Active Marine

Active Marine

Active Marine is one of Tasmania's premier marine dealerships. Since opening in 2003 hundreds of boating enthusiasts have turned to Active Marine for the purchase and servicing of their marine vessels. Having grown from a one person operation, the dealership, located in Mornington (near Hobart), has seven full time staff, a workshop, a spare parts unit and an impressive showroom. Many of Tasmania's highest profile and biggest marine businesses are customers of Active Marine.
"The finance and business management package we had did many things very well, but one thing it couldn't do – which was important to us – was the tracking of inventory items via serial numbers", said Wilkinson. "Job costings was another capability our previous system lacked, and these limitations made it difficult for us to accurately plan, track and manage repair tasks, boat construction projects and similar jobs. I concluded it was time for us to acquire a new system from which we could run the dealership."

In consultation with his IT specialist, Wilkinson started looking for a new business management system – one that would streamline day to day accounting, inventory, servicing and job costing tasks and take his dealership to new levels of efficiency and productivity. After evaluating several Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions Wilkinson decided on Jiwa.

The Solution

"We installed Jiwa and haven't looked back since," said Wilkinson. "One of the main things that attracted me to Jiwa was that it could track every inventory item by serial number. This means we can easily look up when we sold something and know what stock of that item we have left. With Jiwa we have greatly enhanced our stock control processes, which has proved a big benefit both for us and our customers."In 2009 Dave Wilkinson, owner of Active Marine, decided that his dealership had outgrown its accounting and business management software system. He also recognised that his system lacked functionality that could meet the growing needs of his business.

The Result

When a customer brings a boat in to Active Marine for spare parts, repairs and/or service, a new job sheet gets created in Jiwa. All parts, consumables (such as oil) and labour costs are entered into Jiwa as the job progresses, allowing Wilkinson and his team to have a complete picture of each job through every phase up until final invoicing.

"Jiwa automates our job creation and processing tasks very thoroughly and capably," said Wilkinson. "When we open up Jiwa's Service Manager, we raise the customer's job sheet and start adding the parts for that job and everything else associated with getting the job completed. When we're finished we simply convert the job sheet into a clearly itemised sales order invoice. When the customer pays the invoice all aspects of the job get allocated against it. Using Jiwa we are able stay on top of each job every step of the way. When we finally produce an invoice we know that everything, to the last cent, has been accounted for. The landed cost we end up with is always accurate and up to date."

In March 2014 Jiwa rolled out the latest version of its ERP system, Jiwa 7. Active Marine was one of the first businesses to deploy the new version.

"We were advised that the new version of Jiwa would be faster, more robust and would allow us to carry out various processes using fewer steps than before," said Wilkinson. "As it turned out, Jiwa was spot on. The new system is faster – some things that used to take three or four steps are now down to two. For example sales invoicing and stock control management is now quicker because there are fewer steps to go through to enter data and get the information we need".

One of the characteristics that distinguishes Jiwa from other business management solution vendors is its willingness to accommodate system customisations for customers. This is an attribute that has benefited Active Marine, as Wilkinson explains:

"With a lot of software providers the message is, 'This is our system, we're not adding anything new for you, take it or leave it. But what I've found with Jiwa is that they are happy to add functionality that enhances a customer's use of the product. For my dealership Jiwa has, for example, developed a neat plug in that allows us to record a spare part as a 'temp', meaning that part is not in stock right now. When a temp is entered as part of a sales order it is automatically converted into a reserve order that cannot be processed for invoicing. At the end of the week we go through our reserve orders and, if the part has come in, we process it. It basically provides us with a foolproof way to avoid messing up our stock control. We have acquired a few customised add ons like that, all designed to meet the specific needs of our business."

Jiwa has been developed to ensure the highest degree of accuracy when it comes to the management of financials, inventory and warehousing. For Active Marine, the solution provides the peace of mind of knowing that nothing slips through the net.

"One thing I particularly like about Jiwa is that you have no choice but to be quite methodical with it", said Wilkinson. "Jiwa doesn't allow you to take shortcuts – if you're not entering data the right way it won't allow you to proceed. This is important for us because at the end of each month, when we produce our profit and loss statement, we need everything to be complete and accurate. This is the type of accountability we like and it's what our Jiwa solution delivers."

Looking to the future, Wilkinson sees no reason not to stay with Jiwa as his dealership continues to thrive.

"I can't imagine us moving to a different system at any point in the future – Jiwa runs our operation very effectively," he said. "While there are other ERP systems out there catering to the marine industry, Jiwa does everything we need it to do and does it well."