Framework Housing selects SunSystems from LAKE

Key Features

Infor SunSystems
Infor Q&A (Vision for SunSystems)

Critical Issues

The organisation had been using Sage Line 50 for over seven years. During that time the organisation had grown out of all recognition both in size and complexity. This organisational change placed significant strain on the Finance system. For example:

The Chart of Accounts had grown to accommodate changing reporting needs. This had reached a point where it was becoming unmanageable, particularly during periods of restructuring

It required significant manual intervention and re-keying into spreadsheets in order to deliver quarterly management reports in the required format

The reporting facilities, particularly for those people outside of the Finance department who only need to use the system on a periodic basis, can be difficult to use

[Name], Head of Finance, for Framework explains:

"For a number of years we had been using Sage and it is good for a small and none too complex organisation. But over the years the charts of accounts had grown considerably and become less flexible. It was difficult to manage. And each time the organisation was restructured, it took a long time to rework the Chart of Accounts...

.. We were having to do a lot of manual intervention involving spreadsheets at quarter end in order to produce management reports in a format we could use. Most of the data was being keyed in to spreadsheets. That just didn't make sense."

Systems Selection

Concerns about the Finance system, combined with pressures on costs and possible organisational change, led to a decision to replace it with a better system for cost control and reporting.

The selection of a new Finance system, particularly when its use extends beyond the Finance department, can be viewed as a cultural change. For this reason, Framework chose to conduct the supplier selection with a small working party that was representative of those people most affected by the change.

At the end of this process SunSystems from LAKE was selected as the best value option. There were a number of reasons for this choice:

  • SunSystems had the best coding structure. It is flexible, manageable and meets all the reporting needs of an organisation like Framework
  • Reporting facilities are easy to develop, easy to use and suited to all users, both in Finance and elsewhere
  • SunSystems provides all the functionality they need along with additional flexibility to add value in other ways too
  • Additional modules provide scope to extend the system beyond the Finance department and enable further budget delegation at later phases in the project. The system for raising purchase requisitions and seeking budget holder approval was of particular interest

Reflecting on the selection of SunSystems from LAKE, [Name] makes the following observations:

"This organisation never stands still. Much of our funding is based on short-term contracts. It can be one year contracts or it can be three year contracts. Beyond that we have to find additional funding. So coding structures need to be adaptable AND stable. SunSystems gives us that"

"We particularly liked the "drill-down" facility in SunSystems Vision, where, through a series of mouse-clicks, you can go from summary level to detailed transaction level."


The selection of LAKE as implementation partner was a significant factor in the selection of the new Finance system. Framework particularly liked LAKE’s thoughtful approach that emphasised teamwork.

[Name] explains:

"Chemistry is the word you could use. We communicated well with LAKE. Having a Finance background, LAKE knew what we wanted. They understood and could explain in terms that we would understand what SunSystems would do for us...

.. LAKE were keen on having the right people in the meeting rather than turning up with an army of salesmen. They weren’t afraid to stop and think and say "I’m sure SunSystems can do it for you but we will just give it a bit more thought". They didn’t simply give off-the-cuff answers. They were not rushing to sell us something; they were people we thought we could get on with because we could solve problems together."

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