When Thomas Pfister helped expand MatchCode, a marketing and communications consulting firm he founded in late 1999, from its Philadelphia offices into Latin America and Europe in just four months, he knew his fledgling company needed to keep strict tabs on its financial growth.
For his 45-employee business, which had 1999 sales of $2 million, Pfister, 39, needed a scalable application that could integrate the profit-and-loss statements and other financial data from MatchCode's various international offices. Instead of buying each office a separate box of software, Pfister contracted with Host-Logic, an ASP in Boca Raton, Florida, to access its ERP package over the Internet.
"We didn't want to buy a whole IT infrastructure for each office," explains Pfister. Using online services, each of Matchcode's employees needs only an Internet connection to have access to HostLogic's server. That way, no matter where managers are, they're able to instantly isolate financial data by customer, department or country, or view an overall corporate report without having to deal with currency differences and e-mail attachments. For example, Pfister can easily spot whether one division is more profitable than another. "It helps us decide how best to spend our time," he says.
While HostLogic's small-business ERP package, SmartEnterprise, includes sales, distribution and CRM applications, MatchCode is currently using the financial-costing and asset-management module before expanding to the rest. HostLogic hosts and maintains the software on its servers and provides upgrades, consulting, support and training for all modules for a flat monthly fee of $495 per user. Says Pfister, "It's very cost efficient. We'd rather use the rest of the money to build our operations."