Replacing a legacy

Metagenics was reliant on a range of legacy and disparate systems, including regional-based ERPs, which presented the business with myriad problems when it came to sharing data, general reporting and generating financial reporting.

With such a diverse range of systems in use, Metagenics found they couldn’t communicate with different internal finance teams effectively and efficiently. This was a particular pain point for Australia and New Zealand, given the close working relationship between the two nations. The issues were amplified by the fact they were using an ERP system in Australia that was over 20 years old, difficult to upgrade and heavily customised. Metagenics also relied on numerous manual procedures and workarounds developed internally over that time. There was a certain level of acceptance for staff who had used and grown with the system over the years. But it became increasingly difficult to get new starters, or those used to more modern applications, up to speed.

Metagenics wanted to have a best practice process that would take their organisation to the next level with a platform they could report globally on.

"We had so many other new streamlined and automated business processes due to various system improvements that it was time for our ERP platform to catch up."

Alecsis Moore | Director for Global Enterprise Applications & Infrastructure, Metagenics

Overcoming the challenge

Realising the need for a more modern, cloud based system, Metagenics began evaluating possible solutions and vendors from both a global and a regional perspective. “We looked at a number of potential solutions for this implementation,” says Moore. “But it really came down to a few core requirements. Simplicity, less customisation, more out-of-the-box functions, and the ability to streamline our internal processes.”

Minimising the need for bespoke development was a priority for Moore. “Learning from previous implementations, I believe that when you customise a business process, it may not be the same business process you need in three to five years.”

After a lengthy and in-depth evaluation period, Microsoft Dynamics 365 won out globally. And each country selected a regional partner for the implementation.

Choosing the right partner

"I’ve learned from multiple implementations that success depends on having the right partner. So, before we said ‘yes’, we did a small vendor evaluation. This time we focused more on the partners’ skillset, delivery, and approach to ensure it aligned with our goals and how we operate."

Alecsis Moore | Director for Global Enterprise Applications & Infrastructure, Metagenics

With the global evaluation complete, the original vendor of choice was a Microsoft partner based in the US. This particular organisation had ties to Australia, so it was presumed they would assist with the rollout here. However, rather than take it based purely on their connections and recommendations, Moore and her team chose to complete another vendor evaluation to ensure the US partner was the perfect fit.

After the evaluation was complete, Metagenics Australia moved away from the original ‘default’ vendor and chose Fusion5 to help with the implementation.

Interior of Metagenics office. Interior of Metagenics office.

“Communication was one of the biggest strengths we saw come from Fusion5, and was one of their biggest success factors for us. Having open lines that the team could reach out to either via phone, IM or video gave us the confidence to move forward with the project.”

Alecsis Moore | Director for Global Enterprise Applications & Infrastructure, Metagenics

The implementation journey

As with any implementation, there are always bumps in the road. With the project spanning some of Australia’s toughest lock-downs and mandates, the team had to switch to a remote implementation for a majority of the project.

There was an understandable hesitation from some key subject matter experts that they may be unable to deliver the implementation remotely. However, with the use of Teams, video calls and screen sharing, they were able to prove that Fusion5 was more than capable and continued the delivery remotely. 

In addition, as is the case with many projects spanning a larger time frame, resourcing was an issue for both parties. “We had a few key resources from both sides move on to other roles and projects, and that’s to be expected over time,” says Moore. “However, there was a lot of collaboration, and that was part of the reason we chose Fusion5 in the first place. I would say the relationship and the partnership between Fusion5 and Metagenics is strong.”

"Fusion5 met the majority of our milestones. We had occasional customisations that required a bit of back and forth, but we all pulled together and went live on the date we said we would. It was very successful"

Alecsis Moore | Director for Global Enterprise Applications & Infrastructure, Metagenics

The project approach was a combination of hybrid/agile methodologies that worked well for both parties. Fusion5 trained Metagenics’ end-users to use the solution before the final implementation to ensure early buy-in and high adoption rates, as well as encourage more productive conversations when discussing system configuration.

What problems did the implementation solve?

It was vital for Metagenics to gain greater visibility in several areas, including supply chain and inventory management, and customer service call centre. With Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations, everything became quicker. With a central data repository, information from the business can now be easily extracted, manipulated and reported on — enabling more timely and informed decision making.

"With our old ERP, we had to rely on lots of inefficient, manual workaround processes. With Dynamics 365, we are far more automated and efficient across the entire business. It’s solved many problems for us."

Alecsis Moore | Director for Global Enterprise Applications & Infrastructure, Metagenics

A major — and unexpected — benefit for Metagenics was bringing so many different business units together to work towards the same goal. “The business teams are now more aligned and understand how interconnected each business process is. They can see how each team - from projects, procurement, receiving in the warehouse, manufacturing, sales orders and distribution — contributes to the entire business process. The subject matter experts really understood the entire business process, and helped us communicate it to the wider business. They truly appreciated the scope of this implementation, and it has brought a certain symmetry that wasn’t there before.”

Natural herbs and medicine top view.

Overall impressions

“I think the approach and partnership were mutually agreed, and the delivery teams really understood the vision and what was needed to ensure success,” says Moore. “From the developers, project managers, and executive teams on both sides to the end-users, we all had the same vision, strategy and approach to partnership needed to make it successful. So, we worked together to make it happen.”

— Alecsis Moore | Director for Global Enterprise Applications & Infrastructure, Metagenics

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