Date posted: 27/10/2022

Meet the Mary Poppins of accounting tech

Oracle NetSuite systems architect and administrator Sarah Rynja drops into businesses to help finance, sales and production teams get their software usage practically perfect in every way.

In Brief

  • Oracle NetSuite a US cloud-based enterprise software company that provides products and services for small and medium-sized businesses including accounting and financial management.
  • Bridal company Grace Loves Lace uses NetSuite in its processes from the store floor to accounts payable.
  • Accountants and businesses can also use NetSuite to gain insights about their businesses.

With weddings booming after two years of postponements, a number of bridal trends are emerging. Firstly, brides-to-be are purchasing two wedding dresses – one to walk down the aisle and one to dance in – and secondly, ivory dresses have replaced white dresses in the popularity stakes.

These are just some of the insights shared with Acuity by Sarah Rynja, an Oracle NetSuite systems architect and administrator who works as a global systems manager for Australian bridal store Grace Loves Lace. The insights were garnered via NetSuite’s suite of modules and in-house built customisations, which tracks a business’s data to help unleash trends.

“Our prediction is that people stopped spending on travel and what we're seeing is they've purchased their dresses coming out of COVID,” explains Rynja. “Maybe because they've saved money, people are tending to go for the traditional dress for the ceremony – and that's where Grace will sell its lacy gowns – and then a party dress or something with a little more shimmy for later.”

We’re in-between sessions at SuiteWorld, NetSuite’s annual expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, where more than 5000 finance and enterprise resource planning (ERP) professionals have gathered to hear the latest updates and offerings from NetSuite, US entrepreneur Evan Goldberg’s cloud-based enterprise software company which was purchased by Larry Ellison’s Oracle in 2016. (A further 8800 attendees have tuned in virtually.)

As a systems architect, Rynja, who lives on the Gold Coast in Australia, often joins a business for a period of time to assess and customise, and show staff how to make the most of NetSuite’s suite of products. Most companies will be using something like 20% of a product’s capabilities, says Rynja, who, flying in and out, is a bit like the Mary Poppins of accounting tech.

Meet the Mary Poppins of accounting techPictured: Grace Loves Lace wedding dress

Moving away from spreadsheets

With Grace Loves Lace, Rynja assisted the finance, sales and production team with moving from Excel spreadsheets to manage interactions and different business workflow functions, to using NetSuite. The company was able to use that information to make decisions around product and resource planning, which then feeds back into costs and budgeting.

“The first few months I spent there I sat with all the departments and end-users and just watched what they were doing in micro detail, making notes for workflow improvements and customisations with NetSuite,” Rynja says. “It was simple things like moving fields around, hiding fields, adding some workflows to prepopulate fields that absolutely change their day. For example, putting in one workflow to prepopulate some mandatory fields saves the accounts payable person 12,000 clicks per month”.

Sarah RynjaPictured: Sarah Rynja

“The accounts payable person is putting in one workflow to prepopulate some mandatory fields and it saves her 12,000 clicks a month.”
Sarah Rynja, Oracle NetSuite

A game changer has been in building the customer relationship management (CRM) function to manage appointments and leads as well as dashboards for sales assistants in stores around the world so they can check stock in real time in the warehouse, which is based in Burleigh Heads in Queensland, Australia. “They manage all of that in NetSuite and that's really transformed things, as opposed to using Smartsheets where it would say, ‘Yes, we do have that in stock’, they would go to order it online and it was not available because someone's already bought it in the meantime. Because we're in 24-hour time zones – in London, Australia, Toronto and the US – someone else has bought that dress.”

“I've taken them off spreadsheets and the backend of their old ecommerce site and put them into NetSuite using the CRM which centralises, systemises processes and reporting, as well as protects the business from potential data loss,” says Rynja.

Pictured: Grace Loves Lace - Dallas Showroom

Developing insights

Beyond inventory, Grace Loves Lace is also now using the data it has to develop insights to help grow the business. Analytics Warehouse harnesses data from multiple channels and product lines to improve sales and inventory forecasting. Updates to the product were announced at this year’s SuiteWorld, including enhancements to simplify data management, accelerate time to insights and provide access to more third-party integrations. In addition to North America, Analytics Warehouse is now available to customers in Australia and the UK – later this year it will be available in Germany too.

Gary Wiessinger, senior vice president, product management for Oracle NetSuite says customers are wanting to use data to streamline decision-making and manage risk. “By centralising data on one platform we can help our customers identify new insights and drive efficiency, and productivity across their business operations,” he says.

For Grace Loves Lace, having access to at least six months of CRM data helps it make predictions about what sort of gowns brides will want in the future. “The stylists list every dress that you try on and rank them, and also the sampling sizes and conditions,” says Rynja. “They also record what dresses people have come in to try on versus what they have tried on, and what they purchased so marketing can assess those insights. For example, someone came in to look at this dress shown on Instagram, however they actually preferred a completely different dress when in store.”

Previously, sales reps were typing out individual measurements for customers in centimetres. “I've split them into custom fields now so it's usable data and reduces time and data entry risk,” says Rynja, who also refers to the saved searches function as a particularly useful tool for identifying trends.

“They can actually see the real sizing of their brides coming into store and trying the dresses, not just the brides who have purchased. This helps the design team gain insights from this data for consideration to the favourite dress styles that everybody's seeking, as well as body shapes and proportions.”

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