Established in 1974, ALSPEC are the market leaders in the design and distribution of innovative aluminium systems. With a national network of over 400 staff and eight locations, ALSPEC uses Phocas alongside Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP for their reporting. In this customer success story, we speak to Barry Lunn, Sales and Marketing Director at ALSPEC.
Q: How long have you been using Phocas? What were you using as your reporting tool before becoming a Phocas customer?
BARRY: We’ve been using Phocas for over eight years. Before Phocas, we were using an in house system for reports. We eventually moved to Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP.
Q: Given you were using AX for reporting, what made you interested in Phocas?
BARRY: We needed a reporting tool that was quicker and simpler to use. AX reporting is fairly clunky - it’s quite difficult to build the reports you want to view.
Q: How did you build reports in Dynamics AX?
BARRY: If I wanted to build a report out of AX, I’d have to go to IT and ask them to build a report for me. It’s a long and complicated process. Typically I don’t get the report I want and even running the report and trying to select the parameters I need is not ideal.
Q: Who uses Phocas at Alspec?
BARRY: At the moment, it’s all of our sales team. We have 37 staff members in sales and given the success of Phocas across sales, we’re looking to roll it out to Finance and Inventory. Both of these teams could certainly get a lot out of it.
Q: What is it about Phocas that you most like?
BARRY: I just love the simplicity of it – to me it’s a fantastic tool for giving me the info I need, whenever I need it.
Q: How has the support been with Phocas?
BARRY: We haven’t had a need for a lot of support. Our IT Manager (Peter Kemp) can do most of what we need. If I need anything, I’ll go to Peter. If there is something more complex, he contacts Phocas and gets what he needs without trouble.
Q: If there is an AX user reading our blog who is looking for a better reporting tool, what would you suggest they think about?
BARRY: I’d say they need something else other than AX for their reporting. My advice would be to stop wasting time trying to work with what’s within AX and get a solution that will make your life simpler.
Q: How often do you use Phocas?
BARRY: Everyday – I pretty much have it open within the first half an hour of getting into work. I keep it open on my desk most of the day so I can refer to something if I need to.
Q: What are your final thoughts on Phocas?
BARRY: I'm not a huge fan of many pieces of software but I’m a huge Phocas advocate. I tend to bang on about it an awful lot. There’s no other software I’m an advocate for but Phocas, I’m a huge advocate for it in every context.
If you’d like more information, please watch our demo video below.