Baxters Delivers Visibility Into Reporting Processes to Streamline Growth and Reduce Costs with Oracle
Baxters Food Group is a Scottish food processing company headquartered in Fochabers, Scotland. It produces canned soups, meat products, sour pickles, sauces, vinegar, chutneys, anti-pasta, and fruit preserves. Baxters has remained a private family-held company that in recent years has expanded rapidly with its notable acquisition of U.S.-based Wornick Foods.
After acquiring U.S.-based Wornick Foods and plans to reach £500m in annual revenue, Baxters needed to streamline its finance systems landscape with a modern cloud planning solution.
As a growing international business, Baxters Food Group reached out to Version 1 to re-energize and simplify its finance systems landscape. The Baxters team had used a combination of legacy on-premises Hyperion systems and complex Excel-based models. Business units in Canada and Australia projected forecasting offline.
This process was error-prone, labor-intensive, disconnected, and lacked business insight. Version 1 held multiple requirements workshops to identify process gaps and develop a “to-be” finance operating model. Based on this, Version 1 created a solution engagement that focused on transforming Baxters management reporting as well as demand forecasting and planning and budgeting processes.
To achieve this, Version 1 implemented a cloud-based planning and budgeting and business analytics solution. This included implementing Oracle EPM Cloud Planning and Oracle Business Analytics applications. The solution leveraged prebuilt, best-practice analytics modules, namely Supply Chain, Procurement, and Financials, to empower Baxter’s relatively small IT team to provide maximum value to their business. This avoided expensive, ongoing infrastructure and maintenance costs. Data integration between the planning applications, business intelligence applications, and E-business Suite ERP system was achieved with the Cloudbridge Suite – a comprehensive data orchestration tool.
Approach & Challenges
Version 1 approached the project in three sprints. This began in earnest with the implementation of planning applications and business analytics functionalities. The second and third phases focused on delivering specific reporting capabilities captured during the requirements workshops which stipulated the need for commentary capture for Board Reporting Pack and a custom-developed Packaging Recovery dashboard. Our Journey to Cloud Methodology was employed to ensure the engagement was successful, on time, and delivered within budget.
- Manually created, spreadsheet-based reporting that lacked commentary for board-level insight (numbers-only/mechanics as opposed to analysis).
- Some forecasts were created by combining Excel with other disparate data sources and lacked trend analysis, rolling forecast capability, and historical data
- Forecasts are often manually checked to ensure no new SKUs.
- Labour-intensive data collation for supplier management processes (quality, timeliness, and invoice integrity).
- Difficulty collating data from the ERP system to create financial reports for key decision-making (4-day effort).
- Lack of security and governance between users and roles.
- Implementation of Oracle EPM Planning Cloud Service (PBCS) and Oracle Business Analytics applications (Supply Chain Analytics, Procurement and Spend Analytics and Financial Analytics).
- Automated data integration between applications and ERP system using the Cloudbridge Suite.
- Version 1’s Journey to Cloud Methodology to accelerate delivery to the cloud.
Real Differences, Delivered
As a result of this new solution, Baxters can generate narrative-rich and visual reports for timely decision-making. Moreover, data integration between planning, business intelligence, and ERP systems allows the business to plan and forecast against actuals more effectively. As a result of greater analytical capabilities, Baxters can focus on improving business efficiency by reducing stock wastage and cutting overheads.
- Replace disparate spreadsheet-based systems with collaborative planning tools within a scalable web interface.
- Reduce planning cycle times (especially budget) with better integration with source systems and rapid consolidations.
- Guided workflows to support bottom-up or top-down agile planning processes.
- Improved demand forecasting accuracy that reduced stocking and procurement levels.
- Provided automated reports for KPI, board, and management reporting with commentary to support better decision-making.
- Increased operational efficiency in supplier management with trend analysis capabilities.
- Automated Packaging Recovery reports and dashboards.
- Provided rolling forecast and predictive planning features.
Latest News from Version 1
Events: 6 June 2024
Version 1 is a sponsor and partner of the Modernising Criminal Justice Conference 2024, hosted by GovNet. This event brings together the complete Justice System, from arrest through to release. Tailored...
John Taylor is the Global Lead for Cloud Transformation at Version 1. He has over 30 years of experience working with technology and continual change, and has been with Version 1 for over 6 years.