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Through Adaptive, we’ve been able to actually re-forecast. We really know where we’re heading, whereas before it was kind of a guess.

Scott Clapton, Senior Management Accountant

Ventura Bus Lines (Ventura) is the largest privately owned bus company in Australia and has offered reliable bus services across Melbourne since 1924. Recently, the company has grown through acquisitions, and to stay on the right road to success it needed to simplify financial planning and analysis processes across all its entities. Now, with Adaptive Planning in the driver’s seat, Ventura has streamlined budgeting and instituted continuous forecasting. Operating leaders can make forecast changes on-the-fly and immediately see the impact on the bottom line. Reporting is also a breeze with Adaptive OfficeConnect. Monthly board reports are instantly populated with real-time data, and take minutes—instead of days—to generate. Because it’s fast and easy to get accurate data, drill down, and run reports, Ventura’s finance team can devote much more time to strategic analysis and provide managers with the data they need to identify weaknesses and pinpoint strengths in the business.

Challenges

  • Improving complex budgeting and planning processes
  • Maintaining data integrity for monthly
  • Limited forecasting capabilities

Results

  • Simplified budgeting and planning
  • Continuous forecasting and modeling what-if analysis informs decision-making with confidence
  • Automated reporting with one source of accurate real-time data provides more time to strategic analysis
About:
Ventura Bus Lines is the largest privately owned bus company in Australia and has been providing dependable, friendly and sustainable bus services since 1924. With over 1,500 employees, every year Ventura carries more than 30 million passengers across Melbourne.
Location:
Melbourne, Australia
Industry:
Other

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Journey towards strategic finance yields continuous forecasts and business performance visibility

Founded in 1924, Ventura Bus Lines has evolved from operating a single bus route to carrying more than 32 million customers across Melbourne every year. A series of acquisitions solidified its status as Australia’s largest privately owned bus company. It also presented a challenge for the finance team.

The business suddenly had several different entities, each with its own accounts and a myriad of spreadsheets. It made budgeting tedious and forecasting near impossible. “There would be 20 spreadsheets to be consolidated for month-end close and 100 for the annual budget,” explained Scott Clapton, Senior Management Accountant. “Still, we could not get a comprehensive view of the business.”

The team turned to Adaptive Insights for a faster and more powerful way to drive business results.

Streamlined budgeting and forecasting models deliver strategic insight

Using a cloud based solution for budgeting, forecasting, and reporting has made it much easier to coordinate and manage different entities. Budgeting and forecasting data for each entity is entered into Adaptive Planning where it automatically rolls up into a consolidated view of the business. There’s no longer the need to spend days linking spreadsheets and double checking calculations.

Annual budgets can be produced in two weeks rather than two months. Forecasts are based on comprehensive models rather than assumptions and look as far forward as ten years. The finance team also has more time and data to analyze results and predict performance.

“With Adaptive Insights, we’re able to make forecast changes on-the-fly and immediately see the impact,” said Clapton. “We really know where we’re heading, whereas before it was a bit of a guess.”

Putting data and discovery into the hands of the business

The relationship between business managers and finance is a collaborative one today with finance able to deliver increasing insights to the business in real-time. The team tracks both financial and operational metrics, like fuel usage and customer satisfaction. And with Adaptive Insights Report Builder, reporting is a breeze.

“In the past, it would take an hour or more to set up a report and we might only run it once. Now, it’s as easy as click, drag, drop and run. So we can cut up the data in new ways without putting a strain on resources,” said Clapton. “It’s saved two days a month on board reporting alone.”

The business can visualize and analyses its pertinent metrics too using dashboards with Adaptive Discovery. Operations managers, workshop managers and recruitment all track different metrics. These include key drivers like profit and loss, repair costs, headcount and leave balances.