Before making the switch to Gravity Software™ (Gravity), WW of Maine was using Microsoft Dynamics® GP (aka Great Plains) as their accounting system. Although business was going well, they had three major needs that were not being met by their previous solution:
1. Better reporting capabilities
The main thing holding the business back was an inability to access comprehensive financial reports in a timely and efficient manner. Ed Porter, Accounting Manager for WW of Maine, had to manually compile reports, piecing together information in a process that could take an entire day to complete. With management asking for weekly and monthly reports, Porter was spending an inordinate amount of time compiling information instead of focusing on financial analysis that could benefit the business.
“I wanted something that was easier to use and something I could get the information out of easier,” Porter said. “We needed a solution that was a little more streamlined.”
2. Unique fiscal calendar
Instead of using calendar months to track financials, WW of Maine operates on a weekly system. Unfortunately, most of the accounting solutions available are not able to accommodate these unique accounting periods. This meant that they would have to conform their business practices to the accounting software, and not the other way around. Porter knew they needed a new accounting solution that could be personalized to fit their business needs.
3. Cloud-based accounting
The main driver behind their search for a new accounting solution was aging technology. Their previous accounting software was installed on a remote server that could only be accessed by physically going into the office. This made it impossible to work from home and meant the franchise was less flexible in responding to changing business needs. Not only that, but the remote server that stored their accounting system was nearing the end of its lifecycle and had to be replaced. Leadership was faced with the decision to either pay a software developer to install Microsoft Dynamics GP on a new server and migrate data to that new server, or simply find a more cost-effective solution.
Instead of investing in outdated technology with a new remote server, WW of Maine’s leadership made the decision to switch all of their financials over to Gravity Software. “We really saved a lot of money just by going with Gravity Software and starting fresh,” Porter said.
With the help of Gravity’s dedicated support team, Porter quickly migrated all relevant financial data to Gravity’s cloud-based accounting system. Porter also used Gravity’s personalization options to set up unique accounting periods that reflected the company’s preferred fiscal calendar, something he said was missing in other accounting solutions he considered.
WW of Maine saw an instant improvement in their reporting capabilities, both in terms of the time required to create reports and in ease of use.
“Now, instead of piecing that information together from Dynamics GP, I just run a report in Gravity and there it is. It’s much more streamlined,” Porter said. “It used to take me a full day to get some of the financial reporting done, and now it just takes me a couple hours.”
Switching to a cloud-based system not only saved the company money on server costs, but the flexibility made Porter more valuable because he can now view financial records from anywhere. Being able to access the system remotely also proved a lifesaver when the coronavirus pandemic forced employees to work from home.
Porter said that because of the innovations Gravity Software was able to bring to WW of Maine, the owners of the franchise now have a better understanding of where the company is financially, and are better positioned to meet financial challenges and grow the business.
“Gravity Software is easy to log into and to get to the information I need. It’s just much easier.”
Weight Watchers of Maine, Inc. (aka WW of Maine) is an independent franchise of Weight Watchers® International incorporated in 1968 by Marie and Walter Ludwick. The franchise is still owned and operated by the Ludwick family and is one of the few independent franchises in the company’s portfolio. They serve the greater Portland, Maine, area and help members achieve their health and wellness goals.
Industry: Weight Loss Service
Number of Employees: 138
Number of Gravity Users: 1
Previous Accounting Solution:
Microsoft Dynamics GP
Gravity Software Gets Results:
Fast, insightful reporting
Customizable financial calendar
Anytime, anywhere access