Case Study – GP Deployment

Eagle's Flight LogoBased in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, Eagle’s Flight is a world leader in corporate training. They run training programs across the globe in Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, and North and South America. With companies in Canada and the United States and distributorships in 18 countries, they needed a new software solution. The company was plagued with data integrity issues and needed a consolidated accounting platform and improved reporting. With assistance from Microsoft reselling partner, TGO Consulting, Inc. they implemented Microsoft Dynamics GP. Microsoft Office and FRx Professional were also included in their solution. Microsoft SQL Server was part of the solution providing increased stability and data integrity and thus, greatly improved employee morale. Microsoft Dynamics GP and FRx improved financial reporting. Microsoft Office is used to import and export data into reports for analysis in a familiar Microsoft Excel environment. Overall, this solution provides Eagle’s Flight with the detailed data they require to make confident decisions based on up-to-the-minute information.

Solution Overview

Customer Profile

Located in Ontario, Canada, Eagle’s Flight is a world leader in corporate training. A wide range of clients, including blue chip and multinational companies, turn to the company for training programs to boost employee efficiency and increase business results.

Business Situation

Eager to resolve persistent data-integrity issues, Eagle’s Flight sought to replace their existing database with a more stable database that could improve employee productivity, provide faster reporting and keep pace with the company’s growth.

Solution

An upgrade from Windows NT to Eagle’s flight implemented Microsoft Business Solutions-Great Plains, Microsoft Office, and Microsoft SQL Server with assistance from Microsoft reselling partner, TGO Consulting, Inc. The FRx component of their solution provides them with the ability to consolidate reporting for their two companies.

Software and Services

o Microsoft Dynamics GP
o Office 2000 (or 2003, 2007, etc.)
o SQL Server 2000 (or 2005, etc.)
Partners
o TGO Consulting, Inc.

Company Overview

Located in Ontario, Canada, Eagle’s Flight is a world leader in corporate training. A wide range of clients, including blue chip and multinational companies, turn to the company for training programs to boost employee efficiency and increase business results.

“What we are looking to do at Eagle’s Flight is to get to the point where all our systems speak very well to each other. Microsoft is helping us to move in that direction.”

Dave Root
Chief Financial Officer
Eagle’s Flight

Business Challenge

When your company is flying high, you can’t afford to be grounded by database problems. But that’s exactly what happened to Eagle’s Flight, a world leader in corporate experiential training.

Based in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, Eagle’s Flight runs corporate training programs across the globe in Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, and North and South America. Clients include companies of all sizes in a wide range of industries. The company has 130 employees and annual revenue of $16 million.

Eagle’s Flight training programs are designed to improve companies’ business results and employee performance by helping employees discover and more effectively use their abilities. In addition, Eagle’s Flight helps organizations gain a competitive edge by closely aligning human resources with business strategies.

Prior to implementation, Eagle’s Flight was using Business Vision, which was written in COBOL, for their accounting solution. The company was at the point that Business Vision couldn’t handle the volume of information entered and it also had a limit on the number of users it could accommodate at one time. “We were jumping through hoops when we exported data using COBOL,” says Dave Root, CFO. “We were never sure what kind of data we would get.” Eagle’s Flight needed more scalability.

The company wanted to improve reporting, add an inventory solution, and add multicurrency capabilities. “What we want to do at Eagle’s Flight is to get to the point where all our solutions speak very well to each other,” says Root.

At a time when Eagle’s Flight’s business was taking off, their database was crashing-often. Plagued by all-too-frequent maintenance issues, the company’s Pervasive.SQL database was hindering the company’s ability to make decisions, share customer and prospect information, and continue to grow.

As a result of the database instability, Eagle’s Flight employees continually had to perform system rollbacks-always losing two days’ worth of data in the process. Then, they had to track down, retrieve and reenter lost data, a costly process that ate up valuable time that could have been spent performing other, more productive tasks. “Needless to say, it was a very frustrating process,” says Root.

In addition, Eagle’s Flight employees never knew what to expect from the company’s temperamental Pervasive.SQL database. They resorted to running file maintenance at least one weekend a month. The process usually took five or more hours and often flagged additional database problems that hadn’t yet come to the attention of the accounting staff.
The inconsistent database performance and many crashes began to take a toll on employee morale. Accounting staff was frustrated with the hours spent maintaining the database; management was tired of the costs and lost productivity; and sales staff were frustrated with the lack of customer information available.

Solution

Microsoft reselling partner, TGO Consulting, Inc. helped Eagle’s Flight implement Microsoft Business Solutions-Great Plains for their accounting software. Since Eagle’s Flight was also adding a U.S. division, this was an opportune time to add more accounting codes and have the two divisions mirror their accounting solutions. This software also provides Eagle’s Flight with the inventory management capabilities they previously lacked.

Eagle’s Flight added FRx to their solution to improve their financial reporting capabilities. “By using multiple accounting codes and FRx, we can now dissect things to a very finite level,” says Root. “Month-end cross analysis with FRx helps us to look at various segments of the company and their profitability.”

Eagle’s Flight uses FRx to consolidate reports for their two divisions and for their bank. This solution also helps the company deal with the multicurrency issues of companies in the United States, Canada, and distributorships in 18 other countries.

While budgeting is typically done in Microsoft Excel, employees find it easy to import into FRx for analysis. “I personally hold people very accountable to their budgets,” says Root. “With FRx, employees can easily look at what’s going on and identify any problems areas.”
Eagle’s Flight finds FRx intuitive and appreciates the fact that IT personnel aren’t required for modifications. “Once you understand how FRx works, it’s very simple and makes a lot of sense,” says Root.

Many of the standard accounting reports are run in Microsoft Dynamics GP and can be exported to Microsoft Excel for additional charting and graphing.

To resolve persistent data integrity issues and add the scalability needed to manage the company’s growth, Eagle’s Flight also decided to replace their Pervasive.SQL database. Microsoft SQL Server was chosen for its scalability, stability, and ease of maintenance. “Our vision of Microsoft Business Solutions was Microsoft technology, so we knew this database was going to be reliable and give us everything we were looking for,” Root says.

Business Benefits

Increased Stability / Data Integrity

With Microsoft SQL Server, Eagle’s Flight quickly addressed the most pressing problems: stability and data integrity. “Unlike our old database, the Microsoft SQL Server database has never crashed,” Root says. “Not one single time.”

Improved Reporting

Following implementation of Microsoft Dynamics GP and FRx, Eagle’s Flight is able to easily reconcile balances and run customized reports. FRx provides them with the ability to add significant depth to their analysis of accounts. This access to improved information allows the company to make better decisions.

Using the previous database, the company’s trial balance report took 15 to 20 minutes to run, an amount of time Root describes as “painfully long.” Now, with Microsoft SQL Server, the report runs in one minute or less.

Time Savings

The switch to Microsoft SQL Server has dramatically increased employee productivity and saved countless hours of time previously spent restoring the database and reentering lost data. “The SQL modules cost a bit more, but we’ve more than made up for that with the time we’re saving. Microsoft SQL Server definitely has been worth the investment,” Root says.

Integration with Microsoft Office

Eagle’s Flight appreciates the integration of Microsoft Dynamics GP with Microsoft Office. This provides them with the ability to fine tune reports and accounting information.

Scalability

Eagle’s Flight is exploring the addition of Microsoft Business Portal for improved document sharing and FRx Forecaster for more secure and sophisticated budgeting. Root knows that with the integration provided by Microsoft products, they will continue to add on new applications to meet the growing needs of the company.

Improved Morale

Microsoft SQL Server has helped increase employee morale. Eagle’s Flight employees now have their weekends to themselves and no longer worry about database problems. “After all,” Root says, “how do you put a price on employee happiness?”

 

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