Software company idu has successfully ventured into the global export market, thanks to a combination of easy-to-use software and remote customer support.
“Choosing an international rather than a local supplier was a big decision for us,” says Tim Mangold, finance manager for major New Zealand retailer The Warehouse. The company implemented idu’s budgeting package idu-Concept in 2008.
“We were initially concerned that support from South Africa to New Zealand might be an issue, but it has worked out very well.
“The product is very reliable, robust and easy to use,” says Mangold. “That means we need very little ongoing support, although when we do need help it is available around the clock.”
The implementation phase of the project went without a hitch, adds Mangold. “idu sent a team of consultants out for three weeks to get things up and running and train everyone,” he says. “You always expect some kind of problem in a process like this, but for us everything went smoothly. idu has successfully mitigated all the issues of remoteness.”
The hassle-free implementation was underpinned by doing the initial work in South Africa, explains idu MD Kevin Phillips.
“We set up the entire implementation on a virtual machine in Cape Town. When the time came to go live, our technical consultants installed the software remotely, and configured the environment in time for the arrival of our on-site consultants. That helped to keep the costs of the project under control.”
Mangold confirms that cost was equal to ease of use in The Warehouse’s decision to choose idu-Concept. “They offered by far the best value for money out of all the budgeting applications we looked at, and the usability and intuitiveness of their system was really appealing. Our non-financial managers have picked it up really easily, nobody needed more than half an hour of training. That’s one of the great features of idu-Concept – the simpler, the better.”
Before implementing idu-Concept, says Mangold, The Warehouse had abandoned a cumbersome budgeting and reporting module of its ERP system for spreadsheet-based budgeting. “It worked, but it was very inefficient and ownership of the numbers became an issue. Reconciling information from around 200 different sources was a lot of work.”
With idu-Concept, “the whole process is a lot more bearable", says Mangold. “It’s made an enormous difference to the management of our budgets and cut out lots of late nights and processing time.”