A partnership for the future
World Freight Company (WFC) is the holding company for the world’s largest network of General Sales and Services Agencies for air-cargo capacity. The companies within this group provide global logistics and coverage solutions for their aviation partners, supported by a robust digital backbone. We caught up with Titus Hientzsch, Group CTO at WFC, to talk about the solutions offered by and the partnership with Focus Enterprise Solutions.
A central ERP system
“WFC comprises more than 300 entities around the world and is constantly growing. This growth is achieved organically as well as through mergers and acquisitions,” says Titus. “This means that we have a huge variety of systems that we want to harmonize. In 2017, we decided to consolidate and harmonize at least all the financial data of these entities in one central place.
Back then, we were still using Navision, and we had been considering a switch to AX. Since all our Office 365 licences were already managed via Focus Enterprise Solutions, we thought it would be a good idea to ask them whether they could help us implement AX. After the initial tests, however, the project manager at Focus Enterprise Solutions recommended that we opt for Dynamics 365 Finance, because this was a better match for our situation and our future plans.
We started by running some preliminary tests and then decided on a core template implementation: we worked together to define the template for all implementations and then trained fifteen primary users on how to use it. The initial feedback was positive, and the project got off to a smooth start. 211 entities in 60 countries are now using Dynamics 365 Finance.”
“Focus Enterprise Solutions is able to incorporate Microsoft’s best practices into all implementation projects without causing frustration or making people nervous. The best practices were seamlessly translated into our own corporate culture.”
“Obviously, Focus Enterprise Solutions has all the necessary technical knowledge, but we also appreciated the fact that the budgeting was realistic for the implementation project. At no point during the entire project did we exceed our budget, and at times we even ended up under budget. Because Focus Enterprise Solutions handled this aspect so well, it helped our organization to press on with the project. Things would have turned out differently if we’d have had to discuss about budget overruns.”
Yavor, project manager at WFC, adds: “It’s also a bonus that Focus Enterprise Solutions is able to incorporate Microsoft’s best practices into all implementation projects without causing frustration or making people nervous. The best practices were seamlessly translated into our own corporate culture. The Focus Enterprise Solutions team is very skilled at that.”
“Extended Banking saves us a lot of time because it uses one standard, and we don’t have to adapt our systems to 50 different banking standards. We can easily import all the available bank statements into our system and reconcile with the information we have.”
Saving time with Extended Banking and RSAT
“Within Dynamics 365 Finance, all our entities are generally set up as stand-alone entities, which means that they all have to connect to the various banking environments. And although we use a cash management system, we agreed that Extended Banking would be a good addition. It saves us a lot of time because it uses one standard, and we don’t have to adapt our systems to 50 different banking standards. Thanks to Extended Banking, we can easily import all the available bank statements into our system and reconcile with the information we have,” Titus continues.
“The same goes for RSAT (Regression Suite Automation Tool, for automating existing testing for system updates). We use a lot of external packages in our system. To ensure that all entities and users are kept up-to-date, we have to upgrade according to the Microsoft schedule. Tests have to be carried out for each upgrade, which is a time-consuming process. So, Focus Enterprise Solutions suggested that we use RSAT. Although it takes time to get RSAT up and running, it will save us a lot more time in the long run.
We have since rolled out this tool in 56 countries, and we test 35 standard processes from A to Z. That’s a lot of testing and validation, but it also means we are more confident about new releases. Thanks to RSAT, we now only need to spend one week testing for each release, instead of three like we did before. That’s a big win for us, but it also brings us closer to our goal of standardising and automating as much as possible.”
“I would definitely recommend Focus Enterprise Solutions as a service provider to anyone looking for a new partner, without hesitation.”
Growing together, a partnership for the future
In addition to Dynamics 365 Finance, Extended Banking, and RSAT, several entities within WFC also use Managed Applications. Elzhana, IT support lead at WFC explains: “Although we are able to call on the expertise of the Managed Applications team at Focus Enterprise Solutions, we have now reached the point where we hardly need to ask them purely functional questions. Most of our questions are related to either Microsoft or to ISV products. Because we have been collaborating intensively with Focus Enterprise Solutions since 2017 and they have helped with our own professional development, our internal service department is able to deal with most functional questions relatively easily. We have really developed as IT professionals in the last few years!”
“Our collaboration with Focus Enterprise Solutions is a real partnership for the future. In recent times, they have really proven their commitment to us. We have always been able to discuss everything with them. Whenever we came across bottlenecks or minor irritations that had the potential to become more serious, we could always flag them up. And we always discussed them very openly and frankly. I would definitely recommend Focus Enterprise Solutions as a service provider to anyone looking for a new partner, without hesitation. In fact, I already have. Focus Enterprise Solutions has a fantastic team that is extremely knowledgeable, and WFC would be delighted to work with them again in the future.”
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“Our collaboration with Focus Enterprise Solutions is a real partnership for the future. In recent times, they have really proven their commitment to us. We have always been able to discuss everything with them.”