Dorel Sports Shifts its Bicycle Business into High Gear

Dorel Sports’ brands are well known to bike riders around the globe. A subsidiary of Dorel Industries (TSX: DII.B, DII.A), Dorel Sports is one of the world’s largest bicycle companies, and owns more than a dozen brands such as Cannondale, Schwinn, GT and Mongoose. Cycling is a fast-paced industry and innovation is a core value of Dorel Sports, not only in bicycle design but across the organization. In order to shift its financial reporting and analysis into a higher gear, the Dorel Sports finance team partnered with Planful to move away from reliance on spreadsheets and adopt a template-based system of record for standardized budgeting and quicker reporting and planning.


As one of the few global portfolio companies in the bicycle industry, Dorel Sports’ challenge was complicated by its global reach and multiple divisions and regions. Dorel Sports has regional offices in ten countries, does business with thousands of independent bicycle dealers around the world, international distributors in 100+ countries, and some of the largest retail chains in North America and Europe.

Dorel Sports’ CFO tasked Michael Lynch, Global Director of FP&A with conducting a comprehensive review of the tools and processes Dorel Sports’ finance department was using for budgeting and reporting. Lynch recommended increased levels of global standardization and controls, and migrating away from use of spreadsheets.

According to Lynch, “When spreadsheets arrived from all our regional offices, standardizing and compiling them into a single master was time-consuming. We wanted to spend less time on this and more time on analysis. We also wanted to streamline our reporting, which involved dumping data from our ERP system into spreadsheets. We needed a tool that would give us control from a centralized location and aggregate data quickly.”


Evaluating FP&A solutions, Dorel Sports narrowed it down to Planful and one other product. Dorel Sports decided that the other product would have been too complex and take well over a year to implement. Its price tag was also four times higher than Planful, not counting ongoing consulting fees that would be needed. Members of Dorel’s IT team vouched for Planful’s ease of implementation based on past experience. Flexibility and robust analytics were also key considerations.

“It was a pretty clear choice,” Lynch said.

"Planful is absolutely driving new insights. When the month closes we have reports in the hands of our CEO and CFO the next day, which they can take action on immediately."

Michael Lynch, Global Director of FP&A


With Planful live in mid-2017, Dorel Sports could more easily model plans and deliver a template-based system of record for standardized budgeting across its global regions, easily understandable to many stakeholders around the world.

“We can easily link revenue and inventory across thousands of SKUs in a reliable SKU-level budget,” Lynch said.

Dorel Sports was also able to cut a month from its budget cycle, freeing up more time for analysis. Dorel Sports has used Planful to transform its reporting and more easily generate rich, detail-laden reports that support better decision-making.

“Planful is absolutely driving new insights,” Lynch said. “When the month closes we have reports in the hands of our CEO and CFO the next day, which they can take action on immediately.”

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