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Unlimited growth with NetSuite
“NetSuite's exceeded my expectations. Up until now I hadn’t worked with a finance system where I’ve gone ‘wow! this is actually doing what we need it to’. And that’s even before we unlock its full potential.”Nick Davies, Chief Financial Officer, Homecare Medical
In the 2016-2017 financial year, Homecare Medical helped more than 500,000 Kiwis to stay well, connecting them with care when they needed it.
Homecare Medical is New Zealand’s leading digital healthcare provider. It is a social enterprise owned by ProCare and Pegasus Health, two of New Zealand’s largest primary health organisations. The business has over 350 staff nationally and operates from premises in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, and from home offices across the country.
Homecare Medical runs the National Telehealth Service, which delivers free 24/7 health and mental health advice, support and information. The helplines, running across seven different channels, include Healthline, Need to talk? 1737, Quitline and other specialist services. Homecare Medical also provides nurse triage support for around 60% of New Zealand’s General Practices, so patients’ calls are answered after-hours.
A roadmap for growth
Chief Financial Officer, Nick Davies, joined Homecare Medical in early 2016, when the organisation’s annual turnover was close to $30M and future financial goals were ambitious.
Homecare Medical didn’t run its own ERP. Instead, financials were outsourced to a parent company. Every month, Homecare Medical requested a data extract, and used Excel to manually manipulate the received information into the required format.
“The parent company uses Microsoft Dynamics NAV,” says Nick. “And of course, it was set up for their accounting structure, not ours. Our road map was always to bring our own system in-house and build our own finance processes.”
It was clear to Nick that they needed a new finance approach and a procure-to-pay solution to support the organisation’s planned growth.
A checklist for success
“The Cloud,” says Nick, “was a must have for us, although not the top of the list. Our priority was for a system that didn’t require a huge amount of tailoring to meet our needs and would support growth.”
Nick evaluated Xero and SAP Business One as potential finance systems. Then based on a recommendation, he talked to Fusion5.
“They took me on a journey through the finance solutions they offered,’ says Nick. “After applying my criteria - of it being off-the-shelf, not requiring too much customisation, being cloud-based and being able to grow with us - we narrowed it down to NetSuite Financials with ApprovalPlus. The first time I saw the product demos, I was sold!
“NetSuite ticked off all of our current and future needs. That was what essentially differentiated it from the others.
“I like that NetSuite can work out-of-the-box with a whole variety of different organisations from agricultural, to mining, to high street retail or for an organisation like us. And if you do want to make tweaks, they’re easy to do, and to carry forward with subsequent upgrades. That made it very attractive.”
Homecare Medical’s management team shared Nick’s enthusiasm. They partnered with Fusion5 to implement NetSuite Financials as their new ERP, along with Fusion5’s ApprovalPlus procure-to-pay solution for managing invoice processing, purchasing, project spend control and expense claims.
“We were very excited,” says Nick. “I could see the value of both NetSuite and ApprovalPlus, and Fusion5’s ability to deliver both and integrate them.”
The implementation went smoothly, which came as a shock to Nick, a veteran of several ERP projects.
“It still sometimes worries me that the implementation went so well!” he jokes. “But it was done to budget, and on time. We had a few challenges, but in Fusion5 we found a partner who saw those as opportunities. They’re innovative and share the knowledge they’ve gained to benefit their customers. We’re delighted with that approach.”
Homecare Medical will utilise more of NetSuite’s capabilities as they roll out their finance roadmap. “NetSuite will make us more efficient. It will grow right alongside the organisation,” says Nick, “so I don’t anticipate adding headcount to our finance team.” And as more processes are automated, freeing his team from manual tasks, Nick anticipates having more time and capacity to add value back to the business.
Nick’s team has taken to NetSuite with enthusiasm. “They’re all happy and confident using web-based products. They’ve really enjoyed learning how to use it, and having access to the online question and answer functionality and the videos and tutorials. They can learn organically, rather than having to follow a rigid learning process.”
The flexibility of the system is ideal for a growing organisation, says Nick. “Our business has changed. We’re not the same company we were six months ago, so we don’t want processes that are set in stone. We want our team to be able to introduce new ways of doing things without having to leap hurdles.”
Data on-demand, 24/7 access
Nick says that having real-time access to their data is important for the business. “We’d historically get month’s end data well into the following month. Now we have the data we need to make decisions when we need it.”
Nick, a self-described ‘accounting geek’, takes advantage of accessing NetSuite, at home or when traveling, to explore the system’s capabilities. He’s particularly interested in the range of third-party NetSuite Apps, and is excited about getting additional functionality at a snippet of the cost of traditional from-the-ground-up development.
Measuring up to expectations
The organisation’s current annual revenue is now almost $40M and NetSuite is performing perfectly. “I can’t see us outgrowing NetSuite,” says Nick. “It’s designed to grow right alongside us and change as we do.
“It’s exceeded my expectations. Up until now I hadn’t worked with a finance system where I’ve gone ‘wow! this is actually doing what we need it to’. And that’s even before we unlock its full potential.”
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