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Deploying an effective budgeting and reporting solution at ICI

A solution based on Geac© DecisionWeb™ providing a clear and concise structure for budgeting. ICI Paints is a division of ICI PLC, one of the world’s largest producers of speciality paints and products. ICI Paints operate in the UK through two business units: the UK Retail Business and the UK Trade Business. These incorporate a group of central functions, including production, IT and HR, which recharge costs to the two businesses.
 Background

In March 2000, ICI Paints were striving to budget and report with proliferating and unlinked spreadsheets. Without an interlinked solution, ICI Paints was experiencing inconsistent budgets. Moreover, simultaneous budgeting, required by ICI Paints’ departments, was difficult. Budget allocation was an on-going issue throughout each financial year. Late changes in budget, an inherent problem of belonging to a large group, affected the integrity of the data.

In addition, ICI Paints were unable to report and budget its customer matrix mix. ICI Paints have four brands, including Dulux™, Polycel™, Hammerite™ and Cuprinol™. Each has up to fifty key product groups and ten key customers. Understanding this customer product mix was essential to ICI Paints.

 Why M2bis

In March 2000, ICI Paints were striving to budget and report with proliferating and unlinked spreadsheets. Without an interlinked solution, ICI Paints was experiencing inconsistent budgets. Moreover, simultaneous budgeting, required by ICI Paints’ departments, was difficult. Budget allocation was an on-going issue throughout each financial year. Late changes in budget, an inherent problem of belonging to a large group, affected the integrity of the data.

In addition, ICI Paints were unable to report and budget its customer matrix mix. ICI Paints have four brands, including Dulux™, Polycel™, Hammerite™ and Cuprinol™. Each has up to fifty key product groups and ten key customers. Understanding this customer product mix was essential to ICI Paints.

 The Project

ICI Paints were already familiar with Essbase™ for reporting and they required the same structure for budgeting. Geac© BudgetPlus™, a budgeting solution based on Essbase™, was selected to enable them to successfully utilise the same Essbase™ model for both budgeting and reporting purposes. Upon recommendation, they chose M2bis to provide technical and training support on the project.

In 2001, following M2bis’s successful implementation of BudgetPlus™, ICI Paints realised that they needed to deploy the solution via the web. BudgetPlus™ alone could not support this and so Geac© DecisionWeb™ was chosen to supplement it and to achieve the required functionality. Utilising this technology, M2bis converted the solution from pure BudgetPlus™ to DecisionWeb™, retaining the base budgeting functions that were still fundamental to ICI Paints’ budgeting requirements. The solution is deployed among 15 of ICI Paints’ financial personnel. Plans are in place to roll it outside the finance function in the near future.

 Benefits to the Client
  • The solution provides a clear and concise framework for budgeting.
  • Parallel budgeting is now possible.
  • Budget share is consistently identified and tracked.
  • Late changes are assimilated whilst retaining the integrity of the data.
  • ICI Paints can now understand, budget and report their customer product mix.

Martin Harrison, Finance Director, Decorative UK, ICI confirms, “Thanks to M2bis’s professional support, Geac© DecisionWeb™ has completely revolutionised our budgeting process and our marketing reporting is now in place. We have a sensible budget which we can report against and inconsistencies have simply melted away.”

 Benefits of working with M2bis

ICI Paints selected M2bis as their integrator of choice on two successive implementations for their:

  • High level of service received during the BudgetPlus™ implementation
  • Deep technical capability and knowledge
  • Capacity to identify the correct technical solution for a given business requirement
  • Ability to deliver technical documentation and to provide technical and user training
  • Flexibility of resource
  • Speed of response in resolving ad-hoc queries
  • True independence

Martin Harrison concludes, “Our M2bis experience has been very, very positive.”

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