Legacy infrastructure meant the process of transferring transactions from Maximo to SunSystems required daily manual intervention for Issues, Returns and Transfers and JV Gas required the return to an automated process whereby these transactions were accessible in real-time to enable greater control and business efficiency.
Return to automation of two-way data processing between systems
Tighter control over processes
Significant increase in run time for Infor Q&A & Executive reports
JV Gas is a joint venture composed of three partners; BP, Statoil and the Algerian national oil and gas company, Sonatrach. In the joint venture there are two major revenue and production sharing contracts, In Salah Gas and In Amenas. Both are involved in the development, production and treatment of Natural Gas in Algeria – the country’s largest dry gas project.
Prior to the latest implementation and upgrade, JV Gas were running on outdated software. The need for change came about when the current infrastructure hindered the business’ ability to handle the number of transactions that were running through the system every day. Between In Salah Gas and In Amenas, the company processes nearly 1,000 invoices and 5,000 inventory transactions on average per month. In addition to this, there were problems transferring inventory issues and returns between systems. In order to counter this, time consuming manual uploads were taking place daily by Sapphire to ensure the information was transferred from Maximo to SunSystems, and it was at this point that JV Gas realised it was time to upgrade to software which could manage these uploads automatically.
MaxiSun enables users to connect any third-party business application with Infor SunSystems and other Financial Management or Enterprise Resource Planning systems, such as SAP Business One. In order for JV Gas to get to the point where they could automate information transfer between systems quickly, Cindi Haddock, Finance Inventory Analyst, mentioned JV Gas worked closely with the Sapphire team. Having had a positive a ten-year client rapport, “Sapphire knew our business and how it worked,” said Cindi and as such, both sides could work together to implement the best solution for JV Gas’ business needs.
As part of the project implementation, JV Gas had to upgrade their existing Infor SunSystems version in order for them to benefit from Sapphire’s proprietary interface; MaxiSun Web Console. Cindi mentioned that that it was down to the attention to detail and service of Sapphire’s consultants, who knew their business, which ensured the right version and systems were put in place to best suit their business.
Due to the nature of JV Gas’ business, the implementation took longer than expected. With a job rotation model and different skillsets every few weeks, it was important to work with a partner that could offer the technical support throughout the project phases and according to Cindi, “Sapphire were able to schedule calls at different times and a member of the team was always available when we needed them.”
Since completing the upgrade, the system is meeting performance expectations. “There are no more manual uploads and it is running automatically without any issues,” said Cindi.
JV Gas have noticed a number of benefits, one of which is speeding up payment processes. Previously, there was a 10-12 day delay in the ability to approve invoices between the monthly Maximo close and the opening of SunSystems in the next month as there was no automatic transfer of information between both systems. The upgrade and Admin Console now allows for continuous invoice approval. “Now we can close both systems and the invoice approvals feed through consistently,” Cindi comments. Invoice payments can even be transferred during the same day from Maximo to SunSystems, whereas carrying out this process before may have resulted in errors from manual intervention.
The system functionality allows for batch errors to be picked up and fixed immediately as opposed to holding back a whole batch until errors were researched and corrected. This is happening in real-time and JV Gas can see instantaneously where the batch errors lie, giving them the ability to resolve them as soon as possible to avoid delays in this process.
Primarily as an integration tool, the MaxiSun Web Console is always up to date with information that can be downloaded across the business. JV Gas is benefitting from increased visibility over their data, whereas before it was hidden within the system, giving them the ability to analyse the information for further business intelligence.
Once implemented, MaxiSun runs in the background requiring minimal manual intervention. However, Cindi recommends that companies who may be considering adopting the solution should ensure they have the relevant expertise on site. Businesses should recognise the expectation and skills required as a prerequisite of the project and have the user understanding to be able to handle the technical, IT and financial side. “It would be beneficial to have an expert onsite from the outset so they would be able to translate expectation from both the software partner to the different departments,” Cindi commented.
As for recommending MaxiSun and Sapphire as a partner, Cindi did not hesitate in concluding that thanks to Sapphire and their business understanding, the upgrade was smooth and has given JV Gas greater control over their operations and access to real-time results from faster data processing.
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