Waitomo Petroleum operate within an industry that is both complex and changing. The challenge was to find software that could support the unique requirements of liquid product inventory reconciliations – at both company owned sites and customer sites – a complex date-based pricing system, and detailed reconciliations between company records and Mobil, as well as coping with everyday accounting functions.
How Waitomo is meeting these challenges
Accounting and reporting can strain most managers. But when you have 6,000 delivery points a month, up to 3,000 transactions a day, and 5,000 clients – including a number managed by ‘group agents’ or co-operatives with specific reporting requirements – it becomes a formidable task. Throw in the growth of their unmanned fuel stops from 3 to 27, plus the date-based pricing of the fuel industry, and you are facing a potential administrative nightmare.
Such is the business of Waitomo Petroleum Limited, a Mobil fuel distributor whose fleet of15 tankers and 6 mini tankers deliver fuel and lubricants throughout the central North Island.
Leanne Milligan, who is the CFO at Waitomo Petroleum chose BES as she wanted to invest in a fully integrated system that was easy to use, flexible, had long-term upgrade viability, and that had New Zealand-based software support services.
She added, “The industry in which we operate is both complex and changing. Our challenge was to find software that could support the unique requirements of liquid product inventory reconciliations – at both company owned sites and customer sites – a complex date-based pricing system, and detailed reconciliations between company records and Mobil, as well as coping with everyday accounting functions.”
A key factor in the software selection decision was the availability of a Fuel Distribution module that integrates with Sage 300 ERP. This handles the specific quirks of tracking liquid product sales, plus the inherent complexities of the pricing system, site monitoring fuel reconciliations and automated daily fuel and payables reconciliations. For cost efficiencies Waitomo elected to adopt a hosted model, and also appointed PTS as its hosting provider.
Additionally, Waitomo Petroleum now automatically sends digital reports to major customers without having to conduct any additional processes. This means that group agents – such as farming co- operatives for example – can receive daily updates on members’ purchasing activities direct to their billing systems, allowing them to on-bill individuals in a timely manner with minimal effort.
Ms. Milligan said, “Sage 300 ERP integrated with Sage CRM’s ability to rapidly implement effective business-to-business electronic transactions has delivered a major improvement on our old system. This all adds up to us offering superior customer service, which is critical for ensuringrepeat business in this industry.”
Cross-module integration has made it easy for Waitomo Petroleum to drill down to source documents. This has enormously improved reporting and querying, and particularly the ability to assess the profitability of different areas of the business. For example, Sage 300 ERP’s billing system is integrated with mobile data terminals on the trucks. This means that not only is customer usage reported daily, but data is provided to allow Waitomo Petroleum to analyse individual truck profitability.
Ms. Milligan said the benefits of the new system, along with a complete overhaul of control systems, have led to a number of business efficiencies.
“Thanks to the reduction in manual data entry, our administrative workload has been reduced by 22 percent. Despite rapid expansion through the acquisition of another Mobil distributor, among other things, we still require fewer administrative staff than our pre-Sage 300 ERP days and are producing monthly debtor statements and financial results quicker than ever before.
“When a system delivers this kind of return on investment, you know the fit is right,” she said.
Waitomo have implemented a KPI Dashboard which provides information for both their Board Meetings as well as for daily management. The Board Meetings now consist of accessing QlikView dashboards including Balanced Scorecard reports rather than many printed reports.
A recent project for Leanne was to push towards a ‘paperless office’. She implemented ‘Invoice Automation’ which processes invoice PDFs that are emailed to Waitomo and the automation creates the appropriate Sage 300 transaction and submits it to the approval process.
Leanne has a strategy of continuous improvement and works closely with the team at BES on small innovative projects.
Waitomo Petroleum have recently received the 2014 Westpac Waikato Business Excellence Award for the Agri-Business of the Year category.