AT A GLANCE
- Manufacturing, Wholesale & Distribution, Sport & Recreation
- Eliminate inefficiencies from disparate, non-communicative systems
- Restore trust in financial and inventory data
- Get rid of spreadsheets and manual reconciliations
- Facilitate export growth
- MYOB Advanced with JAAS Advanced Manufacturing System, implemented by Momentum Consulting
- Complete integration between manufacturing, inventory, distribution and financials
- Accurate information with customisable reporting and data filters
- Manual processing and paperwork gone
- Robust approval processes
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Brisbane-based manufacturer and distributor of nutrition and body-building products ATP Science has achieved strong business growth in recent years – averaging 200-300% per annum. With its aim now set on export markets it has underpinned its operations by implementing modern cloud-based ERP software – MYOB Advanced.
Systems not talking
ATP started out distributing products that were manufactured by a third-party contractor. When it decided to set up its own manufacturing plant, with a plan to go international, the limitations of its legacy business systems became very apparent. It was using cloud-based DEAR software for inventory management and purchase orders, and Xero for financial management.
“The two were meant to work together, but we just had issue after issue,” says Toni Doidge, a director for the company. “Some actions it would replicate 3-4 times over and we could never control the inventory correctly. We could look from DEAR through to Xero but never the other way, so we had to look at things like credits in both to get an accurate picture of what was going on. It was an absolute nightmare, so when we started our own manufacturing the nightmare increased tenfold because we were now receiving in raw materials as well, building finished goods and then receiving them back into the warehouse for sale.”
The legacy systems couldn’t handle the components needed to set up a manufacturing run. Creating a product from a set of ingredients and following it all the way through to inventory with costings, etc was a critical capability. ATP needed something that could handle production as well as track inventory across various warehouses.
“When we started manufacturing, our nightmare increased tenfold.”
The lack of integration between the two systems was also creating cash flow problems. ATP didn’t trust its financial data and its creditors were complaining about money it didn’t even know was owed. Compiling reports was a regular ordeal involving spreadsheets and pivot tables, and given the problems it was having keeping track of on-the-road sales, it knew a better system was needed if it was to become a successful exporter.
Integration delivered via the cloud
“The integrated inventory and financial control were the biggest things for us,” Doidge says. “We also wanted a cloud-based system for convenience, so everything on the IT side could be managed for us.”
To find the right system, ATP consulted AusIndustry, a division of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, which advises businesses on technology and processes. It introduced MYOB Advanced and implementation partner Momentum. A key attraction for ATP was the availability of an additional integrated manufacturing module – JAAS Advanced Manufacturing Software (JAMS).
It streamlines the process of filling batch orders with pre-configured lists of materials. ATP manufactures and distributes around 20 different products – powders, capsules, creams and oils – and JAMS ensures the products are processed, packed and stored correctly.
“Working with a company like ATP Science shows the depth and flexibility of our product, and its capability to meet the needs of many manufacturing production environments, including batch process, which is critical in the nutraceutical market,” says John Schlemmer, Chief Operating Officer of JAAS Systems.
“The integrated inventory and financial control were the biggest things for us.”
Doidge is delighted with the benefits delivered by Advanced, and knows ATP has only just started realising its full capabilities. “I really enjoy the way accounts, warehousing and production all integrate with each other,” she says. “It all just makes sense, and we keep coming up with ways to tweak our processes to make ourselves more efficient.”
The elimination of paperwork is another big plus delivered by Advanced. “Everything is just scanned in,” says Doidge. “We receive about 90% of our invoices via email, which is dumped straight into MYOB. We no longer have all that manual labour with POs and invoices, and wrestling with spreadsheets to reconcile data from the two systems. The figures were always wrong, but now we have reliable data entry from one point and it’s easy to see which figures are incorrect.”
Another thing of the past is the daily stock-take of products on the shelves. Advanced delivers live data that is automatically updated as the finished goods enter the various warehouses. Sales tracking is much better because Advanced enables the viewing of orders by customer and by salesperson. Infomration is now much more easily accessible with Advanced reporting capabilities. “We can put in any parameters we want, any filters, and basically create any report we can think of,” says Doidge. “We can save the report with all the filters for regular use, then just push a button to produce that set of figures whenever we want them.”
“It all just makes sense, and we keep coming up with ways to tweak our processes to make ourselves more efficient.”
Cash flow analysis is also vastly improved; forecasting can be done for the year ahead – especially important for a business with a strong focus on growth. For Doidge, having an approval process in which she can set the rules and parameters for credits and debits is a huge benefit. “I can now drill right down into a bill, tick off my approvals, and only then is it released to the bank to be paid.”
“We have a system that can manage our manufacturing and distribution processes in one package,” says Doidge, “but more importantly, we know that we can trust our data – that’s a massive relief.”
While ATP already has half a dozen international distributors, the USA is the next big target on its horizon. Plans include a third-party logistics operation and even opening a factory there. “We wanted a system that wasn’t just for us now,” Doidge concludes, “we wanted a system that is going to work even if we continue this growth rate for the next 10 years. I believe MYOB Advanced will do this for us.”
Source: This article was originally sourced from MYOB