Founded in late 2010, GoTransit is Australia’s only supplier of metro, sub-metro, and regional transit, with assets across six capital cities and more than 400 regional communities. Over 10 years, the company has substantially expanded its footprint from coastal Queensland, securing thousands of bus and taxi fleets, and a few light-rail networks along the way.
Not only is their asset portfolio impressive, but they’re also recognised as market leaders in transit advertising. A little different from other operators in the field, GoTransit boasts an impressive in-house creative and production facility, with the latest technology for providing high-quality artwork and unprecedented turnaround speeds to meet market needs.
In other words, GoTransit does it all.
“We sell it, we design it, we print it, we install it – we do the whole lot within one business,” says Caleb Harriott, GM – Operations and Finance, and because of this, the company’s client base is stretched across a continuum from small businesses to big household brands. “We might have one client that buys hundreds of ads across all of our markets, and then we have hundreds of small clients in each market,” he explains.
Despite its varied reach and ever-growing list of advertising campaigns, the company’s goal is always the same: to pack the biggest punch with unmissable designs that hit the roads on time – and catch the attention of the Australian public.
For a company operating with this amount of transaction data from thousands of different customers, having the right system in place is critical.
Bursting at the seams with transaction data
Old system too small for business growth
While there was nothing wrong with GoTransit’s old system, it no longer had the right capabilities or functionality for a company of its size – and it was running into a number of issues.
“We raise between 1500–1800 invoices a month for a few thousand clients so our biggest concern as we’ve grown, and what triggered the change, was finding a system that could handle the volume of clients,” Caleb explains.
On top of that, the old system was an on-premise solution so accessing client data off-site wasn’t an option. Because they didn’t have the right system in place, the accounts team would spend a lot of their time manually importing and exporting data – which slowed down their efficiency as a team.
"When we did statements, we had to manually tick them one letter at a time because if we did more than that, the emails would crash!"
New system is flexible, automates with ease
GoTransit stays with the MYOB family
Right from the start, Caleb knew he wanted the flexibility of a cloud-based system. He did a lot of research, looked at several ERP options, and found the best solution was sitting right under their noses.
Having previously used another MYOB product, the company decided to stick with a brand they were familiar with and invest in MYOB Advanced. Not only was it cost-effective and made transferring information from the old system to the new really easy, but Caleb could also see it did everything they needed – and more.
“Over the last three years, we’ve seen a massive shift from what it was to where it is now – and there’s even more upgrades coming.”
Advanced could also be integrated with other external platforms the company uses to manage their clients and their advertising campaigns.
“Using basic import scenarios through Excel files, instead of someone having to manually key in transactions which is what we were doing historically, Advanced could automatically run imports every day or at the end of the month – that’s something we needed to handle the volume,” Caleb adds.
Million-dollar company can run with lean accounts team
Three years on – and GoTransit continues to see results
As a manager, Caleb says he’s always on the hunt for ways to help his team work faster and more accurately, so they can focus on more valuable tasks that help drive business growth. Because of the flexibility of Advanced, they’ve been able to automate lots of manual processes – something that helps the entire business run more efficiently.
“Yes, you can do it manually, and it’ll probably be right, but it’s going to take time, needs to be cross-checked if it’s data-heavy – and so then you’ve not only got one person doing a job, you’ve got two,” Caleb says.
“We’re a multi-million-dollar company but we’re able to run a lean finance team of only 4.5 FTE at the most. The platform does so much for us so it means we can keep staff costs down even as we grow.”
Adding more integrations into the mix
Over the three years GoTransit has been using the new system, it’s been integrated with several external systems, including EzyCollect – a platform that accepts credit card payments, automates payment reminders and has completely transformed the way they manage their accounts receivable.
“The invoice goes out through EzyCollect, the payment follow-ups go to the customer, the customer then pays through their portal and it comes back in and receipts itself – we don’t have to process anything. Our AR person now only works 3-4 hours across the week, so we’ve been able to repurpose their role elsewhere in the business,” Caleb says.
It’s also improved customer service, by making it easier for clients to pay their invoices quickly.
“Historically they’d have to call up if they wanted to pay their bill with their credit card, so I think that’s been a big customer benefit. And I think it just sort of naturally happened where we’re getting those payments quicker.”
The list goes on
Fixed assets and depreciation processes are easier to handle, rather than being maintained in a spreadsheet.
GoTransit is now 100% paperless, using Advanced’s incoming email processing to keep track of supplier and customer emails, instead of clogging up someone’s inbox.
With a simple customisation, they’re able to self-manage recipient-created tax invoices (RCTIs) meaning they no longer need to manually enter inconsistent data from suppliers, so record-keeping is better.
Even things like automatic-payment approvals are managed in Advanced – a feature Caleb hadn’t thought of but optimises the way the business is run.
Driven by the benefit of time
It’s hard to put a dollar amount on time when you’re able to get so much of it back, Caleb says. His team is now able to focus on other things within the business, like generating more sales and more customers – an inevitable focus post-COVID.
“The platform has huge amounts of scale. Every other day I click on the system and I go, ‘What other features are available?’,” Caleb laughs.
“We’ve found a platform that has a lot of capacity. It’s so much more than an accounting system.”
Caleb says the company is now underway with adding their biggest customisation to date, looking at how they can integrate a legacy project management system.
“What we saw was the potential for what we could do in the future and we’re starting now to realise it more and more – it’s pretty powerful.”
A quick bio on GoTransit
- Founded in 2010 on the Sunshine Coast – now nationwide.
- Transit portfolio includes thousands of buses and taxis, and light rail networks across six capital cities and 400 regional communities.
- Market leaders in transit advertising – from design and production to installation – reaching 14 million Australians.
Automated accounts with Advanced
- Cloud-based system allows flexible working environments
- ERP handles a large volume of transactional data with ease
- No more manual data-entry: automated processes create better efficiency
- Lots of room to grow: system will scale with business
- Better customer service: thanks to integrations with external systems
- Company can focus on acquiring new customers, generating sales