SailGP (c) SailGPWith the next SailGP event starting in Singapore on January 14th, Oracle NetSuite has revealed how the global racing league is leveraging its ERP to manage its financial processes and revenue streams across multiple countries. With an expectation that it will double the league’s size over the next two years, it also sees NetSuite as its long-term solution. For the 2022 season, the league had 9 teams and 11 events. It aims to expand this to 16 teams and over 20 events by 2025.

Oracle has a long history of working with SailGP. The league was founded after a conversation between sailing enthusiast Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle and a founding investor in NetSuite and Sir Russell Coutts. SailGP is a high-tech sailing event where each team has the same F50 catamaran design, which is continuously improved with every season, aiming to perfect the abilities of the boats.

Each boat also leverages Oracle Stream Analytics and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to capture and transmit data from 30,000 data points. This data and insights are shared with all the boat teams in real-time. It allows them to analyse their performance and boat in detail. Enterprise Times interviewed John Abel, the then Oracle VP of Cloud and Innovation for the UK, in 2019 about how businesses can learn from the event.

With Ellison funding the event for five years, the chance that SailGp would select an Oracle ERP solution was high. It selected Oracle NetSuite and is now leveraging the solution to deliver real-time visibility into its operations and automate its decision-making. The league moves from location to location around the globe, with complex logistics and a business that shifts location every few weeks.

When it was first set up in 2018, the company initially turned to spreadsheets and manual processes to solve its many challenges. With rapid growth, it is turned to NetSuite to deliver a cloud solution to solve challenges such as procurement. In a blog post, Julie Boyd, SailGP’s director of finance, revealed how her team automated the procurement process and used NetSuite analytics to power her needs without adding staff.

Boyd commented, “For instance, now we just run those purchase orders that come in a spreadsheet and upload it to the journal. Every reporting period, that [saves] a junior person a couple of days of work.”

How NetSuite powers SailGP

The whole finance function is running much smoother. Nearly five years after it was founded, the finance function benefits from modern technology analogous to that used by the racing teams. Boyd commented, “SailGP has ambitious targets to bring the sport to new places and audiences, and data is critical to both the race crews and internal teams on that journey.

“With our targets come a need for tight control of finances, compliance, cash flow visibility, and insight to advise the business where to navigate next. NetSuite gives us that ability. NetSuite enables us to report, plan, and run multiple potential scenarios, and this helps our finance team advise on strategy, areas of efficiency, and cost saving. For a multinational, multi-faceted business, NetSuite is the only way to go.”

Having used NetSuite for a few years Boyd has not only streamlined the financial reporting, her team has also improved forecasting taking advantage of recent improvements in NetSuite. NetSuite continuously improves its solutions, such as the Cash 360 dashboard from its 2022 R1 release, which has enabled SailGPs to view a forecast of its cash flow for the next six months. With the rapid international expansion, SailGP has suppliers, partners and customers across multiple countries.

NetSuite’s robust tax engine, SuiteTax, enables the company to maintain compliance across all the jurisdictions it operates within, setting up new entities as required without having to invest in a local ERP solution. It also uses the solution to automate supplier payment processes, asset management, reporting to investors and stakeholders and managing spend.

In the future, it plans to adopt NetSuite CRM and inventory management as it looks to add further revenue streams from the technology it has developed for its boats.

David Rodman, SVP Global Customer Success at Oracle - NetSuite
David Rodman, SVP Global Customer Success at Oracle – NetSuite

David Rodman, SVP of global customer success, Oracle NetSuite, commented, “With exciting opportunities and sustainability objectives in its future, SailGP needed a unified financial system that could tackle the complexity of multi-country, multi-faceted operations. With NetSuite, SailGP has a system that can automate many of its financial processes while delivering real-time insights to help build on its growing legacy.”

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

For NetSuite, SailGP is a useful customer to have. It is a relatively small but complex organisation that uses NetSuite in ways that cover multiple industries. It is also open to working on joint announcements as it continues its growth powered by Oracle technology.

The level playing field means that the human element is the most important factor in winning the race. Not just the sailors themselves but the critical important shore team that analyses the data provided through the Oracle solution. NetSuite helps to power the back office and helps to run the business in a way that will hopefully deliver a return for its backers and become self-sufficient in time.


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