As a consultant working with clients to transform their budgeting process, I put a priority on structuring budgets, plans, forecasts, and reports in ways that are more meaningful and provide better analysis with the appropriate level of granularity.
During a current implementation project of Adaptive Planning with Cetylite, a pharmaceutical manufacturer based in New Jersey, I was tasked with lining up the budget by vendor, which is at a lower level than the general ledger account. This approach would provide better expense management and reporting.
Cetylite previously used a spreadsheet-based budgeting process which, in addition to the usual spreadsheet problems such as errors, linked worksheets, and integration, had just too many “moving parts” which made some of the budget requirements too difficult to manage. In this case, Adaptive Planning was integrated with their ERP solution, Exact Macola, so that actuals at the level of transaction data were brought over from their general ledger and their vendor detail is imported at the same time (with the vendor being a dimension) and the same dimension is used in their actual detail and their budget. I created a report to show the budget and the actuals by vendor and the variances. This level of detail has significantly improved their ability to monitor and manage vendor budgets.
While still a work in process, the value of Adaptive and our dedication to the project is best summarized by Alanna Nelson, CFO of Cetylite, “Although we have not yet finished our implementation of the Adaptive Planning software, Cetylite has been very happy with Adaptive living up to its promises. The Carlson team assigned to work with us has been great. They have successfully achieved every request that we have made of them. They are able to think ‘outside of the box’ for reporting requests that are unique to our business. We are looking forward to rolling out the platform to the company in early 2015.”