Located in Launceston, RapidClean Tasmania is a family-owned supplier of high quality commercial cleaning and packaging products. RapidClean is a leader in the cleaning industry, providing top brands and personalised service to a broad range of industry sectors including hospitality, aged care, childcare centres and schools.
After experiencing a period of steady growth, in around 2012 the company noticed that its business and accounting software was struggling to keep pace. In particular, the system was proving unable to cope with an increase in warehouse management demands. The time had come to upgrade.
After researching and evaluating a number of business management solutions over a 12 month period, RapidClean settled on Jiwa.
Maree Biber, Office Manager at RapidClean Tasmania, says, “Our software search was exhaustive, and in the end we chose Jiwa due to several factors of which its powerful warehouse management capabilities was a primary one. Cost also came into it – Jiwa combines wide-ranging functionality with affordability and that too helped Jiwa get over the line.”
“I’ve used many different types of accounting software over the years and Jiwa is definitely one of the more user-friendly and feature-rich systems”
RapidClean stocks thousands of products which are stored in its two warehouses. The company uses Jiwa’s multi warehouse toolset to manage each warehouse individually, with a separate profit and loss ledger for each warehouse. Multi warehousing provides complete visibility across warehouses and controls the transfer of goods between warehouses.
“With such an extensive inventory it’s important that we keep a sharp eye on our stock levels”, said Maree. “Jiwa provides us with accurate stock tracking and an efficient workflow across both our warehouses, allowing us to easily know what we have available, what we need to re-order and what stock we need to transfer from one warehouse to the other.”
The larger a business’s inventory, the more complicated and time-consuming it can be to maintain efficient and reliable product re-ordering processes. At RapidClean Jiwa has been set up to automate re-ordering in a way that minimises manual effort while ensuring optimum stock levels in its warehouses. RapidClean achieves this by setting re-order points for different months of the year and having Jiwa generate purchases orders to replenish supplies of products that have been sold during the previous time period.
Said Maree: “The re-ordering function in Jiwa has greatly simplified purchasing at our business. Striking a balance between being overstocked and understocked can be a challenge but Jiwa allows us to meet our customers’ needs while maintaining just the right stock levels, all without placing heavy demands on staff resources.”
For any distribution business, the effective management of inventory also requires proper management of backorders. At RapidClean Tasmania backordering is a common practice that Jiwa handles more than satisfactorily. “Jiwa’s ability to look after backorders is amazing. Although we strive to maintain a 100 fulfil rate this is not always possible, largely because we are located a considerable distance from most of our suppliers. Fortunately Jiwa’s backorder system very clearly sets out for our customers which products are on backorder and produces invoices also indicating those products on backorder. So keeping on top of this aspect of our operations is easy and reliable.”
While powerful warehousing, distribution and inventory management are three of the key strengths of Jiwa, it’s also critical that the solution be able to meet a business’s financial management needs. A former bank manager who brought a wealth of accounting experience to her role at RapidClean, Maree knows what qualities an accounting system needs in order to do its job properly.
“I’ve used many different types of accounting software over the years and Jiwa is definitely one of the more user-friendly and feature-rich systems”, she said. “From bank reconciliations to BAS reporting to the management of debtor and creditor accounts, it’s all very intuitive and easy to maintain control over.”
“For example, managing multiple sites is quite straightforward with Jiwa. One of our customers is a child care organisation that has 20 sites with 20 different expenditure accounts all of which we have linked to a parent account. We only need to produce one statement from the parent account which tells us everything we need to know based on information from the 20 sites. This makes for a very streamlined way of maintaining visibility and control over bulk sites.”
Maree also uses Jiwa for the administration and calculation of rebates.
“Every month I have to provide certain creditors with a rebate report, the information from which will determine the rebates we will receive from them on our next orders”, she said. “Jiwa enables me to look up every item a supplier sells us, telling me the prices we’ve been paying and the rebates we’ve been receiving, and with that I can work out the rebates we’re going to receive from the supplier next time. Having easy access to all the information I need to make those calculations is extremely useful from a cashflow management perspective.”
Strong reporting capabilities are a must-have for any ERP solution. But not all ERP systems make it easy to find, extract and interpret the information that’s needed to make sound business decisions. RapidClean makes solid use of Jiwa’s reporting functionality, as Maree explains.
“I have found the reporting capabilities of Jiwa to more than adequate for what we require, and it’s the easy extrapolation of information that enables us to run our business smoothly and effectively”, she said. “There is virtually nothing we have ever wanted from a reporting standpoint that we haven’t been able to get using Jiwa’s out-of-box features as there are dozens and dozens of standard reports to draw from.”
For a sizeable proportion of Jiwa customers, a good working relationship with their local Jiwa Solution Provider (JSP) is the foundation of their success with the Jiwa solution. For several years RapidClean has enjoyed a solid partnership with Interact IT, RapidClean’s Hobart-based JSP. Iain Gray, Business Services Manager at Interact IT, describes a collaborative relationship with the cleaning supplies company.
“RapidClean is a great company to work with when it comes to Jiwa”, he said. “Maree and her colleagues want to get the most out of the system so we meet with them regularly to toss ideas around and explore new ways to improve their use of it. Because Jiwa is so feature-rich there are plenty of opportunities for us to build on what they already know and leverage the system’s extensive functionality, all the while keeping things as simple as possible. The result is an ERP solution that works the way RapidClean needs it to work.”
Into the Future
Since installing Jiwa the solution has been nearly as critical to the success of RapidClean as the people who run the business. From accounting, sales and purchasing through to inventory and warehousing management, Jiwa is the central driver of the company’s day-to-day operations.
“Jiwa has demonstrated itself to be a very good fit for us”, said Maree. “We’ve put the system through its paces over the years and we’re still discovering new ways to make it work for us. We have great support from our JSP and this helps give us the confidence to know that Jiwa will continue to meet our needs well into the future. ”