Microsoft partner Velrada has helped overhaul the creaking accounting systems for one of Australia’s largest energy tubular suppliers.
The Sydney-based company was tapped by Marubeni-Itochu Tubulars Oceania (MITO) to move its financial operations from its ageing hardware infrastructure and “heavily customised” AX 2009 system.
Over an eight-month period, Velrada helped transfer MITO’s operations into Dynamics 365, helping the company become completely based in the cloud.
Describing the old system, MITO management accountant Shelley Ellis-Williams said that while it was “doing its job”, the company was unable to carry out its more innovative ambitions.
"Our finance team is an information hub,” she said. “We constantly had our ops team asking us for new information and new reports and we just didn't have the ability to do that. It just wasn't updated innovative information that we could get out. It was traditional reporting.
“It didn't not work, but it was just hard to get anything new out of it. And we found that service providers that we were asking to write reports for us were finding it hard to sift through the old code and the customisations that were in there.”
“We knew we were not as efficient as could be,” she added.
Already using Office 365 and Dynamics 365 for its CRM, MITO first enlisted Velrada at the end of December 2017 and began work on the financial operations’ transition two months later.
“We were very fortunate in that Velrada worked well as a team with us,” Ellis-Williams said. “It was a hard process and a long-haul. We are a small team, with one person responsible for IT, so we didn’t have extra resources to put into process, so there was a lot of work put on our resources.”
Following an eight-month period, which included ‘work-shopping’ and a break for the financial year, MITO made the full transition into Microsoft Azure’s cloud by September 2018, enabling to manage US$100 million worth of pipe products much more efficiently.
“The biggest change for us is that we are now more digitally inclined,” Ellis-Williams said. “We have much more visibility and mobility of invoices and account management, and there’s a lot of integration.”
In addition, MITO’s customers can track real-time inventory movements and balances, while streamlining the way invoices are handled has reduced turnover time.
MITO claimed it has improved its reporting capability and is able to pull into the system external documents such as bank statements – a task which was previously tackled manually. The company now also uses Azure machine learning forecasting to help manage its future operations.
“It's more innovative, and we've been able to move away from traditional reporting. They don't want to see loads of data, they want to see graphs and pictures and progress,” Ellis Williams added.