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Pipeline pioneers find a platform to build future success

15 May 2024

Discover how MYOB Advanced Construction helped Mitchell Water take on a big contract, and then set its sights on even bigger business goals. 

Mitchell-Waters-construction-workers-standing-in-front-of-branded-excavator
  • Powerful ERP system can be customised to meet needs of growing business. 

  • Integration of purchasing within project costing and inventory management. 

  • In-depth reporting capabilities: business can comply with contractual requirements. 

In 1979, Wayne Mitchell started Mitchell Water. Almost 50 years later, the business is one of Australia’s largest specialist pipeline engineering and construction companies with 100+ FTE – and the business is set to grow even bigger. Mitchell Water has built some of Australia’s largest water and gas distribution projects, boasting an accumulated total of over 25,000km of pipe, pumping stations, treatment plants, dams, storage and infrastructure. 

Using MYOB Advanced Construction, Mitchell Water has the reporting and financial capabilities to meet its contractual requirements without needing additional resources – and there’s still room for it to grow. 

Mitchell-Waters-construction-workers-standing-in-front-of-branded-excavator

“Game-changing” contract catalyst for scalable system 

With most of its work project-based, Mitchell Water’s growth has always come in ebbs and flows as it wins new projects. For that reason, the company had been using MYOB AccountRight. 

“It served the business well when we were building one-off contracts,” Chief Financial Officer Steven Roberts says, but there were some areas where it had limited functionality. 

Recently, the company secured a “game-changing” contract, five years’ worth of work totalling $300+ million. As part of the contract the finance team must deliver additional reporting and financial requirements, and to do that, they needed the right platform to support them. 

“MYOB Advanced Construction gave us the functionality that we needed, it was drop-dead competitive on price, and it didn’t require a ‘scary change’ for people, so we could get it up and running quickly." 

- Steven Roberts, Chief Financial Officer, Mitchell Waters

The business also chose to work with the MYOB implementation team directly. 

“I knew MYOB had the in-house capability and we decided to cut out the middleman.” 

For someone who’s been involved with an estimated 15 ERP implementations throughout his career, Steven admits he was a little nervous, especially during the height of COVID, but the MYOB team made it possible. 

“The implementation couldn’t have gone smoother,” he said. 

"MYOB Advanced Construction allows us to meet the client's needs and gives us room to grow and provide additional functionality should the need arise," Steven adds.  

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Clear transparency over purchasing process 

Previously, the finance team’s purchasing workflow involved a lot of double-handling, and they were lacking certain approval capabilities. 

Through MYOB Advanced Construction that process has been streamlined. They’ve been able to integrate purchasing with project costings and implement an approvals map that doesn’t require any manual replication. 

“We’ve gone from everything being the exception to an exception genuinely being an exception,” he said. 

Simple inventory management 

Inventory management was something the Mitchell Water team never had to worry about, but with this new contract, it was non-negotiable. With MYOB Advanced Construction, Steven says “it’s a piece of cake.” 

“There’s not much more to say than it’s simple, easy to use and it works how we need it to.”  

Real-time project reporting capabilities 

The last piece of the puzzle was being able to capture detailed project reporting. With MYOB Advanced Construction, the business can quickly pull detailed work breakdown structures, and report against those. 

"The level of information that I can spit out with a keystroke is phenomenal, and MYOB Advanced Construction has made it possible for us to comply with some tight contractual requirements." 

- Steven Roberts, Chief Financial Officer, Mitchell Waters 

“We can close off at the end of the month and five business days later, I have a fully substantiated payment claim. Given the small size of our finance team, trying to do it any other way would’ve been horrible. 

"We’ve also been able to do that without having to increase resources, something we would’ve had to do to gear up for this contract – if we didn’t have MYOB Advanced Construction." 

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Dynamic ERP system will help business reach full potential 

Now that the team has got the construction side of the business up and running in MYOB Advanced Construction, it’s looking forward to transforming other areas too. That includes project-based work and MYOB Advanced Payroll.  

“I know our payroll administrator is just dying to get set up because she can see how much time it's going to save by removing spreadsheets. 

“It’ll also enable us to import day-sheets from a project site, streamlining payroll and plant reporting and accounting for subcontractors.” 

While this is one of the company’s most significant contracts to date, Steven says, “there’s serious potential for it to double in size within the next 18-24 months.” That’s something he’s confident the business can now handle. 

“From a systems perspective, I have every confidence that we would be able to scale our business to meet additional demand. 

"That’s because MYOB Advanced Construction is a very powerful ERP system with all the enterprise-level functionality you need." 

- Steven Roberts, Chief Financial Officer, Mitchell Waters  

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