ERP Delivers The
IT & Communications
IT & Communications
txtNation is an award-winning provider of mobile billing and SMS messaging services. It provides B2B mobile billing options and makes client marketing communications more effective through mobile messaging, worldwide. www.txtnation.com
txtNation was spending too much time manually calculating its income across multiple currencies and managing its cash flow, plus it had no visibility of performance.
Greentree integrates financial management with client data, providing up-to-date information on income for both txtNation and its clients.
txtNation’s finance staff are saving massive amounts of time, clients are given easy access to their data, and txtNation’s directors are able to make better strategic decisions.
“We need to employ three more financial staff within the next 12 months, which will cost more than buying a new system. And if we aren’t careful, our clients will leave us.”That was the stark message delivered to the directors of txtNation by CFO, Ken Waitt, when he joined the company. It was the catalyst that led them to Greentree.
A million messagesEvery time someone uses their mobile phone to pay for something, or receives an SMS message advising of a special offer, someone has to process a transaction on behalf of a phone company or one of its clients.That’s the job of businesses like UK-based txtNation, one of the top 10 providers of mobile billing and messaging services in Europe. Its client base includes agencies of Microsoft, Google, Vodafone and Nokia.“We cover 80-plus countries, 12 of which we connect directly into the mobile network,” Ken explains. “We deal in 50 currencies and we believe we have one of the biggest geographic spreads for our type of business in the world.”But handling some 1.5 million such transactions per day was becoming a stretch for txtNation’s business systems, and for its staff.
Bedroom beginningsBack in 2003, university graduates Michael Whelan and John Rowsell started txtNation working out of a bedroom in Plymouth. Today txtNation has a staff of 35 and a multi-million-pound annual income. When Ken joined the company, he warned that clients would leave because of “unacceptable” delays in telling them how much they were owed.The company’s Sage financial system worked alongside a bespoke system that recorded the number of messages being handled, to calculate payments to clients and debts owing from suppliers.“The client information was running six weeks in arrears,” Ken recalls, “and stress levels were through the roof.“Also, our systems couldn’t handle foreign currency properly. Every time we went to pay a client we had to re-calculate manually what the foreign currency was. We had 200 clients who had to be paid each month, some of them receiving currency transactions from 50 different countries. Our systems were reaching their full capacity.”
A system that fitsHaving assessed Sage 200 and Iris Exchequer, Ken then checked out Greentree. It made a big impression.“It was far better than anything else we saw. It was more intuitive, you could do 360-degree drill-down and quickly find what you needed.”
Total visibilitySince implementing Greentree, the biggest benefit for txtNation’s directors and managers has been visibility of its profit centres.“Now we can see the markets where we’re marginal or making a loss, and re-negotiate the rates. With that visibility we’re probably saving 15% a month in costs across all our markets worldwide.“Where we have a shared connection among a number of clients, Greentree calculates the share accurately and presents an audit trail.”Delays in supplying information to clients have been eliminated. Clients are able to log into a web portal and see their message traffic in a matter of seconds.“We don’t get a single complaint or data query, which is the best message of all,” says Ken, whose currency conversion problems have also disappeared.“We upload a summary of the messages to Greentree every day, it converts them into the native currency and then it converts them back into the reserve currency. I can then see all my revenues in US dollars, or in sterling. Then we pretty much press a button and the payouts are ready to go.
Huge benefitsNot having to employ extra staff has saved txtNation tens of thousands of pounds per year, and its clerical staff love Greentree’s intuitive functionality.“It does what it says on the tin,” Ken says. “The benefits are huge.”txtNation expects its revenue to as much as double in the near future, and with Greentree its directors now have greater confidence in their decisions.“Greentree has given us the information to work out where our profits are coming from and what’s driving our costs so that we can make strategic decisions to maximise profitability.”