An Australasian leader in innovation-based products chose Abel when it needed a better way to consolidate financial and manufacturing information across multiple sites, countries and currencies.
In 2006 Gregory Australia Ltd embarked upon a strategic programme of diversification through acquisition. Today the expanded company, now known as Inventis Ltd, is a designer, manufacturer and supplier of a diverse range of innovative solutions. Its Technology Division has a pre-eminent position in the Australian market for device and vehicle control electronics, as well as rugged portable computing solutions, and its Commercial Furniture Division dominates the Australian and New Zealand ergonomic commercial furniture market.
Such rapid growth and expansion into new markets has required the ability to seamlessly manage inter-branch, multi-country operations supported by an integrated financial and manufacturing system. Inventis found their solution in Abel – a highly functional and flexible Enterprise Resource Planning system developed by Abel Software.
It was through the acquisition of Damba Furniture, a New Zealand-based manufacturer of commercial furniture, that Inventis first became aware of Abel. Abel’s integrated financial, manufacturing, distribution, inventory, customer and supplier management system underpinned Damba’s operations, and its functionality so impressed Inventis Group Finance Director, Robyn Himmelberg, that she recommended the software be implemented by the parent company.
“In Abel I saw the capability to meet our rapidly growing requirements for an integrated financial and manufacturing system,” says Robyn. “In particular I was impressed that Abel could simply and efficiently provide effective consolidations and foreign exchange capability, had the potential to grow with the company, to be customised in a timely manner, and provide very good value for money given the level of functionality provided.” Abel Distributor, Abel Solutions Ltd, subsequently implemented Abel’s Manufacturing functionality across the company’s expanded furniture division, Gregory Commercial Furniture, and implemented Abel’s Financials throughout the Inventis Group’s subsidiary companies.
Using Abel’s Manufacturing, Gregory Commercial Furniture’s operations in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland now share an end-to-end integrated information system that supports production scheduling, capacity planning, bill of materials, ordering, product costing and stock and inventory management. “Abel not only handles inter-branch transactions such as ordering, trading and transferring between our furniture operations,” says Robyn, now General Manager, Inventis Technology “but also drives efficiencies throughout the entire manufacturing processes of the Furniture Division.”
Integral to the implementation of Abel Manufacturing was the ease with which it could be customised to meet the company’s specific application requirements. “Abel’s flexibility meant we were able to readily build a manufacturing resource planning system to meet the exact requirements of our furniture division, and that, coupled with its user-friendliness, has given us the confidence to extend the use of Abel Manufacturing to the Inventis Technology Division.”
Abel’s functionality and ease of use has also been a key benefit for the Inventis Head Office financial team who now use Abel Financials to support group-wide accounting processes. The acquisition of companies, all with different systems and charts, had created increasing accounting complexity but with the implementation of Abel Financials consolidation has become a straight forward process.
Kylie Salmon, Abel Implementation Support Manager in the Inventis finance team explains, “Abel automatically handles foreign exchange transactions, and consolidates all our accounts efficiently and accurately. The systems are all so easy to use – debtors, creditors, raising payments, sending and receipting, stocktaking – they’re all simple efficient processes with Abel.” Kylie makes specific note of the efficiencies gained by Abel Financial’s Corporate View. “If there is an unusual variance or item in the group accounts, I can get immediate access to any of the subsidiaries’ accounts and drill down to the source entry to ascertain the reason for the variance.”
At Inventis innovation is a core value, which is applied beyond research and product design to standard operating procedures, such as increasing functionality, operating with greater efficiency and at lower cost. Abel’s integrated financial and manufacturing capability has proven a perfect partnership, helping this innovative company to expand its possibilities and capabilities into the future.