Bespoke system for marketers

Information technology specialist, Rebus, has just installed a pilot of its accounting and job management software package in the in-house creative department of high street pharmacist, Boots.

The package, which has been on the market since 1995, is in place in 130 blue chip creative businesses in Britain and America and is beginning to make serious inroads into the marketing services industry. Companies like Grey Integrated, LGM, Seymour Powell, Imagination, and The Partners all number among Rebus’ client list.

Flexibility and ease of use are the two strengths of the system. The system uses three ledgers – nominal, sales, and purchase – and most of the options these ledgers have can be turned off or on, giving the package a uniquely tailored feel.

The look of the system is clear too. It uses Omnis 7.3 technology, and in many areas allows data to be dragged and dropped from list to list. The system aims to display only the most important data when groups of files are shown together, rather than trying to cramp everything in a confusing mass.

Rebus managing director Nick Tomlinson says time is the main reason people in the marketing services industry are turning to this system.

“People don’t have time to fill in time sheets or work on order forms. They are used to simply picking up the phone and getting things done. But when you do this you lose control of the ordering and accounting process.”

He adds: “We try and make this system so easy to use that ordering becomes second nature and that brings the accounting process back under a company’s monitoring and control.”

The move to introduce systems like this in marketing departments is part of the general push across business to make departments justify their existence, and the move toward outsourcing tasks that, until recently, companies preferred to keep in-house.

“It allows the department to monitor its costs on a job-by-job basis,” says Tomlinson. “In the Boots pilot, the design team will be able to monitor the different departments it works for throughout the internal market of the retailer’s various departments.”

Rebus originally sold the systems to design houses only, but the Boots pilot is testimony that the computer specialist is beginning to branch out into all types of marketing services.

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