Global staffing organisation consolidates accounting and enhances decision-making with new Sage X3 platform.
About Red Commerce
RED Commerce is a leading global staffing organisation focused on the SAP eco-system, helping SAP end user clients and partners engage the best permanent and contract SAP and related complementary technology professionals.
Established in 2000, RED Commerce has more than 260 employees worldwide with over 30 languages spoken in six locations.
The Quest for a Converged Approach
With a geographically dispersed workforce, RED Commerce’s sales team frequently needs to access key business information in order to respond to local opportunities. However, with back office functions in its London headquarters, accessing information in a timely manner wasn’t always possible using its previous Sage 200 solution, potentially creating bottlenecks and decelerating the sales cycle.
In parallel, with four operating entities in the UK, Germany, Switzerland and the US, plus a holding structure, RED’s global accounting needed deeper capabilities to manage the complexities of different regulatory frameworks, tax environments and languages.
Against this backdrop, the team identified a requirement for a new accounting platform which would provide the agility, and speed, necessary to facilitate seamless information flow and underpin effective decision-making, irrespective of territory.
Working with Percipient as our deployment partner has been hugely valuable, allowing us greater flexibility to configure the system to suit our processes and maximise our performance.
Having selected Sage X3 based on its deep functionality and flexibility to fit RED’s existing business processes, along with through business consultancy Percipient, the solution went live as part of a phased approach in April 2019.
Now live, Sage X3 represents the backbone of RED’s organisation, driving greater efficiency and allowing more accurate measurement of financial performance.
RED is now able to view its financial position easily, understanding fees and income against assets and liabilities to optimise resource allocation, better manage cashflow, and assume greater overall control.
Marius Budu, Group Finance Manager at RED Commerce, explains: “We worked closely with Percipient to design the right solution to overcome our challenges and meet our goals, and instil the right skills, knowledge and training to empower the team at RED to manage the system going forward.”
“Working with Percipient as our deployment partner has been hugely valuable, allowing us greater flexibility to configure the system to suit our processes and maximise our performance,” he continues. “Through being able to fine tune our capabilities to suit the nuances of our business, rather than reverse engineering our processes to suit a monolithic ERP system, we’ve expedited ROI and been able to focus closely on our goals.
“We’ve benefitted from a truly collaborative partnership with their team of experts and it has allowed us to understand the system in-depth, in order to ensure we get the most out of it.”
“We are already seeing a whole range of benefits in our financials and reporting. The global chart of accounts facilitated by Sage X3 drives consistency and collaboration across the entire business and crucially, expedites processing of general ledger transactions. It also underpins more efficient cost centre allocation, assigning items according to whether they belong to contractor, project or business partner, in order to make operations much more efficient,” Marius comments.
One area in particular where RED has seen value is in lines of credit via banking assets. These are subject to very strict compliance and quality standards, requiring substantial documentation. Sage X3 allows the team to define the process to ensure that items appear in the right place, saving unnecessary administration time.
“In quantifying benefits, we estimate that more than £200k of funds from our asset backed credit line would have been blocked without the enhanced reporting that Sage X3 provides. Also, we would have needed to employ up to two more finance personnel to deal with the inefficiencies of our previous system,” he adds.
The design of the system has sharpened accuracy, allowing RED to trouble shoot inaccurate postings to ensure errors can be quickly fixed in order to avoid becoming problems. This faster, and more accurate reconciliation, inevitably maximises the potential of funding, helping to drive business performance. Furthermore, it allows users perform “red-ink” reversals, where debit/credit turnovers can be adjusted in case of a wrong journal entry.
“We’re also benefiting from the business intelligence capabilities within Sage X3, which are far superior to its predecessor. The system allows us to manage foreign currency transactions in a more flexible fashion, which is crucial given that only 10% of our customers trade in GBP. And last but by no means least, it has helped us to adopt best practices for some of our core processes such as fixed assets and VAT.”
The global chart of accounts facilitated by Sage X3 drives consistency and collaboration across the entire business and crucially, expedites processing of general ledger transactions. It also underpins more efficient cost centre allocation, assigning items according to whether they belong to contractor, project or business partner, in order to make operations much more efficient.
A Flexible Future
“Having had previous experiences with SAP and Oracle (JD Edwards), I can attest that Sage X3 is incredibly competitive against its rivals, particularly for SMEs with a strong international presence such as ourselves.
“However, the icing on the cake has been working with Percipient, where the team has been proactive and transparent throughout, managing expectations and supporting us with both the technical side of the implementation and management of the system. We’re now looking to the future with confidence that we have a robust, flexible and efficient platform at our helm,” he concludes.