After struggling with disparate and time-consuming accounting systems, Marque Group sought an ERP solution that could provide a single source of truth for their 14 different entities operating in four separate countries.
The Group engaged RSM to support a transition to a leading cloud-based ERP system, Oracle NetSuite. The project has since delivered remarkable results – from streamlining and automating complex financial processes to freeing up staff to focus on insights and innovation.
“I only wish we’d done this sooner. Oracle NetSuite has been a game changer, and RSM was fantastic. I’d certainly choose them again, and recommend them to any business looking to go on a similar journey.”
Fraser Bearsley, CFO at Marque Group
A multinational acquisition required a unified finance solution
Marque Group is home to a collective of brands specialising in innovative technology solutions for the automotive industry. Their solutions support automotive manufacturers and dealers across the full spectrum of customer relationship management – from a best-in-class CRM platform to a loyalty program solution, and data analytics tools to drive growth and boost customer experience.
The Group was founded in 2017 as a result of a major brand acquisition. It comprises 14 separate entities operating in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Germany.
As with any acquisition, the merging of different systems and ways of working had its challenges. Fraser Bearsley, CFO at Marque Group, recalls the difficulties they faced in trying to achieve a single source of truth for the Group’s financials.
“The accounting packages we initially used were great for smaller and less complex businesses, but we’re a multinational group,” says Fraser. “We operate across multiple tax jurisdictions and currencies, with different time zones and exchange rates. A limitation of our previous accounting package was its inability to transact with each other, so it was near impossible to see how we were performing at a Group level without significant time-consuming manual processes underpinning the current systems.
“We had developed a collection of Excel spreadsheets as an intermediate solution. But to continue our growth journey, our business processes needed to grow with the business; being sustainable, scalable, suitable, and strategic – and Excel was none of those things.”
“Our finance team was spending all their time focusing on transactions instead of insights. We knew we needed a better solution.”
Fraser Bearsley, CFO at Marque Group
Clear roadmaps and collaborative partnerships: the keys to success
After Marque Group’s CEO put Fraser in touch with RSM, an evaluation of business needs led to discussions about NetSuite: a leading enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.
“We did evaluate other ERPs. However, NetSuite hit the sweet spot in terms of the size of our business, its strength in providing solutions to SaaS platforms, and the fact that it was ‘born in the cloud’. Being multinational, we couldn’t be restricted by an on-premise system. We also really liked the NetSuite SuiteSuccess component, which could help us consolidate and streamline our processes as part of the implementation. It was like killing two birds with one stone.”
After settling on NetSuite, RSM’s ERP Consulting team conducted a needs analysis and developed an implementation roadmap. They then worked closely with the Finance team to prepare for implementation before going live in a staged roll out.
“RSM’s framework was fantastic because it removed the trepidation for the team. When we sat down to do the prep work for implementation, it didn’t feel like a monumental task. Of course, there were roadblocks. But it was pleasing that we had anticipated most of them and could iron out the smaller ones with a little elbow grease.
“After three months of planning, we went live in Australia first as the pilot. This allowed us to see what worked and what didn’t so we could apply lessons learned for the rollout in NZ and the UK. It was an approach that worked really well.”
Despite having to juggle the implementation and training around their everyday work, Fraser says the level of engagement from his team was inspiring.
“It’s so important to bring the team along for any change. Our team was thoroughly invested the whole way through, which was a recognition of how much we needed the change. They got along famously with RSM’s team, and felt comfortable going to them directly which made the wheels turn a little quicker.”
Jacqui Rinderer, Senior ERP Consultant at RSM, says it was a big project that was also extremely rewarding.
“The implementation for Marque Group happened during COVID so everything was done 100% remotely. Our goal was to make the journey, and outcome, as streamlined as possible. We looked for any opportunity to consolidate manual processes into NetSuite’s functionality, and to make dashboards really easy to use and navigate.
“Anytime the Marque Group team had a query we would jump on a call to walk through it, which really complemented the training we’d done. Ultimately, we want to empower users to self-learn and feel comfortable exploring the new system to discover how to get the most out of it – and we definitely saw this with Marque Group’s finance team.”
“I leaned heavily on RSM to be experts in NetSuite and its implementation. They always took the time to explain the best practices and warn us about any pitfalls in taking different approaches. I really valued their collective expertise.”
Fraser Bearsley, CFO at Marque Group
Time back to focus on insights and innovation
Since implementing NetSuite, Fraser says it has made Marque Group more efficient and productive, and provided the single source of truth they needed.
“We’ve been able to retire multiple legacy systems within each entity, as well as our Excel spreadsheets. Most importantly, we can now talk in a common language. We have instant access to high-level data for strategic decision-making, as well as granularity when we need it.
“I have much more time to focus on future planning, and the automation of so many finance processes has freed our team to focus on value-add tasks. The change to NetSuite has been met with unmitigated positivity by everyone who remembers how we used to do things.”
Of working with RSM, Fraser believes the project was run very well. “We always knew where we were at because of RSM. I valued our weekly stand-ups and regular updates, and the framework really accelerated the journey. Jacqui, our project lead, was fantastic – she always had time for us, was very patient, and freely gave her expertise. If I ever had technical accounting questions beyond the implementation, she would connect me with technical resources at RSM. It made the journey so much simpler.”
Jacqui says she thoroughly enjoyed working with Fraser and his team and is excited to continue supporting them into the future.
“The team at Marque Group was always engaged, polite, and appreciative of our time and effort. This constant respectful communication definitely supported the project’s success.”
Brynt Moggach, NetSuite Sales Director at RSM Australia, says “Working with the Marque Group team has been an absolute pleasure, and RSM Australia is proud to be part of their digital transformation journey across four countries.
“Oracle NetSuite ERP has enabled the Marque Group to streamline their operations by providing a single source of truth for their global financials, delivering instant and accurate consolidation, and removing the reliance on time-consuming manual excel processes. RSM look forward to being an essential part of the Marque Group’s journey as they grow and innovate software for the automotive industry.”