“ZAP Data Hub saves me literally four to six hours at the end of month which would’ve previously been spent just preparing the reports.”
|Requirements:||Keep two trading entities (Nautilus Aviation and GBR Helicopters) separate operationally but have a consolidated BI view for the group.|
|Data Sources:||Dynamics GP, Excel, Takeflite booking system, and mapping systems linked with Smart Connect|
Morris Aviation is an Australian business working in a number of areas, through acquisition as well as organic growth. These include Nautilus Aviation, which operates commercially and for the tourist industry, along with GBR Helicopters which is primarily commercial work. From various regulatory points of view, the group needed to keep the businesses as separate entities whilst also requiring a consolidated view on how Group operations are performing.
Operating multiple businesses as a consolidated group allows various synergies. However, with the individual entities kept on separate accounting ledgers there was a challenge around consolidated reporting, especially at month end.
Making all systems work together was another challenge. A specialist aviation group like this inevitably uses industry-specific software including the Takeflite booking system and mapping systems, it uses spreadsheets to track its spend on fuel and it wanted to centralise costs such as payroll and repairs (aviation regulation understandably making maintenance is a considerable cost).
“One of my biggest frustrations was everyone used to prepare their own financial reports and, depending on how they interpret it, they came up with a different set of figures sometimes,” explains Matt Young, Finance Manager. “And then, at month end, you may be talking about one set of figures, and they’d be talking about another, because they ran a different filter”.
The Group needed a single, straightforward view of what was going on and needed to spend less time gathering data and preparing reports in Excel and more time analysing it.
The company decided on ZAP Data Hub because it could take data feeds from many sources and present it in a consolidated and consistent manner. Matt had been comfortable in Excel but on hiring Gavin Byers as Business Systems Manager he was confident to make the move.
“You get the confidence that the data is going to be correct because the formula’s configured within ZAP,” said Gavin. Matt confirmed the return on investment had been visible from the end of the first month: “ZAP Data Hub saves me literally four to six hours at the end of month which would’ve previously been spent just preparing the reports.”
Approximately 12 of the Group’s 69 staff now read their financial data regularly and get a completely consistent view. Gavin finds the support documentation particularly friendly and concise compared to some from the competition and the people at ZAP are readily available for more complex queries. This was particularly important when planned training in the software fell through because of the COVID crisis. “I largely self-learned,” he says.
Other parts of the business can benefit from ZAP. Gavin and Matt speak about the casino that is part of the Morris Group. Information around payroll costs is being collated on excel worksheets. In addition, we have a specialist piece of gaming industry software called Bally as well as a hotel system called Opera. Ideally, we want to combine data from all these sources into the ZAP Data Hub.
Initially the return on investment has been swift and obvious, and it can only grow as the company embeds ZAP Data Hub further.
- More time to focus on analysing the data for business decision making, rather than preparing it
- Software is easy to learn with the help of a reliable support team and concise documentation
- All various data sources can now be integrated into one central hub