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Distribution, accuracy, and security. For McKinstry, these basic financial management needs were difficult to perform in 50 Excel spreadsheets across the organization. The Seattle-based architecture and engineering firm realized it had to improve its budgeting process. Adaptive Planning, part of the Adaptive Suite, presented a better way to manage financial performance. Automation, data roll up, and dashboards eliminated hours of manual spreadsheet work, reducing the budgeting time by 65%. Rather than consolidating and fixing formulas, the McKinstry finance team spends its time on analyzing data.

Challenges

  • Excel spreadsheets lacked dynamic reporting capabilities, such as data roll-ups
  • Financial management through 50 spreadsheets proved difficult to distribute throughout the organization  
  • Changing data in spreadsheets led to broken formulas

Results

  • Reduced the budgeting time by 65%
  • Eliminated hours of work each month to produce executive dashboard reports
  • Accelerated monthly reporting cycles  by 33%
About:
Established in 1960, McKinstry is a full-service design, build, operate, and maintain (DBOM) firm with over 900 full-time employees and 900 union employees. Headquartered in Seattle, with 18 regional offices and $500 million in annual revenue, McKinstry’s professional staff and trades people deliver consulting, construction, energy, and facility services.
Location:
Seattle, WA
Industry:
Business Services

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Introduction

Established in 1960, McKinstry is a full-service design, build, operate and maintain (DBOM) firm with over 900 full-time employees and 900 union employees. Headquartered in Seattle, with 18 regional offices and $500 million in annual revenue, McKinstry’s professional staff and trades people deliver consulting, construction, energy, and facility services.

The Challenge

McKinstry was operating in a spreadsheet environment with 40 to 50 spreadsheets circulating in the organization at any given time. It was difficult to perform basic rollups, users would make changes and break formulas, and there was no centralized location for the budget. In addition, there was a lack of privacy controls and sensitive data could be accessed outside the finance group.

"Our main objective was to improve our budgeting process across the organization," recalls Mike Shannon, Sr. Finance Analyst, McKinstry. "We needed an application that could easily map to our existing general ledger. In addition, we wanted the ability to forecast based on actual detail more cleanly than in our existing spreadsheet-based process."

The Solution

McKinstry’s IT director discovered Adaptive Planning, part of the Adaptive Suite, by attending a seminar. The solution met McKinstry’s objectives for an improved process. The application was webbased and users across the regional offices could access it from anywhere. Finance could also manage and control the formulas and assumptions within the tool. Finally, Adaptive Planning could easily map to their existing general ledger, normalize historical data and enable forecasting.

"Users love the application because the model was built in such a manner that application calculated and rolled everything up. In addition, managers can log-in from anywhere and even work on the budget while on vacation."

Mike Shannon, Sr. Finance Analyst, "After selecting Adaptive, the implementation process went very smoothly," said Shannon. "The professional services team was responsive and was always able to find a solution to specific McKinstry nuances due to the flexible nature of the application. We rolled out to 58 users across the organization on schedule."

The Results

By rolling out Adaptive Planning, the finance team reduced the budgeting time by 65%. In addition, it eliminated hours of manual spreadsheet work previously spent developing dashboard reports for the executive team. Now all twelve executives have access to the Adaptive dashboard on their homepage and they can look each day at where they stand, see the snapshot, and review which departments are hitting or missing their revenue targets.

"The user feedback was great," confirms Shannon. "Users love the application because the model was built in such a manner that everything was pre-defined and all they had to do was enter the data and the application calculated and rolled everything up. In addition, managers can log-in from anywhere and even work on the budget while on vacation." Now the finance team spends less time consolidating the budget and fixing formulas and more time analyzing the data. In addition, they have saved 10 hours per month developing monthly reports now that the report process has been automated.

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