Safe Financials and Forward Office: A perfect partnership in freight forwarding

Atkins expands useEconomy Freight Services Group (EFS) is a leading UK specialist in global freight logistics providing transport, warehousing and freight forwarding to deliver everything you need for worldwide delivery by sea, air and road.

In addition to three hubs in the North of England, the group has established an impressive network of partners and agents worldwide. With a team of 50 experienced staff and 52,000 square feet of logistical space, EFS has the resources to satisfy all import, export, warehousing, storage and packing needs.

EFS have been using the Safe Financials system for over fifteen years. The advanced Windows-based system includes Sales Ledger, Purchase Ledger, Nominal Ledger, Fixed Assets and Cashbook. Five years ago Economy Freight reviewed the market for payroll solutions and concluded that the right choice for them was the Safe EMS software – and so implemented that solution as well.

Originally when they had been evaluating the requirement for a financial application Economy Freight looked at a number of established alternatives, however the flexibility and provision of ‘best-fit’ solutions that Safe is able to deliver specifically built with freight forwarding and logistics companies in mind ensured that they went forward with Safe.

One area where this is clearly demonstrated is in the Nominal Ledger where the account coding structure can be set up in any way required to support exactly the needs of any multiple location freight forwarding business.

“Although we did look at a number of other products we found nothing to match the service from Safe in terms of the quality of the software and the high level of support,” says Economy Freight Financial Director Dave Byard.

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“We particularly like the personalisation of screens that is supported within the application ensuring that each user can have a screen layout that supports the optimum operation of their specific role within the organisation,” continues Dave.

“Safe have always been very supportive throughout the years but they really pulled out all the stops when we went through a full system upgrade a couple of years ago. We had a Safe consultant with us on site, literally ‘holding our hands’ through the entire process and offering guidance and training, to ensure the upgrade and bedding in of the new version went smoothly”

Dave also believes the strong relationship between freight forwarding software specialists FCL and Safe has proved to be a major benefit to Economy Freight, which was established in 1973 and also has offices in Wakefield and Liverpool.

“We also rely heavily on FCL’s freight forwarding Forward Office software and it is very important that it combines seamlessly with the Safe applications,” says Dave.

“We run the accounts for the entire business with two full time and one part time person in accounts, without doubt other systems that are not so tightly integrated with the freight system as Safe is to FCL would require greater numbers of staff to manage.”

The departmental structure and analysis set up within FCL to support the freight business is replicated directly within the Safe Financials accounting system with no need for additional set-up work.

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Together FCL and Safe Financials takes care of credit control and provides the necessary information to the freight team including the “to be invoiced” amount ensuring they are always working from the current position when assessing a customers account.

“The beauty of our relationship with FCL is the fact that they can adapt the software and provide additional solutions to suit our needs – because it is their software to develop.”

This strong complementary technology is a key element of the partnership, which also ensures Economy Freight has unrivalled customer care and dual application flexibility with advantages including:

– Exceptional levels of service and attention to detail – with both companies providing expert knowledge of how the two systems run in tandem
– Software solutions to ensure system integration and processing between the business and accounting applications
– The reduction in duplication due to seamless exchanges of transactional data provides a massive advantage and saves a huge amount of reconciliation time
– Immediate problem solving via remote access from both service providers
– Flexibility of document production layout and format whether electronic or paper-based is very strong in both applications.

“The partnership between FCL and Safe has certainly been a major benefit to us and we have a very good relationship with them due to the fact that they are both dedicated to the solutions they provide,” enthuses Dave.

“I certainly believe that this partnership which delivers a single joined-up solution set for us can only be a mutual benefit to others within the freight forwarding industry.”

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