RJ Hill Laboratories
Case Study | RJ Hill Laboratories
CHALLENGE The team at RJ Hill Laboratories Ltd works in modern, ergonomically designed laboratory space using state-of-the-art analytical technology. It maintains very high quality standards, and adhered to these principles when looking for a new business system to provide greater control and visibility for its business.
SOLUTION Greentree Financial Management Suite and Supply Chain & Distribution Suite
RJ Hill Laboratories is the largest privately-owned testing laboratory in New Zealand, providing analytical testing services to environmental, agricultural and horticultural clients, and producers of foods and biological products.
One of its key performance indicators is the turnaround time – the time between receiving samples and sending results. To constantly strive to give its clients reliable and swift turnaround times, RJ Hill needed a new system that offered more automation and time-saving processes, especially in the areas of requisitions and reporting.
During a four-month review process to replace its existing ‘Sage’ system, RJ Hill looked at upgrading to the next Sage release, and also considered Accpac and Greentree. It was shown demonstrations of each product under consideration, and decided that when compared to the competition, Greentree was a better business fit.
RJ Hill Financial Accountant Wilma Smith says that a professional demonstration of the system, using their data, explained exactly how the system would work.
“Greentree is exactly what we were looking for,” says Wilma. “It is easy to use and has strengths in reporting with its integration with Excel. Accpac was cumbersome in comparison and the next version of Sage was too different from the previous system.”
As a service company, RJ Hill Laboratories uses the inventory system differently to most companies, so being able to use the system for its specific needs highlights the flexibility of Greentree. The company required a powerful inventory management system to track the 1700 products it purchases by serial number, batch numbers and reference codes.
“Greentree is used largely for ordering and managing the chemical products in the system,” says Wilma. “Being able to ‘tag’ a product to a supplier is important for the team to track the product and reorder the stock from the same supplier for accurate testing.”
It doesn’t require stock tracking for valuation purposes, as everything being bought is either a consumable, a fixed asset or a service. The main feature is the allocation of costs to different departments within the organisation, which makes the multi-location feature essential. RJ Hill makes heavy use of the ‘limit stock to supplier’ feature so that once the stock item is selected, then the correct supplier is automatically used.
More automation in the area of requisitions and a reduction on the request-to-delivery lead time were key requirements. Greentree’s Requisitions module provides more control over ordering the correct items and delivery times.
“Our previous work practice would involve all staff placing orders with a Purchasing Officer, who then entered the same information into the system before sending an email to request the items. It was a long process and far too manual,” Wilma explains.
There are 140 people in the organisation, and about 50 of them now have access to the purchasing system. “Our team now has a better feel of what they are ordering and the management is more aware of ordering levels and costs. We have reduced the restocking fees, as we have been able to eliminate errors”.
eRequisitions provides the requisitions functionality organisation-wide over the internet without the need to purchase a user licence for every staff member. eRequisitions links directly to the requisitions database and allows staff to submit requisitions, search the inventory, and monitor the requisition’s status. The laboratory has also implemented eReporting, allowing new purchase orders to be automatically emailed or printed.
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