Windcat Workboats improves invoicing with NetSuite

Following their takeover by CMB (Compagnie Maritime Belge), Windcat Workboats had to find new accounting software for their invoicing and financial transactions. After analysing various possibilities, they opted to have NetSuite implemented by Dynappco – and users at Windcat Workboats are very happy with the software’s user-friendliness. This success story has now led to CMB deciding to implement NetSuite for the rest of their organisation, for which they’re also relying on support from Dynappco.

Integration after takeover

Jan Vanherck, Head of ICT and Projects at CMB, explains why Windcat Workboats had to find a new accounting system. “Following our acquisition of Windcat, we had one year to implement a new ERP environment. CMB’s own accounting system was too cumbersome for users and could have been a step backwards, so we took the opportunity to investigate all our options for a new one.”

“The new system records all our accounting transactions and provides possibilities for following up all our purchase and sales orders. We also wanted all our various entities and branches abroad to work with just a single accounting system, to ensure the entirety of our inter-company accounts runs automatically.”

NetSuite’s ease of use

“We kept CMB’s more complex structure in mind in our search for new software, and chose NetSuite after comparing three different systems. It quickly became apparent that our users felt most comfortable with it when we presented them with the various options. They confirmed it was very easy to use,” says a satisfied Vanherck.

“We’re now mainly using the software for established financial processes such as procure-to-pay and order-to-cash, with associated reporting. These are partly basic reports from NetSuite, supplemented with a few more that Windcat were already using. We’re also using the software to process our internal expense claims,” adds Vanherck.

“We made a few improvements to how we create sales invoices and our rebilling, which was previously done using Excel, during the NetSuite implementation. Dynappco created a process for automatically adding external costs to the sales invoices, because people had sometimes forgotten to charge for this in the past.”

Dynappco experience

Vanherck: “We realised very quickly in the demo that Dynappco fully understood exactly what we wanted. They answered our questions very precisely, which immediately instilled lots of confidence in the team. And the fact that they’re based nearby also worked in their favour.”

“In order to make sure the project wasn’t too heavy, we decided to stick to the software’s standard configuration as much as possible, and followed the standard project approach.” Both Dynappco and Windcat Workboats put a team together with their own project leader, and kept a close eye on progress with weekly follow-up meetings. The project was delivered well within CMB’s one-year deadline.

Short adaptation period

“Some users needed a short period of adaptation after getting started with NetSuite. As previously mentioned, they used to do our invoicing in Excel, which was more flexible than the NetSuite invoicing module. But we’re a couple of months down the line now, and our users are very happy with NetSuite because it ultimately offers more control, with lots of processes running automatically.”

CMB follows

“Following NetSuite’s successful implementation and the high level of user satisfaction at Windcat, we carried out an impact analysis to see whether we should use it at CMB, too. CMB has an extensive structure with many entities in lots of countries with different currencies, and the entire manufacturing division on top of that. So we were very happy that the positive results of the impact analysis gave us the confidence to implement NetSuite at CMB as well,” says Vanherck. “Our fantastic collaboration with Dynappco for the implementation at Windcat meant we didn’t need to look elsewhere for a new supplier. They’ve already proven themselves by always thinking together with us and being very flexible.” Dynappco has now started the process of implementing NetSuite at CMB.

Lessons learned

Vanherck: “Be careful not to make the classic mistake of deviating too much from the standard. Try to keep this to a minimum. I’d also recommend getting started with informing and consulting users well in advance. Give them plenty of time for extensive testing and make sure you get them on board with the project. Otherwise you run the risk of having to make significant last-minute changes.”

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