• RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPER TEAMS WITH SCALABLE TO CATER FOR FUTURE GROWTH

    Award-winning over 50s lifestyle community developer Halcyon has partnered with Scalable Data Systems to upgrade its internal systems and take the business to the next level.

    Halcyon chose Microsoft Dynamics 365 to future-proof its operations and selected Australian software consulting and services company Scalable Data Solutions to do the work.

    Halcyon has experienced stellar growth over more than a decade with seven lifestyle communities either completed or under way.

    Joint managing director Paul Melville said improvements to the group’s business management systems were essential to ensure scalability for the business as it continues to pursue new opportunities in the region.

    “After reviewing a number of potential partners, we liked the fact Scalable Data Solutions is a private company with a lot of experience supporting Microsoft products,” Mr Melville said.

     

    “They demonstrated a strong skill set in rolling out this particular system and we felt they would have a strong focus on our project.”

    With more than 110 employees and an annual turnover of more than $100 million, Halcyon had outgrown basic accounting and human resource solutions, which were labour-intensive and prone to human error.

    “We’d reached a point where the boiler was whistling and about to blow,” Mr Melville said.

    The company doubled in size when it took on residential and commercial construction in-house, and champagne corks popped last month as the company celebrated its one thousandth home owner.

    Despite the growing pressures, it took 12 months for Halcyon to choose the right product and the best re-seller to implement an Enterprise Resource Planning system.

    “It’s a substantial investment and not one we’ve committed to lightly,” Mr Melville said.

    Halcyon wanted development work kept to a minimum.

    “We believe Dynamics best aligns with our business practices,” Mr Melville said.

    “We needed a product that could comfortably fit the business without extensive customisation, but with the ability to ensure it could grow with the business. Scalable can help us achieve that with Microsoft Dynamics.”

    Once in place, the cloud-based platform will give decision makers access to accurate information in real time.

    But the entire Halcyon workforce will benefit too, as traditional HR forms and paper checklists are replaced with device apps.

    Scalable managing director Brett Crew said he’s looking forward to working with Halcyon to transform their systems and processes.

    “We took time to listen to the Halcyon team and understand their needs and challenges,” Mr Crew said.

    “For us, it’s important to understand the broader picture and take some time to discuss options, priorities and opportunities a client may not have considered.

    “Getting that understanding and strategic view of business direction always helps us to better shape our solution.

    “That’s much more important to us than just talking up our services and technology.”

    Workshops are under way to fine tune the system’s design with plans to go live in December.

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  • Europe looks down under for commodities trading solutions

    Australian software specialist Scalable Data Systems has successfully wooed a European giant with its signature product, Scalable Commodity.

    With a €4 billion turnover in 2017 and operations in 16 countries, Danish Agro had been in the market for a new common ERP system for its Agribusiness DK, Agribusiness International and agri-related business units for some time.

    After a wide-ranging review, Danish Agro chose Scalable’s powerful and flexible Commodity Trading module integrated with Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Finance Operations ERP.

    “Other products were evaluated” Danish Agro’s CIO Bo Ronn said, “but none of the others were developed enough for implementation in Dynamics 365.”

    The deal between Brisbane-based Scalable and the European agricultural group follows a four-month product trial in 2017.

    Danish Agro enlisted iStone of Sweden to work with Scalable Data Systems, installing Dynamics 365 with the Scalable Commodity solution built in.

    Partner companies Hankkija, Swedish Agro and Hedegaard then tested the integrated solution in a series of workshops, concluding the product met most core needs in its grain and crop business.

    Scalable CEO Brett Crew said the Danish Agro deal reflects his company’s 30 years’ experience in the industry and its commitment to software excellence.

    “With existing CTRM industry applications approaching their use-by date, we saw an opportunity to develop a product which dovetails into the fastest-growing enterprise management system,” he said.

    Scalable has built strong relationships with clients across a range of commodity industries around the world, giving the tech company an insight into the logistics and information management issues traders face daily.

    “Price volatility in commodity markets is the new norm,” Mr. Crew said.

    “It’s a challenging world for traders looking for the best pricing strategy and manufacturers managing the cost of raw materials.”

    In a bid to minimize risk, the commodity sector is looking for more ways of quoting and pricing raw materials.

    “In today’s fast-moving markets, clients are looking for one version of the truth. The era of stand-alone, satellite software in the commodities trading world is over,” Mr Crew said.

    The natively built Scalable Commodity CTRM module has met Microsoft’s highest standard for partner-developed software and is now Microsoft Dynamics 365 Certified.

    Implementation started in January 2018 across Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany and Finland with an estimated 750 Scalable Commodity (CTRM) users expected to be live on completion.

     

    Additional Information:

    John Crew, Director +61 7 3851 7300 john@scalable.com.au

    Links:

    Scalable Data Systems http://www.scalablecommodity.com

    Danish Agro http://www.danishagro.com/

    Microsoft Dynamics 365 Certified

    http://www.scalable.com.au/microsoft-dynamics365-certified/

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  • HALCYON TEAMS WITH SCALABLE TO CATER FOR FUTURE GROWTH

    Award-winning over 50s lifestyle community developer Halcyon has partnered with local technology firm Scalable Data Systems to upgrade its internal systems and take the business to the next level.

    Halcyon chose Microsoft Dynamics 365 to future-proof its operations and selected Brisbane-based software consulting and services company Scalable Data Solutions to do the work.

    Halcyon has experienced stellar growth over more than a decade with seven lifestyle communities either completed or under way in South East Queensland.

    Joint managing director Paul Melville said improvements to the group’s business management systems were essential to ensure scalability for the business as it continues to pursue new opportunities in the region.

    “After reviewing a number of potential partners, we liked the fact Scalable Data Solutions is a private, family-run company,” Mr Melville said.

    “We were equally keen to partner with a Queensland-based company, so we saw this as the right alignment with Halcyon and our values.

    “Scalable Data Solutions demonstrated a strong skill set in rolling out this particular system and we felt they would have a strong focus on our project.”

    With more than 110 employees and an annual turnover of more than $100 million, Halcyon had outgrown basic accounting and human resource solutions, which were labour-intensive and prone to human error.

    “We’d reached a point where the boiler was whistling and about to blow,” Mr Melville said.

    The company doubled in size when it took on residential and commercial construction in-house, and champagne corks popped last week as the company celebrated its one thousandth home owner.

    Despite the growing pressures, it took 12 months for Halcyon to choose the right product and the best reseller to implement an Enterprise Resource Planning system.

    “It’s a substantial investment and not one we’ve committed to lightly,” Mr Melville said.

    Halcyon wanted development work kept to a minimum.

    “We believe Dynamics best aligns with our business practices,” Mr Melville said.

    “We needed a product that could comfortably fit the business without extensive customisation, but with the ability to ensure it could grow with the business. Scalable can help us achieve that.”

    Once in place, the cloud-based platform will give decision makers access to accurate information in real time.

    But the entire Halcyon workforce will benefit too, as traditional HR forms and paper checklists are replaced with device apps.

    Scalable managing director Brett Crew said he’s looking forward to working with Halcyon to transform their systems and processes.

    “We took time to listen to the Halcyon team and understand their needs and challenges,” Mr Crew said.

    “For us, it’s important to understand the broader picture and take some time to discuss options, priorities and opportunities a client may not have considered.

    “Getting that understanding and strategic view of business direction always helps us to better shape our solution.

    “That’s much more important to us than just talking up our services and technology.”

    Workshops are under way to fine tune the system’s design with plans to go live in December.

     

    About Scalable:

    Scalable is a Microsoft Gold Partner and an ISV Partner providing implementation, training and consultation to customers directly and globally via the Microsoft Partner network.

     

    Additional information:

    John Crew, Scalable Director +61 7 3851 7300 john@scalable.com.au

    or

    Samantha Harland, Media Hunt Communications +07 5520 7955

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  • Microsoft certification catapults Australian tech company into the CTRM big league

    Microsoft certification has given Australian company Scalable Data Systems a boost in the competitive commodity trading technology sector.

    The natively built Scalable Commodity module has met Microsoft’s highest standard for partner-developed software and is now certified for Microsoft Dynamics 365.

    Scalable CEO Brett Crew said Microsoft certification is recognition of his company’s 30-year commitment to software excellence.

    “With existing industry applications approaching their use-by date, we saw an opportunity to develop a product which dovetails into the Dynamics platform,” he said.

    Scalable has built strong relationships with clients across a range of commodity industries around the world, giving the tech company an insight into the logistics and information management issues traders face daily.

    “In today’s fast-moving markets, clients are looking for one version of the truth. The era of stand-alone, satellite software in the commodities trading world is over,” Crew said.

    With more than 1,100 users globally, Scalable Commodity is a complete, end-to-end cloud-based commodity trading package for sectors including Softs, Agri & Animal Feed, Grains & Oilseeds, Bio-Fuel, Metals & Scrap and the Food & Beverage Manufacturing industries.

    The module integrates seamlessly with the Dynamics 365 Finance Operations ERP and leverages the Dynamics Unified Interface Platform, offering a more flexible and robust solution for commodity traders on the go.

    In addition to full contract management, cost tracking, logistics capabilities and risk management, customers have access to all tools provided by Microsoft for the Dynamics Platform.

    Scalable is a Microsoft Gold Partner and an ISV Partner providing implementation, training and consultation to customers directly and globally via the Microsoft Partner network.

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  • International Wins

    The ‘Scalable Commodity’ (CTRM) solution:

    • A Bio-Fuel customer in Denmark implemented and is now live with Scalable Commodity D365 Cloud series;
    • A substantial business in Denmark, in the Agri space, has recently completed a  4 month Proof of Concept of the Scalable Commodity (CTRM) solution together with the Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations ERP series. The organisation is beginning their roll out of D365 Finance and Operations to 8 European countries, starting in January 2018 with first country being Denmark. Once the rollout is complete across Europe – Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany and Finland, almost 2,000 D365 users with an estimated 750 Scalable Commodity (CTRM) users will be live..
    • A major industrial metals business in North America has chosen the CTRM solution from Scalable. This company is the largest provider of outsourced industrial services to steel mills in North America as measured by revenue,  with a substantial and growing international presence. The company provides mill services at 80 customer sites across 11 countries and a global raw material procurement network spanning five continents.The first site to go live is Canada. In the second quarter 2018 they plan roll out to the USA operation, followed by their business units across all 11 countries.
    • A large Cooperative in Italy has now completed their first implementation of Dynamics AX 2012 together with Scalable Commodity; they are now planning their second site. On completion of the roll-out, the group will have an estimated 2,000 plus AX/D365 users, 500+ CTRM users.
    • General interest has heightened  globally for the CTRM (Commodity Trading Risk Management) across many industries. The industries include Agri Grain Producers and Traders, Fertilisers, Animal Feed Manufacturers, large Flour Millers, Scrap Metals, Snack Food Manufacturing, Coffee and Tea importers and Oil Bunkering and Physical Trading from countries as diverse as Greece, Sudan, Ukraine, India.
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  • ERP & CRM Australian Customer News

    • A customer in the agri industry is implementing the D365 CRM/Sales modules as phase one in their move to Microsoft applications. The second stage is planned for the implementation of In-the-Cloud “D365 Finance and Operations” formally known as Dynamics AX. The integration of D365 CRM with the Dynamics ERP solution is standard with the new Common Data Model from Microsoft. .
    • A large specialised Not-for-Profit services customer has recently implemented their Financial applications . The organisation is now working on its phase 2 implementation which will include the Scalable Payroll and Rostering functionality.
    • A leading food importer and  FMCG customer in  Food Distribution business has implemented  Advanced Warehouse Management and Distribution modules. This first phase will also include Retail PoS outlets; phase 2 will be roll out to other state offices in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
    • A wholesale distributor in the agricultural and horticulture supply industry is in the process of implementing In-the-Cloud D365 Finance and Operations. The rollout across several states includes Finance, Distribution Logistics, CRM and will also include 12 Retail PoS sites.
    • A number of Dynamics AX customers have committed to upgrade from their On-Premise solution to In-the-Cloud Azure Platform by installing Dynamics 365 (D365) Finance and Operations. These implementations are due to start in the new year.
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  • The Price you Pay for Commodities (Managing Price Volatility)

    Prices for commodities across all sectors have been more volatile than ever over the last two years. While there are signs of slow recovery in some markets there seems to be no relief of the continuing pressure on prices. Some of these changes can be attributed to heightened production and a reduction in demand.

    The agreement by OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) to reduce crude oil production has already seen an increase in the spot oil prices. It is anticipated that demand for oil may fall due to slower growth in advanced economies and China. Going in to the colder weather, natural gas prices in the US have increased while prices in Europe have not. Coal prices have increased, mainly due to disruptions of supply in Australia and China.

    Metals have continued their downward trend due to concerns about over supply and existing large inventories. Two exceptions are tin and lead; they have hit a two year high reflecting concerns about decreased production in China.

    In agriculture, September saw a decrease overall for the third month in succession. The expectation of exceptional yields in several growing regions, particularly in the US, have seen prices for corn and soybeans. Wheat has also reduced, again on the back of increased yields in India, Russia and the US. In contrast, coffee and sugar have seen increases due in some cases to adverse weather conditions in some regions.

    So what does all of this mean? In short, it is safe to say that price volatility in the markets will continue, creating challenges for trading organizations to determine pricing strategy and for manufacturing companies to manage the cost of their raw materials. Organizations are looking for more and more ways to minimize risk, maximize profit on their commodity business. This leads to less fixed price deals and to more ways of quoting and pricing raw materials; a classic example is agreeing to pay 5c per bushel above Chicago Wheat price for December 2016. The price is variable thereby taking account of market price fluctuations while locking in the premium to be paid.

    With more and more variable pricing methods, commodity traders and manufacturers who are evaluating traditional ERP solutions need to ensure that their chosen solution is adept at dealing with these types of prices. Scalable offers an ERP solution suitable for commodity traders and manufactures. Microsoft Dynamics AX with Scalable Commodity can handle these pricing mechanisms and carry them through to landed costs, valuation, and profitability reporting. Contact a Scalable consultant if you’d like to learn more about about  Microsoft Dynamics AX with Scalable Commodity. 

    Contact Us

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  • How to: Easily Manage Commodity Contracts in One Place with Microsoft Dynamics AX

    Real-time access to commodity contract information is so important in a commodity trading that organization is essential. Traders must have one go-to place where all contracts and related information is readily available to access. The trouble is that for many traders that go-to place happens to be a coloured file folder filled to the brim with documents; everything from contracts, notes, shipping instructions, weigh scale tickets, and scraps of paper – not the most efficient way to locate contract specific information at a moment’s notice! Take a page out of Scalable’s book and forego the paper altogether, you’ll be glad you did.

    For the modern commodity trader and manufacturer, contract management is best handled with Microsoft Dynamics AX with Scalable Commodity in the contract management form – take a look:

    table-1

     

    The benefit of moving from paper to a software solution such as Microsoft Dynamics AX with Scalable Commodity solution is that managers can easily drill down into the information they need; filtering information by attributes such as trader, commodity, delivery dates, or counter-party. For each contract summary the information panel provides a real-time status view.

    In Microsoft Dynamics AX with Scalable Commodity, the inquiry tab provides access to all transaction related information. Some questions that you might ask include things like:

    • How do I intend to use/consume this contract?
    • What shipments have been arranged?
    • What deliveries have taken place?
    table-2

     

    The Allocation form provides details of the matches/allocations that exist for the contract. The user can see the execution plan for the contract and then make any adjustments or changes as necessary. As the contract moves through the execution life cycle the shipment and individual delivery (loads, rail cars, B/L) details are available to view.

    table-3

     

    Using the Contract Management Form as the central point to access contract specific information, with cross module access to AP or AR for financial information, helps everyone keep up to date in an ever changing environment.

    If you’d like to learn more about how your commodity trading or manufacturing company can easily obtain access  to important information without having to manage burgeoning file folders,  contact Scalable today.

    Contact Us

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  • Successful ERP Strategy for Reducing Commodity Trading Risk.

    cargo_shipIf the outcome of the UK referendum is any indication, there remains significant uncertainty in the global economy. Today, businesses face risk that stems from many origins: everything from political change, climate related factors such as draught in East and Southern Africa, and the Zika virus in Latin America. Recent forecasts reveal commodity price uncertainty lay ahead, reflecting a higher global risk aversion. For raw materials manufacturers and commodity traders in industries such as food and beverage, chemicals, metals, and biofuels, this presents many challenges. Calculating landed costs for commodities for instance requires adopting a successful strategy for dealing with commodity trading risk management (CTRM).

    Were the purchase of commodities at a known price, definitive quality, or fixed costs at the time a contract is agreed, handling of commodities could be managed more easily with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution alone. However, for businesses dealing in commodities something more is needed for dealing with the risk, logistics, and global supply chains. One successful strategy would be to integrate commodity trading and risk management (CTRM) for a single integrated solution.

    With Microsoft Dynamics AX and Scalable Commodity, raw materials manufacturers can now address these challenges by recording all commodity procurement contracts with details of expected quality, costs, price, and delivery dates. Prices may be fixed or where appropriate quoted against a Futures Exchange market e.g. Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). zedIT Solutions in conjunction our partner Scalable provides the flexibility to fix the commodity price against a contract or shipment as determined by the contract terms (this may even be after the delivery and consumption of the commodity). The tracking of estimated costs for each contract and/or shipment satisfies a number of requirements; accurate mark to market valuations, strong cost accruals process for shipments and ultimately accurate landed cost calculations for materials.

    Additionally, the production demand for raw materials is visible to the procurement and logistics departments who can then decide how to satisfy that demand; from inventory, existing contracts or by going out to the market to purchase additional materials. As soon as the allocations have been made and the logistics arranged the plants know when to expect deliveries and production can meet their schedules.

    By leveraging standard Microsoft Dynamics AX functionality combined with Scalable Commodity, an organization has visibility of data across all departments, and can improve efficiency and strengthen its supply chain. Read the AGT success story to learn more about how Microsoft Dynamics AX integrated with Scalable Commodity can reduce commodity trading risk.

    Read the success story…

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  • Delivering a Transformational Erp Experience to Business

    By Mike Ehrenberg

    Cloud computing opens up new possibilities for organizations where speed, scale, flexibility and intelligence can redefine how business gets done. We have architected the new Microsoft Dynamics AX, our flagship enterprise-class ERP product, with a clear focus on leveraging the full power of the Microsoft cloud and to change how people think about their ERP business solutions.

    The key to successful business software begins with empowering users to work where and how they want to work – the right scenarios with the right experiences on the device of the user’s choice. We have completely rethought the user experience, tapping into extensive usability analysis to come up with an experience that is second to none. An elegant, modern, intuitive HTML5 experience brings the principles of highly visual, immersive applications which today’s modern user expects from their consumer apps to their enterprise business application. We’ve optimized the experience to eliminate unnecessary clicks and pop-ups – bringing the user all the right information, and where they need it, so they can be more productive.

    We’ve developed an integrated user training mode — Task Guides – that helps new users complete business processes with on-screen guidance in the client experience, and that same facility can let users drive the application through voice commands to Cortana. In addition to being great on the Microsoft Edge browser, the new solution is also available on all modern browsers. That same modern HTML5 experience will be available in a Windows 10 Universal App, simplifying deployment. With an adaptive experience through Continuum, we’re enabling Dynamics AX users to get the most out of their phone device. The app will also be available for iOS and Android, reflecting our cross-platform commitment.

    The payoff for a business application investment is not about putting information in, but it really lies in turning data into intelligent insights and driving actions around those insights to deliver outcomes. In today’s fast moving business environment, that can’t be based on data for yesterday, last week or last quarter, but needs to be about what’s happening right now. Dynamics AX, together with Azure SQL and PowerBI, delivers near real time analytics, embedded pervasively across the application. Users don’t need to leave their work to use a separate analytics tool – the business intelligence they need is right in the application. Dynamics AX uses in-memory BI to give people real time operational insights so they can make informed decisions. It enables people to find, sort, visualize, and use information easily with an intuitive user interface that provides contextual insights through Power BI — embedded directly in the application. A user can now create analytics in PowerBI, publish them to Dynamics AX, and embed them directly in the application UI. Dynamics AX users can see those analytics in context, click through to PowerBI to more deeply explore the data, and even drill back to the underlying transactions.

    In addition, we’ve enabled new scenarios, powered by Azure Machine Learning, bringing predictive capabilities built in to the application that, for example, can help a retail seller make more effective product recommendations.

    The new Dynamics AX is at the center of Microsoft’s core ambition around the reinvention of productivity and business process. With outstanding Office 365 and Skype interoperability, users have the best productivity and collaboration tools to help them be as effective as they can be. Matching how people need and want to work, scenarios seamlessly flow across Dynamics AX, Office 365 and Skype for Business. For example, in a Budget Formulation process managed by Dynamics AX, budget requesters and approvers get to work with budget data naturally in Microsoft Excel. The new solution also introduces a powerful new concept called “Workspaces,” where users in various roles not only get a different lens on the data, tasks, and activities tailored to their role in the organization, but also an even more focused experience in the application with additional context bringing together all the data, all the processes and everything they need to get a task done.

    With the new release we are expanding the capabilities of our cloud delivered Microsoft Life Cycle Services (LCS), focused on continuing to transform the full application lifecycle management of a Dynamics AX project. We are formalizing the concepts of development, test and production and delivering the tools that will let enterprises combine the agility of cloud software upgrade models with the enterprise best practice discipline of managed release promotion and deployment – meaning the customer can have more control over when they get and implement updates that fits their business needs. Building on the experience we’ve already gained with the LCS service and with our operation of CRM On-line, we are confident that we will enable our customers to break new ground making the ongoing upgrade of their business solutions suite quicker to implementation and deploy, more predictable and easier to manage.

    It’s all made possible through the cloud and the new Dynamics AX is delivered from the Microsoft Azure Cloud. In building the new release, we drove each architectural choice to optimize for excellence on Azure. The new Dynamics AX focuses on the benefits that the cloud can really drive for a business such as simple sign-up and immediate provisioning to get users up and running fast; reliability with built-in High Availability and Disaster Recovery so businesses can get the information they need and are secure they won’t lose their data at the most critical times; elastic capacity to add resources when needed but not pay for them when they’re not, and transforming the software upgrade conversation. Building on the global footprint of the Microsoft Azure cloud, with its strong commitment and capability to meet diverse data locality and data sovereignty requirements, the new Dynamics AX is uniquely positioned to meet the needs of our global customers. And, building on planned advances to Microsoft’s on-premises technology stack, we will deliver the new Dynamics AX to customers that demand on-premises deployment in 2016.

    This is a major transformation for Dynamics AX. At the core remains our proven business logic, surrounded by our proven ecosystem of partners and ISV’s. We have invested in early access programs that have the service in the hands of hundreds of partners and have a record number of ISV solutions ready to go with the new Dynamics AX at launch. We have harnessed the best of Microsoft technology from Azure to Office 365 to Power BI and delivered a solution reinvented for the demands of modern business and maximizing the business benefits of Microsoft’s intelligent cloud. This is the beginning of a new era for Dynamics – and for reinventing business process and productivity.

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