Hans Anders

Datadriven Management Information at Hans Anders

with CCH Tagetik

Following acquisition by investor 3i, Hans Anders Retail Group has ambitious expansion plans abroad. A combination of CCH Tagetik and Tableau provides financial and operational information at a glance. This data-driven management information supports the retailer in business choices.

International expansion requires improvement in reporting

The strategy of international expansion requires an improvement in reporting processes. "We didn't have the tools to consolidate an acquisition," explains Hans Platschorre, CFO of the Hans Anders Retail Group. "Moreover, the old situation was less robust, and did not give us the desired speed and flexibility. A new consolidation tool was a requirement to be able to implement the strategy."

Such a buy-and-build strategy is typical of private equity parties. The Hans Anders Retail Group is owned by investment fund 3i, which also partly owns gym chain Basic-Fit and budget store Action.

"Within 3 months and within budget we were live" - Hans Platschorre, CFO

Choice of CCH Tagetik

The retailer chose CCH Tagetik, after which the implementation went smoothly. "From the financial function, we chose to work with Finext. In a number of logical steps and within a tight schedule we got the reporting in order," says Hans. "Within 3 months and within budget we were live."

So Hans and Onno Hillers, of Hans Anders Retail Group, are positive about the collaboration with Finext. "Finext is a fine partner to do a project with. When there were setbacks in staffing our own team, everyone from Finext was flexible," says Onno. "The short lines of communication help, as does commitment from both sides. If I finished something on Friday evening, I knew Onno would start working on it immediately," says Dennis Gerritsen. Dennis is closely involved in the implementation of the new system from Finext.

First a boardpack

The project team takes a unique approach by first creating a boardpack, and then setting up the management information. "Normally we would do it the other way around, but actually it wasn't a choice: my biggest stakeholder is the investor, they have priority," Hans explains. The choice of approach soon paid off. "That's proving itself now," says Onno. "After ten months, we actually did an acquisition abroad. Within two to three months of the first deal, the financials, P&L and balance sheet were integrated into CCH Tagetik. I wouldn't think of having to implement a new tool simultaneously with an integration."

Ambitious step in data-driven information flows

The retailer immediately makes a substantial step in information provision by choosing a combination of CCH Tagetik and Tableau. Financial information and operational data come together in one database, and then the information is visualized in Tableau.

This creates data-driven information streams that the business can use to manage directly. Operational managers, for example, get to see financial information and operational KPIs in one screen. "Both within 3i and within the Netherlands we are leading with this, whereas a year ago we were really 10 to 15 years behind," Hans says. "You have gone from 0 to 100 in a short time," agrees Martijn Meuling, involved in the tool selection from Finext.

Fast management information from Tagetik to PowerPoint and Word

When asked whether the investment in CCH Tagetik in practice delivers the management information that was expected, Hans is clear: "A resounding yes. This is a successful project, especially since we went to extremes with the integration of PowerPoint and Word. The annual report is actually fully automated, and the boardpack was completely ready after a number of iterations. Often inconsistencies surface during these types of projects, causing the plan to shift and those planned links to Office never come. In this project, we did."

"Those links are like the proverbial skirting boards after a renovation, we'll do them again later," Martijn says. "It also takes some vision from the sponsor in a project like that, to make sure his people get the time so that it actually happens. We see that differently sometimes, too."

Automated boardpack of 70 pages

"The PowerPoint integration is really adding value for us; at the touch of a button all the figures are updated," says Onno. "With a boardpack of 70 pages, that's worth it," Dennis says with a laugh.

In addition to the integration, Onno is also enthusiastic about the speed and insight: "We now play much closer to the ball. On the third or fourth working day we know the result of the previous period. In addition, the level of detail is much better than before. We had a boardpack made up of tables of financial figures. The management information we now get from CCH Tagetik is much broader; not only information about the P&L, but also, for example, the number of glasses sold. We can specify that even further, for example by brand, by promotion, by store type and by average sales price."

Data scientists and controllers in one team

Onno's new job title - Manager Business Control and Business Intelligence - already shows that data-driven finance is important within the Hans Anders Retail Group. The business controllers and data scientists have recently formed one team together. The new reporting capabilities give a boost to this transition within finance. "I see the implementation of CCH Tagetik as the initial phase of this new role," says Onno. "Before this, I was Finance Manager. Most of the time I spent on input and managing the financial administration."

"I'm the same professional, but with better tools" - Onno Hillers, Manager of Business Control & BI

Impact of Tagetik and management information on the business

They like the new role. Onno: 'I am so close to the business now. With CCH Tagetik combined with Tableau, there is so much more management information about the entire primary process. We can pull a string to see what happens when we change something. I'm the same professional, but with better tools. As a function, we have more impact on the business as a result."