Lightnin Mixers is a US-owned manufacturer of process equipment such as pumps, mixers, agitators, aerators and floculators for fluid processing systems. Lightnin Mixers’ client base consists primarily of mining, oil and gas companies, as well as process manufacturers in the pump area. The Australian client list includes such global giants as BHP, Rio Tinto, Atlantic Foods and Newmont Mining.
In Australia, all products sold are designed and built-to-order specific to individual customer requirements, with parts imported from the United States and local content and contractors used for any fabrication work required to complete the order.
Over the past few years, in line with the considerable growth of its primary target industries, Lightnin Mixers has also experienced significant growth in Australia. That growth is set to continue with some massive major projects already set for 2007.
SYSPRO at the heart of the business
The heart of any business is a solid financial system. Myriam Giovanazzi, Finance Manager for Lightnin Mixers says, “SYSPRO’s powerful financials offers complete financial and cost accounting functionality giving us confidence (in the numbers) and total control over every aspect of the business.”
SYSPRO offers a comprehensive solution, which is well-suited to all-sized organisations for bottom to high-end corporate accounting. SYSPRO is fully integrated and allows for transaction processing in the current period, as well as two prior periods. This alleviates any problems associated with period ends because a period can be closed quickly and the next period’s transaction posting commenced, without losing the ability to correct/add postings or print reports for the prior period(s).
The general ledger can be held open for two years, thus facilitating smooth year-end. The general ledger is particularly powerful in its ability to drill down the audit trail to scrutinise the sub-ledger’s original source transaction. User-defined document formatting, using Microsoft Word or bitmap images, alleviates the need for pre-printed stationery such as Accounts Payable - remittance, cheques and labels; accounts receivable - statements and labels and cash book - cheques.
SYSPRO provides clear advantages with fully integrated solution
Lightnin Mixers uses all SYSPRO’s financial and distribution modules except for quotation. That includes accounts payable and receivable, inventory control, general ledger, purchase orders, cash book and so on. Every aspect of the business is tracked from when the order goes into the system, to completion of a job.
Within a short time after implementation, some clear advantages were realised. SYSPRO provides a fully integrated solution and manages all aspects from order creation through to invoicing and collection.
Lightnin Mixers now has visibility into performance across the organisation and profitability can be reported by individual job or project if required. The result is vastly improved budgetary and cost control mechanisms.
Due of its ease-of-use, everyone in the organisation knows how to use SYSPRO from the sales person entering their own orders, to purchasing people ordering goods and closing off orders once a project is complete.
The user-friendly aspect of SYSPRO is an advantage. When a new person comes on board, they undergo just one day’s training to gain an understanding of the system. SYSPRO also has an online help facility providing explanations should a user become stuck in a particular area. In addition, the ability to customise screens if required is another advantage. SYSPRO simplifies the process, making everything more efficient.
Implementation and ongoing maintenance
According to Giovanazzi said, “The Finance Director at the time did have experience since he had used SYSPRO before; however a number of the staff, including myself, had not.”
In terms of ongoing maintenance and issues, Giovanazzi says it is rare that Lightnin Mixers has problems and commented, “Sometimes, our distributor will call and say he has not heard from us in a while. He will ask if there are any problems I’d like to discuss. I always tell him – if we have a problem, you’ll be the first to know, but so far we haven’t had to call on them for anything too serious.”
Return on investment
The major saving achieved is in training costs – with new people up to speed with the functionality of the system quickly. When a new person joins Lightnin Mixers, they receive just one day’s training in SYSPRO and are fairly competent to use the system by themselves right from day two.
SYSPRO provides everything Lightnin Mixers requires in terms of functionality – in a simpler way – many processes are automated, providing time and cost savings in terms of both man-power and equipment costs. An example of these combined cost savings is the ability to automatically email a remittance off the system rather than printing it out and posting or faxing it.
While the ROI was not officially measured ROI, Giovanazzi says, “I can say that SYSPRO provides low cost of ownership and fast ROI.”