Published on 24-Nov-2008
Validated on 17 Feb 2011
"[Manpower} Employees are able to focus more clearly on the levers that drive profitability because they are working with explicit numbers in a model they understand well." - Julie Krey, Manpower’s VP U.S. Finance
Business Intelligence, Data Warehouse, Integrated Data Management, Leveraging Information
Manpower Inc. (NYSE: MAN) is a world leader in the employment services industry; creating and delivering services that enable our clients to win in the changing world of work.
Previously, budgeting at Manpower was a time-consuming, manual process that required iterative reviews and approvals. Simplifying and streamlining the process led to a limitation of accountability and management effectiveness. Even with successful BI improvements, Manpower learned that their data’s usefulness is limited if it’s not shared with other performance management components.
Manpower is now advancing its performance management system with IBM® Cognos® 8 Planning and IBM Cognos 8 BI.
• Improved profitability • Greater management effectiveness • Deeper insight into operations • Better accountability through broader participation • Shorter planning cycles with increased budget accuracy
Manpower Inc. (NYSE: MAN) is a world leader in the employment services industry; creating and delivering services that enable our clients to win in the changing world of work. With $20.5 billion in worldwide revenue, Manpower offers employers a range of services for the entire employment and business cycle including permanent, temporary and contract recruitment; employee assessment and selection; training; outplacement; outsourcing and consulting. Manpower’s worldwide network of our 4,500 offices in 80 countries and territories enables the company to meet the needs of its 400,000 clients per year, including small and medium size enterprises in all industry sectors, as well as the world’s largest multinational corporations. The focus of Manpower’s work is on raising productivity through improved quality, efficiency and cost-reduction across their total workforce, enabling clients to concentrate on their core business activities.
Central to Manpower’s success is an ability to adjust for local labor conditions as well as international trends. This requires rapid and accurate communication of business information across the organization. For this reason, Manpower has turned to IBM Cognos performance management software and services.. After successfully introducing reporting and analysis capabilities, the firm completed a staged rollout of enterprise planning software. Today the firm has more than 5,000 users accessing performance data over the Web. This includes delivering customer-based information and analysis to external customers. Each capability saves Manpower time and money, but the real strength of the solution is improved communication and decision-making by employees.
“The value isn’t how much time you save, but in your ability to get alignment around the business. Local managers have the opportunity to communicate what they expect to do with their business upwards and it helps the VPs and GMs communicate their expectations downwards,” says Julie Krey, Manpower’s VP U.S. Finance. “I now have 1,000 people with goals and objectives that have the ability to monitor how they’re doing against their plan. There’s more alignment and agreement throughout the organization.”
Manpower is now advancing its performance management system with IBM Cognos 8 Planning and IBM Cognos 8 BI. The organization uses them in concert to share information between business intelligence and enterprise planning functions for uninterrupted visibility into, and control over, corporate performance. “The biggest thing, especially for planning, is being able to use planning data in a reporting environment and bringing that together with other sources,” says Vivian Adashek, Manager with the U.S. Finance Department at Manpower. “Being able to analyze in a real-time world and being able to create reports from analysis really gives users access they didn’t have before. Before, within planning they were able to look at data but unable to report on it in the BI environment.”
Previously, budgeting at Manpower was a time-consuming, manual process that required iterative reviews and approvals. In attempts to simplify and streamline the process, side effects included a limitation on accountability and management effectiveness.
“You could have a rough estimate fast, or wait a while for a precise number,” says Adashek. “Spreadsheet based systems took a long time to produce numbers.” Even with successful business intelligence improvements in place, Manpower learned that their usefulness is limited if they do not share data with other performance management components. “You can end up looking at your data without really analyzing or reporting on it,” says Adashek. “Or you’d have to wait until your IT department had time to create a cube for you.”
Manpower replaced spreadsheets-based reporting for strategic reasons. Management wanted to move staff away from a purely financial approach—an annual exercise of playing with numbers—and towards thinking strategically about the business. Over the course of six months, Manpower evaluated solutions from three other vendors.
Manpower chose IBM Cognos 8 Planning and IBM Cognos 8 BI for various reasons including the depth and breadth of capabilities and the ease of use of the system. With over 1,000 people accessing the platform, they wanted to implement software that required minimal training and would encourage fast user adoption. In terms of IBM Cognos 8 Planning, they were impressed with the functionality that allowed them to dynamically link business models to P&L and financial statements.
Other deciding factors included the ability to build and change models without IT involvement and the intelligent workflow management and closed loop email process the system offered. In addition, the company was impressed with the ready integration with IBM Cognos reporting and business intelligence tools, and the overall sense of partnership they felt when dealing with IBM Cognos people.
According to Adashek, “We’re not running any other BI applications and we decided at the outset in the U.S. to work with Cognos. That has been the plan since the beginning and Cognos is working well and we’re sticking with it. The implementation has been so successful that we have also brought other departments including marketing, sales, and HR on board.”
Since 2001, Manpower has used IBM Cognos solutions to produce all its internal financial statements and management reporting as well as some customer reporting. For Adashek, there are additional specific advantages to Manpower’s planning abilities. “You spend less time consolidating and more time analyzing the data. You start broadening the circle of participation. Planning becomes more of priority in the organization and it becomes more accurate.”
Manpower’s migration to IBM Cognos 8 Planning and IBM Cognos 8 BI allows business users to cross traditional boundaries between performance management functions: reporting against planning data, conducting real-time analysis that is transformed into reports, and using planning data from other data sources. Data stays consistent throughout the entire process. Managers can work with planning data in a business intelligence environment. Rather than just processing numbers, employees spend time thinking about what the numbers mean.
“Employees are able to focus more clearly on the levers that drive profitability because they are working with explicit numbers in a model they understand well. By being able to do what-if analysis and see the results immediately, they are able to understand which levers to pull month-by-month to reach our profitability targets. We can see the impact of selectively increasing billing rates, cutting administrative costs, reducing headcount, and so on. This enables us to make better decisions on a timelier basis.”
Manpower’s high performance culture continues looking for new opportunities to improve quality and efficiency while controlling costs. As a result, the firm is working with IBM on further enhancements to its performance management platform including the incorporation of business event alerts, production scorecarding, and dashboard reports for both Manpower executives and customers.
About Cognos, an IBM company
Cognos, an IBM company, is the world leader in business intelligence and performance management solutions. It provides world-class enterprise planning and BI software and
services to help companies plan, understand and manage financial and operational performance. Cognos was acquired by IBM in January 2008*. For more information, visit http://www.ibm.com/software/data/ and http://www.cognos.com.
*As a result of the acquisition, product names have now changed to reference IBM at the beginning of the software or service.
Products and services used
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