Why are visibility and agility so important in today’s business environment? Because these are critical factors for success – they enable quick decision-making, drive resilience and are essential for enterprises in navigating a complex, fast-paced world. Driving visibility and agility to scale across the enterprise is essential for businesses looking to digitally transform. Creating an agile, digital business environment affects the entire enterprise, allowing employees to cohesively work together and freeing up time from manual tasks to allow for more analysis and innovation.
Read on to learn how Ingram Micro embarked on their own finance transformation journey with OneStream’s unified corporate performance management (CPM) platform. After facing the challenges of integrating multiple ERP systems into several different Oracle Hyperion applications Ingram Micro implemented OneStream to streamline its complex financial processes and improve visibility into profitability across products and customers. The result? Hours-long processes shortened to just minutes, better visibility into what drives the business and increased business agility. Let’s dive in!
Ingram Micro is one of the world’s largest technology distributors, helping businesses realize the promise of technology. Based in Irvine, CA, Ingram Micro employs over 29K people and has an annual revenue of approximately $54B. Ingram Micro had multiple ERP systems and an extensive Oracle Hyperion footprint for financial consolidation, budgeting and management reporting, including Hyperion Financial Management (HFM), Hyperion Planning, Essbase, and Hyperion Profitability and Cost Management (HPCM). Additionally, Ingram Micro was using Trintech for account reconciliations and Qlik for reporting.
Ingram Micro was challenged by this complex environment of fragmented solutions. The company set out on a mission to replace the Hyperion suite, with the speed of profitability allocations as a main driver. Other key measurements of success for Ingram Micro included managing margins, profitability analysis and impact on working capital. However, Ingram Micro has many ERP systems with different instances around the world, making it difficult to get data from those systems into the profitabiltiy solution.
Financial reporting was also an issue as countries had to wait between two and four hours after posting a journal in the general ledger to see the data in Hyperion. “We have an annual CFO conference where financial directors from all countries came together in Irvine,” said Jan de Leeuw, Director of Financial Systems at Ingram Micro. “Normally I present there, and I was always apologizing about challenges with our data in Hyperion. It felt like nobody was happy with me during the first three years that I was working in this role. We needed a better way to understand profitability for a customer to evaluate new opportunities.”
Ingram Micro was concerned about their profitability solution and was careful in their decision to explore the market as the company operates globally in 62 countries, with approximately 200 entities. Ingram Micro initially tried the Oracle EPM Cloud solution, but upon testing saw it resulted in a very slow allocation process and the numbers didn’t reconcile.
“Oracle simply couldn’t handle our performance needs — it was not the right solution for Ingram,” said de Leeuw. “From there we had many conversations with OneStream about the solution’s ability to handle large volumes of data. We looked at our current processes and future goals and felt confident that OneStream could handle it. We put a lot of trust in OneStream and took a step in the dark, which in the end was very successful. We have a high boosted environment right now with over 1,000 users currently, which is expected to grow to 1,100 by the end of the year.”
Ingram Micro went live with OneStream in the Microsoft Azure cloud for financial consolidation and budgeting in 2021. The company further extended their investment in the platform, adding People Planning, Capital Planning and Account Reconciliation solutions from the OneStream™ MarketPlace.
Because of Ingram Micro’s complex ERP landscape and with multiple Hyperion applications, everything was batch driven. Users were pushing the data every two hours into Hyperion, creating delays with consolidation and management reporting. Now with OneStream’s unified CPM software, it is an on-demand process where users can push the data in whenever the country is ready. The timeline between the journal posting in the ERP to it landing in the consolidation system shortened from two hours to five minutes.
“The OneStream dashboarding is strong, with the ability to give every country one standard way of starting their analysis, plus the ability to play with the data for their own needs,” said de Leeuw. “On the budgeting side, we are leveraging OneStream for the annual budget, quarterly forecasting, and some monthly forecasting. We look forward to implementing weekly forecast soon.”
Ingram Micro also built dashboards to provide the company’s users with improved visibility into profitability across 170K customers and 1,500 vendor partners. De Leeuw added, “We now have much more insight into performance and profitability by customer, item and country. It’s one of our most important instruments.”
Since implementing OneStream, the speed of allocations has significantly improved, shortening the cycle from eight hours down to 10-20 minutes. Users can check the data, adjust and complete allocations within minutes, instead of waiting overnight. According to de Leeuw, “Rapid refresh was not possible in Hyperion, and it took 56 hours from beginning to end to run the process. We were able to reduce that process to eight hours and now users can run it whenever they want, and it takes only 20 minutes to refresh. That’s a huge game changer for everyone that’s working with the data.”
Scalability has also significantly improved with OneStream. In HPCM, onboarding new countries would take three to four months to build a new application. With OneStream, the information is already there so users can simply add the vendors and customers of that specific country and they are on board.
“There are so many things I like about OneStream,” said de Leeuw. “Speed, speed, speed, everything is faster. The users are happy and it’s easier to present. Support is fantastic, escalations are reduced to the minimum, and the technical reliability is amazing — which is something I never experienced with Hyperion. I like having the flexibility to build solutions out in the in the platform— the technology is very powerful. And the OneStream team listens and is always willing to help by continuing to develop things that are beneficial for companies like Ingram Micro. It’s been tremendous.”
Ingram Micro is exploring additional opportunities to automate their budget process and implement new MarketPlace solutions. The company hopes to do a 6-12 months trend analysis in the platform. But high on their list of plans is exploring OneStream’s Sensible Machine Learning solution.
To learn more about Ingram Micro’s journey from Oracle Hyperion to OneStream, check out the case study for more information. If your organization is ready for a finance transformation, contact OneStream today.