To install a manageable, accurate sales forecasting system that increases both efficiency and results and thereby enable Alliance to make better decisions aimed at meeting the company’s overall objectives.
IBM Cognos TM1 offers Alliance Laundry Systems a complete and secure database environment with the ability to capture complexity of multi-currency, produced vs. buy and resale, make-to-order and multi-branding strategy.
An overall improvement of forecast accuracy throughout the organization and fulfilment of organizational need for actionable information.
IBM Cognos TM1, a reliable partner for Alliance Laundry Systems “We need to move away from the Excel-driven environment we are operating in today”. That is what Wim Oversteyns, senior controller at Alliance Laundry Systems, declared at a strategic meeting end 2013. “All analysis and reporting were being done in Excel. We decided to look for a more secure environment and a new smarter system to enable our company to deal with significant changes in the business model“.
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Alliance Laundry Systems was founded in the early 20th century with the introduction of a revolutionary hand-operated wash machine to the market. Over the years the company evolved and became the number one player in the commercial laundry market. Currently Alliance Laundry Systems produces washing machines, dryers and ironers mostly for commercial and industrial use in over 100 countries worldwide. Its headquarters is located in Ripon, Wisconsin in the Unites States of America. The company is geographically spread across the globe and has facilities in amongst others Belgium, France, Norway, Spain, Czech Republic, Brazil, Hong Kong and China.
Elevating the role of metrics in a changing business environment
Merely a couple of years ago Alliance Laundry Systems was a very different organization from what it is today. “We were primarily an Excel-based company and used scorecards to compare strategic and operational plans to actual results. These overviews were used by managers and our sales force to see how the different markets were performing. As our company became more and more international, the different processes also turned increasingly complex. “In addition to this the business model of Alliance Laundry Systems changed dramatically. Whereas we previously sold own manufactured devices exclusively, the company acquired a new business and expanded the product line”, explains Wim Oversteyns. Alliance Laundry Systems’ structure became more complex and more difficult to measure. The change from a one brand offer to a multi-brand offer made it hardly impossible to constantly monitor the profitability in a proper manner. All of this triggered the company to seek for new solutions to tackle these barriers.
Rolling out a reliable forecasting system to gain time, control and confidence
“The impact of IBM Cognos TM1 on our business is invaluable. For the first time in history Alliance Laundry Systems’ sales directors and financial officers can link, in real-time, actual performance results to planning, budgeting and forecasting processes. Moreover, the implementation of the IBM software had an impact thought the whole organization.” Wim Oversteyns: “We have not only improved our sales forecast reliability top-down but also from the bottom-up. Thanks to the new software we gain a better comprehension of the financial figures and can interpret them at any given time. We also receive more reliable sales information, more in depth information on the different markets and thus a better understanding of material resource planning. All of this helps us to better plan resources and requirements.” Successfully implementing the IBM Cognos TM1 software within a company could be interpreted by some as a time consuming and difficult effort. The opposite however turns out to be true. “One of the ways in which we were most successful during this whole process, was in selling the application to our sales force. By introducing this new system we simply took out the burden of the old-fashioned forecasting process and made it less time-consuming while at the same time offering a more integrated and complete tool.”
For more information
To learn more about IBM Cognos TM1, contact your IBM sales representative, IBM Business Partner or visit: http://www.ibm.com/software/products/nl/cognostm1