Tactical IT consolidation of multiple legacy systems
In the construction sector, mergers and acquisitions pose major challenges for IT. Newly-merged companies struggle to consolidate data into single, cross-business databases. Legacy systems are often retained because it’s too costly — in time, investment and disruption — to replace them. This is where ECLEVA’s business software solutions create value. ECLEVA helped an AUD 20 billion Australian property company integrate 15 databases onto a single Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform. With a clear view of all sales activities, managers can track forward sales nationwide and employees work from one, familiar, user-friendly application.
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One of Australia’s biggest corporate-property companies known for building entire communities such as retirement villages, land and home package communities, and diversified apartment complexes, constructed more than 50 residential communities across Australia. It had assets above AUD 20 billion.
As it absorbed new businesses, this company inherited multiple IT systems. For example, employees used 15 different legacy systems to manage unit sales across Australia.
But without a clear, consolidated view of sales, the company found it difficult to provide accurate reporting and create reliable sales forecasts.
Corporate acquisitions also created personnel challenges. Having grown into a nationwide company, the company wanted the freedom to send employees to work in multiple regions. But with multiple legacy sales systems, transfers weren’t quite so easy. Without unifying those systems there was an operational cost to asking employees to work with unfamiliar systems.
Sometimes,creating an interim solution is the hardest thing to do. But by focussing on business data objectives we simultaneously reduced cost and complexity.
As a construction-industry specialist, ECLEVA assesses a client’s immediate, practical needs and executes the simplest, cost-effective solution. In this case, ECLEVA knew that the client planned to deploy a large Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to manage sales, finance and reporting. But what the client needed quickly was a stepping stone to get there without disrupting business.
“The solution was simple, but getting there was a highly complex process, involving numerous duplicates in the data,” says Patrick Northcott, Chief Executive Officer, ECLEVA. “Our job was to get the data into one cohesive form, so that going forward everyone would be working to one, consistent set of data. We could do this because we have the expertise, the technology tools and the data-cleansing technologies.”
ECLEVA used Microsoft Dynamics CRM to consolidate data from 15 legacy systems and create a single sales system. Called the National Sales Database, the solution was accessible to all stakeholders and business units. It enabled all sales teams to manage inventory, contracts and conveyancing. At one stroke, it became the central system for all sales-related staff.
Led by Patrick, the project-execution team comprised an internal project manager, a document specialist and two ECLEVA technical specialists. According to Northcott a lean team meant efficient execution.
To bring home the benefits of the National Sales Database, ECLEVA conducted five training sessions for over 40 sales staff across Australia. The training ranged from hands-on coaching to the delivery of specialised training tools. This helped to make the National Sales Database an instant, national asset.
The database provides a fast, simple, single source of truth for every aspect of property sales across the country. The project was completed quickly and cost-effectively, resolving real operational challenges and enabling the client to prepare for a future ERP platform.
“The new database gave managers a clear view of what is happening nationwide,” says Patrick. “Also, sales people can travel across the country and work seamlessly — and so can part-time workers. This increased flexibility and enabled the client to deploy its growing workforce to best effect.”
According to Patrick, ECLEVA’s success comes from staying focussed on the client challenge.
“We met the client where they were at, and simply helped them get from ‘Point A’ to ‘Point B’,” says Patrick. “Sometimes, creating an interim solution is the hardest thing to do — in a cost-effective way. But by focussing on business data objectives we simultaneously reduced cost and complexity.”