Interstate Battery System of America (Interstate Batteries) is the number one replacement battery brand in North America. Thriving on innovation and good old-fashioned business principles, this privately held, billion dollar corporation employs more than 1,400 employees nationwide.
ERP exposes major visibility issues
Chris Baldovsky, Senior Financial Consultant, struggled with reporting and month-end. But it’s no surprise – Interstate Batteries had many disparate systems across many different business units. They had simply grown too fast, and couldn’t keep up.
As a result, Interstate Batteries decided to implement JD Edwards to unify their data into a single chart of accounts. This was tremendous in helping them create one place for data collection, but once JD Edwards was finally implemented, it started to expose the issues they had around data visibility and alignment. With more than 50 corporate-owned distributorships, Interstate Batteries needed an efficient way to summarize at the business unit or category level across their multiple entities. JD Edwards just could not provide this for them.
But the problem grew from there. They began to see a serious decline in business performance. Processes like reporting, reconciliation and month-end were extremely tedious for finance. And IT was becoming overburdened with ad hoc inquiries from all corners of the business because employees couldn’t pull reports themselves in JD Edwards.
A real-time reporting solution to empower business processes
Melinda Zeppa, Software Development Manager in IT, didn’t see an end to this problem if they remained stagnant. She had visibility into many strategic projects coming down the pipe, and the thought of implementing strategic projects with the processes and software they had in place was simply ludicrous.
By collaborating closely with Baldovskym, and Director of Corporate Accounting, Nancy Dembny, Zeppa was able to understand all the issues and process breakdowns that were occurring in finance and IT. She knew that finance needed a real-time solution that was flexible enough to drill down right to source data, and deliver summary and transactional information. But she also wanted to supply the whole organization with a tool that allowed end users to go in and answer their own business questions themselves. This was the only logical solution to free up an already overburdened IT department.
Zeppa implemented Hubble because it was the only solution that gave them everything they were looking for. The reporting application in Hubble provided the real-time access they required, and the flexibility and ease of use their business craved. Almost immediately, the finance department noticed a reduction in ongoing tasks from days to hours. Accounting could create customized templates quickly, so anytime they had a request from the business, IT wasn’t even in the picture. And most incredible, was the accelerated month-end process that emerged.
“I save at least eight hours of work each month, between month-end reporting, and ad hoc requests from VPs and Directors” - Chris Baldovsky, Senior Financial Consultant
Hubble helps the whole company move faster
Now that Hubble is a part of the organization, team members don’t want to think about how they managed before. There is no longer any re-keying data. Users can simply view their data in one place, and pull the information they need in a matter of minutes without help from IT. During closing, Dembny quickly writes an inquiry to check that they have run a statement for every business unit. She looks at transactions that occur every month, and easily analyzes data based on business units, or across all companies, or across just one company – whatever she needs!
The benefits extend beyond finance.
“Without Hubble, IT would have to do a whole lot more during closing and post-closing to answer the questions executives need. Hubble makes it very simple to show data based on what the audience wants – for example, VPs may want to see high-level information, while regional managers want to see data for their territories" - Dembny
An implementation that powered excellence
The IT department was more than impressed with the implementation of Hubble. “We were up and running in just a couple of hours”, said Dembny. “Hubble is very easy to use, very intuitive. Even new people have picked it up very quickly.”
With Hubble’s unique approach to training, Interstate Batteries worked directly with a team of experts to create an ongoing plan for success. Together, they developed core inquiries and reports that directly impacted department-wide productivity.
“Our consolidated group can view transactions real-time, heading off a lot of phone calls and questions!” – Melinda Zeppa, Software Development Manager in IT, Interstate Batteries