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The model factory is struggling with an ugly legacy IT problem.

Elite Model Management is consolidating its 13 different ERP systems across the world with NetSuite’s cloud-based ERP OneWorld, to gain better visibility of its financial transactions.

The model-booking agency had various local ERP systems in the 14 countries it operates in - including China, France, Italy, the UK and the US - and was struggling to get a global view of its financial transactions.

“At the financial consolidation level, having one button to push and a single dashboard is crucial. At the moment, if my colleague or I needed information about finances, we have to speak to the different accountants in each country,” Fabio Pelino, group treasury director at Elite Model Management, told ComputerworldUK.

'The models are a product that we sell'

The firm has a different approach to business compared to other agencies, due to its links with traditional high fashion brands. While it operates similarly to retailing, “the models are a product that we sell”, Pelino said, it is not focused on an e-commerce or digital booking system.

“Our website is very important for the models to be seen. However, famous firms aren’t going to contact us over the web - so we have two very different approaches to how the business works”, he added.

While it favoured a personal touch when it came to doing business, Elite still needed a modern IT system that could allow cross-country transactions and ease the burden of tax compliance and reporting.

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Prior to deploying NetSuite, it would take a week for accountants to pool its international transactions for its monthly reports. After beginning the rollout Pelino said he is able to see transactions instantly on his dashboard, significantly cutting administration costs and efforts.

Luxembourg, the UK, Italy and Switzerland were the first countries to go live during the first phase of the deployment. Once the centralised ERP goes live in all countries, Elite hopes to eliminate double-data entry, reliance on Excel spreadsheets and automate processes where possible, so its models wont miss a pyament - including the likes of Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista and Claudia Sheiffer whose careers were launched by the agency.

European datacentre

The firm will be one of NetSuite's 24,000 customers to benefit from a European data centre that has been long promised by the vendor, and announced during its conference SuiteWorld in San Jose this week.

CEO Zach Nelson kept details of the opening and exact location of the data centre to a minimum, but it is understood it will open in 2015. Nelson hinted that it could be in Ireland during a press conference. An official line is yet to be released.