Buckeye Partners, L.P. is a midstream oil and gas company that specializes in logistics, pipeline transportation, and storage of petroleum products. And while Buckeye Partners helps power the oil and gas industry with approximately $5 billion in revenue, the company’s Finance team was stalling due to their inefficient business planning process.
Revving Up Budget Planning
Buckeye Partners is a complex organization with approximately 45 people who are responsible for budgeting and forecasting across the company. For many years they relied on Cognos, a cumbersome and expensive business intelligence (BI) software. More often than not, Buckeye Partners found themselves unable to trust the information they received once they extracted it from JD Edwards, handled it in Cognos, and then exported it into reports to manipulate. The disconnect of information from their ERP to the end user was quickly becoming intolerable. The platform was clunky and outdated with an unintuitive interface. Cognos frankly was not cutting it for Buckeye Partners’ planning process.
“Our budgeting and reporting processes with Cognos were painful and inefficient,” said Yvonne Truong, Senior Financial Analyst at Buckeye Partners. “The system was only updated about three times a day, so once we loaded our data, we would often have to wait a full day to conduct any analysis – and after that we would waste countless hours on verifying the accuracy of the data.” Further complicating the process was that Buckeye Partners relied on several IT contractors for support, some of whom lived in different time zones. This slowed down the process even more during annual planning, or period-end, and made ad hoc C-suite inquiries almost impossible. The need for real-time data and direct ERP integration was accelerated.
Energizing the Finance Team
Out of pure necessity, Buckeye Partners decided it was time to take control. They no longer wanted to rely upon IT for their finance and operational data needs. “We wanted a solution that was user-friendly, even for those of us who might not be as tech-savvy,” said Yvonne Truong.
“With Hubble, our team can react and respond immediately to any financial requests, rather than having to wait for our IT contractors to get back to us.” – Yvonne Truong, Senior Financial Analyst
Hubble’s easy implementation, intuitive interface, and extensive support system sealed the deal for Buckeye Partners. “As we evaluated our options, we wanted the most bang for our buck. Between cost of maintenance, seamless integration with JDE and on-demand visibility into our numbers, Hubble was the clear choice. It has made a world of difference to our team.” Hubble provides a comprehensive reporting and planning solution for all of Buckeye Partners’ needs. Whether the company is steeped in annual planning or simply verifying P&Ls, overseeing performance is easier than ever before.
A Jump-Start with Continuous Planning
Many organizations conduct annual planning on a calendar year – beginning the process in August and finalizing the annual budget by December. While annual budgeting is undeniably a painful process for most, Buckeye Partners has been able to transition to a pain-free continuous model utilizing Hubble Planning software. Annual planning for them is no longer a massive project lacking efficiency. They now experience a rolling process that requires minimal stakeholder strain. Continuous planning allows their entire company to react to changes or opportunities that could affect the approved annual budget. With Hubble, Buckeye Partners completes their entire process in minutes or days, versus weeks or months – allowing them to verify how the company is performing in real-time. Given the dynamic nature of the oil and gas industry, continuous planning is critical. Buckeye Partners can now approve or reject budget submissions, with workflows, and upload planning amounts back into their ERP with only one click. They can construct robust forecasting models – and receive automatic notifications when something is amiss with their budget and actuals. Finally, a performance management solution that meets reporting needs while making planning, budgeting, and period-end a breeze.