.Prophix Roadshows in Charlotte, Washington, Boston, New Haven and Philadelphia
Following up on our success with similar events in the first half of the year, in October I joined Prophix’s regional managers and solution engineers in five major cities. We hosted events at local restaurants to highlight the impact of automating budgeting, reporting, and forecasting, and improving executive decision making. Attendees were treated to interviews with Finance innovators from numerous companies. Here’s a look at some insights from those innovators.
In Charlotte, North Carolina, we spoke with David Whiteman, Manager of Internal Reporting at Snyder’s-Lance, a new Prophix customer. With annual revenues of $2.3 billion, Snyder’s-Lance, Inc. is the second largest salty snack maker in the United States. The company makes the Synder’s of Hanover pretzels, as well as Cape Cod Potato Chips – and earlier this year, the organization acquired Diamond Foods, which makes the Kettle Brand of potato chips. David explained how Snyder’s uses their Prophix solution to run complex allocations that help them understand the profitability of all of their products and assess the performance of their independent distributor network. Eventually, they will analyze distribution down to the store level, which will enable them to adjust and track their distribution routes.
Washington’s event saw us interview Brandy O’Shields, VP, Data Governance Lead, from National Cooperative Bank (NCB). Longtime Prophix customers, NCB addresses the financial needs of an underserved market niche, providing comprehensive banking services to all types of American cooperatives. Brandy spoke about addressing the unique challenges of the banking industry. For instance, NCB generates liquidity reports using numbers that flow from their NetSuite general ledger software through to Prophix. This shows them their cash position, total assets, and deposits. The organization’s treasury department accesses these reports daily to make funding decisions, like whether to purchase investments, to borrow, or to pay down their borrowing.
In Boston, we saw an amazing contrast between an experienced customer, Harvard Management Company (HMC), and a brand-new implementation, ALKU Technologies. Matt Meehan told the crowd how HMC, which manages the celebrated university’s $37 billion endowment, uses the software from Prophix to help manage expenses, oversee the corporate books, review actual versus budget compensation, calculate bonuses, and build their budgets. It was interesting to hear about the company’s phased approach to building out this functionality over the years, whereas ALKU, a specialized consulting services firm, is just getting started. Jon Martel, ALKU’s Accounting Manager, explained how his organization has begun to automate the creation and distribution of a 30-page report binder, which includes advanced revenue reporting that will help influence the decision making for ALKU’s sales and recruiting leaders.
New Haven’s event featured a conversation with Robin Sheridan from Criterium, which specializes in running clinical research trials for pharmaceutical companies. Criterium are currently undergoing their first budget cycle with Prophix. Their unique business model suggests that they’ll have a fascinating use case in time. Companies use CPM software from companies like Prophix to track their revenues and expenses at the detailed level. This capability will be essential for Criterium; the company needs to account for 90% of their revenue because most of it gets billed back to their pharmaceutical clients. So not only does the company’s Finance Department need to record every activity, they also need to track milestones and ensure that their billings align with their client contracts.
In Philadelphia we spoke with another new customer, Colt Templin, Manager, Budget & Financial Analysis, from UPMC Insurance Services. With $7 billion in annual revenues, UPMC runs one of America’s fastest-growing health plans. Colt explained how he uses Prophix’s business modeling function to correlate the Insurance Division’s expenses with the Provider Division’s revenues. He also oversees a personnel budget consisting of 3,000 full-time employees, the oversight of which involves approving or denying the recruitment of new positions or replacements, dependent upon budget capacity. Personnel planning is a common function used by Prophix customers, but it’s compelling to hear how this impacts a business like UPMC Insurance Services in the real world.
Keep an eye on the Prophix website if you’re curious to hear about upcoming events with standout customers. We’re heading back onto the road in February and March of 2017, bringing our Prophix roadshows to a city near you.