Hill Laboratories
Life Sciences

The Right Chemistry And The Right Results

The team at Hill Laboratories Ltd work in modern, ergonomically designed laboratory space using state-of-the-art analytical technology.
They maintain very high quality standards and adhered to these principles when looking for a new business system to provide greater control and visibility for their business.

Hill Laboratories is the largest privately-owned testing laboratory in New Zealand, providing analytical testing services to environmental, agricultural and horticultural clients, and producers of foods and biological products in New Zealand, Australia, the Pacific Islands, Japan, Peoples Republic of China, and South East Asia.

One of their key performance indicators is the turnaround time – the time between receiving samples and sending results. To constantly strive to give their clients reliable and swift turnaround times, they needed a new system that offered more automation and time-saving processes, especially in the areas of requisitions and reporting.

During a four month review process to replace their existing ‘Sage’ system, implemented in 1997, they looked at upgrading to the next Sage release and also considered Accpac and Greentree. The team were shown demonstrations of each product under consideration. They pooled their thoughts and decided that when compared to the competition Greentree was a better business fit. Hill’s Financial Accountant, Wilma Smith, explains, “The Greentree Business Partner demonstrated the system using our own data. This very professional demonstration met the needs of the team and explained exactly how the system would work for us.” Wilma continues, “Greentree is exactly what we were looking for. It is easy to use and has strengths in reporting with its integration with Excel. Accpac was cumbersome in comparison and the next version of Sage was too different from the previous system.”

“Very, Very, Flexible”

As a service company, Hill Laboratories use the inventory system differently to most companies, so being able to use the system for their specific needs highlights the flexibility of Greentree. They required a powerful inventory management system to track the 1700 products they purchase by serial number, batch numbers and reference codes, etc. Wilma explains, “Greentree is used largely for ordering and managing the chemical products in the system. Being able to ‘tag’ a product to a supplier is important for the team to track the product and reorder the stock from the same supplier for accurate testing.” They do not require stock tracking for valuation purposes as everything being bought is either a consumable, a fixed asset or a service. The main feature is the allocation of costs to different departments within the organization which makes the multi-location feature essential. They make heavy use of the ‘limit stock to supplier’ feature so that once the stock item is selected then the correct supplier is automatically used.

“Very, Very, Responsive!”

More automation in the area of requisitions and a reduction on the request-to-delivery lead time were key requirements. Greentree’s Requisitions module provides more control over ordering the correct items and delivery times. “Our previous work practice would involve all staff placing orders with a Purchasing Officer, who then entered the same information into the system before sending an email to request the items. It was a long process and far too manual,” describes Wilma. There are 140 people in the organization, and about 50 of them now have access to the purchasing system. “Our team now has a better feel of what they are ordering and the management is more aware of ordering levels and costs. We have reduced the restocking fees as we have been able to eliminate errors,” says Wilma.

eRequisitions provides the requisitions functionality organization-wide over the internet without the need to purchase a user licence for every staff member. eRequisitions links directly to the requisitions database and allows staff to submit requisitions, search the inventory, and monitor the requisition’s status. The laboratory has also implemented eReporting, allowing new purchase orders to be automatically emailed or printed.

“Very, Very, Alive”

Hill Laboratories have extensive financial reporting requirements. Excel was heavily used with the previous software, but they experienced double entry problems. They now have an automated system working well for them. Greentree allows the department heads to access their reports electronically, which is a huge improvement in the distribution of management information. Their reports are no longer manually compiled in Excel and the management team is very impressed that Greentree feeds straight into their existing spreadsheets. “In the old system, if the data was changed it was time consuming and difficult to adjust things, however as Greentree is date driven it is easier to maintain the reports,” Wilma continues, “The month-end used to take 3-4 days to process the reports. We aim to reduce this time and believe Greentree has the capability to do so. Overall Greentree has provided great time savings, even freeing up a person’s time through the change of systems.”

The team draws from the Financial, Inventory, Multi-locations, Transaction Analysis, Purchase Orders, Fixed Assets, eReporting and Requisitions modules.

About Hill Laboratories

Hill Laboratories Ltd is the largest privately-owned testing laboratory in New Zealand, which provides analytical testing services to Environmental, Agricultural and Horticultural clients and producers of Foods and Biological Products., for clients in New Zealand, Australia, the Pacific Islands, Japan, Peoples Republic of China, and other South East Asian countries.

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