State Sports Centres Trust

How SSCT generates savings of $20,000+ a year with MS Dynamics 365

State Sport Centres Trust (SSCT) the statutory authority responsible for managing major Victorian Government sporting facilities in Melbourne, has saved more than $20,000 a year in administrative overheads since EBS deployed Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

SSCT manages state-of-the-art sporting facilities in Victoria including the Melbourne Sports & Aquatics Centre and Lakeside Stadium in Albert Park and the State Netball Hockey Centre in Parkville. These premier multi-sport facilities enable both individuals and sporting organisations to achieve peak performance, reach their potential and deliver world-class events.

The Challenge: Unreliable systems and downtime 

With about 400 employees, including seasonal fluctuations, State Sport Centres Trust aims to support individuals and groups at all levels of sport, from community users to high-performance elite athletes. With the size and breadth of its operations, the SSCT recognised that it was increasingly held back by the limited capabilities of its ageing accounting system.

State Sport Centres Trust Financial Controller David Ang said the organisation had needed more functionality than the old system could deliver. “We wanted a system that was flexible enough to respond to our needs as they evolved,” he said.

“Our old system had an outdated unintuitive interface, which made reporting a nightmare for SSCT. It was very inflexible and quite laborious to use, particularly exporting our month-by-month Trial Balance report as well as running 12 different management reports.

“The Purchase Order system was also a major pain point, with erratic periods of downtime, that could stretch from as long as a week to six months in one case. The system’s service provider and vendor of the system could not provide a solution to these problems.”

Microsoft Dynamics 365 NAV delivers a winning finish

Mr Ang said these operational challenges had motivated SSCT to undertake a comprehensive review for a software solution that offered the capabilities to meet the organisation’s evolving needs. In June 2018, State Sport Centres Trust chose Australian enterprise software specialist Evolution Business Systems (EBS) to deliver the Microsoft Dynamics 365 NAV software solution. Microsoft Dynamics NAV ticked all the boxes for SSCT in terms of delivering stability, flexibility and affordability, all with the advantage of a familiar Microsoft environment.

Mr Ang said key reasons for choosing Microsoft Dynamics NAV included its ability to simplify reporting and streamline processes through an intuitive interface. “Given it was a Microsoft product, we knew it would operate similarly to our other Office products and, better yet, it would integrate and work well with those products. As we were users of Office365, this helped to build out that ecosystem.”

Mr Ang said that selecting EBS to deploy Microsoft Dynamics NAV was a vital part of the solution required by SSCT. “While we obviously found Dynamics NAV a compelling solution, the software in and of itself wasn’t the main selling point – the value was the experience offered by EBS,” he said.

“EBS was the only company to really make an effort to come out and ask us pointed questions in order to get a strong understanding of the scope we required. This was reflected in their costing. From the get-go, EBS was responsive. Once they made contact, it wasn’t about making a sale, it was about providing us with comfort that we would be making the right choice and understanding exactly what our pain points were and demonstrating how those would be eliminated.

We know sports facilities and we know accounting, but we needed a solution that provided us with a partnership to deliver the best accounting system for our needs. We don’t often get the opportunity to talk to the Finance teams of other companies in the same space – so we saw a real benefit in being able to deal with someone like EBS who does and was willing to share what they were hearing and delivering.

We valued EBS’ collaborative approach. Throughout the process, they showed that they wanted to be our partners rather than just our suppliers.”

 More intuitive, faster reporting and a new world of opportunity

State Sport Centres Trust upgraded to Microsoft Dynamics NAV and moved from on-premise hosting to EBS’s cloud platform Cloud Easy in July 2018. Since then, SSCT has seen significant improvements across its business processes, increasing efficiencies by reducing the number of steps in processes and its overall daily operations.

One example is that Microsoft Dynamics NAV has reduced the Purchase-to-Pay process from 11 largely manual steps to seven paperless steps, saving about seven hours per week – an annualised cost saving of about $10,000 from that single improvement. Also, the process for raising and approving Purchase Orders is now much more intuitive, saving staff another seven hours a week.

Mr Ang said the Microsoft Dynamic NAV system was much more robust than the old system. “Dealing with system issues and downtime is also a lot easier now,” he said.

“Previously we had to act as the middle man between our managed service provider and our accounting system provider. Now, EBS deals with any system issues which reduces the time required from Finance. It’s also better geared us with a mindset that we can continue to improve the way we do things, even if that requires enhancing the system.

“The feedback has been largely positive from the business. Within Finance, the response has been very positive. Moving from a system where everything was incredibly onerous, we now feel like things are much more dynamic and flexible.”

Mr Ang said the implementation of NAV by EBS was really just the beginning for SSCT. “We’re looking to continuously enhance the solution to better suit our needs,” he said.

“By making the day-to-day tasks just a little bit easier or intuitive, we’re able to focus on other tasks that we’d normally not have had time to get to. By making these time savings and keeping the team size the same, we should be able to provide greater professional development opportunities for our staff – which is a greater focus for us now.

Starting with a fresh system and a fresh team was both exciting and challenging in terms of workload but meant that we could build things the way we saw fit without being anchored by the past way of doing things.”

Client Profile: The State Sport Centres Trust is a statutory authority responsible for governing the Melbourne Sports Centre’s four venues; Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre (MSAC), State Netball Hockey Centre (SNHC), Lakeside Stadium (LS) and the MSAC Institute of Training (MIT).
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