How Two-Tier ERP Is Reshaping Global Business in APAC

Posted by Mark Troselj, VP and Managing Director for APAC and Japan, NetSuite

For years, multinational organisations have struggled with patchworks of desktop applications and spreadsheets to run global subsidiaries. In these types of corporations with disparate IT systems, management at company headquarters might receive a monthly report on subsidiary performance that took weeks to produce and could be packed with outdated information. Reconciling financials can be equally arduous, especially if financial staff needs to manually convert multiple currencies in Excel.

These slow and painful processes are at odds with the current business objectives of companies looking to rapidly and profitably expand across the globe with new subsidiaries and divisions. They introduce poor visibility into financials and key performance indicators and weeks of delays that a company can’t afford if it wants to make any actionable decisions to grow their business.

Two-tier ERP is changing that equation­—especially in Asia Pacific, where many global organisations are looking for growth. Today, leading multinationals are deploying cloud ERP systems at global subsidiaries in a fraction of the time and cost of an equivalent on-premise deployment. The cloud solution seamlessly integrates with the on-premise system at headquarters in a two-tier model, giving the organization visibility and control it could only dream of with Excel.

Toll Group Goes Two-Tier with OneWorld

Toll Group, the Asia Pacific region’s leading provider of transport and logistics, is the latest example of an industry leader adopting a two-tier ERP model, with NetSuite OneWorld serving as the cloud tier for local operations. Toll’a global division has deployed NetSuite across 120 seats in five locations for its Asia business: Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing.

Toll Global Express Asia was previously using MYOB and spreadsheets for subsidiary management, making their staff spend needless time on reconciliation and data re-entry into three separate systems to invoice customers and produce monthly reports. Plus, the approach was poorly suited to growth by merger and acquisition, as an acquired company usually had multiple disparate systems to wrestle with.

Today, NetSuite OneWorld powers Toll Global Express Asia’s core business operations and financial consolidation across the five locations, with full integration with its on-premise ERP system at headquarters. The solution supports six currencies—the Euro, Chinese RMB and dollars of Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore and the U.S.—and delivers real-time visibility and reporting to help Toll Global Express Asia make better and faster decisions.

Flexibility and Scalability for Growth

The company turned to NetSuite after an extensive review of major on-premise and cloud-based ERP/financial solutions to replace some of the multiple applications in use across its Asia operations. A cloud solution wasn’t initially the highest priority, but Toll Global Express Asia quickly saw the value in the business agility and visibility that could be achieved with two-tier ERP in the cloud.

Toll Global Express Asia uses NetSuite OneWorld to gain a real-time 360-degree view of the customer experience, lead and opportunity management, upsell, renewals and service. Toll Global Express Asia also uses NetSuite OneWorld fixed asset management capabilities to control the complete lifecycle of its depreciated and non-depreciating assets, with quick reporting on all assets, current valuations, asset types and more.

"The flexibility and scalability of NetSuite is of great benefit, giving us the power to add new requirements and instantly adapt without the need to engage costly IT staff, when and if our business changes,” said Toll Global Express Divisional Commercial Manager Jey Jeyakumar.

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