The business issues that they needed to improve:
50 business entities within 4 main divisions – difficult to get a view of the entire groups activities
Several obsolete accounting systems – challenge in producing useful reports
The benefits of their new solution:
A group-wide chart of accounts to cater for the different industry sectors
Divisional and group consolidations
Significant reduction in the financial “close” times
Improvement in the quality of financial reporting
Change management and training for all users
Implemented a Business Intelligence tool displaying sales and margin data
The BI tool now shows changes in customer buying behavior
Greater view of customer data has enabled improved customer service
Several financial solutions were evaluated before selecting Sage ERP 300. Michael Sheridan, Group Chief Financial Officer comments, “Sage was a good fit for our business. It was quick to implement and provided us with all the features we were looking for. It was also well supported by a company that had successfully implemented it with a number of diversified clients similar in size to us. It was well priced compared to comparable solutions.”
Sheridan says, “It was a fast implementation that succeeded largely because of the planning that BES brought to the project. They gave us good information and were able to lead us on a tight critical path. The timing was driven by a desire to minimise the cross-over of financial years. We had a number of companies in our poultry business and until that time, we hadn’t been able to carry consolidation without a lot of manual effort.”
“Management and other stakeholders began receiving high quality financial reports within 10 working days of month end. This was a marked improvement on what we could previously achieve.”
“Users of the system find Sage is easy to use and logical, which means that data is entered more accurately. The integrity of the applications has improved the quality of reporting,” he notes.
Moving the company forward
“We began using EDI, sending invoices and statements to our business partners electronically. It is a process that some of our larger customers demand and we were under pressure to meet their requirements. BES helped to implement this, bringing us up to speed with where the market is going.”
A boost to reporting
With the entire group working from a common platform, sales and financial reporting has become much faster and easier. Every day, a business intelligence tool accesses data from the Sage system to produce sales reports for the previous 24 hours. The process used to take hours but now the reports are ready before 8 am. The information can also be presented based on customer purchases by month, margins by customer by product or by month. Management can identify the most valuable customers by dollar value or by percentage margin. This is enabling the sales teams to focus on weak areas or to spot customers with changing buying patterns.
“With BES and Sage, we have a team that can support us as we grow and cost-effective technology that does exactly what we need. It’s a great, practical solution for our business that has allowed us to meet our reporting requirements. The good thing about it is that everything we were sold – the features and simplicity of using it – have been confirmed”, Sheridan concludes.