New Advanced system will provide a payback within just two years
Parkwood Holdings plc, a leading provider of support services to the public and private sectors with a £115 million turnover, is implementing a new financial management system (e5) from Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced) to enable the company to make timelier financial decisions during a turbulent economic climate. The system will also comprise integrated budgeting and forecasting functionality (Collaborative Planning), electronic procurement (eProcurement) and document management solutions (powered by Version One).
With the new Advanced system in place, Parkwood will have instant access to key financial information and be able to report on these figures in a timelier fashion, helping the company to make smarter business decisions and remain competitive during challenging economic times. The systems will go live in a phased approach on 1 January 2013.
Parkwood, which is known for its leisure facilities employs over 6,000 people across 150 locations in the UK, providing services across four divisions including: Grounds Management, Leisure Management, Healthcare and PFI project management. The e5 finance system will be used by up to 300 people within the finance and operational teams across all four divisions and is expected to deliver a return-on-investment within just two years.
Parkwood previously used a range of financial software solutions from different suppliers, with teams operating in silos. Advanced’s e5 system was selected after a tendering process involving four software providers as Mike Quayle, Group Finance Director from Parkwood Holdings plc explains, “After a competitive tendering process, we chose Advanced’s finance system because it was more functionally rich than any of the other systems we looked at and it came highly recommended. The Advanced team’s expertise and knowledge also impressed us and ultimately, the relationship with our software provider is as important to us as the suitability of the product.”
Advanced’s finance system will be used across the whole group, enabling a more standardised way of working while improving processing efficiencies, delivering more accurate and timely information and removing duplication of effort.
The integrated budgeting and forecasting solution will replace a myriad of Excel spreadsheets, which are becoming increasingly difficult to maintain. With the new solution in place, there will be instant financial insight and staff can be redeployed from basic commodity transaction processing to more value adding activities, in particular financial analysis. Managers will also be able to react faster to shifts in the industry. Rather than having to wait days for spreadsheets to be processed and then analysed, they will have the necessary information be able to react instantly, enabling the business to adapt to change more readily.
Quayle says, “By using a single, integrated finance system across the organisation with real-time and accurate budgeting, planning and forecasting functionality, this will provide us with the tools to make smarter financial decisions. We will be able to plan for ‘what if’ scenarios with greater confidence and by freeing-up staff time currently spent on financial administration, more time can be spent on analysing financial data so that we remain a step ahead of the competition. This is vital in the current economic climate.”
Parkwood will also benefit from integrated electronic procurement and document management software, which will lay the foundations for smarter and more cost-effective procurement and more streamlined invoice processing.
The company uses a mixture of manual and electronic processes for its purchase invoices. This will be replaced with integrated electronic invoice processing across the group, as Quayle explains, “We look forward to eliminating the paper-based processing of 150,000 purchase invoices every year by using integrated document management functionality. With automated invoice processing, accounts payable will be far more streamlined and we anticipate greater control over paying suppliers, which is a key consideration at present.”
Notes to Editors
About Parkwood Holdings plc
Parkwood Holdings plc is a leading provider of support services to public and private sector clients. The Group employs over 6,000 people throughout the UK providing services which include Grounds Management, Leisure Management, Healthcare and management of PFI projects.
All of Parkwood’s individual companies offer high levels of service, specialist knowledge and management expertise. Parkwood is committed to the aims of its clients and developing long term, added value relationships.
Parkwood's financial strength enables the continuous investment in its business and employees, whilst guaranteeing a return to its shareholders. At the same time Parkwood is fully committed to its social responsibilities and the delivery of quality public services.
About Advanced Business Solutions
Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced) provides leading integrated business applications and services that enable public, private and third sector organisations to retain control, improve visibility and gain efficiencies whilst continually improving corporate performance. ABS prides itself on getting close to its customers by understanding their businesses and responding to their evolving needs.
Advanced’s software systems comprise core accounting/financial management, procurement, human resource and payroll systems, integrated with a range of collaborative, document management and business intelligence solutions to extend the value and effectiveness of the finance, human resource and payroll departments, which can also be delivered as a managed or bureau service option.
Customers come from both public and private sectors and include Companies House, Newcastle City Council, WH Smith, Royal Bank of Scotland, Aer Lingus, National Express Group, DFS, RSPB and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust.
Advanced Business Solutions is a division of Advanced Computer Software Group plc, a leading supplier of software and IT services to the health, care and business services sectors.
Liz Ebbrell and Angela Mycock
Advanced Computer Software Group plc
T: +44(0)1625 856505
M: +44(0)7917 634 705
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