Hill Laboratories choose Adaptive Planning & GK Horizons

February 2014

Hill Laboratories

About Hill Laboratories

Hill Laboratories is New Zealand's leading analytical testing laboratory supplying a broad range of laboratory tests across three major areas: Agriculture, Environmental and Food. A privately owned company based in Hamilton, NZ, Hill Laboratories have offices across New Zealand, an office in Japan and employees over 300 people in total.

Previous situation

Before Adaptive Insights was implemented, the budgeting process was very time consuming and inefficient, using numerous linked spreadsheets proving very difficult to maintain.

“Finance staff spent most of the budget time reconciling spreadsheets, checking broken formulas and consolidating sheets, rather than reviewing and adding value to the process” said Alistair Brown, CFO.

 Significant resources were used inefficiently, highlighting the need to move to a more robust process to ensure the accuracy of the budget.

“In addition we needed to 'future-proof' our process by providing a system with the flexibility to grow and change with the company, to better utilise resources and skills across the finance team and in doing so improve staff satisfaction and opportunities to develop other skills” said Brown.


Product Assessment Process

Hill Laboratories were searching for a budgeting product that would be fit for their size business and meet their needs. The Adaptive Planning module from Adaptive Insights was identified as their preferred product.   

Their initial search identified 10 products, which was then shortened to 5 and then again to 3. The last phase was to view product demonstrations, check reference sites, where possible, and review the pricing. 

“Adaptive Planning was the best fit on the planning side and yet still had enough functionality for the level of BI and reporting we wanted from a system. The end was that Adaptive Planning was selected as the product that we felt would meet our specific needs, was appropriately priced, and had a successful partner in GK Horizons who we felt would be able to deliver the solution to us within budget and on time” said Brown.


The implementation went very smoothly and was delivered within the scheduled 6 weeks.

“GK Horizons are extremely professional and knowledgeable in the finance area which Hill Laboratories felt was part of the success of our implementation” said Brown. 

GK Horizons’ knowledge of the product meant that they were able to actively contribute to the design process by putting forward solutions and/or alternate options on the structure and how the solution could best be utilised. This combined with their finance and accounting skills meant they were able to build it specific to Hill Laboratories needs

Project Success leads to self sufficiency

Following the implementation Hill Laboratories were able to prepare their 2014/15 budget within Adaptive Planning without using any support from GK Horizons.

“Our budget process was reduced by 3 weeks. Business unit managers were more engaged in the process and felt they had more control over it as they and their teams had control over the changes and saw the impact of those decisions immediately” said Karen Tootell, Management Accountant.

GK Horizons were on hand to provide support during their first annual budget using Adaptive Planning but no assistance was required during the entire budget cycle. This is testament to the product’s ease-of-use and the hybrid implementation approach used by GK Horizons.

The resources needed from finance to check and consolidate the figures was reduced significantly and the saved time was used to assist the managers understand their numbers better.

“We were also able to save real dollars of a consultant’s time who previously was needed to create and maintain the complex web of spreadsheets. The project has been a great success – no more broken spreadsheets!” said Tootell.

Hill Laboratories are now looking to use Adaptive Planning for the actual reporting and are looking forward to using Adaptive Planning in driving their quarterly forecasting process.

 “Adaptive Planning has brought a new level of budgeting and reporting to the organisation. Process time has been reduced, integrity of and confidence in the data improved, manager’s engagement in budgeting has increased, and improved the organizations overall ability to produce meaningful profit forecasts.” Alistair Brown – Chief Financial Officer.

To download this case study, please click here.


By Matthew Grove - Director of Business Development