Built on the business of keeping things clean, ISS is a facilities management organization that serves thousands of customers in over 50 countries. Though they pretty much offer any service imaginable, their janitorial solutions remain most popular within their customer base. Made up of 530,000 employees, ISS believes in the power of the human touch. Proud of their processes and approach, they strive to provide a consistent level of quality in their work.
Messy processes slow down decision-making
Such dedication and due diligence has generated ISS $10.5 billion in annual revenue. Undoubtedly impressive but undeniably unsettling. Despite their ability to keep clients spot-free, ISS ironically found themselves in quite the mess within their own budgeting and reporting processes. In fact, the process was so daunting and inefficient that their own North American branch CIO, Anthony Lackey, deemed it to be completely pathetic and unreliable.
“Literally we would shut the business down for ten days for each of our three budgeting cycles throughout the year. Basically taking one person a full six years of effort to produce annual information that nobody relied upon. It was a very, very, painful process and our business would suffer from it” - Lackey
Stuck on traditional JDE reporting, ISS was relying solely on one part-time developer to write all of their reports. Retrieving data was an excruciating challenge and the backlog in receiving it had become unfathomable. So when it came time to complete a budgeting cycle, ISS would experience a multitude of issues all around the business. Their AR was off, their GL close would suffer and even their payroll would take a hit.
Unable to justify the complete chaos any longer, Lackey was ready to do some major financial cleaning.
Excel inefficiencies serve as root cause of bad budgeting
With 3,500 business units to budget for, ISS wanted a single system for budgeting, reporting and planning. Their goal was to allow all 60-70 employees involved in the budgeting process to be able to collaborate on each budgeting cycle in the same space. Somewhat ambitious from where they were at the start of the project.
Lackey and his team were well aware of the inefficiencies that came with relying on Excel for budgeting. Though there is no doubt Excel was extremely essential to many parts of financial management, it simply was not meant to be used to run an entire business.
“I have never seen such a pathetic process in my entire life. Thousands of spreadsheets touching numerous hands. Finally rolled up and information was nonsensical. And we used it as basis every month to explain why budgets were off.” - Lackey
Fully aware of the issues at hand and eager to implement a more transparent process, ISS was prepared to completely reengineer the way things had been run.
Out the door with chaos and in with ease
In came Hubble; the fully integrated solution offering, budgeting, reporting and planning all in one. This triple threat was exactly what ISS needed to get the job done. Knowing the capabilities of Hubble before coming on board with ISS a year prior, Lackey had a strong confidence in the solution which was only reinforced after implementation.
Once Hubble was fully implemented across all business units, ISS users quickly found the cleaner process to be quite rewarding. And since Hubble had been built with JDE look and feel in mind, users could easily get going in no time. In addition, they found the complete Excel functionality within the solution to be extremely beneficial. They could now easily manage the numbers in any way they needed without importation or extraction. Even Lackey, a master at Excel, was impressed with the capabilities Hubble provided them. “We put together a fairly sophisticated model, anything you could in Excel, including saving files in binary format, vba codes, complex formulas – anything you imagine you can do it, and run it against any one of your business units”.
“What we previously had produced within ten days and a tremendous amount of people, we can now create with just the touch of a button. This has transformed the business.” - Lackey
Hubble fixes all in one clean sweep
With the help of Hubble, ISS transformed their budgeting and reporting processes for the better. Pulling numbers and producing reports was now a breeze. But, that wasn’t the only mess Hubble had wiped up for ISS. Within one year of use, ISS was able to eliminate thousands of redundant, error-prone spreadsheets. They even cut down the time it took on each budgeting cycle. It was like they were creating time instead of creating chaos.
The ability to manage financial planning within Hubble was revolutionary to the entire ISS business. Finally, everything was looking brighter.
“The capabilities of Hubble are undeniably fantastic. From our experience we can truly say it is transformational.” - Lackey