Security Firm Puts Trust in Greentree

Security Firm Puts Trust in Greentree

Sector: ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)

Evolution provides peace of mind for big businesses and the military, while Greentree provides peace of mind in its business processes.


Evolution needed to combine its financial and CRM functions, to better manage quoting and installation of complex security systems, and ensure up-to-date accounting.


Greentree’s integrated Financial Management, CRM, Supply Chain, Job Costing and Workflow provide a seamless view of every job.


Time and money are saved by ensuring accurate quoting, troublesome parts duplications are eliminated, and financial data is available at a glance.

Evolution Electronic Security Systems doesn’t talk much about its customers – its work is just too sensitive.

“They’re people who have to spend money on security because it’s the nature of their business, rather than a nice-to-have,” explains Evolution’s Managing Director, Richard Lambert.

What Richard will say is that they include multinational companies in the UK and Europe, Ministry of Defence establishments, and VIPs with large country estates.

Evolution installs access control, intruder alert and closed-circuit TV systems. Its current annual turnover of £9m is expected to double over the next five years. However, it needed to replace its existing business systems with something that would provide accurate cost quoting and invoicing, closely integrated with intelligent financial management and analysis.

After evaluating a shortlist of products including Epicor, Pegasus, and Access Accounting, Greentree was Evolution’s choice.


Evolution supplies state-of-the-art equipment, including proximity card, biometric, fingerprint and retina-recognition technology for access control. Its CCTV monitoring systems use internet protocol (IP) recording – an area in which it was a pioneer. Digital recording means intruders can be more easily detected, and often identified.

“This is now a standard for security,” Richard says, “but we were one of the first demonstrators of its benefits.”

Many of Evolution’s customers need monitoring or access control on multiple sites, often from one central point. The equipment requires numerous parts, as well as regular maintenance and quick fault response.


But while Evolution is a leader in security technology, its business systems were more than a decade old, and showing it. One system was doing the financial side, and another was handling CRM and quoting.

“We couldn’t link the two systems,” Richard says, “and as time went on they just grew further and further apart.”

The biggest headache came from duplication in the parts lists. One part tended to acquire different part numbers, depending on which system it had been entered in, or even which person had made the entry. Evolution ended up with a list of 9-10,000 parts, when the actual number was about half that.

The discrepancies in the parts numbers brought the risk of supplying a job quote with parts that were obsolete. Such errors could impact directly on the bottom line. What’s more, Evolution faced delays finding out what the bottom line actually was.

“Continually I was hearing people say, ‘I haven’t got those figures for you because so-and-so hasn’t done this or that’,” Richard recalls. “Sometimes I wasn’t getting the first-quarter figures till the beginning of the third. That’s a scary place to be.”


Evolution began its journey to Greentree by bringing in specialist business consultant Nav Ali to assess its business processes and identify its core needs. Nav was retained as manager for the software implementation.

“We looked at small, medium and large-sized products, and discounted the big ones because it would have been using a sledgehammer to crack a nut,” Nav says.

“We feared that a big-name product wouldn’t be flexible enough to work with us,” Richard adds. “If we’d gone for something like SAP, it probably would have pushed our business around in ways we didn’t want. We needed something that caused as little disruption as possible.”

“From my experience, one thing that gives businesses the edge over their competitors is how quickly they can respond to customer needs,” says Nav. “I didn’t want to introduce a system that took that strength away – I wanted it to complement and enhance what Evolution does, whilst introducing some discipline into workflows. Greentree ticked that box hugely.”

Greentree’s strength as a fully integrated solution also impressed Evolution – it knows that the term “integration” is often misleading. “We still get people trying to sell us equipment that they say will integrate with this and that, but if you look at it in detail, you discover that it’s rubbish,” Richard says. “We’re very careful to ensure that any integration will be valid throughout the system’s life span. Greentree has done all that work, offering a complete system that won’t require separate add-ons later.”


With Greentree, Evolution now has live visibility on its jobs, preventing duplication and potential errors.

“They’ve got one version of the truth when moving from a quote to an order to an installation,” says Nav. “They’re also no longer just reacting to error reports, which means better decision-making.”

Accurate costing of live projects could take up to one and a half days, sorting out the discrepancies between the data in the two disparate systems.

“These problems were definitely costing us money,” adds Richard. “At the touch of a button we can now see where we are with a cost on a job. Our accounts department is saving an hour on each payment run to a supplier. I can also see at a glance how much we’ve got in the bank, what we owe and what is owing to us.

“We’re expecting massive time and cost savings.”


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Evolution was formed in January 1996 by Richard Lambert and John Wust to install and maintain high quality, technically advanced integrated security solutions to multi-national organisations using the latest IT communication technology. The name Evolution was chosen to reflect the commitment of the company to provide solutions that could grow with the client.

We are unashamed technology and business buffs; fanatics; addicts. Call us what you will, we have one obsession: building the best business software. Greentree is today’s ultimate business painkiller and multivitamin, that in 10 years time will still be the best performing business software.