Office Authority is one of the largest integrated suppliers of school and office products, commercial printing, advertising specialties, business machines and paper products in the English-speaking Caribbean. Headquartered in Trinidad and Tobago, Office Authority reflects over 50 years of solid reputation representing some of the world’s most powerful brands.
Office Authority seamlessly consolidated two Microsoft Dynamics™ GP organizational entities into one by implementing CRG Company Combiner™. They also leveraged the robust analytical tool, Microsoft Power BI™, to achieve a highly flexible information management platform. Users can now visually see information in both entities from a single dashboard and drill into the details. The experience and analytics solution from CRGroup has enriched the critical business decision making processes that directly impact profitability at Office Authority. Senior management can easily view detailed customer sales information, receivables and other data in real-time.
To run the ever-changing business which spans across manufacturing, distribution, after-sales services and support, Office Authority was utilizing legacy systems in silos that made viewing consolidated information difficult.
The Need for Company Combiner at Office Authority
“Our systems were limited to basic accounting functionality and no value-added management components. We needed a cost-effective solution that would accommodate our growing business where we could make fact-based decisions’”, said Rishi Baddaloo, Group Managing Director at Office Authority.
A number of systems Office Authority was using in their daily operations were reaching their end-of-life status. It was essential for them to update their systems in order to maintain a strong advantage over their competition. Baddaloo contacted Corporate Renaissance Group, an internationally recognized and trusted consulting firm and Microsoft Gold partner based in Ottawa, Canada. For over 30 years CRGroup has specialized in delivering complete and coordinated solutions for enterprise resource planning, corporate performance management, business intelligence, financial and costing principles, shared services and employee performance management. Baddaloo believed that CRGroup would be a great partner to undertake their transformation.
Office Authority’s Journey
CRGroup led the project with a Microsoft Dynamics GP system redesign and reconfiguration. This work consisted of a complete restructure of the chart of accounts; merging two of the three subsidiary company databases together; and deploying the Field Service module to automate after sales service and support. With the foundation in place, automated reporting was then structured through Management Reporter and Power BI.
“We had heard from other companies about CRGroup’s capabilities and knew the value they could bring,” said Baddaloo. “They took time to understand our situation, guided us through the process and more importantly, honestly told us the options and possibilities available given our budget constraints and needs. Based on our early interactions with the team, I was confident that the CRGroup team would provide us with the right solution.”
Consolidating two of the three subsidiary company databases was an elaborate part of the project where a great deal of detail and planning was invested. The use of CRG Company Combiner to complete the consolidation allowed for all historical information and transactions to be kept intact for users to easily report and analyze. Moreover, attention was paid to ensure data consistency by removing duplicates in all of the sub-ledgers (customers and products).
Once the groundwork was laid with the database consolidation, CRGroup leveraged Power BI and Management Reporter to create a structured and automated reporting system that facilitated visibility into the data of the organization. “With the implementation of Power BI we now have real-time Benefits insights into our business with minimal effort,” said Baddaloo.
A critical factor in the success of the project was to sequence the work in ways that would not disrupt or interfere with daily business operations. CRGroup worked with the Office Authority staff to ensure that the Sure Step methodology was followed while preserving the diverse working practices existing within each subsidiary. The project plan respected both the time and budget constraints of the organization. In spite of the various hardware challenges that spawned, CRGroup maintained a high level of performance and consistency throughout the project.
“We had heard from other companies about CRGroup’s capabilities and knew the value they could bring”
Reliable Decision Making
A major part of upgrading Office Authority’s analytical capabilities and unleashing its full insights potential was to completely restructure the way they interacted with data. CRGroup deployed an array of solutions including customized Analysis Services cubes for better reporting, Management Reporter for financial and management reporting, and Power BI for instant, real-time, up-to-date insights and monitoring with the use of dashboards and KPIs. These indispensable solutions provided Office Authority with heightened visibility into their corporate data, equipping the management team with the essential information and tools to make sound and relevant decisions that continue to drive success in the company.
Reduced Manual Processes, Increased Automation
In order for Office Authority to achieve process efficiency and reduce the reliance on manual tracking tools and processes, CRGroup implemented the Field Service module in Dynamics GP. The Field Service module was extensively configured to ensure the automation process for service calls captured Office Authority’s specifications. Management and staff gained complete control of related service calls and associated events, eliminating manual processes and greatly improving efficiency.
Improved Data Management
The consolidation of two Dynamics GP databases into a single company database using Company Combiner enabled Office Authority’s two divisions with many commonalities to use the same sub-ledger data for payables, sales, and inventory. This consolidation provided more effective and efficient reporting capabilities. In addition, it eliminated the duplication of data and effort for Office Authority staff to enter master records, ultimately allowing easier data management.
Achieved Reporting and Queries Flexibility
Prior to the adjustment of the chart of accounts and the database unification, many reporting queries related to sales and margin analysis required manual data dumps, intensive sorting, and heavy re-formatting. By moving sales and margin analysis data from the general ledger into the sales sub-ledger, it allowed the use of analysis cubes for easier and flexible sub-ledger reporting and queries. The database consolidation also enhanced reporting on sub-ledger components. Management now has an accurate view of customer activity since both divisions now share the same customer master data.
Power BI, the database consolidation, and the Field Service module have enabled Office Authority to easily manage and manipulate their data, eliminate manual effort and automate their service call process allowing for growth through process efficiency. Baddaloo stated:
“We have received excellent support from the CRGroup team. With all the solutions that needed to be implemented, CRGroup ensured a seamless process from meeting our tight deadlines and preserving our daily work routine to training and sharing corporate best practices,”
“Corporate Renaissance Group helped Office Authority make data-driven analytical decisions by deploying an end to end platform that facilitates real-time advanced analytics and business intelligence, allowing us to have complete visibility across our different lines of business”
– Rishi Baddaloo, Group Managing Director of Office Authority
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