Education & Research
Scitech needed an innovative and dynamic solution that was customer-centric and engaging, providing an efficient return for its stakeholders.
Education & Research
Fifteen year-old financial system with no integration to other systems. Budgets done on Excel with manual data entry. Budget restrictions as a non-for-profit.
Delivered a solution that offers accurate data-driven decision-making, budgeting, profit and loss and accounts control and compliance management.
Streamlined financial processes - greater visibility, a single source of data. Easy and quick reporting and a reinvention of their approach to project accounting and asset management.
“When you start talking about using financial and non-financial customer data and insights to shape how you design products and services, you need quite an advanced system for it.”
— Chris Shirley, CFO, Scitech
A powerful suite
The search for practical answers led Scitech to Empired, and to Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. This powerful software suite offers accurate data-driven decision-making, budgeting, profit and loss and accounts control and compliance management.
The aim with Dynamics 365 was to streamline Scitech’s financial processes and allow finance staff to handle everything in one place with the minimum duplication of effort.
The project initially focused on delivering the financial basics – the general ledger for financial records, debit and credit entries and management of accounts. Dynamics 365 also allowed Scitech to more effectively implement and track projects, something that was typically done previously in document form.
The granularity of control in Dynamics gave the organisation much better oversight of budget control, so that project overspend could be identified and eliminated.
Committed to change
For Empired, the implementation of Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations was one of the smoothest projects completed in the last decade. That had a lot to do with the strong project governance established by Scitech’s Project Manager and commitment to change from the executive level at Scitech.
Empired took a ‘minimum viable product’ approach in employing Dynamics, using the finance component largely off the shelf.
The results were felt very quickly. Financial reports that typically took two to three hours to complete could now be populated in five minutes.
Scitech now enjoys greater visibility into its finances and information is no longer siloed in parts of the business. From initial discussions to implementation and training in the system, the project took less than nine months.
“When you start talking about using financial and non-financial customer data and insights to shape how you design products and services, you need quite an advanced system for it,”
Most importantly, the use of Dynamics 365 gives Scitech a wide range of options for future upgrades and expanded uses. Point of sale data from terminals in its Perth Discovery Centre and from online sales can be integrated and Dynamics can gather and analyse data, such as foot traffic through exhibitions, ticket sales and inventory management, to deliver greater insights for Scitech. If there were lessons learned during Scitech’s digital transformation they came in the area of change management and user acceptance testing (UAT).
“The challenge was getting these changes into an environment where people could actually interact with them,” Chris says. “In reality it took longer than we expected.”
But the system had so far exceeded Scitech’s phase 1 expectations. Eventually, real-time information from sensors that monitor Scitech’s exhibitions wherever they are in the world, could be integrated into Dynamics, using its Internet of Things compatibility.
“We are now looking forward to phase 2,” says Chris. “That’s when we’ll implement customer engagement solutions, which is when the return on investment for this project will really kick-in.”
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