Woolmark is one of the most respected logos worldwide and assures businesses, consumers and other stakeholders of the quality of wool. The logo is administered by Australian Wool Innovation Limited (AWI), a not-for-profit organisation that undertakes research and development (R&D) and marketing across the supply chain for Australian wool worldwide.
Formed in 1937 when Australian woolgrowers opted to pool their R&D and marketing resources to remove the burden from individual growers, AWI imposes a levy on each wool bale to fund its activities, and now has around 26,000 shareholders and 50,000 levy payers. About half of AWI’s 145 employees are located in Australia and the remainder are spread across countries such as China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.
To manage critical tasks across its domestic and global operations–including its finances and the financial and contract aspects of project management–AWI needed a proven enterprise resource planning system. The not-for-profit turned to SAP as one of the few vendors that could fulfil accounting requirements ranging from global consolidation to local group accounts across its globally distributed business, and deployed SAP ERP 6.0 in 2012. “We couldn’t survive as an organisation without SAP or an equivalent system,” says Tracy Marshall, Chief Financial Officer, AWI.
Minimising administration costs a key priority
As a not-for-profit committed to delivering value to woolgrowers, AWI is always conscious of the need to minimise its administration costs. The organisation looked to reduce the annual maintenance cost of its SAP system and engaged with enterprise software support services provider Rimini Street to see whether third-party maintenance could lower its costs while meeting its support requirements. As part of its due diligence, AWI decided to undertake a full audit of its SAP licences to ensure the organisation was complying with its agreements with the vendor.
To help with this process, Rimini Street referred AWI to Invictus Partners as a consultancy skilled in supporting organisations through SAP licensing audits and evaluations. AWI then organised a call with a Rimini Street client that strongly recommended Invictus Partners, based on the consultancy’s work in helping the client optimise its SAP licensing.
“We reached out to Invictus Partners and based on our conversations with the team there, gained a lot of confidence they had the skills we needed, while the price was well within our ballpark,” says Tracy.
Working with Invictus Partners on critical SAP licence review tasks
AWI engaged Invictus Partners to perform a range of tasks over a six-week engagement concluding in February 2022, including:- Conducting a full review of contracts and licence agreements to ensure compliance and determine AWI’s entitlements
- Working with AWI to understand the SAP License Measurement audit process and its outputs
helping AWI execute these processes and perform sanity checks
- Providing advice on the user classification process, focusing on the developer licence and how to interrogate SAP data to ensure alignment
- Eliminating duplication and ensuring consistency by consolidating multiple profiles and licence types across different systems for individual users, and
- Undertaking a final run to ensure all systems are aligned, the organisation was compliant with its licensing agreements and to identify any risks.
Invictus Partners also presented and provided counsel on moving to a third-party SAP maintenance model.
“The team presented both sides of the argument and were extremely helpful in our final decision-making,” says Tracy. “We could proceed with the third-party maintenance agreement knowing we were compliant and having the tools to ensure we maintain compliance without seeking external help.”
Reducing administration costs over a three-year period
Working with Invictus Partners has enabled AWI to demonstrate its commitment to cost control to shareholders, levy payers and other stakeholders. The engagement enabled the organisation to implement a model that would reduce its annual SAP software maintenance costs considerably over a three-year period, freeing up funds for R&D and marketing that delivers positive outcomes for growers.
Invictus Partners also helped AWI onboard with Rimini Street for third party maintenance–a move that confirmed to Tracy that she would not hesitate to engage Invictus Partners for other relevant projects if the need arose.
“The fact they went above and beyond makes me very willing to use them again and to recommend them to other organisations going through that process. Their assistance in this case, showed a tremendous amount about the type of people who work at Invictus Partners,” she says.
“They put ‘SAP-speak’ in layman’s terms, so we could understand and manage what we needed to do,” she adds. “The team is very friendly and approachable, and we knew if we asked them anything we would receive an honest answer.”