The specialist SAP application service provider (ASP), i-fusion, deployed SAP's Connect & Go product for Fredericks.
Anne Allcock, Fredericks' financial director, said her company did not have an IT department prior to the implementation. "We didn't really want technical people coming into the business," she said. "Using an ASP allows the team to focus on the business benefits, and if there's a problem with the technology we just let someone else sort it out."
Some 18 people are using the SAP products, which are charged for on a per-user, per-month basis. Fredericks paid an initial fee of £30,000 to deploy the system, including hardware. Allcock believes the company will see a return on its investment within a year.
The SAP system is already proving invaluable, she said. Fredericks employs some 150 staff and last year turned over £30m. When the company signed a contract with Cadburys last year, Fredericks realised that it needed an IT system that would generate timely information and data.
"When we started working with the ASDAs and Tescos of the world, it was imperative that we did something about our IT," Allcock said.
So far, the implementation has gone smoothly. The full rollout should be complete within three to four months, said Allcock, adding that the only problem Fredericks encountered was that the company could not print invoices for the first week.