Simply optimally connected – LucaNet software for consolidation, planning and reporting replaces isolated solutions
Case Study LEMKEN GmbH & Co. KG
Headquarters: Alpen (Germany)
Employees: about 1,250
Project: Introduction of software for consolidation, planning, reporting, analysis; extensive analysis options, high data validity and consistency, more efficient preparation of reports
Modules: LucaNet.Financial Consolidation, LucaNet.Planner, LucaNet.Importer
At the LEMKEN Group, the leading agricultural specialist, the previously used, isolated MS Excel solutions for consolidation and planning could no longer keep pace with the company's growth. Now, LucaNet standard software is providing the optimum remedy for the accounting system of the globally active company.
LEMKEN is an internationally active manufacturer of agricultural equipment for soil tillage, sowing and plant protection. Founded as a smithy in 1780, the German family firm with its headquarters in the town of Alpen has developed into a successful international company in the agricultural sector. Today, LEMKEN has production and assembly sites in Germany, Russia, China and India, with more than 1,200 employees worldwide. With 24 subsidiaries worldwide and customers in more than 50 countries, LEMKEN is one of the leading providers in the industry.
"In the past, we predominantly used MS Excel for consolidation and planning. Specifically, this means we used two isolated MS Excel solutions that were not linked to one another. This system soon reached its limits in terms of analysis options, data validity and speed. There was a high susceptibility to errors when adding rows and columns as well as 'messing up' formulas and links, and this presented us with major problems," reports Sascha Ramachers, corporate accountant at LEMKEN. To take account of the needs of the growing company, LEMKEN was on the lookout for a suitable software provider for business intelligence in accounting and controlling.
The software they wanted to introduce would have to meet a range of specific requirements. These included displaying a consolidated group in the context of the legal consolidation, representing complex company planning as well as evaluation at company level. Overall, the new system would have to excel in terms of flexibility and its ability to undergo expansion. In the selection process, LucaNet emerged as the clear winner over other competitors in the market, amongst other reasons because of the intuitive operation it offers. The tool is flexible in use and can be adapted to all the requirements of the international subsidiaries.
Implementation took place rapidly and was well organised. "In advance, a timetable was drawn up including the relevant topics. Employees were trained in blocks of two days each and were given topic-related 'homework' to do between the blocks so as to be optimally prepared for the next training session," explains Sascha Ramachers. "In the end, the launch phase turned out to be shorter than had been indicated. As a result, we were able to get back to our bread-and-butter work faster."
The source systems were able to be connected smoothly thanks to the flexibility of the LucaNet.Importer module. At the moment, data is being imported into the LucaNet system as Excel reporting packages.
Software with a wide range of applications
LucaNet software is used by LEMKEN in all aspects of its accounting. For example, the system enables the latest consolidated financial statements to be represented transparently, as well as current planning, cash flow statement, direct liquidity planning and all analyses. In the course of its reporting, LEMKEN also uses the tool for evaluating indicators and statistical data such as employee figures, maturities and sales by country.
Effects on consolidation, planning and reporting
"Since we implemented LucaNet in our company, our consolidation has been simpler, clearer and much less susceptible to errors. Changes in one parameter are immediately reflected by the system as a whole, and are adopted consistently. Our employees can now create reports more rapidly and with higher quality. They have more time available for analyses because they no longer have to tackle the time-consuming task of entering data in advance," says Sascha Ramachers, pointing to the advantages of the LucaNet software.
As far as LEMKEN is concerned, the greatest added value in the planning area lies in the speed and clarity with which the results for the group of companies can be summarised. Not only does LucaNet carry out the P&L and balance sheet planning at group and company level, it also undertakes sales planning.
"With LucaNet, our consolidation is faster, easier, gives a greater overview and is above all error-free. LucaNet permits consistent processing of data within a fixed "framework" that can be flexibly supplemented with individual settings. At the same time, changes to one parameter are automatically reflected in the entire system. Using the history function, we can precisely document the changes that have been made and track them transparently at any time."
Sascha Ramachers, corporate accountant
LEMKEN GmbH & Co. KG