Provide a brief description of the Solution, Service Provided, or Initiative?
Binary Stream Software was the first ISV to develop a true multi-entity solution for Microsoft Dynamics GP and currently this solution is our most profitable product. Over 200 customers worldwide presently use the Multi-Facility Processing solution because of its broad appeal and its importance within the Microsoft Dynamics GP architecture. Multi-Facility Processing was developed for organizations with multiple locations, sites or facilities that had a need to consolidate their operations or manage all locations centrally within one database. Supporting a structural and a transactional security layer, this product creates a centralized processing environment where users are assigned to facility entities within a single database. Multi-Facility Processing offers Microsoft Dynamics GP users the ability to easily and efficiently process centralized and decentralized accounting transactions for multiple entities within a single company database. By sharing various master records such as items, vendors and customers across different corporate entities, locations, or structures all in one database, you can significantly improve financial reporting while maintaining structural divisions and visibility/posting permissions for users similar to a multi-database setup. This in turn can substantially cut costs related to lower administrative requirements and the increased productivity that is facilitated by a simpler centralized accounting environment.
Describe what makes this Solution, Service Provided, or Initiative original or innovative?
The innovation in the Multi-Facility Processing software lies within its deep security and filtering layer that spans across the vast majority of Microsoft Dynamics GP’s functional areas and modules. This structure changes the scope of Microsoft Dynamics GP, and allows it to extend past the mid-market segment and reach into the lower tier-one software market. By enabling Microsoft Dynamics GP to undertake multi-entity environments, the solution can accommodate the growth within existing Microsoft Dynamics GP clients and allows partners to success in new opportunities that otherwise would not have considered Microsoft Dynamics GP. Rather than using the classic intercompany products to push transactions from one database to another, Multi-Facility Processing customers can effectively manage multi-entity accounting requirements solidly in one Dynamics GP database. Prior to the development of this product, all multi-entity GP customers had to create multiple databases for each company or entity. Using this multiple database approach, many customers had to accept the pains of this structure, such as the lack of data synchronization across databases, time-consuming month-end reporting and incorrect/inconsistent intercompany transactions. Consequently, the Multi-Facility Processing product relieves many of these common pains to give GP customers the ability to easily manage multiple entities in one database. Once in use, Multi-Facility Processing provides customers with an average of 20% productivity gains and lowers the total cost of ownership of GP on average by 10%. To date over 200 Microsoft Dynamics GP end-users are utilizing this solution. The largest installation to date consolidated over 420 databases into one.
Describe the improvement this Solution, Service Provided, or Initiative made to the customer’s sales or revenues. What changed?
Multi-Facility Processing helps GP users easily and efficiently process centralized and decentralized AP/AR accounting transactions for multiple entities within a single company database. By adding this functionality to their Microsoft Dynamics GP system, our customers can substantially cut costs related to lower administrative costs and increase productivity that is facilitated by a simpler centralized accounting environment. Over 200 customers have been able to reap these benefits by using our Multi-Facility Processing solution. Microsoft Dynamics GP was not architected in such a way that would allow users to efficiently manage multi-entity accounting within a single company database while limiting user access into another entity’s financial data. As a result, businesses that wanted to keep separate financial data for each entity before were required to create multiple company databases to keep each entity’s financial data secured from unauthorized access. For instance, a hotel operator managing 50 locations would have to create 50 company databases to limit users from accessing and processing transactions for the wrong hotel. Moreover, the hotel operator may share a common set of vendors, employees, and inventory causing data synchronization issues across the multiple data silos. These issues combined with the additional costs of implementing, maintaining, and supporting multiple company databases spawned huge interest in Multi-Facility Processing leading to over 100 customer additions in under the first two years of its release, recognition from the Microsoft Dynamics GP development team in Fargo, and multiple industry awards. For larger companies that have multiple locations or profit centers, Multi-Facility Processing brought Microsoft Dynamics GP into the tier-1 ERP space, competing successfully against competitors such as Oracle, SAP, Epicor, and Sage with similar functionality out-of-the-box. Multi-Facility Processing is a cross-industry solution that is primarily used by companies with more than five entities. Rather than creating multiple company databases for each entity in Microsoft Dynamics GP, Multi-Facility Processing allows these companies to effectively manage multiple entities in a single database, leading to lower implementation costs, maintenance, and support since there is only one database to manage. Currently our customers include a variety of organizations in several industries including healthcare (long-term care facilities), utility corporations, hotels, restaurants, media & entertainment, franchise groups, as well as manufacturing and construction companies, and many more. Multi-Facility Processing is tailored for any organization that wants to have centralized or consolidated processing capabilities and/or data consolidation within Microsoft Dynamics GP for multiple entities. Our customer, W Squared, a team of professionals specializing in providing integrated outsourced solutions for payroll, accounting, Finance and Information Technology Services were especially happy with their decision to Implement our Multi-Facility Processing solution. While utilizing Microsoft Dynamics GP, W Squared took on a new client with 31 separate legal entities which required reporting at both the subsidiary and corporate levels. In order to meet the multi-entity management challenges this new client would present, W Squared turned to our Multi-Facility Processing software to help effectively structure and manage their multi-entity clients in Microsoft Dynamics GP. By centralizing and consolidating all of the different corporate entities into one database, W Squared could significantly simplify their operations. Because Multi-Facility Processing’s core module centralized the master records for all of the entities a company might have, a large number of different corporate structures could be consolidated. Essentially the product created facility and department structures within the existing facility structures of Microsoft Dynamics GP, enabling this centralization while still maintaining the structural boundaries of the entities themselves. Users who were assigned to specific facilities would only be given access and permission to see and complete transactions within those areas.. Within the Sales Order Processing module of the solution, Multi-Facility filters allowed the separate legal entities to each process their own remit to address on invoices, meaning that W Squared would be able to accommodate the customized billing requirements needed to serve their newest payroll clients (4000 customers) through the project accounting module.
Describe the improvement this Solution, Service Provided, or Initiative made to the customer’s efficiency. What changed?
Customer Evidence W Squared, a professional management company that provides outsourced solutions for payroll, Accounting, Finance and Information Technology services for small to medium-sized businesses were able to see fast, effect results after implementing the Multi-Facility Processing solution. Julie Maloney, Vice President, New Client Services, from W Squared says, “With our newest client additions we are now able to start them off on Multi-Facility right from the beginning, even if they only have two or a few databases. This not only allows us to add facilities as they grow, but also start the management of their accounts properly right from the start. Multi-Facility Processing really is just an intuitive solution and, for an experienced accountant, it just makes sense.” http://www.binarystream.com/documents/casestudy_wsquared.pdf Kathy Kiehl, Corporate Accounting Manager from Red Lion Hotels Corporation says, “previously operating 60 databases using another ERP product, we were able to control the user security requirements but financial reporting suffered greatly due to the decentralized databases. Running consolidated financial reports could take up to a day to produce and data was not always synchronized between each database.” Red Lion Hotels Corporation is a publicly traded company (NYSE: RLH) with over 3,000 employees and 58 hotels in nine states and in one Canadian Province. Link to case study: http://www.binarystream.com/documents/casestudy_anon_hotel.pdf Binary Stream’s Multi-Facility Processing software has dramatically improved the ROI of Microsoft Dynamics GP when compared to deploying GP without this product in the appropriate environments. Although the actual metrics have not been verified yet since this product was only released in 2006, both GP VARs and customers have provided extremely positive feedback. Because Multi-Facility Processing’s core module centralized the master records for all of the entities a company might have, a large number of Different corporate structures could be consolidated. Essentially the product Creates facility and department structures within the existing facility structures of Microsoft Dynamics GP, enabling this centralization while still maintaining the structural boundaries of the entities themselves. Users who were assigned to specific facilities would only be given access and permissions to see and complete transactions within those areas. The Multi-Facility Processing product allows for transaction level, division level, legal entity level and consolidated reporting across all of the Microsoft Dynamics GP modules that our users would need for their clients. This solution would certainly streamline their day to day operations as well, by enabling their employees to work in fewer company databases overall, by limiting the number of databases per company to one. This would mean less time lost signing in and Signing out of databases.In instances where an organization may otherwise create over 50 databases without Multi-Facility Processing, the cost savings from deploying of all those databases alone could justify the incremental costs of Binary Stream’s product. Major cost reductions can also be measured from the maintenance of many databases versus one. These savings along with the time savings users will have by not having to log in and out of different databases will indefinitely help GP customers grow their business. Time savings from producing and consolidating financial reports has also helped Binary Stream win new customers.
How did this Solution, Service provided, or Initiative improve the customer’s ability to serve its internal and/or external clients?
The Multi-Facility Processing product allows for transaction level, division level, legal entity level consolidations for reporting across all of the Microsoft Dynamics GP modules that W Squared would need for their clients. This solution currently streamlines their day to day operations as well, by enabling their employees to work in fewer company databases overall, by limiting the number of databases per company to one. W Squared saw results quickly after implementing Multi-Facility Processing, and reached their return on investment goals within six months of implementation. Another one of our customers, a Hotel Company Utilizes Multi-Facility Processing to manage their Continued Growth. Having grown from a localized property management services and real estate development company to an international hotel chain managing over 50 hotels and 3000 employees, this company realized they required an update with their ERP systems to keep up with their dramatic growth. While Microsoft Dynamics GP was being used throughout the organization, Binary Stream’s Multi-Facility Processing product implementation has provided tremendous value by streamlining many key accounting processes such as centralized payables, consolidated financial reporting, and user access into segregated financial data. Having a complete ERP solution running from a single database has helped the finance department to maximize productivity and focus its efforts on expanding the business and delivering quality services to their hotel guests. With Multi-Facility Processing in place, all payables transactions could be processed in one database by using automated intercompany postings so the appropriate costs will be reflected in each hotel’s general ledger. This new centralized processing approach resulted in greater visibility into the organizations purchasing habits and has helped maximize its relationships with its vendors. By utilizing the single database architecture, this organization has received many benefits that included the ability to reduce their financial reporting lead time from one day to five minutes. Using reporting tools like Smart lists has allowed the Hotel’s finance team to better understand their business at any point in time. This used to take hours to product some of these reports, now it takes them less than a minute to produce meaningful financial data. With this upgrade, Multi-Facility Processing in combination with Microsoft Dynamics GP was chosen to provide them with the robust multi-entity accounting functionality and SOX compliancy they needed.
In what ways does this Solution or Service Provided go above and beyond industry norms and expectations?
Although there is no direct competition to this product, there are substitute products that are classified as the classic intercompany products. While intercompany products are simply transactional based solutions that push/post transactions from one database/company to another, Binary Stream’s Multi-Facility Processing product completely eliminates the need for multiple databases while providing similar intercompany functionality within one single database/company. The differences between intercompany products and Multi-Facility Processing are enormous. Firstly, there is a big difference between the size and complexity of the solutions. Multi-Facility Processing was essentially developed for each GP module individually, thus it does not function across all modules but covers the most popular modules. A deep security layer was developed for each module so that GP users will get the same functionality of using a multi-database installation but in one database whereby users can only see and process information within the databases or companies that they are given access to. As a result, the key distinguisher between Multi-Facility Processing and intercompany products is not the transactional engine but rather the security and filtering functionality that Multi-Facility Processing offers. Having this “centralized processing” environment in one database helps organizations have more control over their data and audit trails are streamlined while data is synchronized between entities because they are all in one database. Secondly, Multi-Facility Processing streamlines cost allocation between facilities or entities by using template cost allocation accounts. These transaction templates also eliminate incorrect GL coding which is commonly found in organizations using intercompany products. Finally, Multi-Facility Processing has enabled GP VARs to win deals against competitors such as Oracle just because of the centralized processing feature.