Partner woes

Marisco had used Xero as its financial solution since its inception, but by 2021, the business’s needs had outgrown the system’s capabilities. At this stage, Marisco chose a technology partner to replace Xero with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.

Sadly, from the Marisco’s perspective, the outcome of the implementation process was disappointing, and they lost confidence in their partner. 

Marisco's CFO, Derek Shelton, says it wasn’t the solution that was the problem. “I’d used Business Central when working in the UK and thought it was a great choice of ERP for Marisco. But unfortunately, the implementation left us with unresolved issues. It didn’t deliver the functional capabilities I knew it was capable of, integration to one of our business-critical applications (Continia) was unsuccessful, and the user training was poor.”

“Implementing an ERP during COVID made it a more challenging project than under normal circumstances. Everything had to be done remotely, including the training, so it was less than ideal – and no one's fault. But even allowing for that, we felt the partner’s product knowledge and ability to deliver the solution to scope wasn’t as expected.”

Derek Shelton | CFO, Marisco Vineyards

The training, in particular, says Shelton, failed to meet the needs of Marisco’s end users. “There seemed to be a general lack of preparation and product knowledge. The training was quite disorganised, making it very confusing for our users and wasting the time of our employees and stakeholders alike.”

Making a move

Marisco’s decision to leverage Business Central’s manufacturing capabilities presented an ideal opportunity to reevaluate its choice of partner.

“It was important that we had a partner with extensive product knowledge of Business Central who could successfully deliver the manufacturing capabilities we wanted and integrate it with Continia. They also needed to understand the needs of our users so they could deliver effective, appropriately pitched training to achieve high adoption rates.”

"I’d had a glowing recommendation from one of my peers who’d worked with Fusion5 previously, so we asked the Fusion5 team to review our current implementation and identify issues and prepare a submission to implement Business Central Manufacturing.”

Derek Shelton | CFO, Marisco Vineyards

A frustrated Shelton turned to Fusion5.

Impressed with Fusion5’s response and obvious depth of knowledge and experience, Marisco appointed Fusion5 to take over supporting and enhancing its ERP.

Delivering on promises

By late 2023, Marisco not only had access to the financial capabilities they originally expected from Business Central but also went live with Business Central Manufacturing.

“We’re now doing things in the finance modules that our previous partner told us weren’t possible,” says Sheldon, “but were, in fact, core functionality. The whole project highlighted Fusion5’s significant depth of understanding of Business Central. The integration to Continia (automated 3-way order matching and document capture) was a top priority for us – and Fusion5 delivered on their promise to make it happen.”

Shelton is also a happy man when it comes to Continia. “Fusion5’s successful integration between Continia and Business Central has taken at least ten to twelve days out of our reporting cycle – that was a real win.” But it was only one of several. Shelton says they’ve been able to shorten their financial close from thirty days to ten and truncate their accounts payable close from twenty to five days and plan to shorten it further through continuous improvements.

“It’s been great to add on the sales invoicing, and inventory management functions. Previously, we relied on a locally developed wine industry solution for sales invoicing and inventory tracking. While it was great, there was no way to integrate it into Xero, so we always had to reconcile the two. Now, we can do it all in one system and have better controls around it.

“Also, our invoices previously required manual pricing. But as our customer master files now have all the pricing loaded against each, that automatically feeds through to the invoice, so there’s little or no risk of error, which makes everyone happy.”

Derek Shelton | CFO, Marisco Vineyards

Getting more out of Business Central

After years of using a spreadsheet, Shelton is excited about the impending go-live of a sales dashboard with a reporting function that Fusion5 has built for him in Power BI.

“Starting from the beginning of our new financial year, the dashboard will replace a spreadsheet that I’ve been manually updating once a week with data from Business Central. It’s been taking me anything from one to two hours a week to clean and model the data I needed.

“By comparison, the dashboard will extract exactly the data I need from Business Central three times a day, so I’ll always be working on and reporting in near real-time. It's also far more visual, and it’s easy to drill down into individual transactions and the budget versus actual figures. So, I can still do the analysis for our sales and finance teams to explain variances to budget.”

A perfectly picked partner

Changing partners is never easy, and the decision wasn’t made lightly, says Shelton.

“We had no doubts about Business Central being the right ERP for us; it was the choice of partner that was more worrying. While the recommendation to talk to Fusion5 from someone I respected gave me confidence, there was always an underlying worry that we would be jumping from the frying pan to the fire. It was a leap of faith. However, it proved to be the right decision.

“It’s great to be able to turn to the one trusted partner for a wide range of business solutions. We have zero regrets in moving to Fusion5, and we’re happy to recommend them to other businesses.”

Great outcomes start with great conversations


Great outcomes start with great conversations

  1. Home
  3. Case Studies
  4. Marisco Vineyards