Ability Solutions has implemented its locally developed Financial & Distribution applications at speciality chemicals agent and distributor Chemox, based in Surrey, England. Chemox is part of the Hobart Enterprises group of companies, which has operations in South Africa, Australia, Ireland and the UK.
"The Chemox project was the next step in converting all the Hobart companies to the Ability platform," says John Olsson, sales and marketing director of Ability Solutions. "The first corporate user in the group was South African-based Carst and Walker, an importer and distributor of chemicals launched in 1934."
Carst and Walker is the biggest company in the group and it had been using Ability software for a number of years. As a result of the company's experience with the software, a decision was made to standardise on Ability software throughout the group. The next Hobart implementation after Carst and Walker was at the Spearhead Group in Cork, Ireland, followed by Chemox.
David Barnby, group financial director of Hobart Enterprises, says Chemox was still running an old DOS-based financial application and needed an upgrade to something more modern. "In keeping with the experience of other companies in the group, Chemox automatically went with software from Ability Solutions."
With Ability Financials & Distribution implemented as a uniform platform across the Hobart group, management will be able to maintain better oversight through improved visibility over all operations in the group. This will open the door to more efficient global planning, reducing wastage and making the most of all products represented by the group.
Demonstrating the versatility and reliability of the Ability modules, the systems were installed in the Chemox UK office by two South African Ability staff members in only three weeks.
This timeframe also included training the local staff to use the systems. Olsson explains this quick implementation time was doable because of intricate pre-planning, based on a thorough knowledge of the client's needs.
"Some of the primary issues the Hobart group wanted to address through the Ability implementation were taxation and foreign exchange," adds Olsson. "If not handled correctly, these issues could affect the accuracy of management’s requirement for a quick, real-time, global overview of the group's customer and product data. Ability has been designed to handle different tax regimes and up-to-date currency conversions on the fly."
This functionality ensures that management reports can incorporate multiple currencies, with conversions done according to the latest exchange rates. Additionally, tax implications from various regions will also be included in the results without management having to worry about what legislation applies in different countries.
Barnby adds that the Ability team will be making another stop at Chemox to fine-tune the application in the near future. Following the Chemox project, the Hobart group will turn its attention to its Australian operations and begin the process of implementing the Ability Financial and Distribution modules Down Under.