OLK specialises in mobility equipment, with both an online and showroom sales channel. Recently we spoke to Managing Director, Paul Johnson who led a management buyout of the business in 2014.
After the buyout, I was successful in driving sales forward. Cash flow was positive as we grew, it was a really positive period.
At the time our accountant was a small local company and their support reflected this. Everything came after the event and they didn’t really do anything that made a difference. They didn’t do anything wrong – we simply outgrew them.
In 2018/19, out of the blue, we made a loss and our cash position went down worryingly.
Concerned by the unexpected loss-making position which could have been reduced had we had timely management information coming in. It was time for a change.
Xero, the cloud-based accounting system, and Ascentis had been recommended to me by one of my suppliers. I saw three but chose to work with Ascentis.
I felt relieved the move to Ascentis, after a three-month transition period I was getting up-to-date information, and starting to enjoy working with Xero.
There have already been reductions in the amount of administration we need, and our management information, which was always 3 to 6 months behind is now up to date.
The Ascentis team is accessible, and I can tap into them when needed.
There is a good range of more advanced services which I will use in the future – I like the menu approach.
One of the greatest selling points for Xero and Ascentis, is the range of apps you can integrate. We’re working on strengthening the stock control system and linking it into our CRM which will further reduce admin time and help us to further grow our sales using our unique approach to tele-marketing. And allowing us to add in long planned digital marketing systems.
I now have a clear view of how the business is performing. The next level for us is £5m and with the right financial systems and support now in place – we are on our way!