An international organization providing a diverse array of services to airfields, including ground services, hospitality suite management, and food concessions — set its sights on expanding into Africa. To facilitate this ambitious endeavor, the new division joined forces with The TM Group (TMG) to implement a cutting-edge accounting system, Dynamics 365 Business Central (BC), Microsoft’s innovative cloud solution for small to mid sized organizations.
This project profile delves into the challenges encountered and the ingenious solutions devised, ultimately empowering our client to establish a solid foundation for future growth and expansion.
The Challenge: Choosing the Right Accounting System
The organization’s USA subsidiary for a number of years had been utilizing Microsoft Dynamics GP, an on-premise accounting system supported by TMG. However, when extending into Africa, the company faced the critical decision of whether to maintain this on-premise solution or migrate to a cloud-based system.
After carefully evaluating their options with TMG’s guidance, the air services organization chose Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, a more scalable and flexible cloud solution. Further, they decided the company’s long-term vision would be to transition all of the worldwide subsidiaries onto the Business Central platform, while their international headquarters would utilize Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations which they had already implemented. Finance and Operations is designed for large organizations and was too complicated to implement and operate at the smaller subsidiaries around the world for whom Business Central was a better fit.
The Solution: Remote Implementation and Overcoming Language Barriers
TMG embraced the task of implementing Business Central remotely, which partly entailed navigating language obstacles. As a senior software consultant with TMG explained, “When we started the project, they had no accounting system at all and were using spreadsheets. As time went on, they stopped using Excel and started doing things in Business Central. They were a small startup operation when we started working with them. Now they have an actual accounting system, not a bunch of confusing spreadsheets.”
Using Microsoft Teams’ transcription feature proved invaluable in overcoming language barriers. As a software development team member with TMG, noted, “Teams transcribing live while people were talking helped eliminate misunderstandings and expedite meetings.” This feature enabled TMG to read along with the conversation, reducing miscommunications caused by accents and streamlining the implementation process. “It was much more accurate and attuned to regional accents than our ears were.”
Although in different parts of the world, TMG scheduled project meetings in the morning for their consultants which was also the end of the client’s day. This allowed the client to report on progress at the end of the day when TMG could then pick up the next planned tasks.
The organization’s Business Central implementation combined core accounting modules (GL, AP, AR, and Fixed Assets) with multi-currency functionality. Moreover, TMG integrated Business Central with their existing billing and revenue system, FINDnet from Damarel Systems, using eOne Smart Connect.
The Impact: A Flexible, Scalable System for Global Expansion
The air services organization now boasts a dynamic business system allowing them to efficiently handle their multi-currency accounting needs and reducing redundant data entry through the integration with their billing system. Deploying Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central has not only streamlined their operations but also enabled them to adapt and grow in their competitive market.
This scalable solution also lays the groundwork for future expansion as the organization opens new locations and endeavors to transition existing subsidiaries onto the Business Central platform. The platform’s flexibility ensures that the accounting system can adjust to the increasing volume and complexity of transactions as the organization expands. This capacity to scale is essential for companies like themselves that have ambitious growth plans, allowing them to focus on their core business activities without being hindered by technological limitations.
Their TMG account executive, remarked, “They now have a flexible system able to handle their multi-currency needs as well as integration with their other systems — a basis other locations around the world can build off of.”
One of the Business Central platform’s most significant benefits is its ability to accommodate a wide range of currencies, which is crucial for a global organization. The platform’s multi-currency functionality simplifies foreign currency transactions and automates the conversion process, assuring accuracy and compliance with international accounting standards.
Moreover, the seamless integration with their existing billing and revenue system eliminates the need for redundant data entry and minimizes the risk of human error. This integration streamlines the entire financial management process, increasing efficiency and allowing the organization to make better-informed decisions based on accurate, real-time data.
The impact of implementing Dynamics 365 Business Central is not limited to the organization’s African location’s accounting and financial management. It also fosters collaboration and communication within the organization. With a centralized, cloud-based system, employees across various locations can access critical financial information quickly and securely. This enhanced accessibility promotes transparency and encourages data-driven decision-making at all levels of the organization.
Partnering With The TM Group for Success
The TM Group’s expertise in Business Central implementations and system integration capabilities proved invaluable for the organization’s triumphant expansion into Africa. By collaborating with TMG, the global organization has established a strong foundation for future growth and created the foundation to streamline operations across the globe at its many subsidiaries, exemplifying the power of a well-executed partnership.
In this case, since TMG only has offices in the United States we can provide implementation, development and support services, but the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central licenses were procured through a local Microsoft provider. According to our Microsoft partner agreement, TMG can not license in areas where we don’t have an office. For organizations headquartered and software licensed in the United States, TMG typically handles both the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central software licensing and implementation services.
International projects are not new to TMG, and their expertise in managing the unique challenges that arise has been well-demonstrated. Over the years, TMG has undertaken multiple international projects, often working with clients’ US headquarters to expand CRM/ERP system usage to overseas operations. In the past, TMG has put people on planes or even boats to reach customer sites for discovery, consulting, and training. Successfully deploying Business Central system for this new African subsidiary showcases TMG’s ability to adapt and overcome obstacles, such as language barriers and remote collaboration.
Looking forward, our client plans to have their entire organization’s small subsidiaries live on Dynamics 365 Business Central. Using Africa as the model, they will ultimately transition all their smaller locations onto the same platform. This cohesive approach will streamline their operations, improve efficiency, and provide a consistent experience across the organization.
Partnering with The TM Group has enabled the organization to successfully expand into Africa and lay the groundwork for a robust, unified accounting system that can grow and adjust alongside their business. The TM Group’s expertise, adaptability, and commitment to their clients’ success make them invaluable partners for organizations seeking to navigate the complex landscape of global expansion and technological innovation.
Is your organization ready to find out how TMG can help? Reach out for a conversation today.