Case Study: Babbage Consultants

PROBLEM

No integration and dated functionality

It’s not an understatement to say that Babbage’s business is multifaceted and complex, delivering everything from general and structural engineering to ecological and environmental services across five offices in New Zealand and Australia.

According to Alan Courtenay, CIO, their existing system had been holding things back. While they had been running MYOB Exo, it was imbedded into a custom-built system, which meant Exo couldn’t be upgraded – they weren’t getting the benefit of each new version.

The limitations of this system meant that the teams were relying on spreadsheets to link information from multiple systems. As the company grew, this became almost impossible to manage.

Adding to this, Babbage also keeps at least seven years of project data, with some going back 30 years, all of which needed to be easily accessed.

As Alan says, they needed to start making better use of MYOB Exo for Business.

SOLUTION

Slicker integrated solution, great support

The goal: integration. Babbage’s custom ERP project management system eTrack needed to be linked to MYOB Exo, so data and information could flow between the two. The benefits would be immediate: fewer errors, better automation, and ultimately a significant improvement in efficiency.

This would also boost reporting. Instead of information from siloed systems needing manual manipulation, they’d have the outputs they needed without double entry or spreadsheets.

“Our custom ERP manages the projects, and Exo manages the financials. Together they work as one solution,” says Alan.

A new chart of accounts was introduced, simplifying processes and automating repetitive tasks. Tidier books were especially important to deliver on Babbage’s international reporting and external monitoring requirements.

Accounting for Babbage’s many physical assets would be easily managed by Exo’s Fixed Asset module, and Exo’s Employer Services would make it easier to invoice clients based on hours spent. Timesheets would also track and provide information on their 240 staff.

MYOB business partner Aztech played a critical part in implementation and will help keep the system performing at its peak. Alan says Aztech’s contribution went beyond understanding the product.

“They really understand what we are trying to achieve. They’re the glue that helps us achieve what we want to do,” he says.

“Without having really good support from Aztech this would not have been seamless”

OUTCOME

The sky’s the limit for growth

According to Alan, MYOB Exo “took away the ceiling” that had been holding back growth. Since implementation they have grown considerably, adding new clients and service offerings from the acquisition of OTS Group, Bioresearches and McKay Knarston. Exo’s flexibility supports this growth and will allow them to expand further in the future.

With such astronomical growth, speed wobbles are almost unavoidable, but Alan says they experienced no additional pain from the system. The previous system would have created a lot of issues.

By working with Aztech and Exo, Alan says they get a lot more system support at the right level. This allows them to concentrate on their core business of consulting, projects and helping protect the environment – not software development.

With solutions such as Payroll and Fixed Assets plugged in, the simplified, automated, integrated systems have saved Babbage time, double handling, and rework. All of this adds up to more efficient operations, more growth and a better bottom line.

But for Alan, the most obvious benefit is how much easier everyone’s lives are now. “Automation takes the pain out,” he explains.

Alan is also excited about future opportunities for growth, backed by Exo’s flexibility and scalability. Now their system can be easily updated, Babbage will also benefit from the new functionality of each of Exo’s new releases.

Alan says Babbage’s current CFO sees Exo as “ticking all the boxes.”

 “Aztech are the glue helping us achieve what we want to do”

Before

  • Systems preventing easy growth
  • Lack of integrated systems caused issues
  • Speed of processing transactions slow and error prone
  • No specialist quality support

After

  • New products and services provided by Babbage and expansion handled by the system
  • Quality information readily available
  • Faster system providing cohesion
  • Real partnership with professional system provider

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