Sugar Producer Revamps its Operations to Enable Business Growth

June 27, 2014

Posted by James Dantow(opens in new tab), NetSuite VP for Worldwide Support and GM for the Philippines

The tropical climate of the Philippines is ideally suited for the rapid growth of vast sugarcane crop. For decades, Roxas Holdings, Inc. has tilled the fertile soil to become the Philippines’ largest sugar producer, accounting for around 25 percent of the sugar production in the island nation, serving such global customers as Néstle Philippines Inc. and Alaska Milk Corp.

Despite their business success, the business software environment at Roxas Holdings(opens in new tab) was fallow. The company struggled with a lack of visibility into the data in its legacy on-premise ERP system and other disparate applications, which did not provide real-time insights into the business. Roxas Holdings’ business was limited by an IT infrastructure that required laborious maintenance and hand-coding, and lacked the flexibility that the Group needed for growth.

After assessing its options, Roxas Holdings elected to replace its legacy ERP with the NetSuite OneWorld (opens in new tab)global business management solution. Working with NetSuite Solution Provider partner CloudTech(opens in new tab), Roxas Holdings transitioned to the NetSuite cloud in early 2012 to manage the operations of its Manila-based headquarters, two sugar mills, one sugar refinery and a bio-ethanol plant.

The impact has been dramatic. The publicly traded company has increased its financial and operational efficiency and gained real-time visibility into critical business data, all while reducing costs by adopting a cloud-based solution that eliminates the need for costly and time-consuming IT maintenance.

“We now have a single system for the entire enterprise,” said Francisco S. Rondilla, Vice President for IT at Roxas Holdings and a Transformer Award nominee at the recently-held SuiteWorld 2014. “Our financial consolidation is effortless and that used to be our biggest pain point. Today, we can see revenues, expenses and transactions on a per-customer basis, on demand and in real-time with summary-to-detail reporting."

Today, Roxas Holdings uses NetSuite OneWorld for financial consolidation(opens in new tab) and intercompany transactions across the parent company and its sugar mills. The new system also supports a number of inventory processes; its sales processes of proposals, orders, deliveries, and customer invoicing and payments; as well as procurement of goods from suppliers.

Preparing for the future

“Knowing where your company is financially is important when planning for the future. And NetSuite is definitely key here,” said Rondilla. With the insights Roxas Holdings receive from NetSuite, and the flexibility of the platform across the organization, the company is able to build a strong foundation for growth.

One area of adaptability for Roxas Holdings is its preparation for the challenges of the impending tariff reduction on sugar to five percent under the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement Common Effective Preferential Treatment (AFTA-CEPT) plan that will be implemented in 2015. With NetSuite OneWorld, the company has comprehensive insight into pricing and profitability to help guide its strategic direction.

“We definitely see the future bringing us both challenges and growth opportunities. With a scalable and dependable system in place, we are confident we will be able to face the former head on and welcome the latter with open arms,” Rondilla concluded.

NetSuite has packaged the experience gained from tens of thousands of worldwide deployments over two decades into a set of leading practices that pave a clear path to success and are proven to deliver rapid business value. With NetSuite, you go live in a predictable timeframe — smart, stepped implementations begin with sales and span the entire customer lifecycle, so there's continuity from sales to services to support.