Achieving Clarity and Scalability Across Multi-country Operations
The US-based operation consists of three branches that sell and service power generation equipment along with servicing natural gas compression equipment. “When we acquired the branches in the United States and Canada, the IT infrastructure that supported these operations left with the selling company,” says Arne Lazzarotto, Vice President of Finance at Collicutt. “We needed to run the company from the headquarters and our current systems made achieving that goal challenging.”
Bridging the Divide Between Multi-country Operations
Collicutt issued a request for proposal seeking specific functionality in the new enterprise solution, including support for:
- Account receivables – For example, open invoice and work-in-process tracking
- Budgeting – Such as cost center and departmental budgeting, budget versus actual variance reporting, and spreadsheet importing and exporting
- Multi-currencies – Including translating financial statements into other currencies
- General ledger – For example, intercompany transfers, consolidation of new company acquisitions and business units, reporting by department, and the ability to drill down in general ledger statements to source entries
- Inventory control – Such as multi-location inventory management, manufacturing and in-house part number tracking, lot and bin controls, kitting and assembly support, and management of up to 25,000 SKUs
- Order entry – Including quote to order to invoice conversion, backorder tracking, the ability to drop ship, and support for multiple shipping addresses per customer
- Sales analysis – For example, sales forecast reporting and tracking
Finding the Right Solution and the Right Partner
After evaluating several enterprise solutions from several software vendors, Collicutt teamed with SAP-recommended, Winnipeg, Manitoba-based Zantek Information Technology to deploy the SAP Business One application.
Along with SAP Business One, the company implemented partner solutions including Eralis Job for use with SAP Business One. Eralis Job provides comprehensive job cost management functionality that tightly integrates with the SAP Business One application interface and allows Collicutt to monitor projects for profitability.
A Phased Implementation: On Time and Under Budget
A phased implementation of SAP Business One reduced implementation complexity and cost, and promoted standardization across Collicutt’s operations. “We completed our Canadian operations first, keeping in mind specific requirements we would need in the US operations,” says Lazzarotto. “That way we could ensure that the US implementation would largely replicate the Canadian one.”
By adhering to a standardized solution that met both Canadian and US operational requirements, customizations were minimized. The Canadian implementation was completed in just five months, the US operation is only two months. Collicutt’s implementation approach reduced its dependence on Zantek resources and significantly reduced additional contractor costs. Collicutt’s final project cost was 11% under budget.
Centralized Accounting, Operational Clarity and Rapid ROI
Collicutt can now manage work-in-process in both the US and Canadian operations. Real-time processing controls facilitate management by exception at Collicutt and improve operational efficiency, halving the time it takes to prepare monthly accounting and financial statements.
“We have far more confidence in our financial numbers, because our information is more accurate and timely.”
At the same time, the company has reduced the amount of effort required to manage its accounting and financial processes.
Collicutt will realize its ROI for the full project cost in 20 months – directly as a result of reducing administrative overhead costs. The company now has standardized business processes that not only ease management of its diverse operations, but also provide a strong platform for geographic growth. According to Lazzarotto, “The solution has really strengthened our decision making capacity and provided an implementation model that lets us incorporate additional branch operations no matter where they are located.”