Laying the foundations for effective, efficient reporting
After realising their previous accounting application was no
longer up to the task, Atlas Concrete seized the chance to update
to an ERP system that was both flexible and powerful enough to meet
all their reporting needs, and able to integrate with their new
sales order capture system.
For more than half a century, Atlas Concrete has manufactured
and supplied concrete and related products to Auckland and its
surrounding regions. Between the company's four business divisions,
Atlas manages every part of the concrete creation process; from
quarrying the stone for aggregate and dredging the sand, all the
way through to selling building products and precast concrete
Since its beginnings back in the 1940s, Atlas has grown
alongside Auckland. From its start as simply a family-owned
business, the company now employs over 280 people in nine branches,
and operates a fleet of more than 120 concrete delivery
trucks. And as Atlas has grown, so has its need for reliable,
flexible financial management and reporting across all of its
Things came to head in 2006 when Atlas management realised the
company's phenomenal growth meant their existing application,
Global, could simply no longer meet their reporting needs. Company
Accountant, John Horanyi comments, "While Global had been good for
us in the past, we'd just become too big and complex for it to
manage. We desperately needed to upgrade to something that would
suit the size of the company we'd become."
Atlas decided to put the search out to competitive tender, and
spent some time defining their requirements. A well-supported,
easy-to-use financial management/ ERP system that simplified both
ad hoc and consolidated reporting across divisions was a bare
minimum. Before the tender, consolidation had involved
manually bringing information together from multiple spreadsheets:
a tedious and time-consuming process that introduced the potential
for inaccuracies to slip in.
Beyond this, however, they also wanted to free up the time and
energy they'd been previously spending re-keying information
between systems. This meant the end solution had to integrate
with their sales order software, Command; and automatically
reconcile with their banking system. And finally, Atlas needed
confidence that the product they chose would continue to be
supported on a long-term basis.
After carefully considering Atlas's needs, Olympic Software had
no hesitation proposing Microsoft Dynamics GP, coupled with their
GP2Bank electronic banking application. "GP is flexible
enough to meet Atlas's reporting needs now, and scalable enough to
continue meeting them as the company grows," explains Olympic's
Lead Consultant, Diane Terry. "Not only could Atlas quickly
and easily create the ad hoc reports they needed, but consolidating
reports across their diverse businesses suddenly became a
And combined with the powerful extensibility that would allow
direct integration with Command, and save their staff having to
double-enter information; Atlas agreed they were onto a winner.
Atlas asked Olympic to install Microsoft Dynamics GP for each of
their business divisions, set up all integrations, train their
users, and offer expert advice on how best to host the solution
across multiple locations.
Additionally, Terry recalls, in the course of the implementation,
the company discovered unexpected opportunities to create more
efficient processes around their use of Command. Working
together with Atlas, Olympic recommended new procedures that would
save the company time and money.
Knowing exactly where the money is coming from and going, across
business divisions and branches, is critical for any business; and
the new financial / ERP system ensures Atlas management clearly
understand exactly how the company is performing at any given point
On top of this, now that consolidated reporting is simply a matter
of running pre-defined reports (rather than manually manipulating
spreadsheets), Horanyi reports that the time it takes him to run
month end processes has shrunk "from an average of 3-4 days down to
less than a single day across all four companies".
And by reducing the need for staff to re-key information between
applications, the new integrations are saving the company yet more
time day-to-day. All in all, agrees Horanyi, the new system
has truly laid the foundation for more efficient, effective
reporting at Atlas.
- Atlas Concrete sought a new ERP / financial management system
that would meet their reporting needs when they grew beyond the
size their existing system could handle.
- After requesting proposals for different solutions, Atlas
decided on Microsoft Dynamics GP for its powerful reporting
capability, its flexibility to grow as they did, and its ability to
integrate with their banking and sales order capture systems.
- Olympic Software installed the software, set up all
integrations, provided project management and post-implementation
support services, and trained Atlas end users in how to make the
best use of the system.
- Atlas management can now quickly obtain a clear understanding
of how the company is performing; and the company saves days each
month through simpler, more efficient reporting processes.