Carlson Thought Leadership in Finance & Technology

Transforming Manufacturing Finance with Adaptive Insights

July 17, 2014 / by Kevin O'Brien
Kevin-O'Brien-VP-CPA-at CarlsonAccording to a recent article by Bill Greiner in Forbes Magazine, manufacturing in the United States has been growing faster than GDP for the past three years, the first time this has happened in 50 years. As American manufacturing makes a resurgence, the industry has the opportunity and resources to invest in technologies and processes that will further sustain competitiveness and profitability.

As a Platinum Partner of Adaptive Insights and having implemented their Cloud-based Corporate Performance Management solution in multi-plant manufacturing environments, we have distilled the following key opportunities for transforming finance:

  • Standardize and optimize finance practices
  • Empower plant managers, department heads, and other budget stakeholders
  • Consolidate financial data while maintaining a view of individual plants
  • Generate analyzable revenue forecasts at the part or product number level
  • Create driver-based cost of sales from bill of materials schedules

During more challenging times in the industry, manufacturers often made do with spreadsheets and the rigid budgeting tools that came bundled with their existing ERP systems. As a result, the budgeting, forecasting, and planning activities evolved into silos with budget stakeholders at each plant using a process, however inefficient, suited to their particular needs. Consolidation of financial plans across the company became a painful, time-consuming, and error-prone manual process of standardizing and then loading data into a centralized system.

Adaptive Insights as implemented by Carlson Management Consulting presents the ideal solution for addressing the issues of legacy technologies and inefficient processes. With our strong domain knowledge in manufacturing, we review budget, forecast, and planning processes with the goal of standardizing across the organization to increase efficiency, accuracy and agility while reducing the effort needed in their development and upkeep.  Budget stakeholders spend less time planning and more time on value-added activities and decision-making. Furthermore, with improved financial and operational planning and reporting capabilities, plant managers and department heads have the information needed to make a positive impact on their company's performance. In a real sense, empowerment is no longer just a slogan, rather a real cultural asset backed by quantifiable results. For the CFO and the executive team, Adaptive provides a holistic view of entire organization as well as the ability to drill down into individual plant performance.  With KPIs and dashboards, the key drivers of company performance can be manipulated to model future scenarios and identify opportunities, challenges, and risks.

If you are interested in evaluating Adaptive Insights for your company, email me at or call 614-893-3390. I would be happy to learn about your particular challenges and discuss cost-effective solutions.

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