The Olympic Group, first established in 1992, is one of the largest fencing manufacturers and installers in Australia. The group of companies has almost 100 workers across numerous divisions. Olympics years of expertise, quality assurance systems and construction capabilities make the company a leader in the industry and a mainstay for clients requiring quality and expertise on large projects.
Olympic group runs a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant at one of its locations at Rutherford in the New South Wales Hunter Region. This facility is 5 acres of industrial complex including steel processing, accredited powder coating and pre-treatment plant, a sandblasting installation, chain-link weaving facility, batch manufacturing plant and corporate offices.
Olympic Group undertakes major fencing works for fabrication and installation of state and federal government contracts includes Roads, Rail, Schools and Defense with hundreds of projects running concurrently.
The group also comprises a steel wholesaler for local industry carrying one of the Hunter Regions largest inventories of structural steel in:
- RHS and SHS
- Merchant Bar
- Galvanized and Black Pipe
- UB, UC, TFB, PFC Structural steel
- Much more.
Tube supplies supports local industry with a wide range of steel products and profiles for light, medium and heavy fabrication.
Olympic Group used an enterprise grade, audited accounting package for project management, inventory, manufacturing, and accounting.
The selected software package was not meeting the needs of the business, attempts to fully implement the functions of this previous system failed due to the training requirements as staff changed, a significant data entry overhead, lack of integration and tools and ongoing resistance from staff that ultimately led to the project being abandoned.
Ultimately the accounting system was used as a GL package only, a very expensive one.
To fulfill the roles of job and cost tracking Olympic Group developed a custom internal system. This system was built internally by staff and worked well with the following caveats.
- The system was reliant on maintaining dedicated staff to support it.
- The infrastructure to run the system was a cost burden on the business.
- The product was highly customized and lacked industry best practice and standardization in its development.
- The cost of updating the system after its initial rollout became gradually more expensive as the software aged. Olympic Group would be forced to bare the full expense of constant re-development to keep the code base compatible with updated operating systems for windows, mac and linux.
Selecting Evolution ERP
Using the existing custom-built systems as a benchmark for improvement Olympic Group evaluated the Evolution ERP system to meet its requirements.
The Evolution system met each of Olympic Groups core requirement in respect to
- Accepting and tracking customers enquiries.
- Bundled quoting of complex manufacture and construction projects.
- Bundled Job / Project management
- Bundled Manufacturing System.
- Inventory system
- A contractor retention system for subcontracted works
- Single data entry system, all data for the entire business entered only once.
- Two-way Integration capabilities to connect to external software as required.
- Expandable by the development of addons and customizations.
Evolution exceeded the scope and added value, examples include:
- A fully integrated CRM module adding to Single Data Entry points.
- Role base reporting and dashboards for staff.
- Integrated File Management and Document Storage.
- Live-stock reporting to estimators.
- Supplier specific quoting based on stock availability.
- Powerful discount structure system and contract pricing.
- A powerful suite of tools for automation of inventory costing.
- Advanced inventory management and automation.
- Realtime job costing and project reporting.
- A powerful scheduling system for all site works and customer key dates.
- Critical Path dependencies for projects to meet delivery schedules.
- A bundled purchasing system integrated with projects and AP.
- Manufacture and workshop routing capabilities
- Bundled Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivables with Automation
Many Evolution features were not initially identified as required and are now used daily in the running of the business.
COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS
Direct Expense Reductions.
Olympic Group retired the existing accounting system in favor much a simpler cloud-based GL. This enabled full two-way integration to Evolution, removing both the higher licensing costs and support costs and eliminated data duplication.
The cost of physical hardware to host Virtual Servers was removed from the bottom line.
The related costs for internal IT infrastructure to support the accounting system including help desk and support contracts, networking and operating system licenses were removed from the business bottom line.
Olympic Group also reduced the number of accounting system licenses required as all information pertaining to the day to day running of the business is in evolution. There was no need for several users to have access to the GL system.
Staff time and efficiency
During the first two years after Evolution’s implementation Olympic Group continued to gain market share and started a new enterprise. Conversely the company reduced administration workload by over 80 hours per week.
System improvements created the additional HR capacity to move an accounts clerk into a full time Purchasing Officer role creating numerous cost benefits in that role. The remaining team where able to not only meet the existing workload but also take on the work of the additional company enabling Olympic Group to explore a new market without incurring any additional admin costs.
Duplication of data entry has been solved, Invoices are created with a single click and no data is required to be manually entered into secondary systems. Live tracking of variations and project changes means AP and AR invoices are fully responsive to live system updates and fully audited at any time.
Sales and Production Capacity Increase.
The average time for a quote to be created has reduced. The accuracy and the detail of the quotes has increased.
Evolution added the ability for quotes to generate workshop orders with customized raw materials attached at quotation time, reducing the time it takes to process jobs in production and automated a manual process in its entirety for thousands of produced items each year.
This not only saves an extra data entry person in the production team but enabled Olympic to start tracking raw material inventory more effectively for the manufacturing division.
The reduction in staff time directly results in increased capacity in the business. The number of jobs the production team can manage has increased with the introduction of Evolution ERP.
Olympic is a batch manufacturing plant dealing with many one off and custom items daily. This is complex to manage and previously put pressure on production staff who dealt with shortcuts taken in other areas of the business due to that complexity.
The integration of the quotation modules and manufacturing systems drastically improved this. This was further improved by the ability to develop custom tools for the sales team.
Evolution not only creates significant time savings for staff it enabled Olympic Group to track stock information across manufacturing and warehousing in multiple locations gaining more efficiencies in the business. This helps Olympic Group meet customer deadlines and streamlines purchasing.
The inventory management and costing tools in Evolution enabled Olympic Group to get on top of maintaining accurate pricing on many thousands of inventory items. Using Evolution ERP Olympic have been able to eliminate most manual updates that would have been done by a staff member or neglected.
The company reacts quickly to price changes and is more competitive.
Cost Modelling and Competition
The integrated modules within Evolution inform the business. Evolution has enabled Olympic Group and specifically tube supplies to run an accurate average cost, oncost and cost location system that has become a key tool in the business.
This costing model allows our sales team to get accurate real time cost modelling which gives reps and tenders a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Management has the confidence in the cost modelling system and flexibility of the system to allow our sales team visibility that would not be possible without the stock tracking, management tools and costing systems.
Evolution also allows our team to track stock locations by branch and bin and break down cost modelling by stock location.
Errors and Omissions
Evolution has enabled Olympic Group to maintain tier 1 level data that staff use as a tool to minimize errors and omissions. Evolution is a tool that helps staff deal with spikes in workloads and peak periods more effectively.
Evolution provides staff with a tool to manage hundreds of projects and complex scheduling and inventory requirements. The system provides staff with reminders, deadlines, calendars, and the ability to communicate tasks and dependencies to each other.
A simple error in recollection or an omission in a process can have very high single instance costs to the business. Each time a system fails and is corrected this is a direct cost to the companies bottom line.
By positioning itself as an industry leader and making technology a focus of it core business strategy
Olympic Group has maximized its ability to eliminate failures and corrections, benefiting both staff