Keeping it simple

After years of working with inferior software, Bhatia Traders needed a new package to consolidate its financial reporting across its diverse range of business operations. ACN reports.

Tags: ConsolidationDynamicsSMBUnited Arab Emirates
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Keeping it simple DURGADOSS: When we close a transaction, we can now see immediately what impact it will have on the bottom line.
By  Imthishan Giado Published  January 17, 2010 Arabian Computer News Logo

Accumulation is a natural human tendency. Whether it’s a pile of out-of-date magazines or old business cards, people will always gravitate towards keeping possessions, in the off chance they might need them later.

Unfortunately, what works for a human being is disastrous strategy for a company. A firm that hangs onto the ballast of the past will never be able to quite figure out where it is at the present. Take UAE-based Bhatia Traders, part of the large House of ST Bhatia Group. A diversified organisation with a range of interests including duty-free, hospitality and logistics, in 2007, the firm realised that its financial data was stored across five disparate systems.

R Durgadoss, finance director at Bhatia Traders, explained why there was an urgent need for consolidation: “Our business management software was no longer fit for purpose with multiple issues including conflict of data, the need to re-enter data in different applications, and delays in producing reports for the management information system (MIS). Our point of sales (POS) checkouts in our duty-free retail outlets were not IT-driven and we needed better inventory controls.”

“Delays in producing management information meant we were losing deals, and often our sales executives didn’t know what customers wanted. The company had become too top-line driven. We wanted to change the culture of the business from simply generating revenue to a new focus on creating profits,” he continues.

Of course, there is a wealth of applications available in the market for this type of scenario. Bhatia Traders considered a number of options including products from Oracle and Sage, but eventually settled on Microsoft Dynamics GP with Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management Systems (RMS) for its retail outlet-based point-of-sale systems.

Microsoft Gold Partner CEM Business Solutions was tasked with the rollout of the Dynamics Application to all the retail outlets, which took a speedy 90 days. Along the way, the firm successfully re-engineered Bhatia Trader’s business processes, a process which took a further six months after the close of the implementation.

Post-implementation, the effects of more comprehensive reporting functionality are already being felt. Where previously the firm was focused on generating revenue through sales, it now looks at improving profitability of its various products and services.

“When we close a transaction, we can now see immediately what impact it will have on the bottom line,” confirms Bhatia Trader’s Durgadoss.

The internal work ethic has also undergone a transformation. Individual employees can be now involved in the process of achieving targets. And with each business unit having its own centrally-monitored key performance indicator, management is now also better informed of the real-time status of the business.

Future plans for the system include implementing business intelligence software to provide deeper and more detailed analysis of the data currently being produced by the system, although this is not expected to arrive before 2011. Already though, he says the Dynamics implementation is delivering tangible improvements to the company’s bottom line.

“Sales growth year on year in the UAE due to the economic slowdown is not a reliable indicator, but since deploying Microsoft Dynamics GP, net profit has increased from 3.5% to 4.5%,” concludes Durgadoss.

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