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Startup learnings that lead to a business’s biggest success

If you were going to start your business over again, what would you do differently? For STM Goods’ co-founder Ethan Nyholm, getting an overview of the company’s cash and profit and loss performance used to be complicated.

The process of factoring in different general ledger codes and currencies was too time consuming. But when STM Goods switched to business management software NetSuiteOneworld in 2015, it alleviated some historical headaches.

When Ethan Nyholm wants an overview of the company’s profit and loss and cash performance now, he basically clicks a button. He can easily isolate data about STM’s subsidiaries or select to see a roll-up statement of all the entities combined.

“It’s probably one of the easiest examples of how a move to NetSuite allowed us to get a quicker and more concise overview of how everything else is doing and taking a fraction of the time,” says Ethan Nyholm.

“As opposed to taking an hour or two sometimes to put it together, it’s a matter of seconds.”

The benefits of overhauling legacy tech

STM Goods, a leading designer and distributor of laptop bags, packs, fitted cases and other accessories, has grown from its origins in Bondi in 1998 to become a successful SMB with a global retail presence and offices in Sydney, San Diego, London and Kuala Lumpur.

But it was vital for the company to transform its business tech to maximise its development. STM employees around the world today use NetSuite Oneworld to access inventory and production information in real-time. They also have a better capacity to deliver the right product to the right place, at the right time. The business has a global real-time overview of the speed and location of sales, and it can see the stock on hand and what’s due for arrival.

NetSuite Oneworld is an example of business management software, which functions like an all-in-one portal for important business activities in areas such as accounting, procurement, project management and manufacturing. The range of benefits includes improved business insight, lower operational costs, better collaboration and improved efficiency.

New business management technology needs to be scalable

Ethan Nyholm says “You really want a system that allows you to grow, adapt and gather business-critical information, enabling you to make informed decisions.”

STM replaced MYOB and SugarCRM with NetSuite Oneworld in 2015 to run its entire business operation. The company relies on NetSuite for a range of key processes including financial consolidation, customer relationship management (CRM), demand and supply planning, inventory management, order management, document management, warehouse management, invoicing and payroll.

STM, which considered a range of software vendors, engaged in an intensive evaluation process to settle on NetSuite.

Remember best practices for implementing new business tech

When evaluating business management software and its implementation, there is a range of best practices to be aware of. It’s important to consider the specific outcomes you want the technology to achieve, budgetary details, timelines, and employee commitment to change.

Ethan Nyholm says he wanted his employees to be part of what was a change management process that could bring about numerous business benefits.

“Everyone was included in the process, how they operate and how they wanted the system to work,” says Ethan Nyholm. “This feedback helped to make everyone feel that they played a part in the decision-making process.”

“One of the benefits was that it allowed us to put into place a lot of best practices that we didn’t have in place before because that’s how the system is set up to run.”

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