Founded in 1989 by two Canadian West Coast rock climbers, Dave Lane and Jeremy Guard, Arc’teryx’s stated purpose “is to build the finest products possible.” Further, Arc’teryx proclaims it has built the company “on the principle of obsessive, precise design and production. Achieved by merging our unrivaled design and craftsmanship with the most advanced materials and constriction to create products that will perform at the point of extreme need.”
These goals leave no doubt about the determination of Arc’teryx’s leaders. For them, success must be defined by the flawless performance of every aspect of their business, ranging from producing “unrivaled designs”, acquisition of the “highest performing materials,” and assembly. Unsaid but implicit is the need for informed, disciplined management. It is not possible to have “unrivaled designs” without unrivaled knowledge of their customers and the competition. Nor is it possible to build “the finest possible products” without the highest level of business operations. And what would be the point of excellent plans if Arc’teryx did not also have the best customer service, distribution, and delivery? These elements all depend on excellent financial planning and performance management. And elite performance demands that Arc’teryx’s decision makers have unfettered access to complete and accurate information on-demand.
To achieve this goal, the finance team at Arc’teryx began by installing Prophix’s Corporate Performance Management (CPM) software—initially for budgeting. Today, the company uses Prophix to extract data from their ERP and general ledger systems in a way that enables robust, flexible analysis, accessible drill-down, and sales and financial reporting. This was simply not possible before. According to the organization’s Controller, Boyd White, slicing and dicing information about sales to develop accurate budgets and updated forecasts, “basically at the drop of a hat, in under one hour,” has become fundamental to making properly-informed management decisions that lead to critical marketing and financial actions.