TenCate Grass, a supplier of synthetic turf systems, was already working with IBM Cognos Controller for its financial consolidation and reporting. As TenCate Grass has been growing rapidly over recent years, partly due to acquisitions, the need arose to gain more control over the figures and to work towards a uniform way of consolidating, reporting, and providing information. IBM Business Partner Axians supported TenCate Grass in transferring the new business units to IBM Cognos Controller. In order to get an even better grip on this growth, IBM Planning Analytics was integrated into Cognos Controller.
About TenCate Grass
TenCate Grass is a global leader in the development, production, installation and maintenance of synthetic turf systems for professional sport, recreation and landscape applications. The headquarters are located in Nijverdal, the Netherlands, with subsidiaries in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. Approximately 1500 employees work for TenCate Grass worldwide.
IBM Planning Analytics is part of the next generation of software solutions within the IBM Cloud Ecosystem. It combines processes for planning, reporting and analysis. The software also provides optimum insight into financial, commercial, and other business information to support TenCate Grass with strategic decisions.
The business challenge
In 2016, the parent company of TenCate Grass, Royal TenCate, was taken over by a private equity. Ever since, the company has grown significantly, partly through several acquisitions. The challenge for TenCate Grass was to successfully transfer these new business units to their systems and to work towards a uniform information source. These transitions created a need for greater insight into the daily figures on a global, regional, and local level. With this improved insight, strategic choices can be substantiated, and timely adjustments can be made on the basis of up-to-date figures. Furthermore, in 2016 it became clear that TenCate Grass had to comply with IFRS16, the new guidelines for the administrative processing of lease agreements.
IBM Planning Analytics proved to be the right solution to TenCate Grass’ challenges.
“IBM Planning Analytics offers many possibilities for getting a better grip on our financial and operational data, for example, to simplify our budgeting and forecasting. Nevertheless, we need the finance department and local business units to both benefit. With IBM Planning Analytics, it is possible to develop reports and dashboards with data from sales, logistics or manufacturing in addition to financial analysis. And we can combine different types of data to come up with brand new insights. With all the numerous possibilities, it was actually a ‘no-brainer’ for us to choose Planning Analytics.” Says Alfons Kreule, TenCate Grass CIO.
Planning Analytics is fully integrated with Cognos Controller and other data sources at TenCate Grass. Kreule: “The tooling enables us to keep our lease accounting in order in a smart and easy way across all business units. Planning Analytics provides an integrated module for IFRS16 which automates the entire workflow around IFRS16 and contains standard rules for calculating right-of-use (ROU) assets and lease liabilities, including future payments, interest, and depreciation. Due to the integration with Cognos Controller, the lease accounting is directly prepared in our consolidation and reporting process. This means TenCate Grass always complies with the IFRS16 guidelines, without it costing much time or effort.” Many time-consuming and manual processes have also been tackled thanks to Planning Analytics. “Our budgeting, forecasting, month and year-end closings have been greatly simplified, as statistics are now readily available. Processes, workflows, and standards have been developed, enabling us to generate reports and dashboards with a touch of a button. In principle, we only need to check the figures. Furthermore, thanks to IBM Planning Analytics, we can substantiate our figures much better. We have detailed insight into our data, which means we can always answer substantive questions. The information is up-to-date to ensure we can adjust things in time. Time zones are no longer a problem; we have all the information at our disposal in just a few clicks. Not only that, but we also now look at the data in the same way all over the world.”
TenCate Grass is taking even more steps with IBM Planning Analytics. In addition to financial insight, they also have more control over operational data. Dashboards and reports are set up based on sales data. All individual sales transactions from 2017 onwards are made transparent. This data is categorized into different dimensions, such as region, customer, project type, price, article type and margin. The various business units can view figures in detail and substantiate their decisions factually. In addition, a weekly sales report is now available in minutes. This was previously a time-consuming task. “Now all information is available to us immediately. In the future, we want to add other transactional data, such as our logistics and manufacturing, to IBM Planning Analytics. This will give us more and more insight into our operations and enable us to continue improving the quality of our business.” says Kreule.
Marco Struis – Senior SMART Finance Consultant at Axians Analytics, describes how they mapped out the ideal situation together with TenCate Grass. “This resulted in a roadmap, which we used to split the project into several parts. Financial consolidation and reporting were already in place with IBM Cognos Controller. We then used IBM Planning Analytics to put the forecasting and budgeting in order and implemented the application for IFRS16. Consequently, the finance department has taken an important step towards becoming a true business partner. Now we are taking the next step by working with TenCate Grass to also support the management and other stakeholders with valuable insights from reports and dashboards.”