Who are Niko?
Niko Ltd is the UK subsidiary of Helm Hellas SA, leading European manufacturers of light cranes, power feed systems, overhead conveyors, sliding door track and fall arrest track systems.
The Niko group was established in 1972 and has over 80 employees at 7 locations and a comprehensive distributor network, giving Niko presence across Europe, North America, Asia, Australia and North Africa.
The Need for Change
As the business has grown, the need to manage financial transactions for sales, purchases, inventory, general accounting, together with the management of production order scheduling, has expanded. Placing increased demand on manual processes, Excel, working within the limitations of the legacy Sage 50 application used for finance etc.
The need to deploy an integrated finance, supply chain and production management system, was therefore recognised.
Choosing Microsoft Dynamics and Advantage
Having made the decision to replace their finance solution, Niko Ltd adopted the standard approach to the search and selection of a new solution by outlining their key business requirements.
The new solution had to meet the following criteria:
- Provide better financial visibility and control – it is imperative that the organisation has complete visibility of financial data, to enable strategic decisions to be made effectively;
- To enable improved management for scheduling of production orders on a single ERP solution;
- Provide a scalable and flexible solution – it is important that the solution had scalability to develop and grow as the business evolves;
- Provide organisational efficiency – it is critical that time delays for the day to day running of the business were minimised to focus on business-critical tasks;
- Flexible reporting - to enable the organisation to quickly export and analyse data at a glance;
- Better Business Insight - so that the business can understand how to improve business performance to reinvest in frontline services.
- Move hosting into the cloud – to give more flexibility in terms of where and when employees can do their work and also for the extra piece of mind that the data is stored and backed up within a more stable framework.
Following a review of leading Finance software providers, Niko Ltd chose Microsoft Dynamics due to its proven functionality and capabilities to meet their key objectives. Advantage was selected to implement Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.
Dan Upton, Managing Director, also cited as a determinant in the ERP selection process, the fact that “Microsoft Dynamics is a user-friendly solution, which works the same way as other Microsoft products”. This means that the solution is quickly adopted by staff members which means we can export our data to familiar Microsoft Office tools such as Excel to analyse the performance of the organisation”
When asked about the business’s relationship with Advantage today, Dan commented: “Following the successful implementation of the solution by Advantage, I was impressed with the functionality available and how cost-effective Microsoft Dynamics is. The Microsoft Dynamics solution has the flexibility, scalability and cost-effectiveness to help us drive operational efficiency within the organisation.”
The core finance solution was successfully implemented during 2019 and went live at the beginning of 2020. A key benefit of the implementation was that all the key objectives were realised and adoption of the solution within the business by users was rapid.
Moving into the cloud meant that the business was able to continue virtually uninterrupted during COVID-19 lockdowns, because staff could work remotely. Meaning that it was much easier to create a safe and socially distance working environment. This was an unforeseen advantage, but it would not have been possible to work in this way without Business Central.
Niko Ltd remains confident in the selection of Microsoft Dynamics for its Finance/ERP solution.
Since the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics and the system going live, Niko Ltd has achieved significant time savings in the day-to-day running of the business, whilst now gaining better business insight into how to effectively remain efficient for the future.