Understanding an unusual vertical market was not Praxa's only concern when implementing a sophisticated accounting system at New Britain Palm Oil. The company's ability to service and adapt to the needs of a different culture was also important.
"We have spent considerable time visiting their plantations [based on the coast of New Guinea's West New Britain Province] to get a good understanding of the critical success factors which impact the ongoing development of their systems," Tony Morris, Praxa's senior analyst programmer for the project, said. "We are working with them to achieve an integrated operational and financial system tailored to the unique requirements of the palm oil industry."
Core financials solution
Praxa has supplied a core financials solution based on Great Plains Software's Dynamics system, which is running on a Windows NT BackOffice and SQL Server platform.
It has been customised by Praxa to include some features unique to New Britain Palm Oil including a plantation accident report monitor and employee nepotism regulator.
Praxa has also provided a simplified interface and implemented country-specific changes like currency type to suit New Britain Palm Oil's users.
According to Morris "It will also isolate the best employees, best production areas and types of fruit, all from payroll data, and yield drill-down capabilities to provide details for individual plantation managers," according to Morris.
Morris claims Praxa now intends to leverage the New Britain Palm Oil implementation to provide similar solutions to other plantations around the world.
Martin Angelin, Praxa's business development manager, said the company's Brisbane office was the initial point of call for New Britain Palm Oil, who had identified Dynamics as its preferred solution.
Praxa won the deal by proving it was able to deliver New Britain Palm Oil's requirements using the package.
Praxa is continuing to provide support for New Britain Palm Oil by fielding queries its internal IT department cannot resolve itself, Angelin told ARN.
Stephen Norkunas, New Britain Palm Oil's information systems manager, commended Praxa's "in-depth planning and operational approach to training".
He claims New Britain Palm Oil is so pleased with the success of the Dynamics project that it has now commissioned Praxa to develop a plantation management system.
Accounting methods at New Britain Palm Oil's mills and job costing and capital expenditure processes will also be reviewed with a view to Praxa providing technology-based solutions, according to Morris.