Aotearoa Fisheries Limited is New Zealand’s largest Māori-owned fishing business, comprised of three business divisions and nine processing sites, plus depots and marine farms. Its primary activities include fish harvesting, farming, processing, and marketing seafood in New Zealand and internationally, plus non-seafood food processing. With multiple divisions and locations, AFL wanted to implement an ERP solution that would make it easy to see individual and consolidated activities, and integrate with other IT systems within the organisation to provide better visibility into the business. The company was also looking to modernise and eliminate unnecessarily manual processes across the board.
“Our employees were rekeying up to 1000 payable invoices from paper copies a month. It was not just cumbersome, doing business like this left us vulnerable to errors,” explains Doug McIntosh, ERP Project Manager at AFL.
A modern solution to enable productivity gains
Having reviewed several leading ERP solutions, AFL selected Microsoft Dynamics NAV. McIntosh explains:
“There wasn't an industry-specific ERP solution that met all our specific needs, so choosing a leading solution from Microsoft and then working with Theta to enhance it was the best approach. Dynamics NAV was the right decision financially, the right decision for the benefits it delivers, and the right decision for a business our size.”
During the implementation, AFL created a standard set of accounts and cleansed the data from the previous system. A document scanning solution was also deployed to remove the need to re-key paper invoices. The system is now fully operational—and the benefits have been plentiful.
Eliminates time-consuming and error-prone activities
Since the implementation, intercompany transactions are much easier to consolidate, resulting in more accurate and more timely financial information.
“We no longer need to use Excel to consolidate transactions, which saves time. More importantly it’s always accurate, which gives us complete confidence in the numbers,” says McIntosh.
Working with Microsoft Dynamics NAV specialists Theta, AFL opted for a hosted environment, making it accessible from any location. Microsoft Dynamics NAV’s interface is tailored to an employee’s role, enabling staff to see information pertinent to their specific function.
“Each team has visibility of what they need to do and what’s outstanding, so it gives them better information to do their job. They spend less time looking for something and more time getting it done.” Doug McIntosh
Improves productivity with automation
AFL has introduced work-flow based approval on credit memos, purchase invoices, and credit limits. The result? Automation is reducing administrative overhead. McIntosh explains:
“Dynamics NAV reduces paperwork and gives you an audit trail of who has done what, providing better control. Access is permitted only to those who need it, wherever they are. Our employees aren’t tied to the office anymore.”
Employees now scan accounts payable invoices rather than rekeying from paper copies. This process automatically generates a purchase invoice within the system and puts it into an approval queue. “At 1000 invoices per month, this is saving a lot of time and the improved accuracy means that we don’t spend time any more chasing down the errors and correcting them,” says McIntosh.
AFL takes about 100 orders per day directly from domestic customers. This process used to involve manual keying of each order before sending it down to the shop floor. Not any more.
“With Dynamics NAV, orders now flow into the shop floor system automatically, informing staff of what they need to pick, process, and dispatch. Completed orders are also recorded into Dynamics NAV, along with dispatch details, so we have a complete history.” Doug McIntosh
Seamlessly complements existing IT systems
Integrating Dynamics NAV with AFL’s factory floor system has introduced more robust processes.
“We used to get system locking issues, which delayed processing, but that doesn’t happen now because Dynamics NAV doesn’t fail. It’s also more efficient to run because there is less manual intervention and greater accuracy.” Doug McIntosh
Smoother integration of businesses
AFL is now positioned for future growth. Integrating an acquired business and then adapting its processes to conform with AFL used to be time consuming. With Microsoft Dynamics NAV the process is now much easier.
“We recently integrated another business and we were able to get that business onto Dynamics NAV financials very quickly. Now all the important numbers are in a single system.” Doug McIntosh.
Automation of processes for error reduction and productivity gains
Improved financial control
Smoother integration of newly acquired businesses
Standardisation of business processes across the company