Steel resolve: How sound ERP underpins growth ambition

Published on the 09/05/2016 | Written by Zag

NDA Group

AT A GLANCE

INDUSTRY

  • Manufacturing

BUSINESS OBJECTIVE

  • Establish single company-wide ERP solution to facilitate growth

SOLUTION

  • SAP Business All-in One
  • Adobe SAP Interactive Forms

BUSINESS BENEFITS

  • Multiple systems supplanted by a single, integrated ERP solution
  • Integrated, standardised and efficient business processes
  • Introduction of automated processes with Adobe SAP Interactive Forms
  • Accurate and immediate company—wide reporting

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Zag
NZ: w// zag.team
E: info@zag.team

AU: w// zag.team
E: info@zag.team

Auckland
T: +64 9 571 7100
Wellington
T: +64 4 472 1897
Sydney
T: +61 2 8520 3797

Growth meant disparate systems were holding back stainless steel fabricator NDA Group; SAP Business All-in-One provided a single, scalable solution…

After a sustained period of growth that included the acquisition of a number of companies, NDA Group had multiple systems running across its six divisions and eight sites in Australasia. This situation was coming to a head as the company experienced a surge in growth – so it looked to Soltius and the SAP Business All-in-One solution to take care of its multinational operations. As a result, today NDA Group has a high performance ERP system which is an engine for the company’s continued growth.

NDA Group is a New Zealand based group of companies which is a world leader in the fabrication of stainless steel process vessels and heat exchangers for industry, and the provision of other specialist products and services to key markets around the world.

The Group’s companies design, manufacture and service products for a wide range of process industries including the dairy, wine, brewing, chemical, mining, pulp and paper, pharmaceutical and food and beverage sectors. Headquartered in Hamilton, the Group has annual revenue of approximately NZ$200m, with multiple New Zealand sites as well as significant operations in Australia, China and the US.

Situation
With different systems for each of its operations, information sharing and visibility of performance metrics was hampered. For example, just in New Zealand, NDA’s head office used an aging TIMS application, while the Group’s other Waikato-based operation, Dairy Technology Systems (DTS), ran Baan.

NDA Group’s CIO Mark McMorran said although some of the solutions were adequate on their own, the company had identified risks in taking no action. A programme of acquisitions further accelerated the case for a new implementation; “The TIMS solution was over 20 years old and in danger of no longer being supported,” said McMorran. “The Baan system was still adequate, but we were reliant on a dwindling number of people to maintain it, and our finance department in Hamilton had to use two systems.”

Other sites had rudimentary accounting packages and manual processes were used for many important tasks, leading to duplication of information and processes. With multi-million dollar fabrication projects to manage across its different divisions, as well as the servicing of equipment on farms across the country, NDA identified potential benefits in investing in a single integrated system.

“We saw benefits in the management of our personnel and capacity planning and we also perceived benefits in having an Australasian-wide view of our supply chain,” McMorran confirmed.

Solution
NDA required a fully-integrated ERP application to provide a group-wide view of the business – from sales and capacity planning to financial information. The system had to be user-friendly across all levels of the organisation, with a common database for a single source of information and the ability for management to drill down to details as required. A further requirement was scalability to ensure the system could be expanded and rolled out to any new companies acquired by the group.

NDA Group Chief Financial Officer Sean McCormack said that the rigorous evaluation convinced them that SAP Business All-in-One and Soltius were the right fit for the Group’s business plans. “What stood out was SAP’s acceptance in mid-market companies and the lifetime value the solution offers to cope with future growth, along with the Soltius’ track record as a systems partner, which is second to none.”

Working with Soltius, NDA implemented SAP Business All-in-One at its multiple New Zealand sites, followed soon after by the phase two roll out at the DTS operations in Hamilton.

As part of the project, Soltius also ran a series of data migration workshops to ensure the data from the legacy system successfully populated the new fields in the SAP system and trained the NDA project team to enable the ongoing development of the system to be done in-house.

Soltius also introduced SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe, allowing third party contractors to track materials used in repairs and manage invoicing for the servicing and repairs of DTS equipment on farms throughout New Zealand.

Results
McCormack said the system has delivered vastly improved visibility of NDA Group’s operations. “This solution integrates our finance, production, procurement, sales and distribution and project management into one system and results in more efficient business processes.”

The SAP/Adobe Interactive Forms developed by Soltius for NDA now means that service requests received via the call centre are emailed to the service contractor with a standardised form. After completing the job, the contractor can fill in the form electronically and email it back to NDA’s system, where the information is automatically loaded directly from the email, eliminating the need for accounts staff to rekey data.

McMorran says the technology will eventually be rolled out to all of the service technicians across the country. “So far in the trial it appears to be working and it is a solution that will work for the majority of our contractors, unlike some of the other options we explored previously.”

“It will be good when we have that process running without any interference required from Accounts and we also have the ability to refine and improve the forms down the track as we get better at using the technology.”

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