Case Study: Aquatherm

PROBLEM

Slow and out of date

Aquatherm’s legacy system was slowing down as it added more users to handle its expanded operations. Much of its stock is imported from Germany, and manual foreign exchange calculations were taking too much time. Costing was another pain point; Aquatherm wasn’t able to put freight and customs costs against a stock item at the time of purchase, to give a true landed cost. Reporting was becoming increasingly problematical because by the time the figures had been extracted they were well out of date. Live visibility and updating were essential requirements.

The search for a new solution began. Finance Manager Anita Sayer, who managed the project recalls, “We narrowed it down to about 2-3 choices but ultimately they didn’t have exactly what we required.”

SOLUTION

More than just faster, better

During the process Aquatherm heard about Exo from MYOB. After an in-depth presentation of the product’s capabilities, Aquatherm decided that MYOB Exo had the stock system functionality it was looking for, plus it handled foreign exchange well.

“Also, the reporting was superior to what we had and it ran a lot faster than our previous system,” Anita adds. “Price did factor in our decision; however there didn’t seem to be very much choice in that price bracket — there were either a lot smaller systems at a fraction of the cost or large systems at double the cost. Plus, having good local support was another large factor in our decision to implement Exo.”

“The reporting was superior to what we had and it ran a lot faster than our previous system.”

After the decision to go ahead, a test database was set up to ensure it would fit Aquatherm’s requirements, ahead of transferring its data from the old system to Exo. Aquatherm hit the button to go live on 1st March 2015. After staff got through the initial learning curve, the process was “smooth sailing”, as Anita puts it

OUTCOME

A winning decision

MYOB Exo has given Aquatherm the speed of operation it was looking for. The depth of reporting now available has made a big impression and the company is still exploring its capabilities. Invoicing is now updated daily and is instantly visible to anyone who needs it.

“Now that we have grown accustomed to Exo, we have been able to appreciate what we can get from the system, as there is enough data to make sense of the reporting,” says Anita.

Visibility has improved across the business. Delving down into reports on sales and profitability of particular items has been a revelation because the old system didn’t have access to this data. Exo has also enabled reporting of profitability by branch.

Aztech made several changes to Exo to meet specific needs. For instance, pipes are ordered from the overseas supplier in metres but sold by Aquatherm in lengths. Manual calculation of these figures has been eliminated, because Exo is able to automatically make the changes when producing a purchase order. This simplifies the re-ordering process.

Some customisation was also done to the CRM system, enabling special contract pricing arrangements with customers for specific jobs. A more sophisticated level of stock reporting enables Aquatherm to differentiate between stock that is landed and stock which is still at sea, where pre-payment arrangements with creditors apply. The MYOB Partner also created special reports for rebates, and for debtor sales by stock group and by region.

“Exo is specifically a good fit for the wholesale/distribution sector because of the inwards goods costing elements, and being able to track and re-order inventory,” says Doug Jones. “It’s easy for us to change the way it behaves to suit the client.”

Aquatherm now has a robust system geared for future expansion, which includes adding a range of new products.

“We’re confident that as the business changes, Exo will move with it,” Anita concludes

 “Now that we have grown accustomed to Exo, we have been able to appreciate what we can get from the system, as there is enough data to make sense of the reporting.”

Before

  • A slowing system that was impacting productivity
  • Lack of specific functionality
  • Inadequate stock reporting
  • Foreign exchange calculations difficult

After

  • The new system is faster and more efficient
  • Greater visibility of sales and profitability
  • Automated UOM conversions simplifying stock reordering
  • Foreign exchange now easy to manage
  • Tailored functionality meets specific industry needs

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