Australian poker machine manufacturer, Ainsworth Game Technology, is on a mission to “harmonise” global operations and become more in sync with its international counterparts.
That’s according to Ainsworth Game Technology, Americas, COO, Ryan Comstock, who told CIO Australia the vision is to “provide much needed consistency” and has deepened its technology relationship with Pronto Software in a bid to get the job done.
“Being an international brand, there was a need to harmonise our operations with the Australian parent head office, as well as achieve a more holistic software solution that included inventory management and manufacturing,” Comstock said.
“We were also at the stage where we were looking to start producing gaming machines in the US and realised that we were outgrowing our previous ERP software solution.”
The news comes as the company recently slashed its forecast pre-tax profit for the June half by more than 50 per cent, blaming competition and regulatory issues.
Established in 1995, Ainsworth is a global manufacturer and supplier of gaming solutions. It’s now the fifth-largest gaming manufacturer in the United States, and outside of Australia, the company employs 240 staff in multiple US and Latin America offices including Florida, Las Vegas, Mexico and Colombia.
With a fully integrated operation, Ainsworth manages its entire product development cycle, from conception through to installation, service and support.
Pronto Software began working with Ainsworth in 2000 to deploy its ERP and BI software to help the company gain greater efficiencies and seamlessly integrate its Australian operations.
“Pronto Software has been supporting our Australian operations since March 2000, and the US business implemented the solution in 2012,” Comstock said.
“We started with Pronto Xi 670 and upgraded to Xi 710, which unlocked more reporting capabilities. Our move to Pronto Xi 730 delivered even more reporting insights as well as real time Business Intelligence (BI) which improved the decision-making ability of our management team.”
Comstock said the company has recently been working with Pronto Software to deploy a tailored, hybrid solution that could operate both on cloud and on-premise.
“Ainsworth’s Australian operations are fully cloud hosted for ease of maintenance, uptime and the seamless reliability that comes from operating in the cloud. In contrast, our US operation maintains its version of Pronto Xi on-premise.
“Pronto Xi’s unique hybrid model allows for the different solutions to sync up each night, automating operations and reporting.”
He said transitioning to Pronto Xi was an “obvious choice” as it was being used by its Australian parent company, allowing the US operations to operate on the same platform as Australia.
“We also required a seamless transition to a system that allowed Ainsworth US to be globally aligned and in sync to provide much needed consistency.
“We also made the decision to deploy Pronto Xi because of its user-friendliness, scalability and reliability. This means that our two business teams can stay aligned from a product and regulatory requirement perspective. The build materials, purchasing, as well as accounts payable and receivable are all connected across the company’s global operations.”
Comstock said it’s been an interesting journey and one that he was heavily involved in the decision-making process, from start to finish.
“I was initially brought on board to evaluate whether Pronto Xi was the best solution for us. After attending the training session in Australia, we were pleased with how well Pronto Software could deliver a highly tailored solution that could handle all aspects of our business’ unique operations in the US, and in particular, the rental of gaming machines.”
Asked the main benefits of the technology thus far, Comstock said it has helped on the regulatory front and in delivering deeper insights and reporting capabilities.
“Due to the nature of the gaming machine business, Ainsworth is subject to heavy regulatory requirements, which in the US varies across more than 200 jurisdictions. We, therefore, face complexities with our products that require various regulatory approvals. Each piece of hardware and software has to be specifically evaluated and approved for each jurisdiction.
“In order to maintain regulatory compliance, we have a dedicated Technical Compliance group that maintains data in Pronto Xi meant to prevent orders being processed for unapproved products in any particular jurisdiction. That ability to also have an in-house-developed CRM software for this regulatory compliance that seamlessly interfaces with Pronto Xi was key for our operations.”
Additionally, he said Pronto Xi has also helped the company unlock a plethora of business intelligence and reporting capabilities that has greatly impacted decision making, giving the company a granular overview of each of its machines.
“By understanding the performance of each machine, under-performing machines can then be upgraded. BI also provides clarity and insight in terms of evaluating the popularity of certain games in specific geo-locations, thus increasing overall revenue.
“Pronto’s manufacturing module has also allowed us to lower inventory levels while maintaining machine supply to key customers. This gives us the capability to make accurate ordering decisions at the right time, rather than carrying excess inventory to cover peak business needs. Pronto Xi is also synced with the in-house app so that sales staff can order compliant products. This has resulted in an increase in productivity and compliance.”
Comstock said the company is already seeing promising results since implementing Pronto Software’s solution.
“We have been able to gain much better control of our inventory and improve management of our ordering cycle and lead times. We’ve actually been able to maintain lower inventories because we have precise enough information to make ordering decisions at the right time.”
He said next steps include evaluating the mobile aspects of Pronto Xi, with a view to further enhance integration in the future.