Cottonsoft gets more competitive while keeping costs down
Cottonsoft Ltd is no stranger to expansion. In the 17
years since the 100% New Zealand owned manufacturer of tissue
products was established, the company has experienced record
growth, with sales revenues increasing tenfold. The company
has worked hard over that time to keep growing their sales without
the corresponding cost increase that would make their products
uncompetitive in the marketplace.
But organisations can only keep costs down so far before
cost-cutting itself causes problems. Outside influences can also
exacerbate the process - which was where Cottonsoft found
While the company had done an admirable job of managing costs,
they couldn't control the rising fuel prices that were
significantly cutting into their profit margins via increased
freight costs. And if that wasn't enough, the sale of one of
their largest competitors to a multi-national corporation who could
afford to frequently engage in aggressive price discounting - both
on the shelves, and in competitive tenders for house brand
contracts - meant that cost-cutting alone was no longer an
Cottonsoft's senior management recognised the need for
qualitative change that would strengthen their business processes
and enable them to respond to the rapid changes in their
environment. They identified scope for optimising a wide
range of their business processes, including inventory levels,
freight costs, campaign management, and customer service. What they
needed was an IT infrastructure, and a strategic IT roadmap for a
way forward that would support this optimisation - and so Project
Liberty was born.
Business Services Manager, Ewen Stapley, says the Project Liberty
team knew they could use technology to support their business
transformation. They were well aware, however, that technology
alone wouldn't take them where they wanted to go. It wasn't just
about buying a new system - it was about making intelligent use of
what they already had, and then strategically investing in the
organisation's overall capability by adding to it.
Cottonsoft already had a strong financials and inventory system,
Microsoft Dynamics GP. Unfortunately, it wasn't set up to integrate
with all their other IT systems, which meant that staff needed to
rely on inefficient spreadsheets and manual workarounds to access
any information outside of its purview.
The Project Liberty team wanted to leverage the strength of
Microsoft Dynamics GP in a simple, robust, and cost-effective way
that would enable Cottonsoft to implement its own improvements
without having to hire a dedicated internal IT resource. It was
time to bring in help, and the team asked Olympic Software NZ
Limited for both technical and strategic assistance.
The solution began by using Cottonsoft's existing Microsoft
Dynamics GP Core Financials modules as a base. From here, the team
decided to enhance the existing system's value by bringing in
Microsoft Dynamics Distribution and Manufacturing modules. Next
they added the Promax Campaign Management system, and finally, they
fully integrated everything so information could pass seamlessly
The integrated system would create immeasurable value in terms of
access to information, as well as saving time and money.
The Project Liberty team managed the project themselves, relying
on Olympic for extensive support.
Stapley believes it was Olympic's local knowledge and
understanding of their business that really made the difference
throughout the project. "We don't want to work with a large
consulting firm with huge fees - Olympic built a partnership with
our business, and they took the time to understand what we were
trying to achieve. They were easy to work with, supportive and
responsive to our learning curve."
Only a few months after the implementation commenced, Cottonsoft
had a technology platform they could be confident would support
them in their continued growth. "Olympic has helped us complete a
major strategic IT roadmap that offers us clear directions for
ensuring our use of technology keeps supporting our business
strategy," Stapley says.
And as time has gone by, the team has chosen to keep accessing
Olympic's expertise to continue mapping out their organisational IT
development. "Olympic keeps showing us how we can use
technology to support our business growth and geographical
expansion," Stapley explains. Which leaves Cottonsoft free to
focus on what they do best - growing, expanding, and providing
excellent tissue products in a highly competitive marketplace.
- Cottonsoft needed an information technology system that would
support them as they continued to grow and expand without
increasing their cost structure.
- The solution needed to make use of and build upon existing
systems, and all systems needed to integrate seamlessly to ensure
- Olympic assisted Cottonsoft's internal project team to
implement and integrate their preferred solution.
- Cottonsoft are now able to focus on their core business
operations, knowing they have a strategic partnership in place for
IT support and leadership.