ERP Goes Deep
For Science
Industry
Science & Technology, Not for Profit
PML’s objective is to develop and apply world-leading, integrated marine science towards the sustainable future of the ocean through excellent research, people, international and national partners. www.pml.ac.uk
Plymouth Marine
Challenge
Plymouth Marine Laboratory wanted to move away from out-dated, non-integrated business systems from which it was difficult and time-consuming to extract data.
Solution
Greentree brings all the financial and reporting functions together, and provides web-based access for remote-working staff.
Results
A convincing, cost-effective package was demonstrated by the Greentree Partner, and PML’s staff were impressed.
Plymouth Marine at sea
“Because a lot of our work is increasingly international, our staff are often away from the office,” says Chris Taysom, Director of Finance and Operations at Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML). “They need to have access to project financial data, as well as upload their time and expense bookings. This was not possible with our legacy systems, causing delays in uploading project data and difficulties in providing current data on a timely basis.
“Implementing Greentree is crucial to gaining greater business efficiency.”
PML is a world-leading marine science establishment, involved in environmental projects across the globe. It has over 100 research projects underway at any one time and employs some of the best scientists in the world. Its work includes studies on air-sea gas exchange, aquaculture, biodiversity and ecosystem function, and geo-engineering.
Research at the forefront
PML, a registered charity, partners with various universities, research institutes and other NGOs worldwide.
“Our research covers many areas from social economics and human impact on the environment, to observation from space, ecosystems modelling, ocean biogeochemical processes and climate change,” Chris explains. “We also have a commercial subsidiary, which has a completely different business model working with large corporates translating our research into commercial products and services.”
The growing complexity of project and financial management put a strain on PML’s business systems. It was using separate Sage systems for its financial management and payroll.
“The software had reached the end of its useful life and support was due to end,” says Chris. “The functionality and connectivity to other systems were very poor and users had only limited access. We were doing too much manual processing offline on spreadsheets.”
Visibility for all
Apart from improving its financial management, PML wanted a project management and accounting package that would allow access by multiple stakeholders, with live visibility of data, a proper customer relationship package, and remote access for its staff.
An independent consultant was hired to assess the ERP products available that would fit PML’s needs and budget.
“Greentree met those key requirements and came recommended by other respected businesses,” Chris says. “We were also impressed by the Greentree Partner when they demonstrated its capabilities.”
A system for now and tomorrow
Greentree gives PML the ability to slice and dice information about often-complex proposals and contracts, keeping customers readily informed and recording their feedback. It also integrates three separate payrolls.
“We’re confident that Greentree will bring a radical improvement in our business model,” Chris concludes. “With greatly improved accessibility and reporting, we’ll be able to provide more valuable information on a more timely basis.”