Established more than 150 years ago, Crittall Windows Limited (Crittall) pioneered and standardised the steel window industry and became the dominant source of steel windows and doors internationally with manufacturing facilities on five continents. Crittall is equally active in new construction and refurbishment. Projects range from replacing and replicating thousands of architecturally significant 1920s windows to supplying windows for the most contemporary buildings designed by today’s foremost architects. Crittall is now the second largest supplier of steel windows in the United States, having re-built its entire U.S. distribution network in just six years. Crittall has annual revenue of more than 15 million pounds and approximately 200 employees.
The finance team at Crittall depended on multiple spreadsheets maintained across departments to manage their annual budget. It was a manual effort to update assumptions or allocations. Furthermore, limited forecasting capabilities made it difficult to measure investment in labor resources with product output.
"We would work on Excel spreadsheets across different departments and develop a simple 3 month forecast. It was challenging to tie the actual labor resources needed to the product areas in the budget," recalls Graham Eyles, Financial Controller, Crittall Windows. "Previously we would use two or three different versions of the budget created by different groups within the organization and attempt to link them together."
"Adaptive has saved me a heap of work compared to putting together a spreadsheet model. I also benefit from using the notes function to add important details to the budget. I am constantly looking at the application to review the budget, run reports and to get information quickly at our fingertips."
The finance team at Crittall looked for a few years for a viable budget software solution in an effort to replace their existing spreadsheet process. Most of the software they evaluated was extremely expensive and too complicated to maintain within the finance department.
"After coming across an email from Adaptive Insights, I took a closer look because I really needed to find a better solution for budgeting," remembers Eyles. "The Adaptive Insights website detailed a lot of information about the solution. The price point was reasonable and the core features were exactly what I was looking for. I began viewing the videos and reviewing the training documentation. It was a great solution to solving our budgeting challenges."
The finance team rolled out Adaptive to five users across the organization. The biggest benefits were the web-based access, reduction in errors, and automated allocations and assumptions.
"Working with spreadsheets was a perpetual ticking time bomb. Errors were constantly undermining your efforts and I was always double checking that links were working. It was tedious and time consuming," recalls Eyles. "Now with Adaptive, I use the application on a more proactive basis, updating the forecast as the year goes on. Once you have built the initial model, it is easy to update and build reports."
Now with Adaptive, the finance team can produce timely forecasts. As business conditions change, they can revamp how they run the business based on accessible information and analysis. "Adaptive has saved me a heap of work compared to putting together a spreadsheet model. I also benefit from using the notes function to add important details to the budget," explains Eyles. "I am constantly looking at the application to review the budget, run reports and to get information quickly at our fingertips."