Oil & GasSince its humble beginning in 1935 providing a new versatile fuel for rural homes, Calor Gas has become the UK’s leading supplier of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). They are now a part of a global group of LPG companies owned by the Dutch company, SHV Energy – the largest dedicated global LPG distributor.
In search of an integrated solution
Calor Gas owned JD Edwards and Coexistence, a business intelligence system. When they continued to struggle to find answers to day-to-day reporting questions with those solutions, they decided to look outside for a third party solution that could help them. They implemented the reporting application in Hubble and were successful in finally being able to report real-time over their ERP data.
But soon after, they realized the importance of one integrated solution that could provide more than reporting for them. Sue Smith, System Administration Manager, recognized that they had major month-end problems at Calor Gas. JD Edwards gave them the ability to see that there was a reconciliation issue, but finance had no visibility into its location within the ERP. In order to find reconciliation issues across all the different sub ledgers, users were dumping massive amounts of data into spreadsheets. This slowed the month-end processes to a crawl, and severely complicated their audits.
“Finding variances in our ERP was like finding a needle in a haystack. We had no idea how long month-end processes were going to take every month. It was a real struggle to deliver results to finance when they needed them.” - Smith
No more “needle in the haystack” month-end
Smith set out to find a solution for their month-end chaos. She looked at Enterprise Report Writer, consultants and third-party tools as possible solutions. But when she saw a demo of the month-end application in Hubble, she was sold.
“We needed a reconciliation tool that would allow us to reduce month-end processing, improve data quality, and reduce user errors – we found that in Hubble.” - Smith
Hubble allowed Calor Gas to run reports in a format that met their business requirements. Since data was never exported outside of JD Edwards, the link to real-time data in their system was never broken. This completely eliminated the data integrity issues they struggled with.
Fast answers and fast implementation
The month-end application in Hubble was installed within the week. After a three-day workshop, users were able to run reconciliation reports at any point of the day and as often as they needed. Reports are now so easy to run – and they run in seconds, rather than the hours that Calor Gas was used to.
The solution issue auto-targets any discrepancy in data. Users can simply click on the issue and drilldown right to the transactional level. They can see every part that makes up the transaction, so they know exactly where to fix it in the ERP. In fact, because it was so easy to do, users were checking data throughout the month instead of at the very end. This made month-end close an absolute breeze.
Hubble is always real-time, and always connected to the ERP. Users went from searching through a stack of reports, to a simple find and replace.
“With the month-end tool, we know exactly where to find the root source of the reconciliation issues. Users fix it as soon as it happens, removing the last minute panic from month-end. The day we reconcile, we can report confidence in the data within just a few minutes!” – Smith
Month-end madness no more
Smith now runs daily reconciliation reports. She can quickly identify the source of the variance – and see if it’s a systems or user error. If it’s a user error, Smith can see if the employee might be due for some training. Remember those “As of” reports that used to take up to a day to deliver to finance are now run and delivered in seconds.
Calor Gas has also found that the financial audit process is a lot more straightforward and shorter now with Hubble because auditors have instant visibility to their data. Hubble runs over AP, AR, Fixed Assets and Received Not Vouchered. The finance team has been able to pinpoint the reoffending departments and individuals, and is now seeing a 7.5% reduction in retrospective ordering. The business as a whole is now able to run more efficiently, and delivering the right information to the right person – creating a high-performing organization.
"Reports that used to take up to a day to deliver to finance are now run and delivered in seconds," said Sue Smith, Systems Administration Manager at Calor Gas.