Nipro Europe invests towards making a major change in the budgeting and forecast process

Nipro Europe was in a situation where they had an Excel-based solution and were looking for something more structured and easy to aggregate. They needed a system that would allow more governance over the process by delivering a model with assumptions and key data already defined within the application. The choice was Effectplan.

Nipro’s Challenge The number of datasheets kept increasing, as well as the data lines and data points within the sheet and Steven Wouters, Finance Director, and Ive Akkermans, IT Director, Nipro Europe felt they were at a point where the consolidation exercise became a nightmare. The entire budget and forecast process had started to affect the business as it was a very tedious and complex process to follow up in terms of consolidation and troubleshooting. With Excel, there was also version control problems.

Users also ran into situations where two version started living next to one another, and in the end it became unclear which figure was the correct one. And who was going to validate what. It was very difficult to track progress on the budget, says Steven Wouters.

Also, it was a troublesome process complicated by the sheer number of sheets to go through to find the root of the error.

Steven wanted more governance and structure, and with Excel there is a high risk of changing formulas and set-ups of a data sheet.

We noticed very rapidly that we were reaching a point where we needed to find a new solution before the whole process became too overpowering, says Steven.

The requirement on a new system was one that would allow stricter governance, predefined assumptions and key data already defined within the application.

Nipro Europe’s solution

The introduction of Effectplan was the first major step towards changing the budgeting and forecast process and enabled Nipro Europe to address concerns and business needs that had been voiced over that period in terms of problems when consolidating and reporting to the mother company.

Effectplan is easier to use than spreadsheets and more accurate. The main criteria was to make sure that we had flexible input and an easy way to aggregate the data, there are several validations required on user input, says Ive Akkermans.

Effectplan provided Nipro Europe with a web-based tool that would allow more governance over the process by delivering a model with assumptions and key data already defined within the application.

The system also enabled them and the managers to be more in control over the workflow and to more easily analyze the data in real-time. Trouble-shooting also became easier as there were no longer several versions of the budget.

A more clear process Steven believes that the main strength after implementing Effectplan lies in that they now have the prerequisites and capabilities to build a future proof solution on how to tackle their internal issues without draining additional resources into the process, which was the inevitable point that they were reaching.

Either we pour in more resources in trying to get the process under control, or we try to find a solution which would need a small task force and that’s the way we like to keep it. We also learned a thing or two on how to approach the business process itself, in that regard the project has been rewarding and we are a bit ahead of this year’s tidal wave, states Ive.

Improved data flow

After implementing Effectplan, our users like the idea that the data is set in stone, and that you can perfectly see how the data flow is moving ahead, says Steven.

Steven estimates that they will get ROI through having a small task force and time spent on the process versus the time saved when aggregating the data.

Effectplan’s workflow capabilities are superior to Excel and we now have a greater degree of visibility into status of the process and less uncertainty surrounding the figures.

Nipro on working with Effectplan and Climber

Both Steven and Ive feel that it was very straight forward working with Effectplan and Climber. ”Effectplan has a no-nonsense approach which we highly appreciate. They are very to the point and we felt that after we had described our approach in detail and some initial groundwork was done, we could do a lot of things ourselves” says Ive.

Sometimes with partners, you need too many iterations to get your points across, and with this project it went natural, which was a huge timesaver, says Steven.