Verder Group - Case Study
Verder automates its financial consolidation process and drives transformation of analysis and reporting with Board
Verder International BV consists of a group of technical production and trading companies worldwide. Verder Group is involved in the production and sale of pumps and pumping systems, equipment for mixing, milling & sieving, storage, feeding, conveying, classifying, granulating, and odor reduction, and industrial tooling. The company supplies its goods to a variety of industries including construction, energy, mining, and pharma.
Verder International has some major growth plans, which makes accurate, effective, current financial reporting vital. With more than 50 independent legal entities and three divisions, the company has to consolidate a large amount of financial information each month from a wide variety of systems. In the past, the company used Excel sheets to consolidate this data at a group level, in a labor-intensive, manual process that was prone to error.
"Everyone worked with their own version of the truth. A lot of time was spent discussing what the right data was," says Michiel van Mourik, Group Controller.
The decision was made to invest in Board as a solution to the time-consuming manual processes faced by the business.
"The Board management information system enabled us to develop a shell over our Excel files and ERP databases in order to structure this data. We automated our consolidation process in close collaboration with one of Board International's partners. Information can now be shared at a group level so that we all use the same data for analyses", says Michiel.
Alongside Board, the partner delivered a management information system in which each entity can continue using its own ERP and local systems while consolidating and sharing information with the head office.
"Previously, each controller built their own Excel reports to deliver data from our ERP systems. That was extremely prone to error: all that information had to be lined up by us at the head office before it could be consolidated. The quality of the management information and key performance indicators (KPIs) was lacking. Board prevents that by amassing the financial data in a controlled and secure environment, while maintaining a link to the source data so that we all work with the same version of the truth. Now, authorization is managed at a group level. Plus, the programming-free toolkit nature of Board enables controllers to build advanced financial reports and multidimensional graphical models," adds Michiel.
As the partner knew Board inside-out, they helped Verder to find the best way to align the platform with existing processes. The system was structured in a way that did not interfere with any other systems, meaning no-one was negatively impacted by its implementation. Now that it is running smoothly, Verder's users have the flexibility to customize Board to meet their own needs.
"The Implementation took about 15 business days and was on-time and within the budget; after that, we were ready to go. Enthusiasm inside the company has been growing by the day as users experience the advantages of having all information in one central place in Board. Now that we have an advanced tool with lots of enhancement options we are prepared for the future. For instance, forecasting is already built in. Moreover, there are plenty of good webinars and sample reports available to get to grips with Board's full potential. In that sense, we also benefit from the experience of other Board users", says Michiel.
Monthly reports are now available much faster than before and are always current, complete, and reliable. The quality of data has been improved too, as Board automatically flags errors in these reports.
"Data analysis goes much faster. We save a lot of time; while it used to take three people seven hours, today one person can deliver the same amount of data in less than an hour. The mandatory Statistics Netherlands survey process is now a lot faster. That enables us to save a lot of time on routine work, and our auditor can validate all the reports in one go. Since our financial information is kept in models on the group level, co-workers can undertake each other's tasks with ease," explains Michiel.
The next step for the business is to build a data warehouse where multiple users have access to sales information in Board. Verder's priority is to optimize the reporting process so local users can load and verify the data in the solution on their own.
"We will be migrating our IT to a SaaS environment and giving users increased online access to sales information from our systems on different devices, such as iPads," concludes Michiel.