VivoPower: How Agicap Helps to Optimize and Report Complex Cash Flow in an International Group

Business sector: Renewable Energy
Size: SME+ (£10-50 million turnover, 50-250 employees)
Where: US, UK, Australia
Cashflow challenges: Working capital optimization to handle supply chain issues

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VivoPower is a NASDAQ-listed company based in the US and active in the renewable energy space. But as a group it makes up 15 entities across the globe. For the finance team, this adds complexity. They need to report in all of GBP, EUR, AUD, USD and AED. At the same time, working capital has also become more of a priority off the back of the supply chain issues Vivo faced post-Covid. Additional investment was required to ensure stock is available when needed. For more details on how Vivo's Finance team made the necessary adjustments to the processes, read here.

Why Cash Forecasting is Important to a Renewable Energy Company

At VivoPower, Netsuite is used as the ERP System and Salesforce as the CRM. For the finance team to achieve meaningful visibility across these 2 systems, a real time cash forecasting solution became a necessity.

NetSuite could not cope alone, according to VivoPower's COO, Gary Challinor. “We’ve always used spreadsheets, always Excel, and it hasn’t been working for over 12 months. It’s just too complex.” Agicap gave Challinor’s team a solution that could handle that complexity to provide the visibility they wanted.

VivoPower have used Agicap to integrate their ERP, CRM and bank accounts into a single view. As a result, VivoPower can now much more easily see and manage their possible cash inflows. In practical terms, Challinor's teams also save a minimum of five person days a week in terms of their cash forecasting workload.

Cash forecast is so important. P&L (profit and loss) will never give you that, it doesn’t matter what system you use, you know, it can be a cave wall, it doesn’t matter. What you really need is that forward look into the business,” explains Gary Challinor.

Up-to-Date Reporting for the CEO

In 30 years of implementing and selling ERP solutions globally Challinor has seen live the transformation of what's technologically possible over time. What gets used today by his team is totally different from what they were able to use just a couple of years ago. But in his current job, what's most important for him is to be able to make the necessary cash decisions needed for the business as quickly as possible as post-COVID supply chain lead times remain long.

Agicap's integrated visibility of cash enables him to respond quickly, but it also enables his team to better communicate with VivoPower's CEO. CEOs are often overloaded with data but little insight. Challinor uses Agicap to visually convey the key points around cash at a high level, easily explaining the significance of the data with the simple option to drill down into the details when necessary.

This was impossible for Gary to do when all this was done in spreadsheets as cash was only forecasted indirectly rather than directly, meaning the data was always out of date by the time the meeting happened.

Today, for Gary and VivoPower, “Agicap is much much more than just a nice-to-have application. It’s actually key to what we do.”