Date posted: 29/10/2019 5 min read

Know your business, at a glance

This decision-making platform can make even complex corporate finance simpler. Brought to you by Board International.

With 48 manufacturing plants and 85 warehouses across 13 countries, it’s imperative Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has a clear view of its operations and that they operate as efficiently as possible. Using Board International’s data visualisation technology, CCEP can achieve a real-time view of what’s happening in the business.

Ivan Evstatiev, CCEP’s senior manager, planning and performance management, has described his experience using Board as “a true story of a business case of complex corporate finance made simple (or at least greatly simplified).”

Board combines business intelligence and analytics and planning in a single platform. Users can understand what’s happening right across the business, more easily identify and address problems, and take advantage of opportunities.

Drawing on variables such as the speed of bottles moving along its production line and the number of operators that enable the production line to work, the technology gives CCEP’s finance team access to an array of different data points. For instance, it can easily see the salaries it pays people who work on the bottling line. The system also gives the business the ability to see how much electricity and water is consumed in real time, as well as the maintenance required to ensure the production line is working at capacity.

It’s a far more advanced approach than traditional financial modelling, which typically requires finance executives to adjust single lines in the P&L to get a picture of how changing different variables affects the business and its bottom line.

“Board offers a very sophisticated way of justifying decisions based on operational data and gaining better insights into how the business is performing,” says Mark Sands, general manager, Asia Pacific, Board International.

“Board offers a very sophisticated way of justifying decisions based on operational data and gaining better insights into how the business is performing.”
Mark Sands

A simple way to tell the data’s stories

Mark Sands, general manager, Asia Pacific, Board International.Picture: Mark Sands, general manager, Asia Pacific, Board International.

Board’s technology is agnostic about where data resides in the business. “We don’t care what data you have, where it sits, whether it’s in an application, on premises, or somewhere in the cloud or at any point in between,” says Sands.

Back-office applications and data stores from which Board can draw data include ERP and accounting systems, as well as CRM applications, relational data stores, flat files or real-time data via messaging systems. Some of the outputs Board’s technology can draw include management reports, the monthly board pack and statutory reports, as well as sales performance and pipeline reports.

“We also provide mechanisms to enable users to interact with that data to turn it into meaningful information,” Sands adds.

Board also offers a highly visual interface that anyone in the business can use.

Importantly, Board is able to protect the integrity of the data it draws on and reduces the potential for human error.

“It avoids the need for manual intervention when lifting and shifting data, and is a vast improvement on traditional Excel- or Access-based systems,” says Sands.

Compared to Board, these traditional tools don’t allow organisations to get access to data as easily or present it in a way that’s easy to consume and understand.

“Board enables you to cut across the organisation to business units and even individual salesperson territories in real time,” Sands explains.

Alternative scenarios made easy

As well as looking at real-time data, Board provides a picture of the potential actions the business can take to address problems, which is where traditional visualisation and reporting falls down.

“We allow users to see a number of alternative scenarios and solutions. For instance, you can easily see the effect on the business of changing the price of a product or the margins provided to a distributor. You can even see how replicating a marketing campaign that worked well in one territory might perform in other territories,” Sands says.

The result is superior financial, operational and strategic plans and a more integrated business planning environment.

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