With climate-change activist Greta Thunberg hitting the news headlines, environmental responsibility has become a hot topic. Renewi takes waste products and transforms them into useful new products, reducing landfill, avoiding pollution and creating energy as a by-product from society’s waste. The firm was formed in 2017 from the merger of Shanks Group PLC and Van Gansewinkel Groep B.V.
Concentric is proud to have supported Renewi PLC in their project to implement new Group reporting systems.
The story made its own news at OneStream’s annual European User Conference in Madrid, during which we presented the journey Renewi had taken from two completely separate businesses - each with their own reporting solutions - to a single group organisation with a unified OneStream reporting application.
Software on its own is no magic wand
The rhetoric of many a software sales executive is that their software product is going to transform the customer’s world and immediately put to rights the ills and challenges of the past.... And it will deliver a business-case-busting return in record time, just for good measure!
Whilst those are admirable targets, project success is not a product of software alone. It takes an aptitude for matching the right set of business requirements to the right technology solution, and then matching that up with the right people and processes. Only when those factors align, do the sales exec’s prophesized goals become reality.
So, the story told in Madrid was as much about the great job Renewi did agreeing requirements, defining processes and applying the right skills and people, as it was about the excellent OneStream technology used as the catalyst for business change.
The key to execution
According to the Harvard Business Review, 27% of IT projects experience cost overruns, with one in six achieving a 200% overrun and a timeline extension of up to 70% longer than planned.
Renewi delivered on time, and on budget - Madrid was their ‘match-day’ celebration.
So what made this project a success?
First of all, the business case set out clear objectives and deliverables that formed a part of the project charter:
- Deliver process alignment
- Deliver data model alignment
- Simplify the IT landscape to reduce cost
- Encourage in-house ownership
Second, those project requirements became the yardstick for the solution design. Sophisticated OneStream functionality such as guided workflows, automated flow members for cashflows and the local relevance built into the chart of accounts, all contributed to a simplification of complexity.
Third, good stewardship and an awareness of when to involve the right stakeholders in the right discussions went a long way towards meeting project deadlines.
The outcome is that Renewi talked to a number of benefits that have derived from the project:
- Consistent reporting standards now give the whole group ‘one version of the truth’
- Improved close cycle efficiencies, with group reporting delivered significantly faster
- Aligning data models on a single system now drives group-wide insights
- Workflows enable ownership of the data at the right points in the supply chain
- Ease of change: addition of IFRS16 accounting requirements achieved in-house without external assistance
- Fewer systems in the close and reporting process means less data integration points, fewer system upgrades, and lower cost of ownership
Like any project of this nature, there were numerous challenges. Melding together ‘as is’ processes with ‘to be’ ways of doing things better, keeping focus on what mattered whilst taking opportunity to consider future needs, and intelligently applying OneStream’s automation whilst pushing ownership down to the users, all highlighted that a project is so much more than just ‘software’.
TEAM is derived from four words... ‘Together, Everyone, Achieves More’. If all the players are on the same TEAM, projects usually succeed. If not, they often become just another match-day fixture that ends in defeat.
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