Family-owned Paques produces and develops hi-tech biological solutions for (waste) water and gas treatment plants. The company sells its installations worldwide and is growing rapidly. This growth requires a stable consolidation solution for Paques. With OneStream, management reporting and statutory reporting can be made within one environment, making the process faster and more reliable.
Paques is not only growing rapidly, the organization is also becoming increasingly international. "Whereas the company used to operate only in China and Europe, in the past two years the number of continents we focus on has increased significantly," says Willem de Boer, Global ICT Manager at Paques. The company develops biotechnological processes for (waste) water and gas purification. Think of complete wastewater treatment plants for a beer or soft drink producer, but also wastewater treatment in the paper or food industry, for example.
Impact on financial processes
This international growth affects the complexity of financial processes. Willem: "The different countries and continents all have their own rules. Moreover, the preparation of our financial statements takes place here in the Netherlands." The increased complexity is reason for Paques to make a switch from Excel reports to a new consolidation solution. "We were dealing with a lot of outdated applications and Excel builds, especially for financial consolidation we needed a replacement," Willem continues.
"Speed and reliability were important considerations."
Speed and reliability of consolidation solution
Paques looked at several consolidation solutions and chose OneStream in its tool selection. "Speed and reliability were important considerations," explains Willem. "In addition, the organization has a cloud services strategy, which this platform fits well with." Of course, functional requirements were also factored into the choice. "In the selection phase, we carefully considered eliminations and intercompany functionalities, which we wanted to automate. Not only did that fit perfectly with what we wanted, but we also liked that we could understand what was happening in the application," says Willem.Another important objective is transparency. "We want to have the ability to get easy insight, no matter where you sit," says Willem. "Also, we would like the regions themselves to provide the reports to headquarters."
Combining different reporting rules
The platform can handle the growing complexity just fine. "In OneStream you can easily combine different reporting rules and equity pick-up calculations," explains Rob Visser of Finext. Rob is closely involved in the implementation of the new Performance Management solution at Paques. "This way you can do both management reporting and statutory reporting with one system." Consequently, the new and stable consolidation solution is quickly delivering results at Paques. "The consolidation process is stable, and we can build on that in the coming years," says Willem. "We have many more possibilities than in the past, for example, we can now compare the monthly management reporting with the rolling forecast very well."
"This year, for the first time, we were able to compare the annual budget with actuals. This allows all regions to look to the future in a user-friendly way."
Broad acceptance in the regions
The greatest gains have been made at the global level. Yet users in the region are also positive. "It is a platform that can be understood in a relatively short time. The operations for delivering management reports go smoothly. We are also working on a new process around intercompany reconciliations, which means we have less to worry about at headquarters. You can only introduce such a new process if the regions find the system easy to use." OneStream has currently been operational for three months, and all regions are using it. This did surprise Willem: "I had actually thought it would take at least six to nine months for everyone to use it. But the application is not difficult; there are all kinds of checks and balances in it that are so logical that the regions can easily act on them. "Moreover, the regions also get a lot in return. "This year, for the first time, we were able to compare the annual budget with actuals. All regions can look to the future in a user-friendly way with this."
Understanding the workflow
As a family business, Paques faces different dynamics than when an organization is publicly traded, or part of a private equity party. "It's a different kind of pressure, this feels a little freer," Rob says. "At the same time, even here the reports have to be delivered on time. "OneStream helps with this. "We have a dashboard where we can see which region we still have to wait for before we can consolidate - before, we didn't know," explains Willem. "An additional advantage is that we now have insight into which regions are performing well in terms of reporting, and which are not yet."
Internal factors put a lot of pressure on the implementation process. "We had more work in the finance department than we could logically handle. Someone was on maternity leave, someone else left, and resources in India were less available," says Willem.
Despite this workload, the project went well. Says Willem, "We made it within budget, within timelines and without overworked employees." He is therefore enthusiastic about working with Finext. "What I like is having the high-quality people in the project, whom I also met during the presales phase. With other consulting firms you see the experienced consultants mainly during presales, but during the project you often work with school leavers."
Advance the discussion
Preparing the project around implementation well is important, Willem believes. "Make sure you are well organized before you start. There are decision moments in it that you can already predict at the start. For example, think about a number of things that are purely related to the set-up of the organization. "You can also do a lot of content in advance. "We went through the whole reporting pack early on," says Rob. "As a result, you pull the whole discussion forward. Of course you always have progressive insight, but we were actually able to follow the requirements in terms of reports one-on-one during the process. That gives a lot of clarity and speed during the project."