Located in Hampshire, Philspace Ltd is one of the South’s leading suppliers of temporary and portable site accommodation. Philspace, established in 1975, is a family business that still believes in providing customers with a very personal service. The company currently employs 18 staff and operates a fleet of over 1300 units, which are transported using their own Hiab vehicles. With yards in Lower Upham and Wickham, and offices in Bitterne, they take Health and Safety very seriously. They offer complete site services for all accommodation and sanitary requirements for Hampshire and the surrounding areas, and can supply anything from a two-story modular building meeting the latest fire, safety and building regulations to a tool store.
Philspace offers hire and/or sale of new and refurbished units, including containers and high security stores, high security anti-vandal offices/canteens, jackleg offices/ canteens, Solo 8 – self-contained welfare units, Groundhog – self-contained mobile welfare units, Combi welfare units, 50/50 office/store, chemical toilet & weekend hires, mains toilets, modular/linked units, Heras fencing, tool stores and haulage. The company is proud to have a respectable and loyal customer base which includes various county councils, hospitals, the MOD and other government agencies along with local individuals and businesses.
Originally on a slow manual system, Philspace decided to invest in Higher Concept Software’s Syrinx system in February 2009, mainly to ensure they saved time when tracking fleet and running reports on the business. Sally Barfoot, Hire Desk Manager at Philspace, explains, “We wanted a better way to keep track of our hire fleet. We called in Higher Concept Software as well as another rental software supplier for demonstrations. Higher Concept Software were able to answer all of our questions with either a “yes” or a workable solution to a problem, whereas the other company didn’t seem to know the answer to any of our queries. It was as simple as that really, and now we know where our units are at all times.”
As Philspace has been operating for 30 years, there was a lot of historical data to compile ready for implementation, however Sally reports that this was very straightforward. “We were given a spreadsheet to use as a template, and the process went very smoothly,” she says. “The time frame between initialisation and going live was about a month, which was quicker than we thought it would be.”
Everyone at Philspace has been trained to use Syrinx and the team have adapted to it very well. Sally states, “We want our staff to use it as a tool for information, so we provided them with comprehensive instructions and they have found it easy.” The biggest benefit that the business has found with the Syrinx platform is the reporting function. “I love Syrinx because I keep finding new available reports each day, and good reporting is crucial to our business,” Sally explains.
She goes on to say “Monthly figures reports are very helpful, as well as finding out about our new customers each month and how they heard about us. It helps us keep track of whether our online advertising has been worthwhile. Our customers often ask for a detailed list of all units currently on hire and their locations. There is a specific report called ‘Equipment on Hire to Customer’ which does just that and I can email this off to them at the touch of a button. This was actually one of the deciding factors when choosing Syrinx.”
“Syrinx also works in partnership with our accounting package Sage 50 Accounts. We were able to electronically transfer all invoices and amendments to Sage, bringing an end to manual entry and saving us a great deal of time. I find the email invoicing function useful too, as it means that our customers can’t use the excuse that their invoice was lost or delayed in the post.”
“I keep wondering how we managed to cope before”
There is no doubt that Philspace is now running more efficiently, thanks to the new system. Sally concludes, “Syrinx has completely changed the way we work. We’ve gained lots of time and the job sheets are quick and easy now. I keep wondering how we managed to cope before.”