Altrad has grown through acquisition across the world to maintain its leadership position in several markets, diversifying in sectors, geographies and services. While this has protected it against the impact of cyclical change, it has also created a need to run separate financial systems across 100+ subsidiaries, increasing the risks of error and delay and making it hard to keep up with the pace of the business.
Now we are more flexible, our deadlines are shorter, and efficiency improvements have been noticed elsewhere in the organisation.Financial Controller
Centralising information for accuracy, speed and cost-efficiency.
Altrad’s Finance department wanted to standardise information from all subsidiaries within a single system, ensuring that the information held centrally was accurate and up to date. In addition, the Workday Adaptive Planning tool, which empowers organisations to plan for every scenario and adapt quickly to change, has proved to be exceptionally easy to use. Importantly, it has been connected with the legacy solution Altrad uses for statutory consolidation to create a single integrated tool.
It has also enabled disparate reporting information from across the world to be centralised easily and cost-effectively, without the need to change the wide range of around 40 different information systems being used across the Group.
Managing complexity with ease.
In the past, the need to extract and centralise data on turnover, margin and other measures in a single place was complex and time-consuming, especially as the Finance team was never 100% confident that the links were working with more than 100 small Excel files.
Now, the team is gaining strongly in terms of speed, efficiency and data security from a very practical and operationally-focused perspective. Consolidation is instantaneous, and the risk of errors associated with data entry and complex Excel formulas has been eradicated.
By cutting the time taken to complete consolidated budgets, plans and reports, Finance can now conduct more sophisticated performance analysis. This includes building an integrated financial model for cash. As a result, Altrad is now managing finances across all 100 subsidiaries easily and intuitively, confident that all data is accurate.
Best practice reporting.
New efficiencies enabled by the implementation have empowered Finance to save close to a full day per month on reporting, while simultaneously delivering more reliable, up-to-date and detailed information to support better decision-making.
Altrad’s current financial planning and analysis process is decidedly more efficient than it was when the Finance team worked exclusively with spreadsheets. In the past, when a file needed to be created in order to prepare a report, consolidation would take a full day to complete. Now, this work is easily achievable in just two hours, freeing time to focus more attention on analysis and guidance.
Finance becoming a trusted partner across the business.
Since Workday Adaptive Planning was implemented, trust in Finance across the Group has increased significantly. Altrad is now also using Workforce Planning, with which they created the P&L template, to provide an integrated view from Finance across the organisation.
According to Financial Controller Elsa Meallares, “Our ability to create new reports has noticeably gained in visibility and flexibility. So if we’re asked for something new – such as a report on the impacts of COVID-19 – we’re able to provide it more quickly than before.”
This in turn enables the Group to respond faster and more positively to change, leading the business increasingly to regard Finance as a valuable and trusted strategic partner.
With a collaborative integrated solution Altrad can now see the working capital impact if customers have payment difficulties. Finance is now also able to track the financial impact of partial employment and the changes in Working Capital Requirements.