Smooth switchover to LucaNet's consolidation software
Case Study Coram
Sector: sanitary/plastic injection moulding
Headquarters: Geldrop (Netherlands)
Employees: approx. 630
Project: Replacement of a previous consolidation tool with LucaNet
Modules: LucaNet.Financial Consolidation, LucaNet.Planner, LucaNet.Importer
Two years ago, Coram decided to switch to LucaNet's consolidation software. How did that go? And what is the situation now? Group Controller Jimmy Joosten van Coram tells us.
Coram International B.V. is best known among the general public for its sanitary brands. Products by the likes of Tiger, Impey, Geesa and Sealskin can be found in many bathrooms and toilets. Unsurprisingly, sales of toilet and bathroom products make up Coram's main core business. The second string to its bow is handled by DPI, a Coram subsidiary. DPI is a plastics manufacturer and an expert in the injection moulding of plastic products.
Europe and China
Coram began life in Geldrop, in 1950, since when it has experienced substantial international growth. The holding company currently comprises fifteen operating companies, spread across eight European countries and China. Within the consolidation process, the task of supporting and controlling the local entities falls to Group Controller Jimmy Joosten. Before taking the plunge with LucaNet, Coram was using special consolidation software by one of the international market leaders.
Speed is of the essence
"That software no longer satisfied our requirements," explains Joosten. "We lacked analysis options and it took ages to process everything. Because we report monthly to the management, speed is vital for us." After taking stock of the alternatives, LucaNet stood out as the strongest contender on the shortlist. What ultimately persuaded Coram to switch to LucaNet's consolidation software? Joosten explains: "The biggest factor was that the program enables rapid analyses and can be customised to suit your needs. Also, we didn't foresee any complex, lengthy processes in its implementation."
That expectation proved correct: the transition went smoothly. "Of course transitions like that are never entirely hitch-free, but we certainly didn't encounter any major problems", says Joosten. "While we were setting up LucaNet, we kept the old system operational. Once we had gone live with LucaNet, we had the two systems running in parallel for another month. It soon became clear that the LucaNet software was seamlessly taking over from the old system. So we stopped using the old software."
No data lost
Companies are sometimes dubious about switching to new consolidation software, for fear that historical data will be lost. What was Coram's experience? Says Joosten: "We lost no data at all, so that aspect also went well. I have to say that the assistance LucaNet gave us throughout the process was first-rate. We also received technical support from LucaNet after we had gone live. However, we soon had very little need of that support."
The ability to customise LucaNet is ideal for Coram. "We've built a lot of our own templates within the package", says Joosten. "Each time, we drew up a step-by-step plan covering things such as how to perform a consolidation, which means you really don't need much IT knowledge to carry out the task. That's useful because we have to be able to explain to colleagues in Poland or Norway how LucaNet works. The step-by-step plan makes that so easy."
Worth the investment
Buying new consolidation software is, of course, a major investment. After two years in use, was that investment worth it? "Yes, absolutely," Joosten believes. "We thoroughly investigated all the features of the package beforehand. And we haven't been disappointed. It is one of the programs that is central to the running of our company, so the investment has certainly been worthwhile." What's more, it is an investment with a future, Joosten concludes. "As long as LucaNet continues to develop, I see no reason to stop using it."
"Our previous software no longer satisfied our requirements. Because we report monthly to the management and shareholders, speed is vital for us. That was one of the reasons why we chose LucaNet. The transition to LucaNet's consolidation software went smoothly. We ran the two systems in tandem for one month. It soon became clear that the LucaNet software was seamlessly taking over from the old system."
Jimmy Joosten, Group Controller
Coram International B.V.
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