Brücke Schleswig-Holstein GmbHIn the German health sector there has been constant change in recent years. As a result, economic pressure on companies has been steadily increasing. In order to meet the growing need for transparency and a sound basis for planning, Brücke Schleswig-Holstein, which has local branches throughout Schleswig-Holstein in North Germany, counts on the software from Corporate Planning in its corporate performance management.
The decentralised nature of the non-profit organisation places specific demands on the implemented corporate performance management solution. The software must at the same time do justice to the largely economically independent sites as well as to services further afield. In addition, both the day-to-day reporting and the budgeting are to be carried out by means of software that can also be used locally.
As well as Myriam Jordan in corporate performance management at the regional head office in Kiel, about twenty managers at approximately fifteen locations in Schleswig-Holstein work with Corporate Planner, the CP-Suite module for planning, analysis and reporting in operational management.
The tasks and the areas in which the CP-Software is used in the corporate performance management department at head office and at the individual facilities are extremely diverse. Being a charitable enterprise, Brücke Schleswig-Holstein, or Brücke-SH, is required to produce budgets that are as accurate as possible. The services, which include integration support such as residential homes and groups as well as out-patient clinics, are for the most part provided on behalf of cities, local authorities, health insurance funds and pension providers. But particularly in the occupational sector, the Brücke SH workshops (carpentry, bicycle, design and upcycling workshops, canteens and cafes etc.) are run as independent, economically viable operations, and have to be self-financing. This makes a detailed plan and a record of the actual data on a causal basis all the more important.
Decentralised, bottom-up planning
Planning is carried out mainly from the bottom up. At the branch offices, the staff enter the planning figures using CP-Web, with which they have online access to the planning data, and the CP-Suite client CP-Excel Plus. The figures can thus be entered in the Excel interface, which is already familiar to Microsoft Excel users, and made instantly available in the Corporate Planner tree structure.
Actual expenditures are to be broken down in terms of the services on offer. In the cost apportionment, overheads are divided among various cost centres or services by specific distribution keys. “The standardised analyses by means of the master-client definition are worth their weight in gold,” Myriam Jordan is delighted to say about how the work involved in analysing the data has been made much easier and less time-consuming.
Even in the social sector, or perhaps especially so, it is essential at all times to keep an eye on liquidity. Only then will those who are reliant on assistance in their everyday activities be able to continue using these services. For this reason, the corporate performance management staff at the Kiel head office use all the available data to create a liquidity forecast. At present they still do this in Microsoft Excel, but will soon be switching over to CP-Finance.
Myriam Jordan from corporate performance management also uses the credit management function in the Corporate Planner module for displaying more than 100 existing loans with the interest, remaining terms, repayment plans and other conditions. This information is automatically transferred to the integrated financial plan and included in the P&L in accordance with the relevant legal requirements in the German Commercial Code and IFRS.
Flexible, user-specific reporting
In the central reporting system, all the results are displayed in various formats, such as a contribution margin analysis, P&L and output analysis. “The data in Microsoft Dynamics NAV need only be imported once to appear simultaneously and consistently in all the views. For this, we use the CP-Connectivity integration with the drill-down to our pre-system – an excellent invention!” Ms Jordan says, impressed by how easy it is to work with the CP-Software. Many of the requests for bank statements and transaction lists from the Accounts department are no longer needed because the staff now have direct access to the upstream data warehouse. The next step will be to add the document management system to the integration.
Myriam Jordan puts the results and the reports into various report groups. “I can expand each manager’s report group as and when necessary,” she adds. Boss-boxes for the rapid retrieval of the most important key ratios and performance values are also used at Brücke SH.
Pilot on board – a shared benefit
Yet the software’s flexibility has not only paid for itself in user-oriented reporting. The flexible options for display and calculation in the software mean that the diverse requirements of the individual services offered by Brücke Schleswig-Holstein can be accommodated. “Many of our day-to-day requirements can be implemented with the CP-Software much more quickly than with other tools,” Ms Jordan says of the software’s main benefit, adding that this does not only apply to her: “An intuitive approach, coupled with business administration know-how, enables non-specialists with training to get a lot out of the Corporate Planning Suite too.”
This is how the CP-Software supports the staff at the non-profit company in its remit of providing individually tailored assistance and a wide range of support to people with mental illness or who have been treated in psychiatric clinics, their families, dependents and other interested parties. “In its role, Brücke SH has a lot in common with the discipline of corporate performance management. The Brücke SH staff are, so to speak, the pilots on board for their clients – just as the corporate performance management staff are for their managers,” is how Ms Jordan sums up her work.
"Many of our day-to-day requirements can be implemented with the CP-Software much more quickly than with other tools."