Toyota Financial Services drives business efficiency with SAP technology

First installation of SAP’s R/3 Enterprise in Australasia bulletproof in double quick time

Auckland, New ZealandToyota Financial Services (TFS) has given its existing internal systems a thorough overhaul to become the first site in Australasia to go live with SAP’s flagship R/3 Enterprise software – the new version of mySAP ERP.

The upgrade to SAP R/3 Enterprise was a team effort involving SAP, Strategic Computing and Deloitte Consulting. It has enabled TFS to gain more functionality, improved performance and exciting opportunities to generate more benefits from the existing software investment – with minimal effort and little business disruption.

TFS is the one of the largest finance companies in New Zealand, contracting over $17 million worth of vehicle loans each month. For the last 5 years, the company had been relying on the same version of SAP R/3 to run the business. R/3 Enterprise is SAP’s latest version of ERP software and this offered TFS a robust platform for the future with an easy upgrade delivered over a long weekend.

“Our initial investment in SAP had been fantastic – it was a stable system originally implemented by Deloitte Consulting that did everything we asked of it so we decided to stay with what we knew. We could have opted for a new software package altogether, but that would have meant a full implementation, possibly a different database set-up and complete retraining,” says Accounting and Treasury Manager Brett Carrington.

“From a pure business point of view we could have continued with our existing 3.1h version of SAP that we installed in 1998. There were however business continuity issues to be addressed and we needed an upgrade path with the flexibility to allow us to go forward and further develop our business,” he said.

TFS relies heavily upon SAP’s R/3 Enterprise general ledger, fixed assets, cost center accounting, accounts payable and accounts receivable modules. Not only did the upgrade to R/3 Enterprise allow TFS to over-night gain access to over 5 years of software evolution but once the system cutover, staff found the system easier to use, reporting was improved and information could be moved into and out of Microsoft Excel effortlessly.

“The upgrade was conducted rapidly and was delivered on time and within a very strict budget. We were able to meet all our milestones and now have a bulletproof system for the future,” Brett Carrington said.

“We didn’t want any interruption to our business so we kept our old server operating concurrently while the new one was bedded in. SAP and Deloitte Consulting programmers had to make some minor adjustments to keep our incumbent programs working but overall it was a smooth upgrade,” he says.

“We worked closely with the joint SAP and Deloitte Consulting team, who ran a series of after hours training courses to up-skill our staff on the new features. We tested performance and data integrity and trained on the system before it went live.”

The upgrade was entirely seamless for the TFS dealer network but as a result of the upgrade they are likely to notice that internal accounting functions are more efficient, says Mr Carrington. The time taken to create the ‘seven-day close’ reports to shareholders at the end of each month has also been streamlined.

“Our existing information export and import functions weren’t particularly user friendly, and included a lot of movement of data between applications. In accounts payable much of the access has now been automated and a lot more information is available. Rather than lots of manual keystrokes and working with several screens, everything is now displayed on a single screen with role-based menus which makes navigation so much easier,” says Mr Carrington.

“We are also a big user of financial modelling and analysis. The tight integration of Microsoft Excel with SAP’s solution in the new version allows us to work with a spreadsheet while still in SAP which helps a lot.”

TFS next plans to take advantage of a host of additional SAP R/3 Enterprise functionality to drive continuous business improvement.

“We will leverage our investment by using more SAP functionality, with the confidence that our existing investment in SAP will continue to generate benefits long into the future,” says Mr Carrington.

About Toyota Financial Services
Established in 1989 Toyota Financial Services has grown to be New Zealand’s largest motor vehicle manufacturer owned finance company, being the country’s 5th largest finance company, with total assets greater than $450m NZD. Toyota Financial Services New Zealand has over 40 staff with representation in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

It is a complete one-stop shop for automotive finance having a comprehensive range of products and services including hire purchase, leasing and insurance. These are offered via the 55 Toyota dealer sales outlets in New Zealand.

Toyota Financial Services New Zealand is owned by Toyota Financial Services Corporation of Japan, part of the Toyota Motor Corporation group of companies. Toyota Financial Services New Zealand has a AAA/ Aa1 credit rating reflecting the strength of Toyota Motor Corporation.” (Additional information at www.toyota.co.nz)

About Deloitte Consulting
Deloitte Consulting is one of the world’s leading management consulting firms, and is uniquely known for its straightforward approach to solving today’s most complex business challenges. Deloitte Consulting works hand-in-hand with clients to improve business performance, drive shareholder value, and create competitive advantage. The firm has 15,000 professionals in 33 countries, and serves more than one-third of the companies in the Global Fortune® 500. Deloitte Consulting can be found on the Internet at www.dc.com. Deloitte Consulting will become Braxton upon its separation from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.

For more information, (press only):

Jennifer Roach, +61 2 9935 4845, jennifer.roach@sap.com