BIG-hitting sports club Wasps have proved they carry a sting off the field as well as on it – by deploying state-of-the-art software to keep the sporting franchise in peak condition.
Following a string of high-profile and progressive business moves, club officials are now rolling out one of the world’s most sophisticated business finance software packages to build further momentum.
The move has been spearheaded by Tom Bonser, Finance Director, who has been charged with building the club’s success to achieve long-term financial security.
After working with a team of cloud software experts from East Kilbride-based Eureka Solutions to great effect while in his previous role at an English Football League club, he has called on them again, this time to transform the back-office function for Wasps.
Mr Bonser said: “One of the challenges we have is the quality of information and how we can then act on it, which is particularly important with a business as complex as Wasps. I need complete confidence in our financial information and moving to NetSuite from Eureka Solutions will give me just that.”
While the pandemic threw many in the sporting world into turmoil, Wasps took the opportunity to nail down important business goals, including 10-year naming rights for its stadium, the Coventry Building Society Arena.
A series of other key sponsorship deals were secured, while Coventry City FC were welcomed back to the stadium and planning permission was secured for a second hotel to further enhance the credentials of this international conference and events business.
Mr Bonser and his team also undertook a forensic review of the business infrastructure from a financial perspective and identified a series of shortcomings which threatened to hold back further growth and development.
They found that key financial performance information and other vital data was not easily accessible for either reporting or planning – in fact systems didn’t speak to each other and vital business performance information had to be manually input between different systems.
He added: “I can never accept, in what is effectively an SME environment, that finance teams should need to reconcile between their own data sources. I knew there was an answer to this. I had been through a similar process in a previous role, so knew what good looked like.
“Not only had I worked with Eureka Solutions before to solve similar, systems-related frustrations, I knew they had also transformed the finance systems at other sporting organisations.”
Eureka Solutions is one of the UK’s foremost experts in Oracle NetSuite, a software solution used by successful businesses across the world. Known as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), when properly tailored it allows a business of any size to make sure crucial business processes and data are within one system – and easily accessible from anywhere with an internet connection.
With blue chip clients across the UK, the firm works with numerous sporting organisations, including Luton Town FC and the Ageas Bowl, the home of Hampshire Cricket, where the complexity of the business is very similar to that at Wasps.
As well as seeking success on the pitch, the Wasps business model is also about providing facilities for the local community, strong ties with Coventry City FC and attracting business and visitors to the area as an established conference and events destination.
Mr Bonser is confident the club and its associated interests will see immediate wins from the software rollout, as well as longer term gains, especially as it frees up his team to focus on the most valuable business development opportunities.
He added: “I know from experience that using NetSuite actually enhances job satisfaction within finance teams, all of which helps with retention of quality staff. That’s on top of the sheer time savings we will have at every month-end close.
“I’m also looking forward to the ease with which we will be able to produce reliable, tailored reports for the Board, stakeholders and wider business.”
Eureka Solutions is a £4.5m-a-year business with 65 staff and clients across sport, tech, hospitality, non-profit, wholesale distribution, ecommerce and other sectors. As well as specialising in NetSuite and Sage, it also offers a proprietary systems integration tool, Cloud Data Exchange
David Lindores, CEO at Eureka Solutions, said: “Having someone like Tom, who we have worked with before, come back to us for assistance when he joined Wasps is the greatest possible testament to the difference our approach and systems can make.”