St Andrews is the Home of Golf. In the 16th century, when the first versions of golf were played at St Andrews, clouds were something that impacted playing conditions. Fast forward to today and cloud technology is at the forefront of the game. Whether that’s improving equipment, providing amateurs and professionals with the data they need to aid honing their game, or even helping to manage golf’s most famous institutions.
The team at St Andrews Links Trust, the organisation responsible for overseeing the most renowned golf venue in the world, know this as well as anyone and when it came to establishing a cloud system to help manage their future, they selected Oracle NetSuite.
Steeped in history
Each year, visitors from around the globe play over 230,000 rounds of golf across the seven public courses managed by St Andrews Links Trust. It operates a diverse portfolio, including a golf academy, three clubhouses and four shops. Its iconic status has seen it strike commercial relationships with brands like Allianz, Rolex and Callaway as well as having a retail presence in Japan and South Korea. All revenues assist the preservation of the historic golf links and the wider community of St Andrews.
Despite the relative simplicity of its product, it is a complex organisation. The Trust incorporates four wholly-owned subsidiaries, and manages a multitude of cost centres, sales channels, and revenue streams across golf, hospitality, merchandise and licensing. It was this complexity that began to put a strain on its existing finance system with the team having to regularly export and manipulate data in Excel to build reports and gain the insights needed to support decision making.
NetSuite helps overcome below par system
To address these challenges and gain full visibility across its financial operations and organisation, St Andrews Links Trust implemented NetSuite, supported by Eureka Solutions, and went live in March 2020. This timing was critical to the team as when remote working accelerated it was able to access NetSuite from anywhere and use it to collaborate and manage financial operations virtually.
“Without NetSuite, we wouldn’t have had the ability to operate as we have done over the last year. It has been absolutely critical in supporting service delivery,” said Paul Cree, head of finance, St Andrews Links Trust. “I can’t speak highly enough of the benefits NetSuite has bought us. Our processes have become much more simplified and sophisticated. The user-friendliness and flexibility in reporting is brilliant. We can manage intercompany transactions easily and the financial consolidation capabilities it brings are very powerful. As a result, our finance team is now able to spend more time as business partners.”
With NetSuite, St Andrews Links Trust has been able to accelerate financial close, gain auditable revenue management, and real-time visibility into the financial performance of its subsidiaries. It has also been able to consolidate financial reports and optimise its purchase to pay cycle to meet internal controls by automating and linking procurement transactions to matching approval workflows.
St Andrews Links Trust is leveraging NetSuite Planning and Budgeting to generate real-time forecasts, help reduce planning times and in turn assist decision making. The team benefits from advanced modelling capabilities and predictive analytics to build rolling scenario planning based on its financial data in NetSuite. It is able to dissect information across its subsidiaries, and the Smart View feature enables this information to be accessed and integrated across NetSuite and St Andrews Links Trust’s Microsoft Office products.
Grass is greener with NetSuite
In 2022, the Old Course at St Andrews Links will host the 150th Open, welcoming the world’s best golfers. This year, the Trust is gearing up for its celebration of the birth of Old Tom Morris 200 years ago, the four time Open Champion synonymous with the Home of Golf, with a range of exclusive packages and merchandise including Old Tom Monopoly. To support the celebrations and further unify data across the organisation, the finance team is intending to extend its use of NetSuite by deepening its integration with the organisation’s golf booking, retail and academy systems. With NetSuite at the fore, The Trust has a system that can help match its future to its history.
St Andrews Links®, St Andrews®, the Home of Golf®, Old Course® and Tom Morris® are registered trademarks of St Andrews Links Limited, a wholly owned subsiduary of St Andrews Links Trust.