Original interview with Tim Hooper of Xledger UK and Louis Gonzalez (Head of Finance at Galbraith)
Galbraith supplies worldwide chartered shipping and has complex forecasting, accounting and project management needs. Galbraith chose Xledger for its automation, insight and scalability, allowing them freedom to grow. Here’s their story, two years on.
‘There are so many fits with Xledger and so few entry costs. Xledger has freed up a huge amount of my time and I can now give a heads up on what’s coming to fruition in 3 month’s time.’
Galbraith sells shipbroking services to its customers worldwide including tanker chartering and dry cargo operations. The team provides expert, professional, operational support from inception to completion of contracts, covering single voyage fixtures, contracts of affreightment and period charters.
The Dry Cargo division offers global shipbroking coverage both for owners and charterers in all dry bulk commodity types. With offices in the UK and Far East, the business offers market advice, charter party negotiations and operational backup from the dedicated and experienced post fixture team.
The Sales and Purchase division provides a complete service from the contracting of new buildings through to second-hand sales and demolition.
Galbraith was looking to better understand business processes for spot fixing chartered voyages in order to report on projects in multiple locations. Prior to using Xledger, the company entered data manually using a local IT system on-premise, 10 year old system. Challenges included:
- an old system and on-premise IT
- no meaningful information
- limited data capture
- manual entry of data
- limited visibility across the business
- limited insights for reporting on revenue ahead of turnaround
- limited decision making
Xledger provided Galbraith with a cost-effective platform with vendor support, a monthly (no tie in) subscription and quarterly vendor-side updates. Galbraith’s Head of Finance, Louis Gonzalez, explains the milestones:
- o-3 months: Following a review of 3 potential systems where we found Xledger to be the best fit and value for money, we moved all of our accounts across to Xledger including ledger system, balance transfers, accounts receivable/payable and defined user hierarchies.
- 3-6 months: We then started to leverage off some system functionalities, setting up banking transactions operative overnight and automatic payments plus bulk uploads of invoices.
- 1 year on: After a year we implemented an interface between front and middle office where fixtures become captured in the industry bespoke Triganol system we use. We developed an interface to Xledger with an automatic throughput of business and fixtures done; straight from the broker, through operations and into accounts.
- The future: We plan to further integrate with business processes in the near future.
- Deployed integrated system in The Cloud
- Agile forecasting system
- Automated banking and accounting functions
- Additional functionality for planning
- Dashboard management and easy reporting
- Support and development with the Xledger team
- Project accounting functionality
- Reporting and analytics in real-time
What the client said
- It’s quick and easy to implement
- There are large time saving features which will really change the way you work on a daily basis
- Staff take you on a journey where your needs are listened to and factored into developments
“Xledger is really user friendly and has automated features I’d not seen before in other packages. Prepayment of expenses, automatic loading of invoices and key information loaded overnight. The look and feel is also very nice and being cloud based is a common strategy for a business of our size. It’s good value for money and provides excellent support.” (Louis Gonzalez, Head of Finance at Galbraith)