AT A GLANCE
- Loyalty New Zealand – Fly Buys
- Streamline financial reporting
- Jet Reports
- Saving of ¾ a day on preparing monthly reports
- Ease of use
- Integration with Microsoft Dynamics NAV general ledger
- Investigating automated scheduling and distribution of reports
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Jet Reports, an Excel-based report writing tool, has taken a “huge amount of time” out of monthly reporting requirements, says Loyalty New Zealand financial controller Stephen Bayley.
Loyalty New Zealand operates the hugely successful Fly Buys loyalty scheme on behalf of its owners, the Bank of New Zealand, Foodstuffs, Shell and IAG.
Launched in 1996, Fly Buys is the largest and most comprehensive coalition loyalty programme in New Zealand.
Its comprises more than 1.3 million active households which represents over 70 percent penetration of New Zealand households.
Members collect points from more than 40 retail companies. Between them, these participants have more than 3000 outlets and cover most day to day shopping categories.
These companies are all leading players in their respective categories. Fly Buys card holders have redeemed nearly $500,000 worth of rewards this year.
In 2007, Loyalty NZ had installed the Microsoft Dynamics Nav enterprise resource planning system, using Microsoft specialist Intergen. “The Dynamics reporting wasn’t great,” Bayley says. “In Australia, Nav comes with Jet Reports packaged in.”
“We’d reached the point where we needed something other than Excel,” Bayley says.
“One of our suppliers was using Jet Reports, so we googled it and I sent a note to Tim Turner, who distributes it. He used to work with my chief financial officer.”
Turner formed Jet Reports Australia and New Zealand Ltd three years ago having purchased the report writer two years previously as a customer. He distributes the software and provides consulting services on behalf of the US manufacturer, Jet Reports International, which used to be a Microsoft Dynamics solutions centre and developed the report writer based on customer requirements. It was commercialised and first released to market in 2002 after five years development work.
Bayley is extravagant in his praise for Jet Reports, which he says is “fantastic”.
“It’s saved us three-quarters of a day. There was a wee bit of a set up, which Tim and I did.” Both are chartered accountants.
Excel has a number of tabs, each with different functionality.
Jet Reports is just another tab. “You press the tab and it runs,” Bayley says.
“It was cheap to buy, quick to install, and you get a real bang for your buck.” He used Jet Reports for monthly reporting and then again at the end of the financial year.
At the time of interview, Bayley was looking forward to implementing the scheduler module in Jet Reports.
“I want to set up the scheduler so that when I am away it will run all reports automatically. That means no downtime for me.”
He is keen to understand where Jet Reports will go with future versions and to take advantage of the local distributor’s expertise.
Loyalty NZ runs SQL and Oracle databases, the latter for its data warehouse. It currently runs its key performance indicators on spreadsheets but Bayley says it will possibly automate those.
“We can streamline a few things, subject to consulting with Tim. For example, we might look at the monthly points issuance per retailer.”
The company is currently engaged in a project with SAS to reconfigure its data warehouse to increase the capacity. That should be completed within a few months. Loyalty New Zealand employs an information technology team of around 20 people.
Bayley says Jet Reports cost around $10,000 to get it installed and for a initial set of reports. “It saves me a hell of a lot of time.
“If anyone is running a general ledger, they should definitely get Jet Reports.”
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