Fast Growing Company, Mayflex, Chooses IBM Cognos Express to Deliver Essential Business Intelligence and Planning Capability

Published on 03-Sep-2010

"We chose the software based on the perceived ease of use and the time that would be saved by the end users; also the system updates itself as all the data is linked from the sales budget right through to the P&L, running alongside our Distribution Resource Management integrated system, IBS Enterprise. We plan to bring in actuals to compare against budgets at various levels. We had done this in the past but over several reports; with IBM Cognos Express we can see everything in one place." - Lyn Dolphin, Financial Controller at Mayflex

Customer:
Mayflex

Industry:
Wholesale Distribution & Services

Deployment country:
United Kingdom

Solution:
BA - Business Intelligence

IBM Business Partner:
Inca Software

Overview

Mayflex chose IBM because they were impressed with the IBM Cognos BI solution’s ease of use, along with its ability to align their budgeting and P&L with their distribution resource management system. With IBM Cognos Express they could see everything in one place.

Business need:
Mayflex needed to replace a complex spreadsheet system, improve time-consuming budgeting and forecasting processes, compare actuals against budgets at various levels and save time for end-users through automatic system updates.

Solution:
The company is using IBM Cognos Express to produce sales budgets and forecasts, and to consolidate balance sheets, profit and loss, and cash flow statements.

Benefits:
The solution provides a single version of the truth, fast time to value through quick implementation, ease of use, and provides remote access to more accurate and detailed information than before.

Case Study

Mayflex is a successful, privately owned distributor with a respected name and a proven track record in partnering installers and integrators. Since its formation in 1917, Mayflex has become a leading distributor of cabling infrastructure, networking and physical security products. Through dedication to customer service, providing a comprehensive and complementary product range and by remaining at the forefront of technical innovation, Mayflex is committed to becoming the installer’s partner of choice.

Challenges faced
As a successful, privately owned cabling infrastructure, networking and physical security products distributor, with a respected name and a proven track record in partnering installers and integrators, Mayflex has experienced a period of rapid growth over the last few years.

During this period of growth Mayflex found that their spreadsheet system, used to budget business activities, was becoming complex and unwieldy. Lyn Dolphin, Financial Controller at Mayflex, comments, “each time the company expanded, the spreadsheet system became more unstable; we have remote users in the UK and in Dubai who were beginning to lose confidence in the spreadsheets because the links kept breaking”.

Strategy followed
Having decided to review the budgeting system Dolphin received a timely invitation from Inca to attend a launch event for IBM® Cognos® Express. “We were aware of Inca’s partnership with IBM and therefore did not need to speak to any other suppliers. Having discussed our requirements with Inca we felt that IBM Cognos Express was right for Mayflex”.

Dolphin continues, “We chose the software based on the perceived ease of use and the time that would be saved by the end users; also the system updates itself as all the data is linked from the sales budget right through to the P&L, running alongside our Distribution Resource Management integrated system, IBS Enterprise. We plan to bring in actuals to compare against budgets at various levels. We had done this in the past but over several reports; with IBM Cognos Express we can see everything in one place”.

Benefits realized
IBM Cognos Express will provide Mayflex with a stable environment within which to budget business activities. Due to the requirement of UK and international users connecting remotely, the facility to use the web for inputting and viewing data will prove invaluable. “We are still implementing the software but our manager in Dubai is already using the system for his sales budget,” comments Dolphin.

The implementation of IBM Cognos Express has been split into three phases; phase one (sales forecasting and budgeting) and phase two, (cost forecasting and budgeting) have now completed. The third and final phase, company financial consolidations, began in mid March 2010. In the space of just three to four months Mayflex will have implemented a complete budgeting and forecasting solution, enabling them to plan and analyse their business more effectively.

Dolphin concludes, “the service and help we have received in introducing IBM Cognos Express into the business from Inca has been excellent. Our timescales are very short and Inca have done everything they can to assist us in achieving our target.”

In the future Mayflex will consider the dedicated reporting element of IBM Cognos Express to produce a fully integrated Business Intelligence and Performance Management solution.

Ian Stone, Managing Director of Inca, says, “We are delighted that Mayflex have chosen IBM Cognos Express from Inca. Midsize organisations are focused on driving cost and improving profit and efficiencies; the IBM Cognos Express solution provides them with the necessary tools to achieve their goals”.

About IBM Business Analytics
IBM Business Analytics solutions deliver world-leading enterprise planning, consolidation and BI software, support and services to help companies plan, understand and manage financial and operational performance. IBM Business Analytics solutions bring together technology, analytical applications, best practices, and a broad network of partners to give customers an open, adaptive and complete performance solution. Over 23,000 customers in more than 135 countries around the world choose IBM Business Analytics solutions.

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
Cognos Express Xcelerator, Cognos Express

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2010 IBM Canada Ltd. 3755 Riverside Drive Ottawa ON K1G 4K9 Canada Produced in Canada July 2010 All Rights Reserved IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Cognos and TM1 are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. If these and other IBM trademarked terms are marked on their first occurrence in this information with a trademark symbol (® or ™), these symbols indicate U.S. registered or common law trademarks owned by IBM at the time this information was published. Such trademarks may also be registered or common law trademarks in other countries. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/ copytrade.shtml. Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. This case study is an example of how one customer uses IBM products. There is no guarantee of comparable results. References in this publication to IBM products or services do not imply that IBM intends to make them available in all countries in which IBM operates. Any reference in this information to non-IBM Web sites are provided for convenience only and do not in any manner serve as an endorsement of those Web sites. The materials at those Web sites are not part of the materials for this IBM product and use of those Web sites is at your own risk.