10 Jun Is There Really No Accounting For Taste?
We often hear the expression ‘there’s no accounting for taste’ but, in modern ERP software, I’m pleased to say this actually isn’t the case. The accounting in question is from Acumatica and the taste is from Italian furniture designer Molteni.
Across London and New York skylines sits a profusion of penthouses and office blocks studded with high-end design. Molteni office, bedroom and kitchen suites turn a great location into luxury living with the use of lavish design, artfully sourced materials and skilled Italian craftsmanship. Corporates and individuals alike have chosen property detailing Molteni to enhance both the pleasure of habitat and thrill of the metroplitan roofscape. London client landmarks already include; The Shard, St Pancras’ Renaissance Hotel, Estée Lauder and Facebook, and this popularity shows no sign of slowing. Ergonom is one of a handful of Molteni global brands and has its operations in London with showroom in affluent Mayfair.
Managing a successful business around the intricate supply to high profile projects and exacting customers demands tremendous attention to detail, coordination and planning. In particular, long running, multi-element projects require sophisticated measurement to properly consider costs already incurred and those yet to be recorded. These projects need a comprehensive tool to intelligently present this data and dissect information with scrupulous accuracy to compare; budgets and, planned and actual costs to assess profitability against key performance indicators. Acumatica’s Project Accounting is such a tool and has been introduced to manage the financial aspects of Ergonom’s multi-faceted cycles. Partnering with Ergonom was UK-based, Acumatica specialist, Arcus Universe. Arcus has seen this project through from concept to go live and is providing support in Ergonom’s growth.
Key stages in the life of the project often become important targets to ensure revenue is aligned to the client contract. Being unable to achieve this as an ongoing measurement can be commercially problematic. However, enlightened management with a real time, granular view of key information gain vital insight and safeguard desired cash flow and profitability.
Large, Complex Contracts
Ergonom’s projects have multiple considerations. Costing is only one part of this. Project timing and staging is another challenging dimension not just in itself but in gearing the completion of multiple key events to staged billing to the client. Openness in Acumatica has allowed the centralising of commercial information so that project planning milestones can drive the revenue stream.
The duration of Ergonom’s contracts can be considerable. The length of agreement is determined by size and by the construction timetable. Automation that has been delivered is an important component to ‘clearing the fog’ of the project. For work in progress management, finance managers are able to review salient transactions and decide which values should be released into Cost of Sales.
Retail and Maximising Enquiries
Acumatica is a broad solution and supports a variety of sales environments. In Ergonom’s retail operations, challenges existed in improving the service to walk-in customers. Providing accurate quotes is now far simpler from richer information sources. Faster turnaround in ‘enquiry to order’ is now the result of product costs and inventory data being more readily available. Quotes are more easily formulated, monitored and progressed.
In fact, quotes based on comprehensive variants could only previously have been managed off-line via spreadsheets. Acumatica’s flexibility has meant that Ergonom enjoys a seamless process that supports the provision of accurate quotations whilst underwriting desired profit margins. All this is achieved through modern browser access effected by ‘born in the cloud’ technology.
Sales Management and CRM
Due to the nature of large value deals, sales volumes are not high by many industry norms, nevertheless, tracking;- enquiries, sales steps and conversions are important to the business. Acumatica’s integral CRM provides information to sales and senior managers for pipeline opportunities and supports:- analysis of leads vs targets and feasibility in material supply.
Measuring the Business
It’s all very well running sophisticated processes and recording financial records but it’s crucial that all this activity is measured properly to support strategic and tactical decisions. Customisable dashboards in Acumatica provide ‘at a glance’, colour coded, graphical views of key areas of the business. Each manager and user has their own individual view of the world with ‘drill down’ reaching deep into function and transaction.
Power Business Intelligence is also operated as an embedded tool and Acumatica was the very first Cloud ERP supplier to work with Microsoft to deliver this and it comes as a standard offering.
ERP has been available for a number of years but here we see the provenance of Acumatica at play and their understanding of the market opportunity in offering a powerful Project Accounting application.
Acumatica has in its DNA the know-how that delivers ‘upper tier’, multi-company, multi-currency, operations. Shrewdly, this is taken forward by seeking to appeal to those who have complex, project-driven, financial disciplines.
The ability to ‘reach across the aisle’ into other systems means that not only is a customer able to retain its industry specific applications such as project planning, in the case of Ergonom, but can have a unified system with users working to the same ‘truth’, pulling in the same direction. Staff become empowered by this factor alone as, previously seen, frustrations are avoided and greater scope offered for each individual to be more effective, to promote ideas and adopt fresh thinking.