The management team at Sunraysia required a financial management solution with multi-currency and international capabilities. They were also keen to put in place a customisable solution that could scale and grow with the company.
At a glance - Sunraysia
The management team at Sunraysia required a financial management solution with multi-currency and international capabilities, also Sunraysia was keen to put in place a customisable solution that could scale and grow with the company.
SAP Business One
- Reduction in closing monthly and annual accounts
- Higher employee productivity
- Cash flow and profibility have improved
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Background to the case
The management team at Sunraysia required a financial management solution with multi-currency and international capabilities. They were also keen to put in place a customisable solution that could scale and grow with the company. Following a review of potential solutions including Oracle and Sage Line 200, a decision was taken to implement SAP Business One from Sapphire; the original plan was to implement in London with the system to be used in the UK, Australia and Hong Kong.
Simon Peutrill joined Sunraysia as Group Finance Director in November 2009, shortly after the decision had been made. He was familiar with SAP Business One, having been involved with four previous projects, and made some changes to the global implementation plan.
"75% of the implementation was to be done in Australia, so it may have been easier to use a local partner, but I had not been impressed with the quality in my past experiences. I was confident that Sapphire would do the best job, ultimately providing the best value for money" said Simon.
How is SAP Business One working for Sunraysia; what are the benefits?
SAP Business One is more than meeting the expectations of the team and is performing accordingly.
Since the implementation of SAP Business One, Sunraysia has benefited from marked cost savings. There has been a significant reduction in the number of days taken to close monthly and annual accounts and there has been a cost saving as a result of being able to get more done without adding head count.
"I have noticed conversations in the office have changed and management of the business has been transformed; we are no longer operating blindfolded. Cash flow and profitability have improved and we have visibility of profit on a customer by customer basis" said Simon.
The team at Sunraysia is now able to understand the business to a far better degree, for example, it is now possible to see what has been sold at the end of each day. Previously they didn't have a handle on what had been sold from day to day, or even month to month.
Closing the monthly books used to take 10 – 15 days; this has been reduced to one. SAP Business One has freed up accounting resource and cash and has enabled the UK operation to take control of their own financial affairs and manage their own accounts (previously this was managed by the Australian HQ).
"We are now much more on top of stock, inventory and cash. Orders and stock are processed in real time and we have been able to halve our inventory holding, reducing it by $1,000,000" said Simon adding "we couldn't have done that without getting a good, tight handle on our inventory, which we now have with SAP Business One.
Some of the reasons Simon would recommend SAP Business One:
- SAP Business One is a complete and fully integrated system
- It is easy to set up - standard system and reports work 'out of the box'
- The chart of accounts is flexible
- There is no need to manually updated sub-ledgers, just the main ledger
- It is a flexible system in the way you can attribute properties - customers, suppliers, partners
- When it comes to audits, the integrity of he data is spot on
- Reporting is easy and reporting cycle times can be reduced dramatically
- It is easy to use and train new users - for both finance and no-finance personnel, e.g. the sales team
The next phase for Sunraysia will be to expand on report writing and make more use of the Query & Analysis add-on tool.
Simon and the team are also looking to design a proper forecasting system, to move away from reliance on large, error prone spreadsheets. This system will be directly integrated with SAP Business One
Advice to others looking to implement a new system
"It is important that you are prepared to dedicate the right amount of time to the implementation project yourself" said Simon, "Putting proper thought and planning into the set up can take a bit of time, but it is well worth it in the long run. Confidence in the bandwidth and skills of the department you are going into project with should also be taken into consideration."
He went on to suggest "Make sure that the partner you work with has the substance and resources required to support your implementation. The first SAP B1 implementation I did was with a small local partner; the technical consultant was great, but when she moved to another project she was replaced with a consultant that was new to the system – it doubled the time of our implementation. Based on this experience, when our original Sapphire Project Manager left I was concerned, but the handover was seamless and I needn't have worried."
Working with Sapphire
Simon stated "We have a good working relationship with Sapphire in general and our account manager in particular: everyone at Sapphire knows what they are talking about and has a professional approach. The Sapphire team impressed us with the planning and delivery of the project – it was very thorough and detailed. We didn't go live with EDI at first, that came a bit later - the Sapphire technical team additionally worked with a third party on this aspect of the project and all went well."
He went on to finish with "Dealing with an organisation the size of Sapphire you have access to all the resources that you need for a successful project and post-implementation support. I rate the support service from Sapphire very highly. Any questions or queries are always answered as needed; we also make good use of the support team based in Mumbai outside of UK support hours and find it works very well. The technical support team is also very good."