Chain and Rigging Supplies

Making a strong business case for NetSuite

“We have instant access to real-time information. We know where an order is, who generated it and where it’s going – so there’s a whole new level of accountability and visibility in the business. Having the flexibility to design our own reports has been another huge bonus.”

Jackie Edwards, Business Manager

Established in 1982, Chain and Rigging Supplies provide a wide range of high-quality equipment to marine, transport and hardware industries all over New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. They also test, inspect and certify lifting equipment.

Mike O’Brien purchased the business in 2008. It came complete with its legacy Attaché accounting software.

Time to change

Jackie Edwards joined Chain and Rigging as the accounts manager in 2014. After holding a range of senior finance roles and working with modern business and accounting systems, she found the outdated software an ongoing exercise in frustration. She promptly made replacing Attaché a business priority.

“We paid Attaché a monthly subscription, and a fee per email from the system,” she says. “The solution wasn’t cloud-based, and the process to navigate from one module or function to another was rigid and linear. The reports were basic, and if we wanted anything customised, we had to go back to Attaché.”

And to Edwards’ horror, when it came to month’s end roll-over the system had to be closed down. “Nobody could do anything in it for about four to five hours, so it really impacted business productivity,” she says.

Making the case for NetSuite

Edwards prepared a table comparing the price of the two systems, including the cost of lost productivity at rollover time. “I showed it to Mike and he said, ‘Are you kidding?’ The price difference was negligible, but there were lots more benefits to using NetSuite. Mike agreed that upgrading to a more sophisticated solution was absolutely the right move for us.”

Business benefits to love

Edwards says Chain and Rigging realised significant business benefits from using NetSuite.

Report configuration is now managed internally, and Edwards has the data the business needs for decision making on hand within hours. “With NetSuite, there are just so many ways of doing a report and getting the information that you need. I love that.”

On the odd occasion where Edwards has reached out for help through Fusion5’s iHelp portal, she says the service is fast and responsive. 

Chain and Rigging only have 12 staff – and all but one use NetSuite. “Practically everyone in the company can generate and fulfil a sales order, or look at a customer’s details,” says Edwards. “Anyone can help a customer, and that’s what we’re about.”

“We have instant access to real-time information. We know where an order is, who generated it and where it’s going – so there’s a whole new level of accountability and visibility in the business. Having the flexibility to design our own reports has been another huge bonus.”

And unlike the old system, NetSuite lets Edwards set user permissions and produces an audit trail. “Our staff have more control over what they’re doing, but can’t accidentally delete information. We know exactly who’s done what, so we can quickly resolve issues and queries.”

After years of accessing Attaché through the server, NetSuite’s anytime, anywhere mobile functionality is another godsend to the business users. An overseas trip is no longer a roadblock to easily and quickly checking in on the business back home.

Dashboard delight

Edwards set up NetSuite dashboards for the whole team at Chain and Rigging, and they’ve been a real hit. And as the team’s confidence grows, they now add their own shortcuts to frequent tasks and favourite reports. They also customise the activities and real-time information they want to see and use on an everyday basis.

The dashboards let the business management team view and compare sales performance from one year to the next on the same screen. “It’s real-time information, and that’s what the business values,” says Edwards. “Mike loves that just by opening his dashboard he can see exactly where we’re at.”

A right-sized solution

Edwards is a NetSuite convert. “NetSuite is very clean and user-friendly, and there aren’t many restrictions. Unlike big systems I’ve used in the past, everyone in the business finds it easy to use.”

“NetSuite is fantastic for a company that needs more than a basic finance solution, but doesn’t want to invest in an IT department or have a full-time accountant in the background. It bridges the gap between the big solutions like Oracle and the small ones like MYOB and Xero, and it’s certainly cost-effective.”

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