Organics Recycling at the Woodhorn Group
Introduction to the Woodhorn Group
The Woodhorn Group is a diverse, community focused business with operations that include organic farming and waste management. The Woodhorn Group operate two organics waste management sites nr. Chichester, West Sussex with licensed capacity for 100,000 tons. Over 50,000 tons of organic and garden waste is composted annually and converted into the Earth Cycle range of peat free compost and soil conditioning products.
Challenges with Business Operations
The Woodhorn Group had several key challenges running the business. These difficulties were worsened by the use of separate software applications and presented obstacles when managing inbound materials, administering the raw materials to the two sites via the weighbridges; clear information on inventory levels and what was in the production process; sales of finished products; and the management of accounting transactions from these operational processes.
Separate Software Applications Presented Difficulties
The Woodhorn Group were finding it difficult to manage the volume of transactions on separate software applications and where the tasks could not be handled by the software, spread sheets had been utilised to capture data in the business process. Subsequently, this resulted in siloes of information in which manual processes were used to get data from one area of the business to the other. This meant a large amount of manual batch updates from one person to another and often resulted in missing data, difficulty in reporting, uncertainty of inbound materials, inventory, sales and financial positioning of the company.
Link Business Processes for Efficiency
The Woodhorn Group required a new way of working that would link all the business processes and ensure that manual data input could be eradicated. This would give way to automating process, speeding up business transactions, increasing accuracy and in turn facilitating ease of use, a true picture of what is happening in business operations and clear view to accounting and financial position of the company.
ISB Global, SAP Waste & Recycling One
An Integrated Suite of Software Platforms Specifically Designed for the Waste & Recycling Industry
WR1 is business management software specifically tailored for waste, recycling, new energy and companies working towards circular supply loops. Waste & Recycling One is built within SAP Business One, for small to midsize companies, extending the accounting, customer, supplier, purchasing, sales and materials management functions. WR1 includes planning and scheduling of materials movements, work order instructions, contracts and forecasting, automated outbound/inbound jobs, direct weighbridge integration, inbound materials, reprocessing and refurbishing activities for multiple materials, batch, serial number and asset lifecycle traceability.
As the software is built in one software solution, data, known as master data (customers, suppliers, prices, materials and compliance information etc) is ‘pre-loaded’ onto SAP WR1 from legacy systems as part of the implementation process. This data is used throughout this system, eradicating the need for it to be entered again in manual processes (only administered on annual price updates by filtering and increasing percentage, for example). Therefore, data in one ‘module’, like price, is used throughout the entire business process, ‘end to end’ or ‘cradle to cradle’. This delivers total control, governance, instant visibility of profitability and speeding administrative tasks by automating the business process.
“We were really impressed by the integrated nature of the solution, the proposal and the price.” Cameron Lewis, General Manager, The Woodhorn Group
The Woodhorn Group realised these benefits and could immediately understand that the sales of materials could not only be traced back easily on one software solution but could be controlled by the initial costs. Importantly, this gave total insight into the capacity planning and forecasting of materials, the cost and sales associated with each load, value added in the reprocessing and the profitability of sales of the finished products, the Earth Cycle peat free compost.
Extending Process by Direct Integration to Weighbridge
Intrinsic to these processes is the ability to link directly to The Woodhorn Group’s weighbridges (a standard feature of WR1). Therefore, inbound loads from suppliers/customers could be planned, monitored and receipted into inventory automatically on scheduled arrival. Costs and profit are confirmed on exact weight from each load, automatically calculated along with any particular rules or individual pricing associated with each customer/supplier. Duty of Care (WTN) reporting is also managed automatically from the inbound load data and can be dispatched automatically along with any other documents via email. The completed inbound loads from each day utilise the master data and have made planning, forecasting and scheduling movements far simpler. In turn, building a complete picture of supplier, materials, reprocessing workload, and importantly commercial information from payments on each inbound load, displayed on the work order.
Automated Purchase, Sales Orders & Invoices Directly from Operations
The confirmed sales and payments from each inbound and outbound work order are completed by a range of confirmation stages in the hand over to finance, automatically transferring data to a purchase and sales order directly from the inbound (and outbound with finished goods) work order and weighbridge transaction. Accounts Receivable (AR) and Accounts Payable (AP) Invoices are raised automatically from these transactions and sent automatically via email to suppliers and customers. Subsequently, accounting journal transactions are posted from the sales and purchase orders invoicing dates. As this is completed automatically, it has an impact on speed of operations, which has a positive impact on cash flow. Likewise, these transactions are consolidated, automatically, to outgoing and incoming banking transaction payments. Once more master data governs this process and purchase and sales accounting transactions are predetermined in the implementation project to post to the correct nominal codes in the respective ledger, known as General Ledger Account Determination.
Automated Project & Cost Accounting
Project and cost accounting is also configured in the implementation project to enable automated real time reporting and instant view into how the business is doing. As all payments and charges are correct at time of posting (due to the control delivered by the use of master data), so they can be utilised to determine various management accounting and reporting analysis. Once more giving an instant and correct view on how the business is doing. Reports are automated to be emailed and published at the end of the day or can be analysed further with pre-packaged Crystal Reports products and the ability configure your own and to drill right through the software for easy access to any information.
Finding Solutions to Woodhorn Group’s Business Challenges
Waste & Recycling One – Cost Effective for Small & Midsize Operations
Unlike larger SAP products, SAP Waste and Recycling One for SAP Business One is preconfigured. What does that mean? WR1 suits smaller and medium sized companies who are on a budget as the processes are ready to go, so once installed (cloud, on-premise or a hybrid) saving on costly development of process’ that are standard in business or easy to migrate too from manual process. These are largely accounting and operational process. Development work can be done if necessary but the aim is to meet over 90% of processes in the sales engagement process by meeting and demonstrating the product suite and end to end process.
ISB Global’s SmartWorld Mobile & Web Innovation Platform
ISB Global’s SmartWorld mobile and web innovation platform, contains a range of preconfigured waste, recycling, materials and logistics oriented apps. Additionally, an agile development and integration environment for quick and easy coding of applications, allows redesign of workflow and business processes to suit any user, any application, any device, any operating system, mobile 24/7.
Expert Team to Help through Sales, Implementation, Go Live & Support
As The Woodhorn Group are a smaller company they had limited resources in technology. ISB Global reassured the team through the sales process by demonstrating and educating in each process area and what benefits could be achieved. Primarily this centres on the migration from separate applications to the one software solution and the automation of process with the use of one set of data. This has a very positive impact on timing, administration and profitability, from an increase in accuracy. Additionally, this is governed and controlled by a carefully administered implementation project.
Targeting the Business Case for Process, Speed, Accuracy & Profitability Improvements
ISB Global focus on the business case for an investment and the improvements that can be made in shorter term ‘financial’ and ‘operational’ improvements. Targeting process, speed, accuracy and profitability improvements. ISB Global states quite prudently that on average 20-80% improvements can be realised by investing in an implementation project to install SAP Waste & Recycling One. These improvements are carefully walked through in the sales engagement process, explained by the consulting team and then estimated in a proposal document along with transparent costs.
The outcome is that speed, timing, administration, accuracy and profitability processes are improved between the percentage ranges, which in turn warrants (or doesn’t!) the case for investment. There are also further improvements to be made in ‘strategic’ and ‘technical’ benefits. This focuses on further improvements still i.e. by additional use of ‘Business Intelligence’, reporting and analytics tools for greater and easier insight into the business. It also allows for enhancement of customer service processes. For example, The Woodhorn Group utilised automated document management for the sending of invoices (and other documents) once completed. In comparison to separate applications, this additional technical benefit would have been difficult to utilise properly as invoices were manually completed and could sometimes be incorrect, so had to be manually checked and dispatched. Now that one software solution and one set of data is used, invoices are sent automatically on generation, highlighting the trust and confidence that is delivered by the use of SAP Waste & Recycling One.
The Outcome of Utilising SAP Waste & Recycling One Integrated Business Management Software
The results of implementing SAP Waste & Recycling One have been clearly evident for the Woodhorn Group. Time, administration and the speed of operations has increased in efficiency while difficult and complex manual processes in operations and finance, managed on spread sheets have been eradicated.
Staff tasks are now all linked in an end to end process leaving them able to focus on day to day operations, rather than continuously administering data between the team. This has a positive impact on value added activities throughout the business: as information on orders, products and invoices is readily available in CRM, there has been an effect on customer service routines; self-serve access to data has also seen an aid to decision making and a continuous improvement towards saving costs and making the business run more efficiently. Results are faster business transactions, quicker billing and overall better access to management information.
Complete ease and understanding into the planning and scheduling of inbound raw materials allows for detailed capacity information with the ability to focus on production activities, optimum inventory levels and sales of reprocessed materials either in bulk as outbound loads over the weighbridge or as the bagged Earth Cycle product. Ensuring smooth delivery of raw materials, continuous production, on schedule sales, delivery and invoicing.
With one software solution and one set of data allows for complete and accurate management of the entire end to end process. This speeds operations and cash flow, allows for additional technology to be planned, utilised and enhances customer services. SAP Waste & Recycling One also facilitates easy understanding of everything going on in the business with instant real time information on all business activities. Achieved by a host of reporting and analytics tools in each of the ISB Global software solutions, AWS Cloud Infrastructure, SAP Business One, Waste & Recycling One and the SmartWorld Web and Mobile Innovation Platform.
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