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Replacing manual BPF processes with a more innovative solution

All-in-One Demand and Operational Planning, Forecasting, Reporting, and FP&A at Telegraph Media Group

We are completely on top of our numbers now. It's built real structure and routine, and familiarity into the reporting process which did not exist before.

Rebecca Peach
Reporting Manager

00:00:13I am Andy Nash, the Finance Director of the Telegraph Media Group. Telegraph Media Group owns both The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, and Telegraph.co.uk. It's quite interesting because when you look back over time, it's quite difficult to remember what things were like before. Actually going through this process of actually talking to you I have realized how much has changed.

00:00:35Why did you implement Board? I have been here for a number of years and over the period of time I have been here we have gradually built up a plethora of spreadsheets which were interlinked together and that inevitably became very unmanageable. Our Financial Reporting Manager, Rebecca, was spending a huge amount time updating those spreadsheets and creating them, getting ready for every planning cycle we went through.

I am Rebecca Peach and I am the Reporting Manager - Planning Manager - at Telegraph Media Group. There were loads of inherent problems of using Excel. It was the bane of my life at the time! There was a budget cycle where there were numerous errors and that was definitely the catalyst for thinking 'we cannot proceed like this'. We are spending a huge amount of time creating Excel models. They are inefficient, they do not allow multiple users to be working in them at the same time, they are very reliant on one person to administer, and they are very fragile.

00:01:38Why did you choose Board? At the same time our business was changing enormously as well, so we were moving from a primarily print-only business into something which would become much more digital and so, whilst we were trying to manage what we already had, we were also trying to adapt to something new, and that was a completely different set of reporting requirements. So, we decided we needed something which brought all our data together.

I was constantly being inundated with Partners calling up saying, "Look at all the wonderful products." - Simpson [Associates] being one of them. So I thought it was a good opportunity to have a look to see what was available. My first experience of Board was actually on a demo over the phone and I was impressed with it straight away. It just seemed really innovative and it was just new, it just felt modern in comparison to a lot of the other systems that we had seen.

00:02:36Probably the most profound change we have had is that way we use the same model for everything from weekly reporting, monthly reporting, forecasting, and budgeting. It's exactly the same model. We are producing very up to date information about how this current month is running and actually how this kind of forecast is looking to turn out. So from that performance, everybody around the business knows exactly where we are and is responding to that performance and trying, obviously, to make sure that we hit the forecasts and targets we have set ourselves.

00:03:15How has the system benefited your company? I am quite a frequent user of Board, I go in on a regular basis to see how we are tracking against our forecast and our budget. Every week we have a refresh of the data and everybody, all of the finance users around the business, input into that update, and I am using that to make decisions about resource planning, about upcoming projects, about how much we are going to drive advertising, what kind of advertising contract deals we are going to get in to over the coming year. So, it does power quite a lot of decision making.

I am managing a team of 12 Management Accountants, ensuring that all of their inputs are in, that the numbers that they are giving are sensible, and that they are well documented. So that is one of the real benefits of Board, because previously we were spending so much time with the input and the management of the models, that we really did not have that time to add value - whereas now, as the Reporting Manager, I can add value by analyzing and reviewing, and giving appropriate comments.

We are completely on top of our numbers now. It's built real structure and routine, and familiarity into the reporting process which did not exist before.