Experiencing unprecedented growth as a result of the primary resources expansion in Australia, Present Group required an ERP system that would provide flexibility, mobility and support continued growth.
Headquartered in Perth, Western Australia, Present Group comprises a national network with offices and branches stemming out into Queensland, Victoria and NSW.
Consisting of four business units — Powertech Services, Precise Facilities, Octave Consulting and Seamless Resourcing — the group encompasses four complementary areas of expertise which address the requirements of their clients in the field of Completions. Present Group's acute sense of purpose is to remove and reduce the chronic waste of natural, capital and human resources.
Present Group experienced unprecedented growth as a result of the primary resource sector expansion in Australia.
They clearly needed an ERP system to meet their current transactional volumes, but they also needed one which would provide the flexibility to serve their future needs and adapt to the continually changing business environment.
Present Group's key ERP requirements were:
- To be able to work seamlessly as part of a business process eco-system
- To have a partnership based on trust, accessibility and understanding
- To adopt a licensing model which supported rapid business growth
- To offer functionality that catered for growth complexity, not just volumes
The Present Group's CEO, Brian Grimmer, stated from the outset that an enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation would be "open heart surgery for the business".
Peter Midgley, CXO stated: "There were other solutions that met our immediate needs and which offered a proven path to implementation but we saw that we would run out of road in five years.
"Our business was undergoing a complete metamorphosis: five-fold expansion in transactional volumes, moving from one to eight regional offices, overseas expansion, business unit segmentation, offshore administrative processing, and the inevitable influx of new people who couldn't be expected to know the fundamentals of our business operations or our social environment.
"We had to have a solution that placed people at the centre and offered flexible processes as part of an overall solution, not just bureaucratic, islanded processes set up to serve the needs of the finance function."
Rolling out Epicor ERP
Present Group is rolling out the Epicor ERP system over a number of phases.
"The first phase of the implementation was focused on achieving accurate and timely invoicing. That was the payback," Midgley said.
"Hot on the heels of phase one was HCM, CRM, Field Services and Asset Management.
"We have a constant appetite for more with Epicor, but because they have taken the time to understand our needs they make sure that we don't become our own worst enemy, implementing components early on which shouldn't be implemented until later.
"They are looking for a relationship, not just a quick sale. Technology is their business, not ours, and we can trust them."
The benefit of mobility
With mobile solutions from Epicor, businesses can support more customers, transactions, and products, and maintain a wider range of business partner relationships.
Midgley explained Epicor as an enabler of mobility: "Epicor supports our desires for mobility. Our business is not based on a monolithic head office. If we want to open up an office all we need is someone in there with a browser. It gives us agility, it gives us speed of implementation, it gives us adaptation, and it is reconfigurable, allowing us to meet the needs of the new geographies we move into.
"For most other vendors we investigated, their ERP model was to put the software at the centre. Epicor allows us to have the centre wherever the activity is, so the centre is nowhere and everywhere.
"Epicor supports our agility, mobility and flexibility aspirations, something other products weren't going to enable us to do. This is critical for a geographically dispersed business such as ours in maintaining social cohesion, enabling everyone to feel connected and part of the whole."
Choosing to implement Epicor ERP
"We looked at all the players in the market and did an extensive analysis of the available solutions," Midgley said.
"We were fortunate to have a wealth of ERP implementation experience in our management team. To some extent this made us some vendors' worst nightmare — an informed buyer.
"Almost by a process of attrition, the shortfalls of competitor products to cater for our future needs became evident. Epicor kept coming back, kept getting better and continued to take an interest in our needs.
"The nature of Epicor's senior management had a lot to do with our decision. They listened to our requirements and they understood our business aspirations.
"They explained to us their own business aspirations and we found a unity of purpose between their objectives and ours. They were interested in understanding our business and working with us to address our need — their success was equated with our success."