Reimplementation delivers multiple improvements for Avem Quirks
Avem Pty Ltd is Australia’s leading supplier of equipment and services to the food service and convenience markets. The company works in conjunction with food equipment manufacturers and food product suppliers, offering low skill, high margin solutions for the food retail industry. Design, merchandising and store layout consultancy can also be provided, capitalising on Avem’s wealth of experience in the food retail industry. The company employs 35 people and has an annual turnover in excess of $16 million.
Avem first implemented NAV in 2004. The company soon realised it had not unlocked the full potential of the software and had not achieved the business benefits sought from NAV. Avem’s initial partner decided to use a third party equipment rental add-on product to handle the rental business. In reality the add-on was not well suited to Avem’s business and it was only utilising a very small part of the product. The add-on has since become unsupported in the Australian market. The processes and workflows were cumbersome and time consuming, and data was being duplicated in the system. New employees had difficulty learning the processes and relied on a few members of staff who understood the complex processes.
Reporting was inaccurate and was not trusted by staff. Manual checks were needed to gather any useful information. Avem sought a software partner who understood what the company wanted to achieve, could deliver an effective upgrade strategy and partner Avem as the business grew. Avem had the following business objectives:
- Tracking and monitoring business performance for product lines, geographical areas, customers and other indicators
- Achieving reliable and reconcilable reporting
- Reducing key strokes for data entry where possible and achieving greater operational efficiencies
- Re-engineering processes to industry best practice.
The re-implementation has been a very successful project with a number of improvements already achieved.Andrew Murray, Managing Director, Avem
In 2010 Avem approached Fenwick Software with a view to reviewing all systems and business processes. Avem sought a software partner who would take the time to fully understand what the business wanted to achieve. A partner who could deliver an effective upgrade strategy and become a trusted adviser as the business grew.
“The approach to defining the data we wanted to enter and how we wanted to enter it was just done simply in the way it always had been done. We were looking for a software house that could give us what we wanted, work with us in developing an upgrade strategy and continue working with us in the future,” Andrew says. “Fenwick was very comfortable doing that, was very responsive and very understanding about what we wanted to achieve.” Fenwick Software performed a series of discovery and review sessions and, following thorough investigation, recommended a full re-implementation rather than attempting to update and reengineer the initial implementation.
Upgrading had four major limitations including:
- Current systems did not capture data required to measure required KPIs
- The rental add-on was unsupported in Australia and was not flexible to Avem’s needs. This could not be modified or updated
- Processes were complex and reengineering would prove difficult
- The enormous amount of re-engineering required introduced a significant amount of risk to any upgrade project.
Re-implementation had several. advantages including:
- Lower risk by starting from a clean, firm foundation
- Allowing Avem to fully analyse business processes and workflows
- Re-engineering of processes and workflows in accordance with industry best practices
- More accurately capture data to allow precise and timely reporting
- Tracking of critical KPIs, allowing better informed, more timely business decisions
- The unsupported rental add-on could be removed from the system reducing costs and complexity.
It was better to start from the ground up and perform a complete review of all business processes, allowing Avem to revisit and ultimately achieve the business benefits sought:
- Tracking and monitoring business performance of product lines, geographical areas, customers and various other indicators
- Eliminating duplication of data and reducing key strokes
- Greater operational efficiencies
- Re-engineering processes to industry best practice
- Simplify processing
The third party rental add-on was removed, the rental requirements were reviewed and the desired functionality built into NAV.
So why do some major software implementations deliver on expectations, and others fall well short of meeting the business objectives?
“A key reason is that in many software companies the sales process focuses on selling the software and not truly understanding the business problems or the business goals and objectives,” according to Peter Fenwick, Chairman of Fenwick Software.
Previously, there had been no real agreement about what we wanted to achieve from the software and no structure within it.Andrew Murray, Avem’s Managing Director
The re-implementation was completed late 2010. Andrew says: “The re-implementation has been a very successful project with a number of improvements already achieved”.
- Processes and workflows have been refined and simplified
- More accurate information assists business processes and decision making
- A new rental system has been built into NAV
- Staff have adapted to the new systems quickly
- A client web portal has been successfully developed and implemented
- A scalable, flexible and supportable system has been delivered.
New dashboard improves data viewing
The web portal was completely redeveloped from the ground up, incorporating more efficient technology.”Avem’s customers use a web portal that provides them with a full history of services provided to them by Avem. So it was extremely important that all history was transferred to the new system without interruption to client services,” says Rubina Usman of
Fenwick Software. “The new dashboard allows customers to instantly view a range of historical data graphically or in list form. By allowing customers full access to this information, any disparities can be identified and problems quickly resolved. The wider availability of information also informs future planning and budget projections from both sides.”
Andrew says: “The website redevelopment is a fantastic concept. The website is now far more reliable,and the major customer who uses its says it’s the best in the industry. “I think we’ve got a very good tool here, and it’s now a matter of how to educate people to use it. We already offer training, and the system is very intuitive and quite straightforward.”Previously our information was very questionable, and we couldn’t collect, present or report on a lot of data because it wasn’t captured directly. “We now have automatic report generation that we haven’t previously had. We’re putting more data in the correct places so we can recover it, and have the ability to develop further and faster with it when we want to.”
Easy to do business with
They were far more human in their approach, compared to some software companies who say ‘that was your fault, you should have told us’. They were fantastic like that, and I can only praise them for their approach.Andrew Murray, Avem’s Managing Director
“Our expectations have been met from the service delivery side. In fact, when we met one major road block, Fenwick said there was a significant credit on something we’d already completed that could defray the cost on an additional item which we didn’t identify earlier on,” Andrew says. “Peter Fenwick has a gentlemanly approach, and has a much better relationship with us than any other software house we’ve ever dealt with.”