Part 2: Golden State Foods Extends Planful to Scale and Accelerate Operational Planning Efforts

Golden State Foods is a leading global foodservice supplier that feeds 1 billion people every day! For their FP&A team, they had long ago replaced slow, manual consolidation, budgeting, and reporting efforts with the more nimble, insightful capabilities of Planful. But, they soon found their operational planning process struggling to keep up, so they extended the same Planful speed and insights out to the business.

A taste of Planful speed fuels FP&A’s hunger for more.

50% Time SavedIn Quarterly Business Review Preparations
3 Days SavedEach Monthly Close

Speed Makes Delays Hard to Swallow

Using Planful, Golden State Foods (GSF) had cut nearly 3 days of monthly effort, while adding speed and consistency to their financial processes. But that speed soon outpaced FP&A operational planning.

“We relied on Excel to build and analyze budgets, as well as conduct our quarterly re-forecasting. The re-forecasting process in spreadsheets was long, and consistency was difficult,” said Lauren Bissell, FP&A Continuous Improvement Manager at GSF.

“With constant changes in the business, it was just too time consuming to maintain and scale.” Any change in the business caused a ripple effect of editing spreadsheets and budget models. The long planning and budgeting cycles also limited visibility into the business, which slowed strategic decisions.

Planful Delivers on Time

So, the firm engaged KeenVision, a Planful partner, to help guide the way. The firm specifically wanted an engine for financial consolidation, the ability to configure journal entries and eliminations, capabilities for minority interest and reclassifications, and templates for adjustments and validations. For outputs, they needed the ability to quickly create consolidated financial, management, GAAP, and board reports, and do it quickly, without much human intervention, and with high accuracy. And, they wanted to standardize financial processes across the business, including monthly close and consolidation, financial reporting, and actual vs. budget reporting.

Working with KeenVision, the firm found a solution to all these requirements, and more, in Planful. The platform’s bidirectional integration capabilities gave the company access to data from each entities’ ERP, CRM, spreadsheets, and legacy financial tools to create a single source of financial truth. And, with the powerful reporting, close and consolidation, and planning capabilities, they were quickly able to move their company-wide financial consolidation process onto a modern, cloud-based platform for growth. The firm also used Planful to take control of budget vs. actual reporting and gain more visibility into actual results and performance.

FP&A Gets a Buffet of Value

With Planful, GSF now has an end-to-end FP&A solution that’s flexible and powerful, allowing unstructured and structured planning to come together, keeping the team nimble and prepared. Complementing an annual operating budget with a streamlined re-forecasting process within Planful has provided a familiar, yet evolved planning experience.

And, while that unstructured nature was daunting at first, working with KeenVision gave GSF the confidence to budget, plan, and model more efficiently. “We don’t have to rely on the businesses to provide information because it is accessible through Planful, and our business leaders can easily see budget and forecast information,” Lauren explained.

“Planful helps us save time and increase transparency, and that enhances our value and strengthens our relationship with our global business leaders.”

Key Benefits

  • 50% time saved in quarterly business review preparations, from two weeks every quarter to one week.
  • Transparency, faster answers, and a more responsive FP&A through automated data collection.
  • More agility to keep up with an accelerating business and requests for financial insights.
  • Significant reduction in stress, anxiety, and late nights from easier collaboration with Finance and Accounting teams.

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