Case Study: Printerbase Ltd

The Client’s problem

Printerbase is a very successful printer, print consumables & stationery supplies company.

Peter, the MD had realised that one of the issues that was constraining the growth & development of the company was him! He’d realised that whilst he was the “Key” person in the business, he’d become a “bottleneck” so, amongst other things he needed to free the business and himself.

The first part was to use the system developed by Sam Carpenter called “Work the System” & you can find out how that works here:

The second part was to free up his time to focus on development & planning. So how could he reduce the 6 hours or so that he spent on month-end data analysis and have more time on planning the action to take as a result?

That’s where we came in.

How we solved it

In order to effectively analyse the business, Peter was using 7 spreadsheets – each targeted at a specific area of the business. However, on detailed analysis, it became clear that much of the information (at least with regard to the column headings) was duplicated, with a few additional columns for each spreadsheet to pick up specifically relevant information. This meant a lot of data entry by Peter which was taking a lot of time.

Having identified that the information came from the same source, we helped Peter create a single spreadsheet pulling in all of the information thus immediately reducing the input time & accuracy as the process only needed doing once.
Then, from this data, we created a number of Pivot Tables to provide the detailed analysis that Peter needed; it also made additional comparisons far easier to accomplish. And, once created, when new data was added for the following month, the Pivot Tables were simply refreshed & showed the up to date information.

The benefits for the client

In addition to reducing the number of spreadsheets in use, the time saving in data input & preparation for analysis has massively reduced, allowing far more time to be spent on looking at the results & analysing what they mean for the business & planning for this in a far more timely manner; what’s more, Peter has additional time available during the day to work on improving other areas of the business.

In Peter’s words: “Colin Foster came in to my business and spent 3 hours showing me how Pivot Tables could solve a particular business issue, this has not only helped us save several hours each month on this issue, but our new knowledge of Pivot Tables has helped us identify other areas of the business where they can be used and saved us countless hours of further time. I would definitely recommend anybody speak to Colin Foster regarding Microsoft Office training as it will definitely pay for itself.”