Case Study - South Wales FireCase Study - South Wales Fire and Rescue Services

South Wales Fire and Rescue Services achieve 50% time savings and improved cost control with Microsoft financial software and support from M4 Systems.
South Wales Fire and Rescue Services is one of fifty separate fire and rescue services in England and Wales, responsible for 1500 fire fighters and 250 staff working on administration and management. The organisation is an amalgamation of three fire brigades, which took place in 1996.
The merger introduced disparate accounting systems, the result of which was a lack of financial visibility and control. All fire services, as a public organisation, have to adhere to strict controls, with accounts audited by the audit commission on an annual basis. It was therefore critical to rapidly put in place a financial system that could integrate data from each fire station and provide a complete analysis of the organisation's budgetary spend. The organisation opted for Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains (recently re-branded to Microsoft Dynamics GP). The choice was made for a number of reasons: the Microsoft system was fully integrated on a Windows platform which was already in situ; also, it offered security, scalability and great functionality at a price that was half of the competitor's offering.
Since the implementation, South Wales Fire and Rescue have switched from a London-based organisation to M4 Systems for their ongoing requirements and support.
Graham Hughes, Accountant, says "We chose M4 Systems because it was local to us and offered good value for money. It demonstrated an understanding of our unique requirements. It was able to tailor the system, making it easier to use, including adapting the screen so that we saw only the information we needed."
David Saunders, Business Development Director of M4 Systems, who oversees this account states "We used Microsoft Dynamics GP as the platform from which to automate South Wales Fire and Rescue Services' business processes and to increase efficiencies throughout the organisation. We configured the Microsoft Dynamics GP systems to develop new capabilities specifically for the organisation."
By working closely with M4 Systems, the organisation has been able to improve cost controls whilst cutting time spent on invoicing and ordering by up to 50 per cent, preserving real-time access to its financial information and automating its core business processes.
South Wales Fire and Rescue Services are currently running Version 8 of Dynamics GP with 20 concurrent users of the finance system. Modules which have been added since the initial implementation which include General Ledger, Sales and Purchase Order Processing as well as Stores Inventory. They use Microsoft SQL Server 2000 as the centralised database for the solution, with Microsoft Windows Server 2003 as the operating system and Microsoft Office on the desktop.