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GT needed an upgrade to an ageing enterprise resource planning solution following the acquisition of its sister company. A boost for finance and operations was required.


Project Snapshot

Genetic Technologies

Location:
Auckland, New Zealand

Industry:
Primary Sector

Project Challenges

Working on an ageing enterprise solution and needed to achieve a single, integrated solution aligning two businesses. Poor inventory management was also hindering progress.

The Solution

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations delivered a modern, more integrated solution that met functionality and cost requirements.

Results

Increased efficiency, extensive company-wide integration, improved inventory control and enhanced budgeting and forecasting capabilities.

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A boost for operations with first Kiwi-led Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations implementation

When agricultural producer-distributor Genetic Technologies (GT) needed an upgrade to an ageing enterprise resource planning solution, it looked to Intergen for answers. The subsequent introduction of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations not only delivered a modern, more integrated solution, it also marked the first New Zealand-led and deployed solution. At the same time, the company has rationalised a Salesforce.com deployment across two territories, introduced a financial planning solution and the Microsoft Power BI analytics suite. Today, the complete system is delivering advantages which include increased efficiency, extensive integrations, improved inventory control and enhanced budgeting and
forecasting capabilities.

GT is a family-owned New Zealand business founded in 1986 by Philip Yates. The company is the exclusive distributor for the Pioneer range of agricultural seeds locally and in Australia employing some 150 staff across both countries and has, since 2010, run the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 ERP solution separately in each country. 

Genetic Technologies

Situation

Genetic Technologies’ CFO Jason Morris says there were several drivers which led the business to seek an upgrade to its existing ERP system. “The first was, quite simply, that the Dynamics AX 2009 platform was showing its age. The second was that we’d acquired our sister company in Australia, where Pioneer had been operating a wholly-owned subsidiary, and we wanted to bring that onto a single, integrated solution. And finally, we migrated to Salesforce CRM a few years ago and wanted to integrate that fully with an updated ERP.”

Outside of the necessity for integrating the two separate entities, Morris says there were other issues which an upgraded system 

would address, principally the use of database islands through enhanced integrations and process changes.

And finally, Morris says inventory management wasn’t as good as it could be with the existing ERP system. “In our production facilities in Gisborne and in Narromine, Australia, where seed is produced, treated and bagged, visibility on inventory is crucial. AX 2009 wasn’t quite hitting the mark. We wanted to adopt process change; putting in a new system would mean we could refresh production hardware, warehouse management and our integrations with that.”

Solution

Identifying the right solution for its business depended on first examining the available options in the market. Since GT was already a ‘Microsoft shop’, it made sense to remain within the stack, Morris notes. A review of options confirmed that the Dynamics 365 solution would meet requirements from both a functionality and cost point of view. “That made it a no brainer, particularly as we were familiar with the older version.”

Morris explains the rigour which goes into the selection and execution of enterprise software systems; from starting the journey in February 2017 to going live took a full year (go live was February 2018). “We had to bring together two businesses that were similar in that both produce and sell seed through a merchant network. But nonetheless there were process differences between the two.”

"Our production team feel we have invested, listened to them, taken away pain points and made things efficient.”

— Jason Morris, CFO, Genetic Technologies

Results

Before getting into the benefits of the new Dynamics 365 system, one of the first measures for success of any enterprise software project is the time taken and the money spent on
the deployment.

In this regard, Morris is unequivocal about the success of the exercise: “Intergen delivered a very good project, they had the knowledge and good communications with a net result that we delivered on time and within budget,” he says.

The true scope of the project is clear when Morris points out that it was more than just Dynamics 365. “There was the Salesforce rationalisation from two organisations down to one, but at the same time, we launched a Microsoft Power BI suite, introduced Kepion financial planning software, and integrated with warehouse tools and key production equipment.”

It is, says Morris, early days yet, but GT is already seeing the benefits of an integrated, companywide system which spans operations on both sides of the Tasman.

“We are starting to see our first revenue figures coming through into Salesforce for use by our sales teams in the field. The interface between our production hardware has saved two labour resources in the current process. Our production team feel we have invested, listened to them, taken away pain points and made things efficient.”

From a ‘macro’ view, Morris says GT is now confident in the system supporting the company’s ability to meet growth targets with streamlined and efficient technology platforms and enhanced use of market intelligence. The future is bright for GT and its integrated business systems.

“I’m really keen to develop a roadmap to ensure we continue to use the solution to its fullest going forward. A process is already underway to integrate employee time and attendance and use of Microsoft Talent,” he concludes.