Equipment Manufacturer see Results Lightnin Fast
18/05/2007 - Process equipment manufacturer, Lightnin Mixers, sees fast ROI and greater control over their entire business with a new ERP system.
Lightnin Mixers is a US-owned manufacturer of process equipment such as pumps, mixers, agitators, aerators and floculators for fluid processing systems. Its client base consists primarily of mining, oil and gas companies, as well as process manufacturers in the pump area. The Australian client list includes such global giants as BHP, Rio Tinto, Atlantic Foods and Newmont Mining.
In Australia, all products sold are designed and built-to-order specific to individual customer requirements, with parts imported from the USA and local content and contractors used for any fabrication work required to complete the order.
Over the past few years, in line with the considerable growth of its primary target industries, Lightnin has also experienced significant growth in Australia. That growth is set to continue with some massive major projects already set for 2007.
The heart of any business is a solid financial system. Myriam Giovanazzi, Finance Manager for Lightnin Mixers said “SYSPRO’s powerful financials offers complete financial and cost accounting functionality giving us confidence (in the numbers) and total control over every aspect of the business.”
SYSPRO is a comprehensive solution well-suited to all sized organisations for bottom to high-end corporate accounting. The system is fully integrated and allows for transaction processing in the current period, as well as two prior periods. This alleviates any problems associated with period ends because a period can be closed quickly and the next period’s transaction posting commenced, without losing the ability to correct/add postings or print reports for the prior period(s). The General Ledger can be held open for two years, thus facilitating very smooth year-end. The General Ledger is particularly powerful in its ability to drill down the audit trail to scrutinise the sub-ledger’s original source transaction. User-defined document formatting, using Microsoft Word or bitmap images, alleviates the need for pre-printed stationery such as Accounts Payable - remittance, cheques and labels; Accounts Receivable - statements and labels and Cash Book - cheques.
In 1998, Lightnin Mixers implemented Baan at the request of its US Head Office. Just 18 months later Baan was thrown out in Australia, in favour of SYSPRO. Giovanazzi commented, “I started with the company in 1999, and Baan was being used, following a corporate decision in 1997. We, as a company, tried to persevere with Baan because of the corporate direction; however, it just didn’t meet our needs like SYSPRO does. The interface wasn’t user-friendly and the processes were far too complicated. On the contrary SYSPRO fits our business like a glove.”
SYSPRO had been in use prior to being advised to change over to BAAN. The business users knew SYSPRO’s functionality and ease-of-use was a better fit, so put together a justification to switch back.
SYSPRO Provides Clear Advantages with Fully Integrated Solution
Lightnin Mixers uses all SYSPRO’s financial and distribution modules except for Quotation. That includes Accounts Payable & Receivable, Inventory Control, General Ledger, Purchase Orders, Cash Book and so on. Every aspect of the business is tracked from when the order goes into the system, to completion of a job.
Within a very short time after implementation, some clear advantages were realised. SYSPRO provides a fully integrated solution and manages all aspects from order creation through to invoicing and collection. Lightnin now has visibility into performance across the organisation and profitability can be reported by individual job or project if required. The result is vastly improved budgetary and cost control mechanisms.
Because of its ease-of-use, everyone in the organisation knows how to use SYSPRO - from the Sales Person entering their own orders, to purchasing people ordering goods and closing off orders once a project is complete.
The user-friendly aspect of SYSPRO is a big bonus. When a new person comes on board, they undergo just one day’s training to gain an understanding of the system. SYSPRO also has a great ONLINE help facility providing explanations should a user become stuck in a particular area. In addition, the ability to customise screens if required is a big bonus. It simplifies the process, making everything more efficient.
The implementation was a breeze. Giovanazzi said, “The Finance Director at the time did have experience since he had used SYSPRO before, however a number of the staff, including myself, hadn’t. It took just a couple of days to change over from BAAN to SYSPRO and user training was very straight forward.”
In terms of ongoing maintenance and issues, Giovanazzi says it’s rare they have problems and commented, “Sometimes, our distributor will call and say he hasn’t heard from us in a while. He’ll ask if there are any problems I’d like to discuss. I always tell him – if we have a problem, you’ll be the first to know, but so far we haven’t had to call on them for anything too serious.”
The biggest saving achieved is in training costs – with new people up to speed with the functionality of the system very quickly. When Giovanazzi joined the company in 1999, it took her a good two weeks to work out how to use BAAN. She commented, “BAAN is complicated – the procedures are more tedious and the steps involved in a process more laborious.” In comparison, when a new person joins us today, they receive just one day’s training in SYSPRO and are fairly competent to use the system by themselves right from day two.
SYSPRO provides everything Lightnin requires in terms of functionality – in a simpler way – many processes are automated, providing time and cost savings in terms of both man-power and equipment costs. An example of these combined cost savings is the ability to automatically email a remittance off the system – rather than printing it out and posting or faxing it.
Whilst ROI wasn’t officially measured ROI, Giovanazzi says, “I can say that SYSPRO provides very low cost of ownership and fast ROI.”
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