Bart Van Spitael, Corporate Finance Director
Premium Sound Solutions
Q. What were your main challenges with the solution you were using before OneStream?
A. The solution we used before was Oracle Hyperion Financial Management (HFM). I only worked about 6 months with it at Premium Sound Solutions, however I had some additional experience at a previous company. Our biggest issue was with uploading data – HFM was not always that user-friendly. We were uploading via the web portal but also had to upload some supplemental data that involved going inside the application and keying it in manually. The reporting in HFM, especially what we used, was mainly just Excel retrieves. This was simply not the best way of working so we started looking for a new solution. HFM was a legacy system inherited from a previous parent company, but once we went standalone with our group we decided to go off and search for a new consolidation and reporting solution.
Q. Why did you select OneStream and who else did you evaluate?
A. We had several companies visiting us. After those visits, we decided on a final selection between a current-reduced HFM system or the OneStream solution. The scoring was done by our CFO and IT manager. They had experience with HFM, so they knew what to expect with this. OneStream came with a very attractive implementation timing and cost, as well license fees and maintenance. Together with the suggested partner Agium EPM on-board the selection was made quickly. And this was over four years ago so we were early birds for OneStream on the European side and first in Belgium.
Q. Were any partners involved in the project?
A. Yes, our selected partner was Agium EPM based in the Netherlands. They helped us move swiftly from HFM to the OneStream solution. There was a certain connection there with both OneStream and Agium – and to this day we have a very good working relationship with the consultants at Agium.
Q. What did you see in OneStream that gained your trust?
A. What we recognized in the beginning was the personal approach. One of the OneStream architects wanted to review the design together with us, which was a nice attention point. The combination of the personal approach from both OneStream and Agium was really giving us trust in our decision. I remember in the beginning of the design process, the OneStream consultants insisted that we understood the full scope of the project including giving advice to the implementation partner as to what needs to be carefully watched over.
Q. What was the scope of your initial engagement with OneStream?
A. At Premium Sound Solutions we wanted to continue the requirements for our current consolidation process, which is still the main core of our business. We are using OneStream for our management reporting and it’s also the backbone for our consolidated annual returns that we do with the auditor.
Users are uploading locally, and we use OneStream to manage our currencies. That’s one thing that we really insisted on having since we use the US dollar as our leading currency. But as a Belgium company we also needed a Euro version. So that’s one unique aspect that we did. OneStream is handling two currencies and 100% doing the intercompany eliminations and things related to it.
During the implementation itself we started to learn more about the potential of the system. We then added a couple of classic KPIs, linking to working capital.
Q. When did you first go live with OneStream?
A. About four years at the year-end close of 2015 is when we went live with OneStream for financial consolidation and reporting.
Q. What have been the main advantages of OneStream to date?
A. If I compare OneStream to our previous software it’s the uploading of data that I still find to be quite an improvement. It’s very user friendly and something that we recognized from the very beginning as one of the main differences – really a main benefit – versus the other software solutions. Also, the Guided Workflows that we are using. They simply walk the user through the steps so they can easily see the confirmation rules and if things are tying up logically. The OneStream workflows is one of the best user assets that we have, especially with regards to uploading the data.
Q. How have you expanded your use of OneStream since the initial project?
A. We are currently in the phase of completing an extra consolidation layer because we had some new acquisitions and investment activities. We also created a parallel consolidation layer. With our business, about 30% of our transactions are intercompany related. We’d like to see P&L by factory, including the intercompany activity and FX cost added later in the chain. And it has been an exciting period designing that over the last couple of months. It will allow us to look at the business differently to see which factory is really contributing profits to our total group.
We now have legal reporting and are focusing our management reporting from legal entities into the factories. Using OneStream allowed us to create normalized data structures for proper bench-marking and advanced KPI reporting. So those are the two things we are mainly using OneStream for today: legal reporting and management reporting and we continue to make those processes better.
Q. What’s your take on the success to date for OneStream? What do you think the future holds for us?
A. I learn more and more about OneStream through our implementation partner, Agium. In fact, when Agium started with us they were still supporting two platforms: Oracle HFM and OneStream. Since then, they have dropped HFM because they are fully convinced about the power of OneStream. All of their customers are now linked to the OneStream platform. I am seeing that OneStream is continuing to gain nice customers in their portfolio. It’s clearly an indicator that something is going well!
Q. What are your future plans for leveraging OneStream?
A. I think the OneStream XF MarketPlace is for sure something that we have to investigate. We’d like to see what is available and how the tools could benefit our companies and users. We are doing our annual budget in OneStream but would like to create forecast scenarios or even multiple year plans in the system. The multiple year plan would be the potential next item to add on for our system. I can envision the power of doing it inside OneStream cubes. But for now, the XF MarketPlace is the one piece that we need to spend time exploring the potential it can bring to us.