding of how we work, especially since our business ‘is a little different’ to most. We believe GreyRidge picked this up very quickly without even having to visit us and see what goes on during the normal work day. This added to our confidence and helped a lot!” Development on the new system started mid-March 2013.

The Implementation

The new system recreated many of the functions of the original system but contained some crucial improvements so that SPE could not just replace their existing system but maximise business benefits by going further than the original. The manual processing of job sheets was changed to be done automatically via property postcode mappings – all SPE Signs now need to do is print the job sheet for each van. Additionally, all invoices are now generated with a click of a single button. Finally, one of the difficulties faced was getting an up-to-date data import of customers and jobs from the old system; after some careful planning this was achieved. SPE took some time reviewing the software and then selected a sensible point to take over billing from their existing system. The system went live on 1st July 2013.

The Future

SPE Signs are confident that the new system will save them a lot of time. Curtis says “Job sheet printing alone should save us 60 minutes a day at least which translates to over 2 days a month. Perhaps more noticeable still is the invoicing. That used to take a total of seven days a month whereas now it is just a click of a button. We now have a combined saving of nine working days per month.” Whilst a small number of people use the system from head office, over 100 clients have been given access the system to remotely log their jobs. Curtis continues: “We have been pleasantly surprised with the level of service we get from GreyRidge. We’ve already established a high level of trust with them which is very reassuring for the long term.”