Innovative Australian Company Gains Immediate Operational Efficiency and Control Over its Business with One Unified Cloud Business Management Solution
NetSuite Inc. (NYSE: N), the industry’s leading provider of cloud-based financials / ERP and omnichannel commerce software suites, today announced that Seeing Machines Limited (SEE:LN), an innovative Australian developer of advanced driver fatigue and distraction detection technology, has deployed NetSuite OneWorld to power its business as it continues to disrupt the mining, fleet, automotive, aviation, rail and consumer electronics industries globally. Seeing Machines is using NetSuite OneWorld to manage its head office and warehouse in Canberra and its two subsidiaries: Seeing Machines Inc. in the U.S. (three offices and one warehouse) and Seeing Machines Latin America in Chile (one office). The company replaced Salesforce.com, MYOB, Excel and Outlook (for ordering) with a single instance of NetSuite OneWorld to manage its core business processes, including financial consolidation, CRM, inventory management, work orders and assemblies, project management and fixed asset management. NetSuite OneWorld also provides multi-currency (AUD, USD, CLP and GBP) functionality, which supports Seeing Machines’ growing export business into more than 10 countries.
Spun out of the Australian National University, Seeing Machines was founded by four researchers in 1997 and commercialised in 2000 to help machines understand driver fatigue and distraction in people by tracking and interpreting human faces and eyes. Today, the company has 158 employees and is listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM), recording AU$21.2 million in revenue for the 2015 financial year, an increase of 20 percent over 2014. Since January 2015, Seeing Machines’ technology has detected and intervened in over 120,000 fatigue events globally. Its disruptive innovation led the company to be awarded the Most Innovative Product, the Most Innovative Medium Sized Business and in the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Australia at BRW’s Most Innovative Company Awards 2015.
Seeing Machines is on a steep growth trajectory as it realises the potential of its technology across a broad spectrum of industries globally, which means that wherever these vertical markets operate, it will also need to have a presence. This growth potential was constrained by the company’s previous disparate software – which was not integrated, required extensive ongoing maintenance, did not easily support multiple subsidiaries or currencies and limited visibility across the business. In particular, Seeing Machines was using a heavily customised version of Salesforce.com for many functions it was not designed for, such as creating invoices, tracking inventory and more, which created problems each time there was a software update. Seeing Machines was looking for a fully integrated, cloud-based business management solution that could scale with the business as it grows and enable its team to work from any location globally.
After reviewing a number of solutions including Epicor, Sage X3, SYSPRO, Aggresso, Pronto and Microsoft Dynamics, Seeing Machines recognised that NetSuite was the only true, completely integrated cloud solution that could provide the flexibility and agility required to meet its growing business needs. It was particularly impressed with NetSuite OneWorld’s ability to run multiple entities on the same platform, its multi-currency environment, ease of navigation and its intuitive user interface.
“NetSuite OneWorld has given us a lot more control and visibility of what we are doing, which has enabled us to grow and diversify quickly, with considerably less pain than we could have done previously,” said James Walker, CFO of Seeing Machines. “We now know where our expenses are, what it costs to produce something and what we should be charging for our products and services. By capturing all of our business transactions in the one place, we can now see the impact of decisions on our bottom line and make more informed business decisions.”
NetSuite OneWorld provides Seeing Machines with the following key benefits:
Multi-subsidiary management – NetSuite OneWorld enables Seeing Machines to easily manage its subsidiaries in the U.S. and Chile by automating transactions between the businesses, eliminating double entry of data and helping to remove the possibility of human error. Consolidated reporting is also helping Seeing Machines gain real-time visibility across all of its subsidiaries to assess how each one is performing.
Superior Inventory Management – With real-time visibility into inventory globally, Seeing Machines can now better plan for how much inventory it needs, track the movement of goods and meet customer demand much quicker. With data previously in different systems, the company had issues knowing how much inventory it had in its warehouses and where it was located, which lead to the potential for error, as well as a three month lead time between the orders coming in and fulfilment. Since implementing NetSuite OneWorld, there is now a three week turnaround due to staff having access to all the data they need to do their jobs, which ensures the right equipment goes to the right customer at the right price.
Improved control and accountability – NetSuite OneWorld has given Seeing Machines much greater control over the customisation of user roles, with audit trails providing the ability to track each transaction and respond or intervene in the event of human errors. This real-time visibility has helped improve staff accountability.
Time savings and improved accuracy – NetSuite OneWorld’s reporting capabilities have given Seeing Machines real-time insight into how its bottom-line financials are tracking across its different currencies. The company was not able to achieve this with its previous system, which was a very manual process. What used to take the accounting team hours, extracting the required information from different files and convert currencies, can now be done automatically in a matter of minutes and at the click of a button in NetSuite.
Leveraging NetSuite’s partner ecosystem – Seeing Machines is also taking advantage of the Infinet Cloud SuiteApp for payroll, which was built on NetSuite’s SuiteCloud platform to complement its deployment of NetSuite OneWorld, with full integration.
“We have experienced 13 percent growth since implementing NetSuite, which has enabled us to better cope with our strong growth path, new products we are developing and new partnerships that we have,” added Mr Walker. “If we didn’t have NetSuite, we would have had a lot more pain trying to keep track of our growth and report on it, which would have had a flow on effect to what we could achieve. We probably wouldn’t have even known we had the 13 percent increase!”
According to Mark Troselj, vice president and general manager for ANZ at NetSuite: “Seeing Machines is a classic example of how cloud is helping innovative, disruptive businesses to gain much needed visibility across their organisations to make informed decisions, as well as the flexibility, scalability and agility needed to meet their immediate and future needs for growth and expansion on a global scale.”
Today, more than 24,000 companies and subsidiaries depend on NetSuite to run complex, mission-critical business processes globally in the cloud. Since its inception in 1998, NetSuite has established itself as the leading provider of enterprise-ready cloud business management suites of enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), and ecommerce applications for businesses of all sizes. Many FORTUNE 100 companies rely on NetSuite to accelerate innovation and business transformation. NetSuite continues its success in delivering the best cloud business management suites to businesses around the world, enabling them to lower IT costs significantly while increasing productivity, as the global adoption of the cloud accelerates.
Britain starts formal countdown in ‘final chapter’ of Libor
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on Friday called a formal end to nearly all Libor rates on December 31 as anticipated, piling pressure on markets to complete their biggest change in decades.
Libor, or London Interbank Offered Rate, is being replaced by rates compiled by central banks after lenders were fined billions of dollars for trying to rig what was once dubbed the world’s most important number, used for pricing home loans and credit cards across the world.
“This is an important step towards the end of Libor, and the Bank of England and FCA urge market participants to continue to take the necessary action to ensure they are ready,” the FCA said in a statement.
All sterling, euro, Swiss franc and Japanese yen denominations of Libor will end on Dec. 31, the FCA said. As previously announced by the U.S. Federal Reserve, some dollar denominated versions will continue until mid-2023.
“Today’s announcements mark the final chapter in the process that began in 2017, to remove reliance on unsustainable LIBOR rates and build a more robust foundation for the financial system,” Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said in a statement.
“With limited time remaining, my message to firms is clear – act now and complete your transition by the end of 2021.”
The FCA said that it does not expect any Libor setting to become “unrepresentative” before December, meaning that contracts that use Libor for pricing would have to switch to another rate at short notice.
(Reporting by Huw Jones; editing by Rachel Armstrong and Jason Neely)
China’s export growth seen surging in Jan-Feb on low base: Reuters poll
BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s exports likely surged to a three-year high and imports also jumped in the first two months of the year, thanks to a low base, as economic activity ground to a halt last year due to draconian COVID-19 control measures, a Reuters poll showed.
Exports are expected to have risen 38.9% in January-February from a year earlier, according to a median forecast in a Reuters poll of 22 economists, up from 18.1% gain in December.
China’s customs began combining January and February data last year to smooth distortions caused by the Lunar New Year, which can fall in either month.
Separately, the head of China state planner said on Friday that China’s exports are estimated to have grown over 50% in the first two months, without specifying whether that was in yuan or dollar terms.
The strong forecasts contrast with official and private manufacturing surveys that have indicated a weakening in external demand for Chinese products.
“China’s exports are facing both positive and negative impacts currently,” analysts with China Minsheng Bank said in a note.
“The exports volume of medical supplies and transferred orders from other countries due to coronavirus-related disruptions to production will decrease, with more countries speeding up work resumption with the rollout of vaccines.”
The bank’s analysts also expected a rebound of overseas demand for Chinese goods with the reopening of global economy.
Chinese factory activity normally goes dormant during the Lunar New Year break as workers return to their home towns. This year, the government appealed to workers to avoid travelling to curb the spread of COVID-19, prompting some economists to forecast a marginal boost to production especially in the country’s coastal export-dominant provinces.
Imports likely rose 15% in the first two months versus a year ago, the poll showed, with some analysts expecting the number to have been lifted by high commodity prices.
China’s trade surplus is expected to have narrowed to $60 billion in the same period from $78.17 billion in December, according to the poll. The data will be released on Sunday.
(Reporting by Lusha Zhang and Ryan Woo; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
U.S. job growth likely regained steam in February
By Lucia Mutikani
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. job growth likely accelerated in February as more services businesses reopened amid falling new COVID-19 cases, quickening vaccination rates and additional pandemic relief money from the government, putting the labor market recovery back on firmer footing and on course for further gains in the months ahead.
The Labor Department’s closely watched employment report on Friday will, however, also offer a reminder that as the United States enters the second year of the coronavirus pandemic the recovery remains excruciatingly slow, with millions of Americans experiencing long spells of joblessness and permanent unemployment.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Thursday offered an optimistic view of the labor market, but cautioned a return to full employment this year was “highly unlikely.”
“We will probably see more people having gone back on payrolls,” said Sung Won Sohn, a finance and economics professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. “Many will be related to service jobs, but that will not mean a rapid increase in jobs. It’s a slow progress toward eventual full recovery.”
Nonfarm payrolls likely increased by 182,000 jobs last month after rising only 49,000 in January, according to a Reuters poll of economists. Payrolls declined in December for the first time in eight months.
Economists saw no impact from the mid-February deep freeze in the densely populated South as the winter storms hit after the week during which the government surveyed establishments and businesses for the employment report.
But unseasonably cold weather last month, especially in the Northeast, and production cuts at auto assembly plants because of a global semiconductor chip shortage likely shortened the average workweek.
The labor market has been slow to respond to the drop in daily coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, which helped fuel a boost in consumer spending in January that prompted economists to sharply upgrade their gross domestic product growth estimates for the first quarter.
Historically, employment lags GDP growth by about a quarter. But economists believe the catching up started in February, a year after the economy fell into recession at the start of the U.S. COVID-19 outbreak.
A survey last week showed consumers’ perceptions of the labor market improved in February after deteriorating in January and December. In addition, a measure of manufacturing employment increased to a two-year high in February.
Though millions are unemployed, companies are struggling to find workers, which is contributing to holding back job growth. A survey on Wednesday showed employment growth in the services industry slowed last month, with businesses reporting they were “unable to fill vacant positions with qualified applicants.”
That was underscored by an NFIB survey on Thursday showing 91% of small businesses trying to hire in February reported few or no qualified applicants for their open positions.
This labor market dichotomy is because the pandemic is keeping some workers at home, fearful of accepting or returning to jobs that could expose them to the virus.
It has also disproportionately affected women who have been forced to drop out of the labor force to look after children as many schools remain closed for in-person learning. According to Census Bureau data, around 10 million mothers living with their own school-age children were not actively working in January, 1.4 million more than during the same month in 2020.
The Fed’s Beige Book report on Wednesday showed there are shortages of workers in both low-skill and skilled trade occupations. The vacancies are mainly in the high-growth industries that have fared well throughout the pandemic, such as information technology, engineering, construction, customer support, manufacturing, and accounting and finance.
“Jobseekers are more hesitant to pursue many of the in-demand roles that are required to be onsite, particularly in industries like manufacturing, which has seen double digit increases in job roles like assemblers and warehouse managers,” said Karen Fichuk, CEO of Randstad North America.
The virus has greatly altered the economic landscape and many of the services industry jobs lost will likely not return.
Though the unemployment rate has dropped below 10%, it has been understated by people misclassifying themselves as being “employed but absent from work.” It is expected to have held steady at 6.3% in February. Just over 4 million Americans had been unemployed for more than six months in January, while 3.5 million were permanently unemployed.
Given the difficulties of retraining, structural unemployment could account for a bigger share of joblessness in the near future.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Economists believe the labor market will gather steam in the spring and through summer, with vaccinations increasing daily, even though the pace of decline in COVID-19 infections has flattened recently.
A boost to hiring is also expected from President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion recovery plan, which is under consideration by Congress.
“The labor force will begin a meaningful recovery in mid-2021 as extensive vaccine distribution will push toward herd immunity, reducing health concerns and allowing for a more complete recovery of some hard-hit industries,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Dan Burns and Andrea Ricci)