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Tag: Sage

Sage Payroll Software Update – Version 22.4

The latest Sage Payroll software update (version 22.4) will help users to remain compliant after the changes to the Calendar Year for the Construction Workers Pension Scheme (CWPS). In previous years it has been a ‘Jan – Dec’ year, however, from 1st October 2019, they will be changing it to an ‘Oct – Sept’ year. Due to the new CWPS calendar year, the CWPS Rates will be increasing.

sage payroll update

This Sage Payroll software update (V22.4) supports those increases to the Construction Workers Pensions Scheme (CWPS) which come into effect from 1st of October 2019. When installed, the update will immediately apply increases in CWPS Pension, Sick Pay and Death in Service contributions. If this applies to your payroll, then this update will help you to remain compliant.

Please read more on this update here – https://pimbrook.ie/knowledge-base/23561/

For more information on Sage Payroll features, please click here. Please contact us now for assistance with any Sage Software related query you may have.

Are you measuring your Customer Service Performance?

Customer service is a business capacity that is notoriously hard to gauge accurately. Although you can garner feedback, count complaints, and strive to eliminate service problems.  It’s still very difficult to ascertain your customer service performance. How can you judge with precision something that is not a tangible?

People have different, yet highly personal requirements for satisfaction, and when you attempt to quantify that type of information with sweeping generalities, the results don’t always accurately reflect your business’s service level.

Whilst some customers will definitely make themselves heard when displeased, many others will quietly grumble to themselves, and eventually choose a new company to supply the service or product they need.

However, you can develop techniques that deliver the metrics your business needs to accurately gauge the strength of your customer service. It simply requires developing a comprehensive view of the KPIs (key performance indicators) that will deliver the best results for your particular business.

Sage 50 Customer Service Awards
Customer Service Awards

How Can your Software help measure your Performance?

Depending on the type of  CRM (customer relationship management) software you use, the key to developing the right KPIs for your business depends on your business. Naturally, some of these suggestions will support certain business strategies better than others. So it’s up to you to determine which metrics will offer the most actionable information for your company.  Deciding what information you want is often the hardest part.

Overall Satisfaction/Improvement

Customer satisfaction surveys offer good insights into your overall performance. By regularly asking for feedback, your customers receive the impression that your service ratings are a crucial part of your business, and that their overall satisfaction is a high priority.

In addition, you should measure the improvements (or declines) you see from your feedback surveys. By tracking these changes, you can identify accountable areas in your business and consequently, either alter the processes responsible for poor results, or recognise the individuals behind exemplary ones.   Survey Monkey is easy to use, although the free version has it’s limitations.

Try Monitoring these to start you off:
  • Retention Data

The length of time a customer has used your company, or the amount of repeat business you achieve is a good indicator of good customer service.

  • Lead Conversion Rate

This metric is a good individual KPI for tracking staff effectiveness. And it is also invaluable to your overall customer service. Measuring the likelihood of a customer taking action after interacting with one of your team provides insight into your general customer service levels.

  • Competitor Analysis and Comparisons

Monitoring how your business compares with others in the industry is also important. You might have a perfect customer service record, but there will still be times when a customer chooses your competitor over you—perhaps due to convenience, or some other factor wholly unrelated to your abilities. Seeing how you measure up through industry comparisons is an effective method for gauging good customer satisfaction.

  • Average Time to Resolution—Active/Resolved Issues

Good customer service involves dealing with issues swiftly and effectively. Tracking how long it takes your company to handle a problem, along with comparisons regarding the ratio of active to resolved issues offers actionable information about your current customer service performance.

Businesses can accurately measure good customer service, but it requires a comprehensive outlook and functional software that is able to garner the right information.


Here in Pimbrook we pride ourselves in our Award Winning Customer Service, We constantly monitor and try to find ways to improve our customer service. Every Day. Test drive us today for YOUR Sage Support.


Social Media for Small Businesses

Social Media is a big boat to try and steer.  You are trying to make interesting content that will attract other users, and possibly even drive some sales.  It’s a tough ask, especially as, to be honest, accounting software packages (our business) are not particularly interesting to those not involved in accounting.  Well, not to the general public at least!


Socially savvy businesses know that it’s all about engaging the right audiences with valuable content (Have a look at the Paddy Power Twitter Account– horrifically offensive most of the time- but huge engagement). The “socialites” have little tolerance for the self-promoters who view social media as a means to free advertising. However, small-business owners face an uphill challenge when it comes to using a social media platform to engage and promote.

For me the use of Social Media comes down to a few simple points:

What Social Media medium do you want to use? I’m going to cover this in more detail in another blog, but bear in mind the following stats:

1 Trillion Google Searches every year

3 Million Monthly Facebook users in Ireland, 2 million logs on daily

900,000 Twitter Users, 350,000 logging on daily

1 Million Instagram Users, 700,000 daily

1 Million Snapchat Users, 600,000 daily


Who will be managing the account? Consistency is key in Social Media Market Share- it’s often quantity over quality in some cases.  This can hold you back from making an impact on your chosen medium. To stay focused, it may be helpful to choose someone on your team who has an interest in social media to manage your accounts. An organic social media following doesn’t grow overnight. But with effort, your business will start to make a step forward in the right direction. Be careful not to let your accounts go dormant. Stay consistent and stay engaged and your presence is bound to generate traffic. NB always good to have a social media policy in the house to let everyone know what the message is, and how you would like it portrayed.

What message do you want to get across?– Strategies before you post.  Are you hoping to gain brand/ business awareness? Do you want people to click through to your website? Choose your main goal and always keep it in mind when you develop content.  And VARY it.  No one like a constant bla bla blah on the same subject…

Then find out what your audience is interested in seeing. And if you have no clue, check out the feeds of your followers and competitors. Spend time investigating what they post to see what has people talking and what doesn’t.

And most importantly, log on, follow people and BE SOCIAL.  Be the person behind the brand.  Remember People buy from People.


Our Tips for Warehouse Management


Warehouse Management can seem so daunting. Not all improvements involve a lot of effort, so start small!

  1. Be Organised

If your warehouse is not organised, incoming products will not go to the appropriate locations.  Pickers will spend needless amounts of hours trying to find products.  It is essential to establish a system that organises your materials in a logical and defined order.

The best organisation keeps the fastest moving materials front and centre in your warehouse.  You can increase your efficiency by grouping products that are normally ordered in groups. Consider how supermarkets stock products — if you are looking for flour, you do not go to the cleaning aisle.

  1. Reorganise when needed

Really this is a follow on from 1 above.  But is just as important.

What works for your warehouse today may not work six months from now. Re-evaluate your inventory and storage methods periodically to make sure that you maintain the right product flow.  This may mean taking a day out every six months to sit down and assess your product flow.  Do it.  It will save time in the end.

For example, a product that took up a whole aisle last month may now be obsolete.  The product next to it may suddenly be in high demand.  Change the space allocated to your materials when supply and demand changes.  Be flexible.

  1. Think Health and Safety

Maintaining a safe environment is very important to maintaining peace of mind.  You have to meet certain requirements, and protecting your employees from injury is a key goal.  Accidents can cost you the skilled labour you need to keep your warehouse operating.

  1. Keep the homefires lit

Often the modern rectangular shaped shelving can hamper light.  And with warehouses getting bigger and bigger, natural light can also be a problem. But a  brighter warehouse provides not only a safer work environment but also improves your employees’ ability to do their job. Brighter lights also encourages more alertness for what needs to be done.  And helps alert employees to spillages, and problems in the warehouse environment.

  1. Use the right software

Warehouse Management Systems enable you to proactively manage your operations, instead of re-actively. 

Real time reports and alerts notify you of potential problems. 

Effective Enterprise wide decisions such as order sourcing, stock allocation, stock order levels/ sourcing, etc. can only be made through real time and accurate view of stock.


Contact Pimbrook today for further details on how we can help you with your warehouse management.


Happy Birthday Mayer Amschel Rothschild

Who you may ask? Mayer Amschel Rothschild, (23 February 1744 – 19 September 1812), was a German Jewish banker and the founder of the Rothschild banking dynasty. Referred to as the “founding father of international finance,” Rothschild was ranked seventh on the Forbes magazine list of “The Twenty Most Influential Businessmen of All Time” in 2005.

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Maximise Transparency across your Supply Chain

Although the current economic environment in Ireland is slowly gaining ground according to experts, businesses throughout the nation are still working to develop new methods and internal procedures that will stimulate their financial gains and produce long-term benefits.

Conventional methods used for batch tracking and traceability help identify problems from the point of sale, working backward. But, that does little for anticipating or eliminating the complications before they occur.

Fortunately, new tracing capabilities are transforming internal procedures and maximising the transparency of the supply chain by allowing organisations to embed every detail of the product’s life cycle into each specific item record. This advanced type of provenance and traceability data can then be utilised to analyse quality controls, safety, and reliability with heightened accuracy. Moreover, it helps to maximise your company resources, whilst simultaneously strengthening your supply chain performances.

However, before you can introduce new technology tools, there are a few things to consider. These steps can help you develop the foundational groundwork required within your company dynamics, so that your enterprise resource planning system will achieve its maximum potential.

  • Initiate a Strategic Planning Process

Without clearly defined goals and a system for achieving them, improving transparency along your supply chain will remain in the realm of the subjective. Although you could hire expensive consultants to review your current management procedures, examine your floor layout, and create costly, and complicated overhauls, for most production and distribution model businesses, third-party consultation simply isn’t necessary.

Initiating a strategic planning process simply requires opening the channels of communication between your staff members and fostering an environment that rewards innovation. Logically speaking, who knows better what is working and what isn’t in your company than your employees who deal with the situations every day?

Creating an atmosphere that welcomes employee suggestions and seriously considers them helps establish a sense of unified purpose that will engender positive innovation.

  • Eliminate Communication Barriers Between Departments

Maximising transparency requires a free flow of communication and information within your organisation. Data flow charts can help you visualise obstructions, but the most important point to remember is to foster sharing among your departments. For instance, placing importance on regular, consistent counts, which get transferred to specific sales members; allocating specific single user subscriptions that designate task ownership for heightened accountability.

This type of departmental communication helps improve transparency across your supply chain, because essentially, every process involved, from the point of sale to replenishment, impacts your company’s performances.

  • Integrate Data into a Comprehensive System

The biggest limitation to supply chain transparency is working with a myriad of separate planning, scheduling, customer, vendor, and accounting software programmes. It’s almost impossible to create the supply chain visibility you need to successfully compete in today’s global marketplace without total data integration.

However, there are many affordable systems available that offer the framework for data integration across business channels, and include sophisticated procurement, inventory, and distribution management such as:

  • Real-time employee access to purchase requisitions and orders
  • Enforcement of purchase order approval protocols—eliminating quality control problems from substitutions or inferior product replenishment
  • Comprehensive inventory costing methods for improved analytics
  • Packaged shipping integration with each point of sale

Improving your supply chain transparency with a comprehensive system offers long term benefits. With the ability to benchmark and establish standardised methods for sharing data, it helps to promote a better employee understanding of the needs and challenges your company faces. Moreover, data integration delivers prescriptive and predictive analytics across the entire length of the supply chain for enhanced decision-making.

Contact us today to see how Sage 200 can help YOUR business

How big a role does distribution play in maintaining your bottom line?

Finding actionable methods that control costs is a crucial component in business operations. Whether your company serves the general public, such as in retail or food service, or you transact the distribution of goods.

However, in a manufacturing or distribution model, controlling operational costs is more complicated. Separate and/or multiple warehouses, third party shipment orchestration, and other supply chain maintenance tasks are so inter-related that it’s often a challenge to differentiate exactly which areas need improvement.

For companies in Ireland that operate warehousing and distribution as part of their business structure, the recovering economic climate makes it doubly important to control wastes in these areas. Even seemingly harmless inefficiencies can compound over time and dwindle your already slim margins into nothing.

Therefore, it’s important to know exactly how big a role your warehouse and distribution processes play in maintaining your healthy bottom line.

The Waiting Is the Hardest Part

Many businesses perform analysis procedures quarterly, or even yearly. But, in today’s mobile marketplace, that type of reporting can quickly spell disaster.

Waiting for performance data is cost-prohibitive. Even if your reports are generated on a monthly basis, the wastes that can occur before you become aware of them can have a big impact on company profits.

According to a recent survey conducted by Warehousing Ireland, “40% of finance professionals said their firms relied almost exclusively on manual or spreadsheet methods to keep track of the business… 30% of managers complain of a lack of integration between internal systems; around a fifth complain of poor integration and communication with suppliers and with distribution partners.”

That kind of inefficiency in performance tracking can equate to huge losses in your company’s bottom line.

Supply Chain Woes

Maintaining inventory is costly. Every day that you house an item at your warehouse facility, holding charges (soft costs) accrue. And although, these costs may seem marginal, they are almost entirely responsible for any gaps between your projected operational costs and your actual costs each year.

Inefficiencies in your supply chain procedures can compound quickly. The most common problems include:

  • Lack of transparency across company departments
  • Sporadic, inaccurate or misleading stock counts
  • Lack of actionable vendor management programmes
  • Poor customer relationship management protocols

Poor communication between your administrators and floor personnel can result in multiple/duplicate purchase order issuances. The subsequent overstock then becomes subject to high shrinkage rates, or stock out situations engender costly rush shipments.

Lack of vendor management planning can also generate labour wastes if replenishment shipments aren’t scheduled precisely.

Warehouse Layout/Stocking and Workflow Constraints

Disorganisation in stocking and workflow designs at your warehouse produce a number of wastes. Every time an employee has to back-track to pick an item for the same order, it creates unnecessary expense.

Moreover, poor workflows generate lengthy lead times. The order takes longer to process and there’s a greater chance for order inaccuracy.

Bottom Line

How important is the role of your warehousing and distribution to your bottom line? Massively. So important that it often represents your entire profit margin.

Consider some benchmark metrics tabulated for the top 20 percent of global distributors by WERC:

  • Distribution costs as a percent of sales are less than 1.6 percent (most other companies range from 2.9 percent to 8.9 percent and more)
  • Distribution costs per unit shipped are less than €0.28 (most other companies range from €0.77 to €10 and more)
  • Days on hand inventory is less than 15 (most other companies range from 30 to 78 and more)
  • Shrink as a percent of total inventory is less than 0.1% (most other companies range from 0.2 percent to 1.8 percent and more)



Implementation tips for developing Sustainable Warehouse Solutions

Developing Warehouse Solutions

Warehouse Solution, whether you operate discrete or process manufacturing, perform distribution services, or stock goods for retail, developing sustainable warehouse solutions is essential for achieving long-term success.

The conscientious decision to focus on what is commonly known as the triple bottom line—economic, environmental, and social dimensions—involved in operation is a comprehensive business philosophy. And with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system in place, enacting sustainability measures becomes much easier.

What is sustainable warehouse management?

warehouse solution
Essentially, sustainable warehouse management is a system designed to meet the present needs of society without compromising the opportunities and resources available for future generations.

Although it involves the entire scope of the business process, sustainability is closely associated with environmentally sound procedures. Indeed, Global Reporting Initiative’s G4 guidelines cover this aspect, but most recently, they’ve released a linkage document that will assist the compliance of the latest EU directive for the disclosure of non-financial and diversity information.

Warehouse ERP Implementation

Introducing and developing sustainable warehouse solutions is often a challenge, even with an advanced ERP system. Many distributors employ third-party supplier’s (VMI) and logistics (professional carriers) to orchestrate the chain of supply.

However, even these challenges can be reduced with the following implementation tips and techniques. First, divide your sustainability analyses by aspect and type, and then update your core performance indicators within the system with appropriate coding so that the qualitative and quantitative data can be collected and reported properly.

Ignoring the economic performance and market presence aspects, the following list can help you implement the metrics and indicators used to evaluate company sustainability.


  • Materials—a percentage of the input usage of recycled materials
  • Energy—energy consumption of the primary source (direct)
  • Water—total usage amount for the facility
  • Emissions, effluents, and wastes—direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by weight, oxide emissions by type and weight, and amounts of non-recyclable solid waste

Labour Practises (Social)

  • Employment—employee counts and turnover rates by age group, gender, and region
  • Health and Safety—Injury occurrence rates, work-related fatalities, occupation-related disease, lost days, and absenteeism
  • Diversity and Equal Opportunity—Basic salary allocation by gender and employee category. (Also see the recent G4 linkage document for simplified EU compliance.)

Human Rights (Social)

  • Investment and Procurement—total numbers and percentages of agreements that have gone through human rights screening
  • Child Labour—any measures that have been taken to help eliminate child labour
  • Freedom of Association—measures that support the right to exercise freedom of association and collective bargaining, and any identification of these rights at risk.

Society (Social)

  • Community—the nature and scope of any programmes, practises, or initiatives that have a positive impact on the operation of your community, and the effectiveness and outcomes of those endeavours.
  • Corruption—the amount and percentage of business units that have been examined for risks related to corruption
  • Consumer Health and Safety—this will naturally vary depending on the type of products housed in your facility, but basically, any assessments made concerning the improvement or life cycles of the products that could impact consumers.

With an advanced ERP system, many of these indicators are already integrated, and the reporting framework can be easily customised to include new governmental regulations and directives.

Effective ERP implementation for a sustainable warehouse involves collecting the right data and then making informed business decisions based on the performance reports that your ERP system generates.


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