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Street Furniture Australia – AVT Oracle NetSuite Case Study

 In Business Systems, Case Studies, ERP Projects AU/NZ/UK

SFA is Australia’s leading public furniture manufacturing company, founded in 1986. SFA has furnished over 25,000 sites across Australia and around the globe. SFA has a presence across Australia in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, and recently in California.

Challenge

SFA was experiencing significant business growth in 2012. The business was supported through a number of business systems including SalesForce, Sassu, MYOB, and Excel sheets.

  • Disparate systems were causing significant stress on the business, as information needed to be duplicated across systems and delays were encountered with moving information across the business.
  • The business was analysing information once all systems were closed off and that was causing significant delays.
  • SFA had outgrown inventory management and production spreadsheets. It was hard for the business to track how much inventory they had, what needs to be purchased and when.
  • The business was lacking costing reports for the production of finished goods, which relied on accurate inventory costing and operation tracking
  • The Order Release process was a roadblock as it relied on Production liaising with Finance to get the payment confirmed to be able to physically start work. This frequently created substantial delays or losses if Production started work only for a payment not to be confirmed.
  • SFA’s products were highly configurable and the quoting process relied heavily on Salespeople with extensive knowledge of what was, or was not, possible. Errors could result in substantial under quoting where combinations were configured that could not be physically manufactured. This also meant new sales staff took a substantial time period of training to be productive.
  • Accurate production costs were difficult to determine so accurate product profitability wasn’t available. Apparently, high-margin sales could turn out to be ultimately disappointing.
  • Visibility was always the missing key, compromised by different systems and less information-based inputs. All-in-all, resulting in slower and inaccurate reports.

The Need

  • SFA needed to get a structured analysis of requirements documented for each area of the business so that SFA could approach vendors with confidence that they understood the vendor’s requirements.
  • SFA needed a system that could lead any member of staff through a product configuration process, ensuring only valid options were selected leading to the correct item combination and price is added to the quote.
  • An integrated ERP environment covering all core business functions.
  • Bill of material management; due to the nature of their finished products SFA required an optimal method to invoice finished products across a multitude of product lines and classes
  • A method to reduce the time between deposits being received and work being approved for commencement.
  • Real-time reporting.
  • Cloud-based architecture to reduce operational costs and provide key staff with anywhere access.

The AVT Engagement and Solution

AVT’s work with SFA commenced with a consulting project that was designed to provide an in-depth analysis of the issues confronting the business, and what SFA required from a software solution to address these. AVT conducted a series of engagements with the key functional leads and produced a requirements document that was supplied to a short list of software vendors for response and proposal.

  • AVT’s implementation team provided expertise to assist the SFA team in the reworking of processes and procedures to implement Netsuite into the full breadth of business functions: financial, sales, marketing, procurement, inventory and manufacturing.
  • AVT worked with SFA to develop a product selection tool that enabled salespeople to step through a simple to use Features and Options process that ensured that only viable combinations were quoted; that they met the customer’s requirements and were correctly priced. The quote form sent to the client was formatted to include an image of the final product for client validation.
  • AVT also worked with the engineering team to build a Bill of Materials configurator that enabled the update of existing bills, new versions and new products to be moved from the engineering design system into production in a fraction of the previous time
  • AVT assisted with the payment/work release process by implementing its Present and Pay solution. This provides a link on the invoice PDF that allows the customer to immediately open up a site and process payment electronically. This enables Finance to quickly see that the payment is processed and, with NetSuite being an integrated system, the approval to start production is issued with minutes. This has had a significant impact on the production process
  • AVT also developed tools to allow photos, taken with a shop floor tablet, to be linked to the Work Order and Sales Order for purpose of QA and as proof of the product’s shipping condition
  • SFA also implemented AVT’s shipping integration allowing seamless integration with their carriers for the booking of shipments.
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