Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions provide the digital backbone for companies seeking operational transformation and efficiencies — but they are inherently complicated, and notoriously challenging to implement. When successfully executed, an ERP upgrade has profound business implications that can directly improve a firm’s profitability.
For Australian companies seeking expansion in global markets, identifying the need to digitally transform their operations with a robust ERP solution will become more commonplace.
Nuseed is one such Australian firm that achieved measurable benefits directly attributable to its ERP systems overhaul. As Australia’s largest crop protection company — and a growing subsidiary of Nufarm — Nuseed’s 300 employees operate globally across 100 countries. The agro-based firm determined the necessity to upgrade its ERP systems to enable real-time visibility of its global operations’ large data and inventory as a basis for better decision-making.
After a two-year digital transformation journey, Nuseed was able to address many challenges that beset its multi-market operations by implementing a single cloud-based ERP system. The result has been a significant improvement in its operational efficiencies, with 17 per cent reduction in costs. The company now forecasts growth of over $300 million in next two years.
Which-50 chatted to Justin Majcher, global director for business systems and IT at Nuseed, about his firm’s experience in rolling out a new ERP solution.
MG: How do you make a company-wide business case that an ERP solution is a necessary investment? Moreover, how do you estimate the business benefits and efficiencies that a robust ERP solution can deliver?
JM: As a seed company operating in multiple countries, we needed a better process to run our global business more efficiently and standardise our systems and processes. Previously, we had too many ERP systems that were not integrated, and this made decisions challenging as the data was in too many places.
MG: How do you ensure that an organisation has adequately budgeted for an ERP solution investment?
JM: We worked very closely with our consulting partner and vendor — Oracle NetSuite — to understand our processes and the potential level of complexity to implement an ERP for our global business. We then completed a top-down budgeting process and went through an internal review process.
MG: How do you decide what individual specialist applications to integrate into the ERP solution? What are the challenges of implementing specialist applications into an ERP stack and how can they be overcome?
JM: Our overarching goal was to consolidate as many systems as possible into the ERP to streamline our IT support and delivery models. We had many unique systems that were built from the ground up that we needed to understand their true business purpose and how we could standardise them globally in our ERP. There was a deep partnership between IT and the business to consolidate our systems and globalise our business processes.