An ERP outgrown

Benedict Bagang, Group Financial Controller – Financial & Commercial Services for Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira, joined the organisation in 2021. With almost 200% growth in assets over the last three years, he said it was clear that the organisation’s legacy ERP was well out of its depth.

“We’d had Microsoft Navision since 2013. It wasn’t coping with our steep growth curve and was well out of mainstream support. There was considerable room for improvement and modernisation, starting with moving to a cloud-based application.

We needed a unified system to enable reporting across the entire group, so we chose Business Central to allow our entities to operate independently but report as one,”

“Choosing another Microsoft solution would simplify the data migration process, minimise the user learning curve, enable us to handle our rapid growth and easily integrate with our other systems. And it would also help us manage the increasing complexities we faced in addressing internal control issues.”

Benedict Bagang | Group Financial Controller – Financial & Commercial Services, Te Runanga o Toa Rangatira


Choosing a trusted partner

Bagang had worked with Fusion5 before and had been impressed.

“When I heard that Christian (Christian Katene, Pou Manaaki – Chief Corporate Services Officer) wanted to upgrade our system, Fusion5 immediately came to mind. They deliver outstanding results, and I knew their consultants and how to work with them.”

Fusion5’s promise of a sub-six-month implementation was highly appealing, says Benedict. “I know it's a short period, but given the expertise of their consultants, I was confident that we could achieve our target implementation date.”

“Fusion5 didn’t let us down. Whenever we held our monthly project governance meetings, there were very few issues, and the budget was on spot as well.”

A strategy for success

As each Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira entity used a different ERP, the decision was to implement Business Central for the primary entity and then use the setup as a template to roll out to the rest.

“We aimed to upgrade our ERP and take the opportunity to identify and make other improvements based on a cost-benefit analysis. This included adopting Workday Adaptive Planning to enable reporting across the entire group,” says Bagang.

With the help of Bagang, Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira’s system accountant, and tight project control from both Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira and Fusion5’s project managers, Fusion5 successfully delivered the first implementation of both solutions within the six-month deadline. The rest of the entities will be onboarded in Workday in due course.

Consolidated business benefits

Bagang says they’ve been quick to reap the benefits of Business Central – especially in terms of consolidation. “It's far easier and faster to consolidate all the entities because the multi-entity management module pulls them together. Before, they were set up separately as individual ledgers, which created a headache for us as we had to pull all those different entities together and load the data into one place.”

“With no manual intervention required to handle payments, we save about five hours on our monthly banking processes. And as well as giving us more control, the opportunity for fraud is minimised,”

Benedict Bagang | Group Financial Controller – Financial & Commercial Services, Te Runanga o Toa Rangatira

Workday Adaptive Planning has been a very welcome addition, says Bagang. “We mainly use it for our planning and budgeting – which is now a streamlined process. We can build our own reports to look precisely as we want them to, rather than using the standardised reports from Business Central. At the same time, it holds all the information we need, so even those entities that aren’t using Business Central yet can use Workday for their forecasts, reporting and budgets.”

People power

Bagang says that moving to Business Central has enabled them to shelve plans to hire more resources.  

“We’d planned to bring on two more full-time people because of the volume of the work. But now that bank payments are integrated, we can process invoices more efficiently without increasing our headcount. If we hadn’t moved to Business Central, we’d also have needed additional people to support our systems accounting and reporting.”

Benedict Bagang | Group Financial Controller – Financial & Commercial Services, Te Runanga o Toa Rangatira

Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira users have been quick to adopt the new solution, with Bagang saying that everyone was up to speed within three to four months. “In other organisations, I’ve seen it take over a year for users to really familiarise themselves with the system, mainly because there were so many issues after going live. But for us, it was much faster – that was another major benefit in staying with a Microsoft solution.”

Fabulous feedback

The proof of the implementation is always in the feedback.

“I admit I was a bit sceptical that we could do the implementation and go live within six months, but working with Fusion5 exceeded my expectations.”

Benedict Bagang | Group Financial Controller – Financial & Commercial Services, Te Runanga o Toa Rangatira

The project went so well that Christian Katene commented, “We're executing multiple projects at any time. This project with Fusion5 is by far the most effective and best-run project we have engaged in, and we'll use it as a model for future projects.”

Bagang agrees. “I'm very proud of the teams involved in this project. We’d tried, without success, to implement two other systems before - so we were very aware that the Board’s eyes were on us. This project's success was largely due to choosing and working with a partner we could trust to deliver.

“Fusion5’s consultants always have on-the-spot answers and advice; they know their solutions well. If we have issues, they are addressed immediately – everyone is accountable and responsive. 

“I admit I was a bit sceptical that we could do the implementation and go live within six months,” says Bagang, “but working with Fusion5 exceeded my expectations.”

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