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Growing global with NetSuite
“The biggest benefit to us, though, is having all of our subsidiaries on one ERP instance that drives consistent, global processes."Justin Majcher, Global Director for Business Systems and IT, Nuseed
Started in 2006, Nuseed develops plant traits and top performing canola, sorghum and sunflower hybrid seeds. The company’s 300 employees work from nine global locations and two state-of-the-art Innovation Centres, providing seeds to 100 countries.
Nuseed is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nufarm Limited (ASX:NUF).
Nuseed’s global growth was hampered by running too many systems, most of which didn’t share their data. Business financials were managed and reported on by SAP BusinessObjects, Attaché accounting software, JDE EnterpriseOne and corporate performance management software. Separate management and bulk production processes took care of seed production information.
“We had too many non-integrated ERP systems, so we didn’t have real-time visibility of our data and inventory,” says Justin Majcher, Nuseed’s global director for business systems and IT. “This made decision-making challenging as the data was in too many places. Because we operate in multiple countries, we needed a better process to run our global business more efficiently and standardise our systems and processes.”
The overarching goal, says Majcher, was to streamline their IT support and delivery models, combining as many systems as possible into a single ERP. “We had many unique systems that were built from the ground up and we needed to understand their true business purpose. There was a deep partnership between IT and the rest of the organisation to consolidate our systems and globalise our business processes.”
Nuseed initially considered extending their SAP and JDE solutions, but the ongoing cost of ownership was off-putting. They decided that adopting NetSuite, the world’s number 1 cloud business management suite, was a better choice for the business.
“While we’re a global business,” says Majcher, “we have that small business mindset of keeping our costs down. When we started to look at some of the bigger enterprise applications, the implementation and yearly maintenance costs were just too high for us. By comparison, NetSuite is a fraction of the cost.”
The company’s cloud strategy was the priority for Majcher, followed by the speed to implement. “We’re a nimble IT organisation with a relatively small employee headcount. The biggest factor in our choice of NetSuite was knowing that it’s a true cloud solution. We don’t need to worry about disaster recovery, backups, redundancy, infrastructure, applying patches or managing the bi-annual version updates. It’s all handled by NetSuite, so it really lets us streamline our organisation and focus more on driving better business benefits through our IT systems.”
Fusion5 were known and trusted after working with Nuseed on other technology solutions. “We partnered with Fusion5 based on their IT knowledge, and equally - if not more importantly – their business process knowledge. Fusion5 had the capability to fuse together the IT and business experience needed to help us deliver a global solution.”
"The combination of the right solution, Fusion5’s deep subject matter expertise, a good partnership and hardworking teams got us to the finish line together.”Justin Majcher, Global Director for Business Systems and IT, Nuseed
Nuseed, Fusion5 and NetSuite worked together closely, evaluating the business’ processes and scoping out the potential level of complexity involved in implementing an ERP for a global enterprise. This included a top-down budgeting process and a full internal review. The resulting plan encompassed three continents and a roll out time of two years.
“Fusion5 guided us as to the right course,” says Majcher, “and together we decided to go ‘out-of-the-box.’ We opted to customise and configure the solution only where our business processes demanded it. This applied globally so that all our entities could leverage the same processes. This approach helped reduce complexity and minimised the risk of overrunning our budget or timeline.”
Majcher says the resulting implementation was very successful. “We were able to deliver it to the company within time and within budget, which is fantastic. The combination of the right solution, Fusion5’s deep subject matter expertise, a good partnership and hardworking teams got us to the finish line together.”
The Nuseed project team communication plan ensured the right users were trained at the right times during the implementation process. In addition, many users were part of the testing team, so provided real-time feedback as well as gaining an understanding of the new system before it was fully implemented. This early buy-in meant minimal disruptions during the go live.
At the end of their digital transformation journey, Nuseed could finally address the challenges facing its multi-market operations by implementing a single cloud-based ERP system. This ERP solution will support Nuseed as it continues to grow.
Majcher says NetSuite delivered the company’s original business-case benefits, including a significant improvement in its operational efficiencies, with a 17% reduction in costs. He says NetSuite helped with their inventories and met other key process indicators.
“The biggest benefit to us, though,” says Majcher, “is having all of our subsidiaries on one ERP instance that drives consistent, global processes. We can now see consolidated financial numbers - revenue, gross margin, expenses, inventory - based on our corporate currency, as well as at the local currency level. This drives better decision-making because we can identify trends through data analytics and drive efficiency through clean master data.”
Fusion5 rolled out NetSuite to Nuseed in the US, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, the UK, Serbia, Ukraine and Russia.
“A two-year project implementation requires great project management, the right people on the team, and understanding what’s needed to minimise risks and control the costs,” says Majcher. “And Fusion5’s team really went the extra mile to attend project meetings which were in the middle of the night for them due to time zone differences.”
“If we had to go through this ERP journey again we would definitely partner with Fusion5. Throughout the entire implementation, and through our final signoff, they were with us through every step of the journey, providing great subject matter expertise. Not only from a technical, but from a business process standpoint as well.”
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