LOEWE Logistics & Care GmbH & Co. KGWhen Gabriele Muschalik gets carried away by speed, reliability and transparency, she is not only thinking about the logistics services of LOEWE Logistics & Care GmbH & Co. KG. The same qualities fill her with delight as she works in the CP-Software Corporate Planner.
Day by day, pallets of goods arrive at LOEWE, which are then sorted, stored or forwarded. Gabriele Muschalik, in charge of operational management at the logistics specialist in Herford, North Rhine Westphalia, is able to evaluate on a daily basis whether the customer orders are on track, or how efficiently her colleagues have been working in the receiving or the dispatch area. Each morning, all the day sheets and single values fed into the ERP, stock control and payroll systems are imported to Corporate Planner, the Corporate Planning Suite module for planning, analysis and reporting in operational management. The number of pallets accepted in the receiving area, of shipments leaving the dispatch area, of man hours taken for unloading, internal transport, distribution, storage – every process is assessed and shown in detail in the performance reports.
Certainty for decision-makers
The heads of department, particularly in sales and production, have got into the habit of regularly looking at the current data. If anything gets out of control regarding an order or a cost centre, they can spot this immediately and react just by clicking in their Boss Box in Corporate Planner. They can also quickly analyse potential for reducing downtime or for optimising order processing. In all their decisions, they know that they can trust the accuracy and consistency of the figures. Immediately after the data import, Ms Muschalik checks that the results add up correctly. She allows herself time for this, having been able to save precious time at the other end since she renders the entire set of business reports and plans in the CP-Software, instead of in Excel as she used to. It is no longer necessary to go to the trouble of finding and eliminating differences.
Self-service thanks to the Boss-Box
Ms Muschalik also no longer needs to be constantly ready to supply her colleagues with prepared tables. She has set up a Boss Box in Corporate Planner for the company management and for each head of department. The users, depending on their function in the company, each have read access to various files and analyses. Along these lines, the management accountant has put the most important reports and results into different Boss Box groups. After a brief familiarisation period, it was mainly the reliability of the common underlying database and the ad-hoc availability which convinced all of them about this new form of reporting. Meanwhile, every decision-maker is now sufficiently experienced in the software to be able to retrieve his or her own results. Even advanced comparative analyses can be carried out by the staff at LOEWE without the assistance of their management accounting expert. Only once in a while, she still gets asked how to do something, or where particular values come from. “I have not yet been stuck for an answer for any meeting, discussion or request,” says Gabriele Muschalik. “In corporate performance management, this is our bread and butter.” And when she has a question herself, she knows that she can rely on the Support staff at CP in Hamburg and on Michael Sprenger, Managing Director at their local Corporate Planning Premium Partner, W&K Controlling in Paderborn.
The values in the performance reports are also used by Ms Muschalik for the costing of future proposals. So that she can respond quickly to invitations to tender and quotation requests, she has created a CP tree especially for cost estimates. In it, she has predefined standard values (50 pallets to dispatch, 2,000 shipments) and classic cost drivers, such as pallets in reception, return items or pallets in quality control. This enables her to refer quickly to values like “price per pallet in receiving” and “price per shipment in dispatch” and to make the necessary projections for the cost calculation.
As well as the daily performance reports, Ms Muschalik produces a monthly statement. What‘s more, she has built alternative views of the tree structures in Corporate Planner (contribution margin analysis, absorption costing). On the fifth working day of each month, she takes the existing actual data as the basis for a prognosis up to the end of the month, in which the values are extrapolated according to distribution keys and historical trends which she has defined. The estimations from customer management are also included. Being weighted and put into formulae according to historical results and past experience, the calculated prediction usually comes very close to the subsequent actual value.
The management accountant applies a similar principle in the annual budget. At the beginning of October, the values for the coming year are planned. Half way through the year, a projection is made which takes account of changed circumstances (e.g. freight margins), cancelled orders or lost customers. For this, Ms Muschalik creates an additional data stream so that the original plan values need not be altered or overwritten. In this way, informative comparisons can be made between the different scenarios. “With the time slider, we can set the time span with total flexibility, we have the corresponding values straight away, and we can draw comparisons,” Ms Muschalik enthusiastically explains.
Integrated solution for financial planning
The operational management is now to be supplemented by being directly connected with the financial plan. The advisory board and company management require a professional liquidity plan which goes much further than simply displaying bank account balances. Michael Sprenger has given his customer a presentation of Corporate Planner Finance, the function for integrated financial and liquidity planning, and prepared the ground for its implementation. Any other software for this purpose was completely out of the question for the Loewe accounting and corporate performance management staff. The advantages of an integrated solution and the previous good experience with the CP-Software are points in favour of implementing Corporate Planner Finance. This will ensure an entirely consistent flow of data from the financial accounts with investment appraisal and financing, via operational management, right through to liquidity planning.
“I greatly enjoy working in Corporate Planner. It saves time. Time that I can now take in order to analyse the data thoroughly. You can see straight away if anything is getting out of control,” the management accountant sums up the advantages of the support provided by the Corporate Planning software.
"I greatly enjoy working in Corporate Planner. It saves time - that I can now take to analyse the data. You can instantly see if anything is getting out of control."