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UK-based Digital Media Company Opens Data Pipeline With Seamless Integration of Connectors, Sources, Spreadsheets

Salesforce Data Compatibility Makes Difference in Increased Accuracy, Insight

We’ve cut our data validation and aggregation process by three days each month; Adaptive has really delivered a quick ROI in productivity improvement alone.

Steven Priscott, CFO

Thriving in an evolving industry like digital and social engagement takes insight into revenue-generating growth. That’s the opportunity facing Sift, a U.K.-based digital media company. Adaptive Planning, part of the Adaptive Suite, delivered a solution that measures and accelerates growth across all its business lines. Elimination of repetitive tasks allowed for more time to reflect and analyze data. Sift slashed the data validation and aggregation process by three days each month, for a total savings of 36 days by the end of the year. Understanding complex revenue streams enabled managers to collaborate and identify drivers of financial performance, fueling better insights for confident decision-making.

Challenges

  • Needed data integration with other systems like Salesforce
  • Reporting functionality did not support weekly forecasts
  • Required seamless collaboration among several departments working on different areas in the financial process

Results

  • Accelerated monthly close and reporting cycles by 36 days over the course of a year
  • Automated scenario modeling for more informed strategic acquisition decision-making
  • Integration with Salesforce software improved insight into revenue sources for more precise rolling forecasts
About:
Bristol-based Sift is one of the UK’s top digital media experts. Through its three unique business lines, Sift works with over 1,500 organizations to engage audiences and deliver online business solutions. And, as Sift CFO Steven Priscott explained, the company uses the cloud-based Adaptive Suite to measure and accelerate growth across all of its business lines.
Location:
Bristol, UK
Industry:
Business Services

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Adaptive Integration with Salesforce a “Tremendous” Benefit for Sift

Salesforce.com is the main sales projections data source for Sift business lines, making Adaptive’s pre-built Salesforce integration a significant benefit for the company.

“It has just been tremendous for us,” said Priscott of the Salesforce integration feature. “We’re pulling our weighted pipeline directly into our forecasts in Adaptive so we can better analyze pipeline precision and probability of order conversions. The outcome of that analysis affects plans and forecasts in other areas, like hiring. So our business is completely reflected in Adaptive, and everyone who needs to can see updated financial plans.”

Adaptive Productivity Delivers ROI

Sift has accelerated its monthly close and reporting cycles by thirty-six days over the course of a year by eliminating time spent aggregating, consolidating, and verifying data with the Adaptive Suite, a strong return on investment. “Adaptive is absolutely the right solution for us,” said Priscott. “It helped us to eliminate many repetitive tasks, giving our finance team more time for reflection and data analysis. We’ve cut our data validation and aggregation process by 3 days each month. And when considering an acquisition, we can understand the impact of a new combined entity and various scenario options we want to evaluate in minutes. Adaptive has really delivered a quick ROI in productivity improvement alone.”

New Effcient, Accurate Process for Financial Forecasting

Adaptive has helped Sift broaden planning and accountability down to every department.

“We create new forecasts every week at the push of a button; in fact the forecast is being update constantly. The cloud-collaboration aspect is also key because we can have 20 different department leaders working in 20 different areas of our financial process, simultaneously building to a greater whole.  We now forecast through to 2017 with total visibility to all key stakeholders.”

Beyond forecasting, Sift business leaders are able to import cost and revenue numbers from the company’s general ledger system into Adaptive Planning, and then compare that data with the most current budgets and forecasts.

“Adaptive not only gives us a comprehensive view of business performance, but also allows us to drill into different areas of the business for more detailed analysis,” Priscott continued. “It’s like being able to put your hands on the key business levers to assess what is going on and where we stand financially, and suggest corrective action with evidence-based insight.”

Increased Understanding of Financial Performance

Today, each Sift business unit has also made use of Adaptive’s robust reporting features to create detailed operating statements, and conduct variance analysis of full year forecasts compared to budgets and actual performance. They can then analyze any new impact on the business at the division and corporate level.

“We have very complex revenue streams, so it’s important for people to have access to, collaborate on, and discuss key business metrics,” Priscott explained. “Adaptive helps our managers understand the drivers of financial performance. We’re all on the same page. For me personally, I’m able to confidently lead decision-making as a CFO because Adaptive is my insight generator.”

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