The requirement: Sufficient scenario capabilities and performance
Korstiaan Rietveld, financial director at BAM Woningbouw, broke with the way management information was gathered and created three years ago.
Rietveld: “When I joined BAM Woningbouw in 2009 I quickly realized the existing information platform was not up to scratch. For several years a data warehouse initiative was in place to getrid of the vast and complex use of Excel for all internal and external reporting and analysis. The workgroup of controllers that led this initiative from a functional requirements perspective was at best demotivated.“
Basically, the introduction of the data warehouse and other BI tooling not only came at great cost for the organization but had not been able to get rid of a single Excel application. The dependency on the IT organization had only grown and the run time of programming was too high.
The result was a black box with low flexibility, insufficient scenario capabilities and an unacceptable performance. Envisioning an integrated platform for their project portfolio management, business balanced scorecard, financial consolidation and corporate social responsibility the finance department took a bold decision.
Rietveld: “BAM Woningbouw was one of the first to implement BI software which was promoted as a corporate standard. Nonetheless we decided to start all over again using different technology: the existing BI technology simply did not live up to our expectations.“
“In the process of determining the list of requirements for our tool selection we were introduced to Jedox by chance. A trusted consultancy partner had only recently discovered this new product. Taken in by their enthusiasm and product highlights they also had a very simple approach: just give us one of your Excel applications. The swift demonstration of our own Excel application in the Jedox Suite was frankly amazing. Being cautious of letting down our controller workgroup with yet another disappointment we had a second demonstration with the whole team. Needless to say, they had their questions ready: can it do this? Can it do that? And yes, for the most part it could be demonstrated instantly.“
What really convinced BAM Woningbouw to proceed with Jedox and Celcus as their partners is the step by step approach. A risk-free option that was provided was to fully migrate one of their Excel applications to Jedox against a fixed, no cure-no pay fee. Having said that, the investment itself was nothing we were accustomed to.
Rietveld: „After having completed the first application within months, we invested less than 30.000 Euro in software fees enabling 60 users to work with the application.“
The solution at a glance: Fewer mistakes, less dependencies, more control
Jedox and Celcus provided BAM Woningbouw a BI/CPM platform which enables Integrated Reporting. Rietveld: “We now use the system for our project portfolio management, financial consolidation, business balances scorecard dashboard and overall reporting. It enables us to link our strategy with our operations in the regions. We not only have a day to day insight into the current situation of all our projects but readily made forecasts of our P&L and balance sheet of all the different levels in the organization. These forecasts are the result of the rolling forecast concept that controllers prepare for the regional management that submits the most likely scenario. Controlled by workflow, we are able to report by means of the dashboard provided by the application or by automated connectors linking comments with the numbers in Word or Powerpoint. Next we will integrate our corporate social responsibility reporting within the same environment.“
The benefits of the system are clear: “We are doing the same and more in less time, less mistakes, less dependencies, more control… it is just so much more consistent“, says Korstiaan Rietveld
“It is easy to see the benefit in terms of savings as opposed to how we were doing things. Having the basics right we can make a next step in our reporting: focus not only on what has to be reported but highlight the things that matter. So, besides savings, we are confident Jedox will generate an upside to the business by doing just that.“