How to make your business future proof – anticipating change through solid IT

The Malta Business Weekly

People change, markets too, and businesses need to keep up. In this context, the main concern lies on how to stay in tune with all these changes and developments, without having to invest again and again in new software, applications and other IT installations crucial to any business but also often very expensive, and quickly outdated.

Whether it is a new trend amongst customers, another twist in the economy or the progresses of competitors, countless elements can influence the health and sustainability of your business and create a snow-ball effect on your profitably. In these situations, quick-fixes are often made, regardless of their long-term effect on the business.

So, how does one anticipate rather than react to all these challenges?

Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERP) are solutions which integrate internal and external management information across an entire organisation into one single intuitive software application. They embrace all departments of a company from finance to manufacturing to customer relationship management and sales. Their purpose is to facilitate the flow of information between all business functions within the organization and manage their internal and external connections.

Regardless of the size of the company, an ERP system gives complete visibility, and control over the entire business, from only one interface, thus improving greatly both resources planning and time management. This way, it is possible to evaluate business possibilities in real-time and develop your company’s adaptation capabilities to ever changing market conditions, thus putting an end to last minute bad surprises.

In order to minimize and control such risks, Bank of Valletta decided to invest in a solid solution based on Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009, implemented by KPMG Crimsonwing Malta. The objectives of the project were to introduce a new multi-currency and multi-dimensional general ledger as well as to establish a central repository system of financial information to meet the diverse needs of both internal and external customers. The result was indeed quite successful: “The new general ledger implemented will help to enhance management, financial and regulatory reporting to provide our many users with different views of financial data in a timelier manner besides offering diverse ways in which the data may be analysed.” stated Ms Elvia George, COF at Bank of Valletta.

Moreover, ERP systems are integrated in such a way that over time, and depending on the business’ needs, add-on applications can be implemented, therefore securing the company against long and costly renewals of their entire IT system.

For instance a telecommunications provider in Malta, was already equipped with Microsoft Dynamics NAV’s financial accounting system. However, in order to handle ever increasing reporting demands, which was very labour intensive and time consuming, the company management decided to invest in a more automated reporting application, JetReports, to simplify the financial reporting process across the group.

The Group Financial Controller commented: “The introduction of JetReports has had a significant impact on the way management accounts are now used. The time taken to generate them has dropped significantly. They are run more frequently, so management is always kept up to date. Viewing the financial situation across all the companies within the group is now a much simpler task.”

These are two great examples of what can be achieved when solutions are implemented thoroughly. IT specialists, like the team at KPMG Crimsonwing, are always striving to give expert advice on finding the right solution for each company’s unique business needs, which is crucial to succeeding in today’s competitive environment.