Part of the TVH Group, GemOne is a global scale-up that uses IoT solutions to help customers unleash the full potential of their fleet. The company has expanded rapidly, with big ambitions for further growth.

Following a series of mergers and acquisitions, however, the company was grappling with a mix of processes, impacting sales, fulfilment and wider revenue management. It was hampering operational efficiency, as well as making it more difficult to deliver a smooth, consistent experience to customers. This mish-mash of systems threatened to hold back GemOne’s growth plans.

Putting Salesforce to work alongside FinancialForce ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), GemOne was able to build a fully automated solution covering everything from lead management through to billing: i.e. true ‘Lead-to-Ledger’ transformation. As an implementation partner, PhiX was able to ensure successful, rapid project delivery, as well as helping GemOne to extract maximum value from the Salesforce ecosystem.

GemOne’s CEO Patrick Smets and COO, Lynn Van Der Laan linked up with Jamie Trigg of Salesforce and Justin Wheatley, Director of Lead to Ledger at PhiX Technologies to discuss the project.

For any business seeking to optimise finance processes to keep pace with organisational change, the webinar (available here) provides an interesting first-hand perspective. Here are some key insights…

Beware false economies

Best-in-class process automation software should not be seen as something only for mature enterprises. In fact, when a young business is embarking on its first ventures into new markets – perhaps involving M&A activity – this is precisely when scalability and flexibility are needed most…

“I know Salesforce is not the cheapest solution, but if you think ‘We’re only a scale-up and don’t need a super-big complex system, let’s start with a cheap one and we’ll grow together…’ in a few years, you’ll be looking at extra costs. It’s really important if you intend to grow fast, you are set up with the right technology. Otherwise, in a few years, you’ll need to change”.

Patrick Smets

Anticipating tomorrow’s challenges today

One of the most important parts of any great implementation partner’s role is encouraging the business to think not just about optimisation of existing processes, but also about the challenges that might arise in the future. For example, a seemingly minor disconnect between two separate revenue processes might not seem significant at this stage but could become a major issue as the company scales up. Equally, on the technical side, a ‘make do’ solution may only be storing up problems for the future…

“As a partner you should guide the customer towards best practice, trying to get the best out of the platform without building in technical debt. Fix minor problems today that could become massive problems in the future.”

Justin Wheatley

Embracing a greenfield attitude

For maximum value from the project, Lead-to-Ledger transformation should not be a case of new tech sitting on top of old processes. Instead, this is a prime opportunity to question the value and efficacy of ways of working, right across the business. Justin likened this particular project to a greenfield: GemOne was refreshingly open to remodelling and replacing whatever processes could benefit from optimisation. From sales through to finance, this attitude can help you to drive efficiency and free up valuable resources.

“We wanted a partner that really understands what we do – and thinks with us. I really believe that this whole process should make GemOne better. We should not start from what we have today and then try to build a system around it. I wanted to ask ‘What does the easiest and most straightforward process look like?’, and then we will change our processes internally”.

Patrick Smets

Realising the benefits

For GemOne, the chosen solution comprised Salesforce Sales Cloud CRM for lead/customer management, Salesforce CPQ and Billing to streamline quote and invoicing processes, and FinancialForce ERP, which enables the company to draw key resource planning insights from across all revenue processes.

“What you get is end-to-end visibility from lead stage to cash. We have a full view of what orders are coming in, an overview of inventory. It means we can pull reports and analyse things across all flows. Having that visibility in one single system allows everybody to move faster, reduces workload, reduces time and effort and human error.”

Lynn Van Der Laan

“Beyond the back office, salespeople can now see when something has shipped, they get the tracking number automatically, clients get visibility on what’s happening, salespeople can see stock levels, so it’s creating transparency across the whole company.”

Patrick Smets

WATCH: Are your processes aligned with your ambitions?

With PhiX’s expertise on hand, it took just 90 days for GemOne to achieve an international lead-to-ledger rollout. Watch here to find out how it was achieved.