Since 1994, Queensland-based Haynes Mechanical has been providing mining companies with the highest quality fitters and servicemen, skilled in the maintenance of mining machinery, cranes and earthmoving equipment. Started by a single, experienced fitter, the business now owns and operates large, well-equipped machining and workshop facilities – and boasts more than 100 employees. Haynes prides itself not just on having the right equipment or the right skills, but providing the right person for the right job – and vice versa. That integrity, as well as cost-efficiency and accuracy, has always been at the heart of Haynes’ philosophy. But with a less-than-reliable accounting system, the company was finding that harder and harder to guarantee.
Looking for the right balance
For about two years, Haynes had been using an accounting system called Ledgerworks. “It was all right for general book keeping,” says Margaret Clegg, Administration Manager, “but we found its reporting capability was limited and it crashed on us continually”. “Really, we had no choice but to find a new system – and not just because we needed something more reliable. We wanted additional functionality that Ledgerworks simply couldn’t offer.” So Haynes looked around for possible replacements, including systems like Attache and Pronto. But according to Clegg, these were let down by their apparent inability to incorporate job costing. “We just wanted a solid accounting system that was easy to use by staff and had comprehensive job costing and payroll functionality too,” she says.
Ushering in the new
After several months of searching, Haynes found what they were looking for: MYOB’s EXO.
EXO seemed to strike the right balance between functionality and price, says Clegg.
“And thanks to its add on modules and bespoke reporting, it looked like it was flexible enough to grow with our business – rather than restrict us.” The first step in the integration process was a demonstration by local EXO-specialist Momentum Software Solutions (formerly Myex Business Consulting). “We were asked what it was we wanted to get out of the program,” says Clegg, “and Alistair and his team at Momentum came back with a presentation showing us exactly what EXO could do”. “They were extremely helpful,” she says, adding, “seeing the benefits up close and personal like that really did clinch it for us”. Momentum then installed a trial system using Haynes’ own data – which gave staff at the company a couple of months to familiarise themselves with the new interface before switching over to EXO for good.
There was nothing that couldn’t be ironed out with a bit of training or on-site support from Momentum
Dealing with change
According to Clegg, just about everyone was happy using EXO straight off. “There were a few teething problems, as you’d expect,” she says. “And it probably took our accountant a couple of extra days to get to grips with things. But that was understandable – seeing as he was more used to using Ledgerworks than any of us. “In the end, says Clegg, “there was nothing that couldn’t be ironed out with a bit of training or on-site support from Momentum”.
Tailoring that perfect fit
On top of EXO’s standard functionality, there were a number of customisations that Haynes required. Haynes has a large labour force (over 100 employees), which it uses to service equipment across multiple mine sites. Against each of those employees, there are different charge out rates for different clients – and different wages rates for different sites. Which means that data from employees’ timesheets is crucial to several aspects of the business, including client billing and wages. Under Ledgerworks, it was very hard to record all of this information without a lot of duplication and manual entry. It was harder still to provide clients with a detailed breakdown of costs. But using EXO’s flexible platform, Momentum was able to generate a custom script that allows Haynes to enter data into job costing with the appropriate customer pricing – then use that same data (without re-entering it) to update payroll, and even client invoices. Built in to the process is a failsafe, which enables Haynes to double check the accuracy of timesheets before updating payroll.
Shine a light
Momentum has built further customisation into EXO to help Haynes improve the accuracy of their data – particularly around business performance and profitability. And it is this ability to shine light on certain business areas that Clegg says makes EXO such a useful tool. “We’re still fine tuning things, but EXO’s reports have improved managerial visibility immeasurably,” she says. “They’re easy to use and easy to understand which means we can track expenditure, cash flow, costs, income – literally any aspect of the business – on a day-to-day basis. What’s more, we can do it even with resources spread across multiple sites. “EXO gives us the flexibility to shift our focus to anything we feel needs attention. If we need a new report, all we need to do is put in a call to the team at Momentum. “It gives us the flexibility to make amendments too,” adds Clegg, “without having to worry about errors”. Everything in EXO is connected, which means data only has to be entered or amended once and the changes are felt across the system.
“That gives us confidence in the integrity of our data across the entire business – and the reassurance that costs are accurate, up to the minute – and wholly reliable. “That,” says Clegg, “is something we never had before”.
Thanks to Our Featured Client – Haynes Mechanical
Margaret Clegg, Administration Manager