Case Study - South East Water

Case Study - South East Water

South East Water chooses integrated Microsoft Dynamics solution over rival systems from SAP and Oracle

South East Water supplies 565 million litres of drinking water to 2.1 million customers across Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire. The company employs 400 people and generates an annual turnover in excess of £169 million.
 
In 2003 – prior to its merger with Mid Kent Water in December 2007 - South East Water embarked on a project to select a new software solution to replace its JD Edwards back office system. Following a long and rigorous selection process, M4 Systems, a Microsoft Business Solutions Partner, was awarded the contract beating off larger rivals including Oracle and SAP.
M4 Systems, a strategic EASY SOFTWARE and ReQlogic partner, had based its bid around the Microsoft Dynamics GP ERP solution, integrated with document scanning, workflow and archive from EASY SOFTWARE and ReQlogic™ eProcurement from Tectura Channel Products.
 
The project was subject to a very tight deadline due to a planned implementation of a new customer billing system at the end of that year. As a result, the Dynamics GP solution needed to be implemented and go live by September and that was achieved thanks to the dedicated efforts of a combined M4 consultancy team working in partnership with some key South East Water employees, notably Joe Hurley and Deirdre Howes.

Adding Value to the Solution

The new Dynamics GP system went live on 1st October and was successfully followed by integration of an eProcurement and document scanning and management solution.

Invoice scanning, storage and management is one of the most widespread applications of document management worldwide. EASY ENTERPRISE™ integrates easily to Dynamics GP so that organisations can benefit from the improved efficiency, productivity and reduced reliance on paper that this process automation delivers. South East Water was no exception. Invoices are scanned and stored electronically and automated through their approval process by the EASY Workflow system. Without leaving their desk, administration and accounts personnel can process, track and locate invoices in seconds so no risk of paper loss or misfiling. Many benefits were quickly realised, such as greatly improved efficiency and reporting.

ReQlogic™ is the leader in Web-based procurement, requisitioning, expense processing and workflow. It has been developed using the Microsoft .NET Framework and harnesses the power of .NET and XML Web Services. ReQlogic™, in providing South East Water with robust requisitioning and expense processing capability including multi-tier approvals workflow, automates their purchasing and employee expense cycles such that the company is able to improve the efficiency and accuracy of transactions while driving down cost.
 
"This is just phase one of our project," said Jo Hurley, IT Project Manager, South East Water. "We have taken the opportunity to review all business processes with the aim of streamlining the way we handle our information. By switching to Microsoft Dynamics GP and with the additional functionality supported by M4 systems we anticipate many improvements in our finance function by shortening the process cycles and by automating transactions."
 
Following the amalgamation of Mid Kent Water, South East Water has continued to invest in the Dynamics solution and its integrated components, including EASY ENTERPRISE and ReQlogic.
 
M4 Systems’ particular success as a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner stems from offering solutions that extend the basic functionality of Microsoft Dynamics financial and customer relationship management product lines. By providing an IT platform for a more streamlined and efficient operation and improved profitability, M4 Systems offers its customers the opportunity to maximise on their investment in Microsoft technology and to add real value to their business. In the words of M4 Systems’ Managing Director, Gary Clarke: “We have been successful winning deals against ‘upper mid-market’ competitors such as Oracle and SAP with Microsoft Dynamics. A critical factor in this success has been the inclusion of powerful, easy-to-configure add-on products, such as the ReQlogic product suite and EASY ENTERPRISE™ document scanning and management software, within our overall solution”.
 
This key project win for M4 Systems vindicated its belief that for many larger companies SAP or Oracle need not be the default choice. Dynamics GP offers equivalent functionality and provides a system which is far more user-friendly, considerably more flexible, significantly cheaper to purchase, much quicker to implement and has a dramatically lower total cost of ownership.