AT A GLANCE
- Import and distribution
- Replace out of support system
- Improve reporting
- Gain visibility across supply chain
- Improve cash flow
- Eliminate spreadsheets
- Jiwa Financials
- Modern, integrated ERP
- In-system reporting and drill down
- Efficiency gains across the business
- Improved visibility and productivity
FOR MORE INFORMATION
For close to 20 years, flooring specialist Synteko relied on a Unix-based accounting and business management solution. When the developer announced end of support, it was time to find an alternative. By choosing to modernise with Jiwa Financials, the company has enjoyed substantial improvements in how it does business.
Synteko is a leading international manufacturer and importer of timber floor coatings, sealers and finishes. Established in the 1950s and based in Sydney, the company caters to both the professional and consumer market with water and solvent-based floor products developed to enhance the beauty of a wide variety of timber floors.
Although Synteko’s business model has undergone various changes over the years, the company’s commitment to high quality customer service has not. It was for this and other reasons it sought an accounting and ERP software solution that could enhance efficiency, boost productivity, make it more responsive to customer needs and secure its future in an increasingly competitive business environment.
Choosing the right solution
After assessing several systems, Synteko decided on the Jiwa ERP solution. “Many of the software systems we looked at were either prohibitively expensive or were affordable but lacked key features”, said Harry Waters, Manager at Synteko. “When we first came across Jiwa it appeared to deliver everything we wanted for a reasonable cost. These positive first impressions were confirmed when Jiwa and our IT consultant put on a very impressive product demonstration. From that moment we were sold.”
The majority of Synteko’s products are imported from the 20-or-so overseas suppliers with which the company has ongoing relationships. Prior to the JIWA installation Synteko used spreadsheets to create purchase orders which would then be faxed off to suppliers. What used to be a laborious and time-consuming process is now fast and easy.
“Using Jiwa, ordering a purchase is a breeze,” said Waters. “There’s no need for spreadsheets or paperwork of any kind – we simply create the order within Jiwa then press a couple of buttons to have it emailed off to the supplier. These days faxing is old-school and both our local and overseas suppliers expect to be communicated with electronically. Jiwa has allowed us to abandon faxing altogether and this alone makes us a more efficient and professional operation.”
Synteko’s products are sold through online orders, via a dealer network and over the counter at the company’s Chatswood (Sydney) premises. Whether dealing with customer enquiries electronically or face-to-face, it is important that Synteko staff have the right information immediately available.
“Jiwa has improved our customer service by taking calculated guesswork out of the equation,” said Waters. “Unlike with our batch-driven system there is no longer any waiting around for sales and stock information to be processed,” Waters noted.
Whenever a sale is made or when the warehouse receives new stock the Jiwa system reflects those changes immediately. “So, when a customer asks, for example, about the pricing and availability of a product we can know for certain that the information we give them is accurate.”
He said JIWA’s sales drill-down feature has also proven beneficial. “We can now easily find out how much of a particular floor coating a customer has bought from us in the past and at what price we sold it to them. This is important because we have various quantity discount structures in place and we need to be consistent when offering discounts to customers. JIWA enables us to easily capture these customer sales histories.”
Custom reporting delivers the right information
One of the more common bugbears for business accounting software users is that their software can’t produce tailor-made reports that adequately address their reporting needs. Synteko was eager to avoid such frustration, and Jiwa has delivered.
“With our previous accounting system reports were rigidly programmed into the software with little scope for manipulation; we basically just had to accept what came out,” said Waters. “By sharp contrast Jiwa allows us enormous flexibility. We can set down whatever report parameters we want, for example relating to specific products, customers, locations, pricing structures and so on. Tailoring these reports is very straightforward, and the result is that we end up with only the information we want and nothing superfluous to that.”
As a business largely based on importing, foreign currency transactions are an everyday part of Synteko’s operations. Jiwa’s import module gets a heavy workout at Synteko and the results have been impressive, as Waters explained. “We run various currencies with our overseas suppliers and JIWA has proven very capable at recording transactions in overseas currencies”, he said. “Typically, we buy our currency from a foreign exchange dealer and JIWA allows us to easily control multiple currencies – for example with a mix of US and Canadian dollars – even within the one product shipment. Prior to Jiwa import costing was a huge job for us, time-consuming and complicated, but now we’re a lot more efficient. We are very pleased with the foreign currency control that Jiwa allows us.”
Cashflow is king
“Using JIWA the whole cycle of accounting and the recording of transactions is done instantly so we always have our fingers on the pulse when it comes to cashflow, stock levels, outstanding debtors and every other critical aspect of accounts management,” Waters said. “Also very helpful is that bank transactions are visible on screen with the same appearance as an actual bank statement – we just tick the transactions off on-screen as we see them on the bank statements and when it’s done it tells us we’ve reconciled. We find it a bit of a breakthrough to be able to perform bank reconciliations on the screen simply by ticking off items.”
Having proven itself several times over since being implemented in 2010, Jiwa is set to continue to be a permanent fixture at Synteko well into the future.
“Since installing the solution we’ve become more efficient, productive, competitive and, ultimately, more profitable. The system is fundamental to the running of our business – we couldn’t do without it,” Waters concluded.
Source: This article was originally sourced from Jiwa Financials