ati_logo_with_slogan_300ATI gets on the ERP grid

“GT Business took the time to understand what we do and wanted to do,” says Arawa. “They were very focused, what they showed was very relevant to us and they took a lot of time to ensure we understood how Greentree would give us an advantage.” 

download-pdf-btnATI is a telecommunications engineering company that sells, builds and maintains microwave radio networks across Australia. Its customers include universities, many local government agencies, medical institutions and energy utilities.
Its disparate business systems were weighing it down, costing time and money. They were also unsuited to ATI’s goals of growing new business.
“We’ve been operating in a very narrow segment of the market for over 20 years,” says Arawa Driscoll, General Manager, Engineering and Sales. “There are new opportunities out there, but we need a business system that meets both our current and future goals.”
ATI needed a fully integrated ERP system for resource and project management, and for the sort of reporting that gives instant snapshots of business performance. It chose Greentree, and Partner GT Business Solutions.
“GT Business took the time to understand what we do and wanted to do,” says Arawa. “They were very focused, what they showed was very relevant to us and they took a lot of time to ensure we understood how Greentree would give us an advantage.”
BIG COSTING AND PLANNING NEEDS Originally a two-man operation, ATI today supports some 200 networks all over Australia. It had a MYOB financial system, an internally developed database and many Excel workbooks. Their limitations were costing time and money, and neither was capable of supporting ATI’s desire to grow and diversify further.
“Resource management started us investigating ERP,” says Arawa. “Determining the real cost of delivering projects is very important, but it was too time-consuming. In planning and building a network, we have procurement, design and building needs in the office, but then we also have to plan and deploy human and physical resources out into the field.
“Then we have to support those networks once they’re built. A lot of those activities can’t be planned. If something breaks, we have to react; we have to know our commitments with respect to projects and maintenance contracts, and how to move and change our resources to meet those needs.”
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TIME-HEAVY PROCESSES Because of the time and effort involved, reports were rarely generated. If a client wanted to know the status of their project, the project manager mostly had it in his head. No business wants the risk of losing information if the sole repository departs for any reason.
Detailed cost analysis was also almost impossible because of the time involved. The same could be said of business performance monitoring.
“When things went wrong, I’d get frustrated because I didn’t know what to fix,” says Arawa. “Without live visibility it’s impossible.”
ATI also needed to support a growing inventory of thousands of products, housed in various storage depots. It relied on dozens of spreadsheets, and keeping them up to date and error-free was an increasingly frustrating task.
MYOB was never designed for ATI’s multi-user environment, which meant data had to be duplicated again and again for various people.
INTEGRATION IS THE ANSWER “I insisted integration was an extremely important feature when evaluating the ERP solutions available,” Arawa says, “not just to eliminate that double-handling but to make information available to everyone in real-time. I feel we have underestimated the value of this in the past.”
Greentree was investigated as an ERP option, along with three other solutions.
“The other solutions either didn’t cover all aspects of our business or were bolted together from several parts to make a complete solution,” Arawa says. “Greentree had the edge with end-to-end integration, which we feel is an answer to many of our problems.”
ATI’s field staff often work in remote and difficult locations. Greentree is crucial to managing payroll, training and certification of staff, and for generating required health & safety reports. Its inventory management helps eliminate those troublesome spreadsheets, while its CRM capabilities have been a revelation for ATI in the handling of customer information and queries.
“I don’t think we’ve yet fully explored Greentree’s potential for improving our lives,” Arawa enthuses. “There are definite expansion opportunities for us in hardware supply, as well as batteries and energy systems. They’ll require different management and with Greentree all the information can be stored in one place, instead of us generating more spreadsheets each time we decided to do something new.
“Greentree will enable us to operate more efficiently and allow us to explore new opportunities and markets.
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