The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT) is an independent charity responsible for the preservation of five of Shakespeare’s family homes in Stratford-upon-Avon.
The Trust is committed to promoting the enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare’s life, times and works, providing imaginative, immersive, and interactive opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to discover Shakespeare. You can find out more on their website.
During the COVID period, SBT’s learning offering was moved online, which provided an opportunity to re-examine the possibility of further digital transformation and became a catalyst for modernising their operations with the goal of simplifying and streamlining financial processes.
With the objective of using technology in an enabling way, SBT looked to replace their previous finance system, to eliminate excessive, time-consuming processes, and further empowering them to make data-backed decisions.
SBT engaged Embridge for a solution that would modernise and integrate disparate business processes and systems and provide an intuitive and integrated interface for users. Any solution would need to bring together finance, purchasing, bank reconciliation, assets and payments under one system, while increasing the efficiency, accuracy and access to information to support effective decision making.
Embridge’s approach seemed so much more clear, easy and logical than what we saw with other competitors.Melanie CrooksDirector of Finance and Resources
The project leads at SBT were already familiar with Xledger, commenting that, despite reviewing alternative offerings, it still felt fresh and offered a good user experience.
They also had an in-depth understanding of what the technology could do, and what it could offer budget holders in terms of data transparency.
Therefore, Embridge worked closely with SBT to implement Xledger under an aggressive timeline that would avoid clashing pressures, meaning there was a narrow window to implement the new system before the end of the VAT quarter and budget and reforecast season.
Xledger offered a wide scope for flexibility and manipulation in reporting for budget holders, meaning they could refine standard reports to meet their specific needs, with the added ability to personalise and save templates.
With multi-disciplinary projects being a common occurrence for SBT, the solution offered a way to break down those data siloes, removing the need to source relevant information from different systems and spreadsheets, improving data transparency by centralising access to information.
Additionally, Xledger provided a powerful way to modernise and automate core processes including finance, debtors, bank account, creditors, purchase order processing, asset register and suppliers.
The implementation was supported with several energetic training sessions, where users were able to see what the system could do. Both engagement with and interest in the new system was high, primarily due to the scope and power of Xledger, and the fact it did exactly what was promised it would do.
When you’re doing an implementation, interpersonal interactions between your consultant team and you are what makes a real difference. The Embridge team were dynamic and personable. You can tell their team is integrated and engaged, allowing you to feel safe in their hands.Melanie CrooksDirector of Finance and Resources
With Embridge working closely with SBT, the project was not only delivered on time despite the aggressive timeframe, but also delivered slightly under budget with all business objectives being met.
SBT now have an integrated system that has helped them to further modernise their finance function and bring it in line with flexible ways of working. The implementation of the new Xledger system has given the team:
SBT appreciated the clear, logical methodology employed by Embridge during the implementation of the new system and have since gone on to create a Project Management function that adopts some of the same methodology, such as the Project Highlight Report.
The ability to have a dashboard that shows teams all the key information they need, these are the invoices we’ve had, this is what we’ve committed etc.., has just made a huge difference to staff engagement in both budget management and the new Xledger system.Amanda HomerHead of Finance and Business Support
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