Founded in 1898 and 100% employee-owned, Burns & McDonnell is a full-service engineering, architecture, construction, environmental and consulting services firm. They are the brains and the builders behind projects like the world-class Advanced Technology & Research Centre in Doha, Qatar as well as the $71.5 million Chicago subway upgrade and expansion.
Access to information is not always the answer
With such a wide range of work, spanning state lines and international divides, Burns & McDonnell have become masters at engineering possibilities. Made up of scientists, engineers, architects, construction professions and consultants, Burns & McDonnell are as diverse as the projects and services they provide. Their own success is built upon the success of their clients. They strive to provide them with holistic plans that generate realistic outcomes. So, what does it take to pull off projects of such complexity? The ability to plan and predict possibilities.
Unfortunately, the two requirements necessary to their success were being sabotaged by inefficient and unreliable reporting. They simply could not fully see what success looked like. As a user of Oracle E-Business Suite, Burns & McDonnell found themselves experiencing common issues from inflexible reporting systems. Though their finance and accounting teams could capture data in their ERP system, they could do little with it from there. They also were unable to see the level of detail they wanted to make decisions on behalf of their clients. They needed a solution that gave them the flexibility to see into the weeds if and when they wanted to, within a reasonable amount of time.
Just getting by inhibits getting ahead
“We were limping along, getting by with the information that we could pull from Oracle EBS and making do with ad hoc queries and cobbled-together spreadsheets.” - Steve Woodward, Oracle Financial Business Analyst for Burns & McDonnell
The main reason Burns & McDonnell went shopping for a real-time reporting solution was because getting detailed information out of Oracle was extremely difficult. It took several drill-downs. They had five segments in their Key Flex Field and Oracle was only allowing them to dive deep one segment at a time.
Such inflexible reporting required them to rely on IT to assist in putting financials together. With their accounting team manually manipulating numbers and their IT team furiously hacking out additional information, they were lacking resources. Realizing this in totality, Woodward wanted a more stable solution.
“We realized we couldn’t continue this way. Then we added Hubble.”
Building stable foundations. Fast.
Enter, Hubble. The reliable, real-time reporting solution puts resources back where you need them. Since their data now remained linked to their ERP system, Burns & McDonnell found that they could quickly and accurately complete accounting functions. Users could now rapidly drilldown to subledger transactions from the summarized account level and streamline the inquiry. Kim Olsen, Accounting Manager said, “With Hubble, you can drilldown to the lowest level of detail without going through a whole series of hierarchies. This is where the true efficiency of Hubble comes in; more detail in less time. Now our accounting team completes four to five overhead reviews in a quarter of the time it previously took to complete one. It’s ridiculously fast.
Report creation that used to take days, now took only a matter of minutes. They also had the ability to drill-down to the lowest level of detail right within the solution. Time saved.
In addition, Woodward found that Hubble addressed other issues they had been experiencing even outside of reporting. It was resolving resources that were being stretched and building self-sufficiency. By utilizing the pre-built reporting templates within Hubble, those impromptu requests no longer required the assistance of IT. “Our accounting team can extract the data they need - in real-time - and then spend more time actually analyzing and acting on the data.” Money saved.
With the addition of Hubble to their Oracle ERP, Burns & McDonnell’s eyes had been opened to a new set of possibilities. A set that enabled them to see success before it was attained.
“Simply put, Hubble is the best solution we have.” - Steve Woodward, Oracle Financial Business Analyst for Burns & McDonnell
“Hubble is ridiculously fast. Our month-end overhead reports now take about 1/8 of the time, giving us the time we need to focus on more important things in the business." – Hayley Parris Accountant