Prestige Loos flushes accounting package in favour of MYOB Advanced
When their accounting software just couldn’t cut it, rapidly expanding business Prestige Loos looked to Verde and the MYOB Advanced ERP solution for improved operational control. Today, it enjoys a system delivering a significant boost in productivity, visibility and performance. Now more than a year after go-live Prestige Loos is maturing the platform, gaining further benefits while considering extending the solution by deploying additional modules, enhancing customer service and asset performance.
Established in 2004, Prestige Loos responded to the need for a premium portable toilet provider in the film production industry. The quality of the product and service was so well received, expansion into the event and construction market quickly followed. The specialist sanitation company has grown through organic growth and acquisition and is now New Zealand’s leading provider of portable sanitation.
Prestige Loos finance manager David Trotman is a veteran of several large ERP implementation projects and carries the inevitable scars. “ERP projects can destroy your business if you’re not careful,” he confides. “But it also becomes necessary when you reach a certain scale.”
Sending out more than 4 000 invoices a month meant the popular accounting package being used by Prestige wasn’t up to the task. “It just couldn’t manage that level of invoicing; it couldn’t import the volumes we needed. This meant invoices weren’t going out on time, there were issues with accuracy, and in some cases, customers weren’t receiving their invoices,” Trotman explains. This led to something of a vicious cycle of reduced collections and reinvoicing; owing to the way invoices are issued by the accounting package, they would be intercepted by spam filters, further complicating matters.
“The other thing which occurred to me is that the accounting package seemed like it was written by software people rather than accountants, something which became clear in processing and reconciling transactions. It just wasn’t all that good, and when you have thousands of transactions every billing cycle, rapid and accurate recons save huge amounts of time and effort.”
Fixed asset handling was oversimplified, representing the fact that accounting packages are not suitable for larger, complex businesses. “Asset allocations were done with one invoice. That doesn’t work when you import a containerload of semi-knockdown toilets and must account for freight, labour, customs and suppliers before capitalising the assets,” Trotman notes.
In simple terms, he says, Prestige Loos had outgrown its software.
The selection of MYOB Advanced and Verde as the implementation partner came down to the suitability of the software, the reputation of the vendor and partner, cost, and time to deploy. With experience with multinational vendors, Trotman says the costs involved can be prohibitive – and it isn’t only licensing which must be considered. “Quite often, you’ll want support in the form of minor customisation or assistance with specific reporting, or even direct intervention if a problem crops up. International vendors can make this a difficult and very expensive exercise.”
Or, as he adds, “Anything you touch, you pay through the nose.”
While he stepped in part way through the implementation, Trotman says it went as well as an ERP deployment can. MYOB Advanced modules deployed for Prestige include General Ledger, Cashbook, Purchase Orders, Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable, and Fixed Assets. The company is weighing up introducing Inventory later in 2023 and is evaluating the Advanced CRM solution, the native integration of receivables and business accounts gives it a considerable advantage over any third-party system.
He offers advice for anyone considering enterprise software. “I’ve learned over the years and certainly with this implementation to stay away from customisation unless absolutely necessary. There are often good reasons for why certain things are done in certain ways in the system, and unless there’s a competitive advantage in doing it ‘our way’, it’s best to adapt. It’s about finding a middle road.”
Further advice comes in the recommendation of a partner fully focused and available when the rubber hits the road; Trotman credits Verde with being a local team on site providing support at the point of going live.
Since that moment in November 2021 Prestige has focused on bedding down and maturing the system, he confirms. “The more we use MYOB Advanced, the more we find opportunities for improving the business. We turned a corner within a year after go-live and have found ourselves in a much better place.”
The benefits of an integrated ERP solution with far deeper functionality than an accounting package have quickly been felt. “Where customers previously didn’t trust the invoicing and Accounts Receivable, there is now a universal appreciation that every statement, every invoice accurately represents their situation,” says Trotman. On the topic of invoicing, he says it isn’t just accuracy but also efficiency, with all documents generated and sent to recipients who actually receive the messages. “Not so long ago we had our guys working long hours to stay on top of constant mistakes and queries; all that is resolved now.”
And come year-end, Trotman says financial results are delivered accurately within days. For month-ends, MYOB has enabled a close on the 8th working day, occasionally earlier, from the prior 20. Financial periods close with little drama, neatly replacing a previously fraught several weeks of panic. “We just don’t have that now.”
In fact, he quips, “Things are getting boring for the accounts department, and that’s when you know the job’s done right.” It is also at that point that one starts looking for additional opportunities for improvement; along with CRM, he says the company is considering introducing MYOB Payroll. “We’re evaluating it. Cost-wise, nothing can come close because we already have the base system in place…”
Support from Verde, Trotman says, has been nothing short of ‘fantastic’. “When requesting a change or addition, we’ve had cases where 15 minutes later they come back and say ‘it’s done’. And those requests don’t cost the earth, either.”
A smoothly functioning ERP solution, he adds, means a better-run business. “MYOB Advanced is leaps and bounds ahead of the previous system, and Verde has made it work very well for us. I’d recommend it to anyone.”
ABOUT PRESTIGE LOOS
Prestige Loos is a company specialising in sanitation services that have achieved significant growth through both organic expansion and strategic acquisitions. As a result, it has become the top provider of portable sanitation solutions in New Zealand.
The company has a strong commitment to demonstrating leadership and utilising the latest in sanitation technologies. However, its distinctive systems and service delivery measurement platforms truly set it apart from the competition.
Prestige Loos recognises the crucial importance of portable sanitation services in safeguarding public health. As such, the company takes its responsibilities extremely seriously. Despite this, it maintains a lighthearted approach to its work, viewing itself as a champion for the planet from the ground up.