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Pinnacle accelerates Sage 200cloud support response times for Upgrade Bikes

About Upgrade Bikes

Customer Upgrade Bikes
Location West Sussex
Solution Sage 200

Upgrade Bikes, based near Horsham, West Sussex, was founded in 1995 by keen cyclists Matthew Ryley and Damian Mason, who remain at the helm. The company has sole rights to distribute a number of well-known, quality brands, alongside its house brands of Kinesis and DMR Bikes, and sells many more products to thousands of dealers throughout the UK. With the growing popularity of cycling, these are exciting times for the business. It now has a workforce of 30 people and a turnover in excess of £11 million.

The switch to Pinnacle

As the business grew, Upgrade Bikes set out to find a Sage partner to maintain and develop its business systems. The company’s IT infrastructure comprises Sage 200cloud with financial and commercial modules, complemented by third-party solutions for warehouse management and electronic document management.

Warehouse Systems Manager Chase Sullivan explains, “We wanted a partner who would take complexity and stress out of working our lives, while helping to future-proof our IT systems.”

After a false start with another support partner, a visit to the Pinnacle stand at the 2017 Sage Summit in London sparked a productive conversation with Pinnacle Managing Director James Spencer and ultimately led to a new business relationship.

Chase recalls, “Right from the get-go, we were impressed by just how quickly James grasped what we were trying to do. It was nothing short of amazing. Since that first meeting, which led to our new partnership, our experience has always been that Pinnacle people take time to listen and understand how we do things and how we want to do things.”

The transition to Pinnacle took place in August 2017. Chase says, “The choice of a Sage support partner is a big thing. It impacts the business. After a somewhat patchy relationship with our previous support partner, we were relieved at just how easy and professional the Pinnacle team have been to work with.”

One area of concern in switching to a new support partner was around the high level of bespoke work on the systems and any new bespoke work required in the future. Upgrade Bikes was happy with the reassurance Pinnacle provided in protecting the company’s right to the source code.

With 90% of our business running on Sage, it has to work! Fortunately, Pinnacle provides great service, with very fast response times.

Chase Sullivan , Warehouse Systems Manager Upgrade Bikes

Chase Sullivan

Strategic innovation

Previously, Upgrade Bikes did not feel it was getting best return on its investment in Sage software. Now, two years on from the move to Pinnacle, Chase highlights the value of Pinnacle’s input to the company’s IT strategy: “As a user, your world view is limited to your own system and your own business. The Pinnacle team open our eyes to new possibilities and are always proactive in suggesting new ways for the system to support our business. They help us to work more efficiently and to capitalise on our investment.”

The company has over 5,000 active lines. With such a large number of stock records within Sage 200Cloud, a significant development has been the addition of Pinnacle Connect to the Sage software to simplify and automate updates for stock and search categories. Pinnacle Connect provides an easy way of transferring information between Sage 200 and other third-party systems.

Meanwhile, the reports produced in Sage have supported the company’s Purchasing Manager in significantly reducing stockholding and freeing up working capital.

Pinnacle is currently upgrading Sage 200cloud to the latest version. In the past, the complications of upgrading meant this task was undertaken with reluctance. In contrast, Pinnacle makes the process straightforward, as Chase observes, “The ease with which Pinnacle handles the upgrade process, with minimal disruption to the business, encourages us to keep up to date and take advantage of new features.”

The ease with which Pinnacle handles the upgrade process, with minimal disruption to the business, encourages us to keep up to date and take advantage of new features.

Matt Riley , Managing Director Upgrade Bikes

Matt Riley

Fast, responsive support

In addition to providing strategic guidance on the future direction of Upgrade Bikes’ business systems, Pinnacle is on hand to resolve day-to-day technical issues and queries.

Chase says, “With 90% of our business running on Sage, it has to work! Fortunately, Pinnacle provides great service, with very fast response times. Right from day one, the quality of support was something we’d never experienced before. I ping over an email and they get back to me almost instantly – often before I’ve had time to grab a coffee! In almost every case, they resolve the issue straight off, coming to us with solutions, not problems!”

In contrast with the company’s former support provider, Chase finds that Pinnacle does everything possible to keep life simple: “Support is provided remotely, which is a much more efficient – and less expensive – way of working than charging for on-site visits, as had been our previous experience. We share screens and the Pinnacle support specialist shows and explains how the problem is being resolved, or if there’s anything that we need to do differently at our end.”

Helping the independent retailer

Upgrade Bikes continues to pursue its mission to eliminate manual operations and duplication of effort, increase accuracy, streamline its processes and save time, all with the goal of efficiently providing excellent service to its customers without increasing overheads.

The business constantly looks for new ways to support its customers, most of whom are independent bike shops. With Pinnacle’s help, Upgrade Bikes is exploring ways to improve its warranty and repair services, by tracking each element of the customer’s order from receipt, through the workshop and despatch, while providing information to the customer in a timely way.

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