Case Study: Distribution and Warehousing
MYOB Advanced Case Studies
"Not only am I paying way less than I was before, I’m getting more productivity out of my team because now it’s all about pushing half a dozen buttons – and it’s all done."
In 1975, RISE Distributors opened its first office in Perth. Today, the wholesaler is one of Australia’s leading industrial paint distributors, with offices and warehouses across 10 different locations. In August 2019, RISE’s new operators implemented MYOB Advanced to help them connect the business, giving them complete control, empowering their workers, unlocking real-time insights, and helping the company deliver better client experiences.
Incumbent system too big and complex
When RISE’s new operators acquired the business in 2019, one of the first things they noticed was that the accounting and management system was “too big and complex for the size and nature of the business,” Chief Financial Officer Paul Benetti explains.
This resulted in several inefficiencies. First, the cost of maintaining the incumbent system was exorbitant. Second, the company didn’t have the capability to extract useable data.
“The system was complete overkill. We employ 50 people, and the old system required three or four dedicated team members to manage it.
“One of the first things we did when we came in was to look at how we could reduce the cost and how we could make the system more user-friendly,” says Paul.
In addition to the cost, the old system had functional limitations. It required third-party add-ons for point-of-sale and was difficult to extract useable data from.
This lack of connection didn’t just disempower staff, it also meant the company wasn’t getting the real-time insights it needed – or delivering customer experiences that matter.
"The system was complete overkill – too big and complex for the size and nature of the business."
How MYOB Advanced helped RISE become a connected business
Cloud-based, user-friendly, integrated solution
After reviewing a few different options, it was MYOB Advanced that had what RISE needed to become a connected business.
As a cloud-based system, it can be used by anyone with a login and device with a browser and internet connection from anywhere in the country. RISE’s mobile sales team can now deliver better customer experiences, including placing orders and checking delivery timings while on the road.
MYOB Advanced provides a single, integrated solution that doesn’t require additional add-ons for point-of-sale.
“Our previous system didn’t have a POS system attached to it, and even though we don’t do a lot of retail sales, we still do some. Previously, a completely different system was required and the two didn’t speak to each other – so that was causing issues,” Paul explains.
Lastly: “You don’t need to be Einstein to get to the data,” Paul says about user-friendly MYOB Advanced. “If someone wants to look at something and drill down to analyse it, it’s as simple as clicking on the item.”
“MYOB Advanced costs a third of what I was paying for the old system – every month was costing me an arm and a leg – so we pushed them hard,” Paul adds.
“Everybody who has been involved with the implementation ensured the least amount of ‘noise’ was generated for both our staff and customers. That’s a big measure of success for us.”
With better connections between systems, RISE could empower staff, get access to the real-time insights it needed to take control of finances and deliver customer experiences that matter.
"Not only am I paying way less than I was before, I’m getting more productivity out of my team because now it’s all about pushing half a dozen buttons – and it’s all done."
More for less
With approximately 3500 customers and 19,000 stock items, Paul explains that the company can easily produce 200 invoices per day, ranging in value from $20 to $20,000. On top of that, the pricing can be different for every customer, so it was essential the new system could handle complex pricing data.
“If you were to develop a matrix of products down one side and potential customer discounts down the other, we’ve got millions of potential price items,” Paul says.
After a slightly slower start, and a few tweaks from RISE’s implementation partner, MYOB Advanced manages the company’s pricing data with ease – resulting in huge cost-savings and an increase in productivity.
“Not only am I paying way less than I was before, I’m getting more productivity out of my team because now it’s all about pushing half a dozen buttons – and it’s all done.”
Customised dashboards for each of the company’s branches gives branch managers easy and immediate access to real-time insights related directly to their branch.
POS is now integrated and part of MYOB Advanced, meaning if one branch is having issues, the others aren’t affected and can continue to operate smoothly.
Lastly, customised reporting connects everyone in the business with the real-time insights they need to deliver better customer experiences.
“It’s a business benefit. We now account for everything and can produce branch numbers, which the company has never been able to do before,” Paul says.
Now the system is implemented and operating well, RISE will continue to work with its implementation partner to identify issues specific to the business and create system customisations that allow it to connect the business even more.
"People are doing more than they were before because MYOB Advanced is easy to use."
- - -
“The impact is, people know what is going on as it's happening.”
Arrow Transport’s motto is ‘Big enough to get the job done, but small enough to care’ – and it’s this commitment to top-notch service (plus a clever pricing strategy) that has seen the company quickly become a key player in the Australian transport and logistics industry.
Innovation runs in the veins of family business
Founded in Melbourne in 2011, Arrow Transport is a family-owned and operated business with over 250 employees across Victoria, NSW and Queensland. The goal is simple: deliver customer product on time, safely and securely – no matter how big the company or how small the job.
Managing director Craig Webster has been at the helm of the business since it started, and his father Steve Webster does a lot of design work for the company. You only have to look at the company’s fleet to recognise that the Websters, along with the rest of the Arrow Transport team, enjoy pushing the boundaries, and are leading the way with innovative technologies right across their industry.
Arrow Transport was the first transport company in Melbourne to introduce Super B combinations and A Doubles to rural areas, making the movement of containers easier and more efficient. They’ve also designed a combination rigid vehicle for customers with specific site limitations, as well as ten customised and multi-use 40-foot skels – which allow them to maximise fleet utilisation and versatility, and therefore service more customers.
Systems lacked power for growing business
Group financial controller Adam McLoughlin has seen first-hand the rapid growth of Arrow Transport over the past ten years. When he originally joined the team, the company was only Melbourne-based, and turnover was close to $20 million annually.
Today, they have a site in Sydney and Brisbane, and two sites in Melbourne – one of which includes a dairy-accredited facility. This year it’s looking like the company will hit $65 million turnover.
Like many rapidly growing businesses, Arrow Transport quickly realised its systems weren’t capable of handling an increase in transactional data. It’s at this point that Adam re-joined the team and was charged with implementing a new system that better matched their customer service and business goals.
Old system had limited reporting functionality
Running basic reports would often crash system
The company had been using Xero since the early days, and even though the system had served them well, it was beginning to slow the team down. It was taking far too long to run certain reports because of a significant increase in transactional data – sometimes even causing the whole system to crash.
“We were constantly chasing our tail and limited to month-end reporting. It would take us two weeks to finish and by that time, we were already two weeks into the following month – and the learnings weren’t relevant anymore,” Adam explains.
The business also required more sophisticated capabilities including comprehensive divisional reporting and budgeting.
Customised system will move with transport company
MYOB Advanced great value for money
Adam was the one to suggest an ERP system but admits he wasn’t familiar with MYOB Advanced. His biggest concern was making sure they found a system that would grow with the company – eliminating the need to move to a different system further down the track.
“We’d already used an out-of-the-box system and it didn’t have the right functionality for the size of our business, so we knew we needed a system that could be customised – especially for reporting.
New system puts company on front foot
Streamlined reporting improves performance assessment
For Adam, it’s the simple changes that have yielded the greatest improvements. Being able to customise and run whatever reports he needs – and in real-time – means the business can assess performance at a granular level.
“From day one, the new system ran budget-versus-actuals for all our divisions. That may not seem ground-breaking to some, but it’s visibility that the company had never had before,” he says.
They’ve been able to streamline reporting processes, thereby reducing manual workarounds and removing any downtime that was a result of a crashed system. Monthly reporting has moved to weekly, and as Adam explains, “The impact is, people know what is going on as it's happening.”
While the team will always have “bread and butter tasks”, they can do the work efficiently and with accuracy.
“It just means we’re not spending time worrying about whether the report is correct, having to double or triple-check whether the report is compiled in the right way. There much less room for error,” Adam says.
Velixo integration a game-changer
After 12 months of getting used to the system, Adam says they decided to integrate Velixo.
“That has been a fundamental change to our reporting because we now spend no time compiling reports – we run the report, review and add any commentary that is required.”
With less manual work involved in running financial reports, Adam has more time for high-level tasks and managing his team, and that means improvements to other business processes too.
The story of Arrow Transport
Founded in Melbourne in 2011, Arrow Transport is a family-owned and operated Australian business with over 300 employees across three states.
An innovative leader in the transport and logistics sector, it provides services to the import, export and freight-forwarding industries, including transport, warehousing and distribution, logistics and CFS (container freight station) and quarantine wash and fumigation.
With sites in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, the company is likely to hit $65 million turnover in 2020.
Real-time customised reporting with MYOB Advanced
Increased reporting capabilities give the company better visibility of business performance
Velixo integration provides custom, real-time reporting within minutes
System gives staff tools to run comprehensive financial reports, reducing manual workarounds and improving worker productivity
Increased efficiency and accuracy allow managers to focus on higher-level tasks
- - -
"For me, it’s freed up my time so I can get out and see customers and create more business."
Finding the perfect cup of coffee is a labour of love for the team at Yahava. It all started when Alex Kok (fondly known as the Koffee Baron) and his wife Mandy, opened a quaint coffee roastery retail store in a small Margaret River vineyard (The Grove), South Western Australia.
The shop served coffee using beans they roasted on-site, with tastings running twice a day. That quickly moved to more intimate and frequent tasting experiences as people came through the store – and before long, they began fulfilling small wholesale orders for cafes, wineries and breweries in the local area.
Fast-forward 20 years and Yahava is like a triple-shot espresso – strong and all about the coffee. They have an online store, a wholesale distribution network, Kwik Koffee drive-thrus and kiosks for those on the run, and, for a full immersion into the world of coffee, tastings, barista courses and a Kafé at Yahava KoffeeWorks stores.
An adventure in every cup
Yahava will travel almost anywhere in the world to find the best Arabica Coffee beans – even remote and often difficult-to-access plantations. When they find the right beans, they bring them home, roast them and distribute them to their wholesale customers and retail franchises.
Their aim: to make every cup transport you to a different corner of the world. It’s this drive to match people with the perfect brew – and maybe the constant intoxicating aroma of roasting beans – that has helped the company take the coffee world by storm.
While they’re happy to traipse the more rugged path for the best coffee, behind the scenes should be a different story, says co-director and owner: Rob Kinninmont. The old systems were struggling to keep up, and with each franchise using a different system, the business was a little disconnected.
“For new franchises, they’d need to learn four or five different systems to look at sales and reporting. The idea of a franchise is that you all use the same equipment and technology – we needed to move more towards that,” Rob says.
Too much data taking up too much time
Double and triple-handling of data slowing down business
As the years ticked by, and the business got bigger, Yahava’s old systems started causing problems. Despite having most of the functionality they required, data processing times were slow, forcing the team to spend hours on simple administration tasks.
“One of our biggest problems was how long it was taking us to process daily and weekly invoices for sales orders. Some orders we get are 20-30 items, and it would take us forever to manually enter everything,” Rob explains.
The more data they put into the system, the slower it got. The only option was to back-up old data to a hard drive, but that didn’t always improve things, and it made running reports in real-time almost impossible.
The company also had no way of tracking finished goods across multiple franchise locations.
“We’d been using the same systems since the business started and we never had any way of improving the speed without removing years of data – and then rebuilding everything,” says Rob.
MYOB Advanced the right blend for Yahava
More options that suited the coffee company’s growth
Frustrated and tired of constantly watching the loading bar, it was time for an upgrade. Your systems should make life easier – not harder, Rob says.
At first glance, MYOB Advanced ticked all the right boxes.
“We stocktake all our products, including our roasted and ground coffee, and the other systems the franchises were looking at didn’t have the option of doing that,” Rob explains.
It didn’t take them long to realise Advanced could do that – and a whole lot more.
Less data entry, more time for customers
Improved processing of large data volume
One of Yahava’s biggest challenges was dealing with an excessive amount of sales and inventory data.
With nine Kwik Koffee franchises across Western Australia, three Yahava KoffeeWorks stores (one in Singapore), an online store and wholesale clients, Rob’s team would spend most of their working day manually entering this information.
With their new system, back-up and processing times are “almost non-existent”, and they’ve saved “hours a week just in man-hours”, cutting data-entry time by at least 50%.
For Rob, this improvement means he can use his staff’s time better.
“I can lock my staff in at certain times of the day to do their role and know they can do it quite comfortably,” he says.
Minimised lost sales and inventory oversupply
Before rolling out MYOB Advanced, the company was grappling with their manufacturing process and inventory levels across multiple locations.
Now they have the option of setting par levels, which makes them more efficient at managing their product lines across their stores – and supplying product where the customer demand is.
“We don’t run out of product nearly as much as we used to – you run out in our business and to get more product in can take a little bit of time,” Rob says.
They’ve also integrated their online ordering system called Ordermentum, which speeds up order processing times.
“Now our customers can put in their orders via the app and they upload straight into sales orders – we’ve saved hours a week just in man-hours having to manually enter.
“From a sales perspective, the fact that MYOB Advanced is linked to Ordermentum has certainly helped with sales, especially growing products people might not usually buy – kind of like online shopping,” Rob adds.
Continual improvements and efficiencies
Having got the basics sorted, Rob says they can now turn their attention to using as much of the new system as they can.
That means getting visibility of more detailed sales and accounting reporting, something which used to take hours to process – for the simplest of reports.
They’re also looking at ways to give their staff more accountability in their jobs, better visibility of their employee information, and taking advantage of the ‘cost of goods sold’ functionality.
“In coffee, the pricing of products goes up every quarter, so it’s something we want to utilise to keep track of our costs and margins,” Rob says.
An espresso look at Yahava
Two decades in the making: first coffee store opened in 2000.
Now an international brand committed to delivering exceptional coffee experiences nationwide, with franchises across Western Australia
Sourced from around the world, Yahava procures arabica beans renowned for their intense flavours and exceptional quality.
Advanced helps company deliver better experiences
Visibility of manufacturing process and inventory levels across multiple locations
Streamlined inventory and sales data from all business entities accessible in one system.
Real-time reporting now being used to drive business performance.
Integrated and automated sales order process cuts admin time in half.
Using staff time better to drive business growth and improve customer experiences
MYOB Exo Case Studies
“It’s reassuring to know MYOB Exo will grow with our business.”
We’re comfortable with all kinds of retail systems
You need some unique qualities to succeed in retail. Ambition and a mind for planning ahead are two of the most important. At MYOB we have helped all sorts of retailers do business better and grow bigger. Like Early Settler to name but one. That’s because we understand that with thousands upon thousands of transactions and increasing volumes of data, retailers need a robust Enterprise Resource Planning system that can handle what’s happening right now and have the potential to grow with the business.
Established in Victoria in 1985, Early Settler has grown to now be one of Australia’s and New Zealand’s most recognised furniture brands, with more than 30 stores throughout Australia and New Zealand. In 2005, the Early Settler and Recollections brands merged to become ESR Group Holdings Pty Ltd – a company that could offer an even greater range of styles from a wide variety of quality new and recycled timbers.
A good system that reached its full potential
Early Settler found themselves with a bit of a dilemma. A problem that was in fact a good one to have, but nonetheless a problem. Business was growing but with that growth came the problem of many more customer transactions, rapidly increasing volumes of data to process and analyse, and ultimately the need to find a more robust system that could handle all of the current demands as well as those of a growing business.
Upgrade from MYOB Premier to MYOB Exo
Early Settler had already worked successfully with MYOB Premier for many years but the decision to move up to MYOB Exo was not automatic. They assessed several replacement systems against the same criteria. The cost represented good value for money and the ability of MYOB Exo to easily integrate with a number of retail stores – run with specialised retail software – made Early Settler’s choice easy. Add to this the ability to bring the full history of data across from Premier and there was no competition.
Improvements for today, compatibility for tomorrow
MYOB Exo has played a big part in Early Settler’s continued growth. The implementation of the system was really easy; including sessions to train all of the staff in the move across from MYOB Premier. Importantly, there is now greater visibility around purchase orders which allows Early Settler to have a better idea of what’s likely to be owing in the next week or two, a vital part of any retailer’s budgeting and forecasting. Also, the ability to have a complete view of the business in a few keystrokes has made growth planning easier than ever before.
A system that was feeling the strain of a growing business
Lack of visibility over changing purchase orders
Inability to access data quickly and easily
A seamless transition, including ongoing staff training
Scalability which allows for future growth
Value for money continuing to help the bottom line
- - -
"I can see at a glance how individual stores are performing."
We’re comfortable with all kinds of retail systems
You need some unique qualities to succeed in retail. Ambition and a mind for planning ahead are two of the most important. At MYOB we have helped all sorts of retailers do business better and grow bigger. Like Nood to name but one. That’s because we understand that with thousands upon thousands of transactions and increasing volumes of data, retailers need a robust Enterprise Resource Planning system that can handle what’s happening right now and have the potential to grow with the business.
New Objects of Desire (Nood) sells furniture and homeware through 15 stores across New Zealand and a growing e-commerce website. It prides itself on offering a range of on-trend items, along with fantastic sales and offers for its customers. Loyalty member customers (“Noodists”) get even better deals on the four promotional “Noodist Days” that nood offers four times a year.
Complex budgeting and targeting
Nood has flourished by keeping a close eye on the performance of individual stores. Each store holds more than 7,000 units of stock at any time, with an equivalent amount stored in the company’s warehouse. Exo delivers live information about inventory levels and the revenue stream from POS terminals at all the stores, and from the webstore. Customisation carried out by Focus enables data from Exo to be uploaded into Excel.
One view of the truth
A daily sales report is generated from MYOB Exo into Excel and emailed across the company to show daily and month to date figures; then on Sunday another report is generated for the week and year to date.
Exo is central to nood’s warehouse operations as well. Stock item definitions drive pick sheets for central warehouse, helping the team to know what to pick first (to meet pickup times), and which freight service to book different products on. The freight companies are linked to the warehouse via EDI.
“Exo has given me a platform that integrates everything, which is key to our future growth.”
Nood orders well in advance for seasonal buying and can create pricing for sales at a very quick turnaround. The speed at which items can be on sale at specified times and dates is a major competitive advantage. The transparency of Exo, with a published database schema for most tables and the ability for authorised users to connect directly to view and update data, allow for quick updates and reporting with full trading history. “It’s easy for me to get data for any report I want to compile and the monthly report is all automated,” Blair says. “I have a 75-page monthly report that is generated in minutes.”
Store performance monitoring essential
Complex layby and pricing policies
Very specific inventory and distribution needs
Stringent reporting and budgeting requirements
Stores get daily, weekly and annual progress reports
Special deals all available in one database
Warehouse is electronically managed
Live reports available on the spot
- - -
"At the touch of a button we have access to all the information we need in real time."
We helped Direct Imports make sound decisions
At MYOB we appreciate that when you’re running a wholesaling and distribution business keeping track of stock and invoicing are vital in maintaining cash flow and ensuring clients receive the service they demand. Direct Imports are a perfect example of a business who were using a manual system for stock and invoicing, in addition to various software packages for other sectors of the business. While it worked, it was time consuming and laborious. We have enabled Direct Imports to dramatically improve workflow management, efficiency and accountability across the board.
Direct Imports Limited is a Hastings-based importer, wholesaler and distributor, specialising in Consumer Electronics equipment, Music Instruments and Pro Audio. Operating since 1946, the company has built relationships with a number of notable international brands, and prides itself on offering exceptional service to its many New Zealand retailers & customers.
Manual Stock and Invoicing systems were holding back the business
Direct Imports had initially used a manual system for stock and invoicing, and different parts of various software packages for other sectors of the business. In wholesaling, stock and invoicing are two key areas of business. These parts of the operation are also the major touchpoints with clients, so it was important for Direct Imports to upgrade from a manual system so as to save them time and to continue providing a high level of service.
Install a business management system in tune with their needs
Direct Imports had MYOB Exo tailored to meet a number of needs critical to their business, and enabled key staff to have access to all the information they needed, in real time. In consultation with Direct Imports it was determined that MYOB Exo should better manage inventory, which in turn would lead to a new instantaneous pricing policy. MYOB Exo achieves this by providing an overview of the business on a daily basis and allows information to be compared against budgets.
The improvements have struck a chord with everyone
Since implementing MYOB Exo, which was tailored to meet specific needs and integrated into existing windows-based systems, the reporting system provided by the program allow Direct Imports to see when something isn’t right in an instant. They can then easily tweak crucial areas of business such as stock, pricing and reporting.
Manual system for stock and invoicing
Different software across the business
Not enough control in managing pricing and stock
Manual invoicing now computerised
Company now runs just as efficiently with 20 as it did with 30 staff
Completely transparent view of all aspects of the business