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Cleaver Brooks

Case Study

Cleaver Brooks Software Advisory

HOW OUR ADVISORY SOFTWARE SELECTION PROCESS ALIGNED BUSINESS GOALS WITH THE RIGHT PRODUCT

Sometimes an organization discovers an issue that is actually a symptom of something greater. When Cleaver-Brooks approached MindStream about replacing an outdated business intelligence platform due to a lack of dynamic reporting, MindStream offered Advisory Services for Software Selection. The result? With a holistic view of the system, we discovered the need for increased dynamic reporting was just a symptom. The true remedy was not just a new planning tool, but a broader reporting solution.

With the benefits of software-agnostic perspective and industry expertise, MindStream guided Cleaver-Brooks through a reliable evaluation process that ultimately aligned their business goals with the right product: a unified financial reporting, consolidation, budgeting, and forecasting solution.

THE CHALLENGE: AN OUTDATED SYSTEM FOR A DYNAMIC BUSINESS

Cleaver-Brooks was struggling with a legacy reporting tool that was not set up for dynamic reporting for both Actuals and Planning data. For the organization seeking to plan and manage data faster, a lack of dynamic reporting was creating too much lag time for their dynamic business needs. In their changing manufacturing environment, agility and ease of planning during critical business events, like acquisitions, is key, and a tool that could keep pace became more critical. In addition, the organization thought it knew the product it was looking for, initially seeking expertise on a single vendor. The organization thought that a single planning tool may resolve the issue, but needed more insight.

THE SOLUTION: SOFTWARE SELECTION ADVISORY SERVICES

With a wide variety of practical enterprise performance management implementation knowledge, MindStream recognized what was needed was holistic software selection advisory services to determine not only the ultimate vendor, but all vendors, that could meet their needs. With an unbiased perspective, colored in by a deep understanding of what it takes to implement and maintain technical solutions, we helped the client navigate a sea of enterprise performance management vendors to find those that best met their business and technical requirements, including their initially suggested vendor. The process and deliverables included:

  • System analysis & requirements definitions
  • Solution assessments, including SWOT matrix on multiple vendors
  • Vendor validation, including independent reference checks
  • Coordination of demonstrations and proofs of concept for senior management and subject matter experts (SMEs)
  • Vendor contract negotiation.

After a system assessment, it was determined the key requirements of the new tool included:

  • Functional Ownership. Ideally, the solution could be owned and maintained by the business, with minimal IT support.
  • Real-time Analysis. The ability to forecast on the fly was important to replacing a manual process that used to take days.
  • Adaptability. A tool's ease of data Integration with thirdparty systems was important internally, as well as the ease of integrations of new mergers & acquisitions.
  • User Experience. Ease of use, ease of maintenance, and ease of training; ease of finance users to add/upload data.

THE RESULTS: AN UNANTICIPATED RECOMMENDATION

With our methodology, MindStream helped Cleaver- Brooks recognize that their divisional Controllers needed better Actuals reporting, as much as Corporate needed better budget and forecast reporting. This significantly changed the course of evaluations toward the final solution. Ultimately, the client chose a solution that was beyond their initial consideration.

Leveraging MindStream's insight at the intersection of Finance and IT, we were able to provide Cleaver- Brooks a trustworthy software selection process. Cleaver-Brooks was assured they achieved a solution that gave it the autonomy and capabilities it sought in a unified tool when it chose OneStream software, an unexpected ending to a thorough evaluation.

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MindStream Analytics is a leading consulting firm focused on helping clients improve business understanding and decision making. With years of experience in the analytics and Business Performance Management area, MindStream offers services ranging from software selection and implementation to best practices for financial planning.

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