EMF Logistics

EFM Logistics launched back in 2000 as a freight brokerage service, providing freight and logistics services for smaller clients in the marketplace, via a relatively complex structure of independent business units. Over the next decade, EFM Logistics grew exponentially as they began to take on much larger clients, which required a shift towards a much more corporate and streamlined structure.

About EFM Logistics

EFM Logistics launched back in 2000 as a freight brokerage service, providing freight and logistics services for smaller clients in the marketplace, via a relatively complex structure of independent business units. Over the next decade, EFM Logistics grew exponentially as they began to take on much larger clients, which required a shift towards a much more corporate and streamlined structure.

More recently, EFM Logistics has continued to grow at 15% per year, and they have nearly doubled their headcount. This rapid growth has allowed them to re-focus their efforts, and EFM now deals explicitly with much larger freight enterprises.

Previous People Pressures

As part of EFM Logistics’ continued growth, they brought on a new CFO during the second half of the 2015-2016 financial year. After only a few weeks on the job, Mark Hogan reviewed some of the regular reports that were being done on a frequent cycle, as well as witnessing his first budget review.

“From a finance perspective, everything was pretty much run in Excel. From consolidating financial reports, to board reporting and stat reporting, everything was done as a manual process.” Hogan adds “We had different versions of MYOB coming together with manual mapping tables – it was a whole lot of effort.”

As with many companies who experience such rapid, sales-based growth, EFM Logistics hadn’t had the time to improve or invest in their back-end systems. However, Hogan knew that had to change.

The Search for a Better Process

During his time in other companies, Hogan already knew about Adaptive Insights and its capabilities, so he admits that his search was a quick one. “It was April when we started looking – we signed a deal in May.” However, Hogan wanted something specific in terms of an install partner; he wanted speed. More specifically, he wanted a company that “could move as quickly as we wanted to move.” found that agility at GKH.

“We took advice from other people in the marketplace, and GK Horizons had a great reputation. They were pragmatic in their response, and we felt that they could keep up with us.” Hogan added, “Through the process of the business requirement reviews we did [while] getting to understand each other – I thought that GKH had a great handle on it.”

For the implementation, GKH kept it simple; with a week on the ground for admin and staff training, and then the rest of the process was handled via phone and WebEx. EFM Logistics were happy with the remote process, with Hogan saying “I wouldn’t do it any other way 
these days.”

Leveraging Performance

Since making the switch to Adaptive Insights [Workday Adaptive Planning], things are finally a lot more streamlined for EFM Logistics’ finance team. The success of their new system is clearly revealed as Hogan reflects back on that very first budget at EFM Logistics.

“The way the budget was done… the underlying infrastructure that went in to pull that together was pretty extraordinary – and that’s now disappeared.” He went on to say “It used to take someone two-to-three weeks to pull [the budget] together, but [we] don’t have to do that anymore. Now it’s all done live… so your budget model is always there.”

By investing in Adaptive Insights [Workday Adaptive Planning] and working with GKH to install a smarter and more streamlined system, EFM Logistics was able to take some of the pressure off their finance team – and save their company from having to make further investments in terms of headcount.

Like to know about how GKH can expand your horizons? Click here to reach out.


Copyright Agency

The Copyright Agency is an Australian not-for-profit organisation that has been standing up for creators for more than 40 years. We enable the reuse of copyright-protected words and images in return for fair payment to creators.

About the Copyright Agency

The Copyright Agency is an Australian not-for-profit organisation that collects licensing fees for the use of copyright-protected words, images and plans, and distributes these fees as fair copyright royalties to its creator. In doing so, it helps support the ongoing creation of Australian content.

The Agency represents almost 40,000 members across the publishing, media, visual arts, education and surveying sectors. This includes large media organisations, such as Fairfax and Newscorp; and established educational publishers such as Pearson Australia and Oxford University Press, as well as individual creators like educational authors, journalists, visual artists and surveyors.

The Copyright Agency current pays members over $100 million a year in copyright royalties for the use of more than 1.2 billion pages of content. Membership is free.

Previous Situation

As the Copyright Agency’s member base increased, so did the complexity of their planning, budgeting and forecasting spreadsheet system.

The Senior Financial Analyst at the Copyright Agency, Rohan Clementson, said that their old spreadsheet system was fine – when they only had one user.

As our membership grew rapidly, we found that excel models were not sophisticated enough and lacked the stability to support our growing finance team.

In 2016, the Copyright Agency was undergoing a business transformation project to future-proof their processes and set up their company for the next round of challenges. As part of that transformation, Clementson began looking for a more efficient and robust way to forecast.

The Search for a Better Process

With a small finance team of six people, Clementson saw the potential to maximize his team’s efficiency by searching for a system that was user-friendly enough for every team in his company.

We wanted to get the revenue managers and cost centre managers involved, [such as] the legal or marketing department – who aren’t necessarily numbers or IT people – and get them to enter the figures for their budgets…we wanted something where we could say, ‘here’s your template, fill it in’ and then that goes through; with Excel, people change columns and rows, and then your formulas don’t work, and it’s not pulling through the right information – so you can’t really do that.

After a lengthy search for a software that could do that, Clementson and his team chose Adaptive Insights based on three key reasons: the reporting looked great, Adaptive was more user-friendly than its competitors, and Adaptive had more users in Australia than its competitors.

Clementson explained why the number of users was such a positive point for their future-proofing strategy:

“Looking ahead… we thought if someone were to leave, the chances of finding a replacement that can use Adaptive was better.

When it came time to choose an implementation partner one name stood out above the rest. GKH was recommended as the best implementation partner by KPMG.”

GKH’s Build team were always on-hand to answer any questions around company-specific models in Adaptive Insights. Or, as Clementson said: “GKH’s team was very hands on… they understand the system very well.”

Time for More Important Things

At the time of writing this article, the Copyright Agency has only just begun to incorporate the wider business into their reporting; so there are still boundless opportunities for increased efficiency. However, Clementson said that they’re already seeing big improvements in their reporting processes.

Our opening commentary page now shows that ‘month-to-date revenue is X’ and ‘we’re above or below budget by Y’ – those numbers are now automated. And whenever you make a change, all of those changes can be pushed through so that you don’t have to constantly go through your work document [to] check which number may have changed.

Come month-end reporting, the extra time Clementson’s team has gained allows them to do what they do best. Or, as he put it: “We’re spending less time checking numbers, and more time analysing the numbers – doing the more value-added work.”

Like to know about how GKH can expand your horizons? Click here to reach out.


BAI Communications

BAI Communications designs, builds, and operates communications infrastructure that connects communities around the world, including cellular, Wi-Fi, broadcast, radio, and IP networks.

In Australia, the company also owns and operates one of the most extensive transmission networks in the world, delivering broadcasts to 99% of the population.

Challenges

Reliance on spreadsheets made accurate, consolidated budgeting and reporting increasingly difficult for BAI Communications and its growing business.

Consequently, the finance team was spending too much time fixing broken links and consolidating cost centre data with very little time remaining to support the business with strategic analysis.

As our business grew, it became clear that we could no longer manage our budgeting and reporting with spreadsheets and Adaptive Insights was the best alternative for us.

Inefficient and error-prone reporting — Reporting data was manually entered into spreadsheets by multiple stakeholders, causing errors and broken links.

Complex budgeting — Lack of a common planning tool made it difficult to standardize planning across cost centres and deliver an accurate, consolidated budget.

Limited time for analysis — Time spent triple-checking and consolidating spreadsheets left the finance team with limited time for analysis to support decision-making.

How GKH helped BAI

BAI Communications engaged the help of GK Horizons to swap spreadsheets for the Adaptive Insights Business Planning Cloud.

GK Horizons provided expertise and support to establish a central chart of accounts and standardise planning and reporting across BAI Communications’ cost centres.

Now, budgets and reports are more reliable and accompanied by value-added insight to drive continued growth.

Results

Fast and accurate reporting — With no more broken links and manual data entry, monthly reports are turned around two days faster and present an accurate view of the business.

Streamlined budgeting — A shared planning tool allows for easier and consistent collection of data across cost centres to streamline consolidation of annual budgets.

Increased insight — The finance team has more time to spend analysing budgets and reports to help the business make data-driven decisions.

BAI's comments

“… the time we use to spend checking over spreadsheets can now be used to understand the meaning behind different numbers and offer more strategic support to the business”

“GK Horizons knew what we needed and had the expertise to help to turn things around quickly. Thanks to Adaptive Insights, the time we used to spend checking over spreadsheets can now be used to understand the meaning behind different numbers and offer more strategic support to the business. It offered all the features we required and the right level of flexibility.”

Benjamin Gotta
Group Treasurer (formerly General Manager,
Group Planning and Reporting)
BAI Communications

Like to know about how GKH can expand your horizons? Click here to reach out.