REVIEWER: Sarah Holland, corporate controller for Xantrex Technology Inc.
BACKGROUND: Xantrex operates in high-growth segments of the advanced power electronics market, with well-established products and platforms sold to a diverse customer base in the distributed, mobile and programmable power markets. The company's enabling technology converts raw electrical power from any source central utility, backup power, distributed or renewable generation into high-quality electricity required by today's electronic and electrical equipment. Its knowledge and experience in advanced power electronics is helping to accelerate the commercialization of emerging power systems and solutions. A privately owned company with 650 employees and revenues of $110 million in 2001, Xantrex is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, with additional facilities in Arlington, Virginia; Washington, D.C.; and Livermore, California.
PLATFORM: Xantrex runs Microsoft Windows NT.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Xantrex Technology Inc. was faced with a noticeable lack of financial reporting capability. At one time, the company operated with six different financial reporting systems and six general ledgers until most of them were integrated into the standard GL. This challenge, coupled with the fact that Xantrex was involved in five separate mergers and acquisitions between October 1999 and April 2000, inspired the company to start looking for a single financial reporting solution that would enable its finance departments to streamline and consolidate Xantrex's financial reporting process. Today, using FRx Financial Reporting, Xantrex experiences a sophisticated, streamlined financial reporting application with enhanced business analytics capabilities that enables the company to create more consistent reports, as well as incorporate the financial data submitted by the recently acquired companies which are now part of Xantrex.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Prior to the implementation of FRx Financial Reporting, Xantrex's reporting capabilities were highly limited as it was too time- consuming to manually create any other management information. FRx Financial Reporting has been especially helpful for departmental budgets. Using FRx WebView capabilities, managers are now able to access departmental reports online in a better format and with more efficiency. The functions Xantrex has found in FRx Financial Reporting to be particularly useful include FRx Report Designer, which is used to design and generate comprehensive reports and reports for individual departments. The e-mail capabilities provide an efficient way to distribute reports to people based in other Xantrex offices. Users can then use the FRx DrillDown Viewer to drill down to transaction-level detail in reports without needing access to the general ledger. The link and chain reports enable the finance department to generate multiple reports simply by generating a single report. FRx WebView is used to distribute reports to key company executives via the intranet.
STRENGTHS: FRx Financial Reporting feels "tailor-made" to suit Xantrex's challenges. FRx Financial Reporting enabled Xantrex to make sense of all the financial data from the mergers. Xantrex has been able to make use of the specific product functionality to help the company make better decisions and deliver its financial reports with efficiency. The financial team now accesses its financials any time, any place.
WEAKNESSES: The product only allows selection of one output option per report at a time, and it is not possible to configure user rights and access to accommodate complex divisional structures.
SELECTION CRITERIA: Xantrex financial team members didn't look much further than FRx Financial Reporting. Some members of the department had previous experience with FRx Financial Reporting and were in favor of using the solution again to solve the challenges Xantrex was facing.
DELIVERABLES: Key deliverables include month-end financial reporting, variance analysis and management reporting.
VENDOR SUPPORT: When Xantrex implemented the solution, a representative from Epicor led the finance department members through training. After a short time, team members were proficient enough to be able to consolidate financial reporting systems and general ledgers, thus streamlining what was once a multifaceted financial reporting process. As users have grown accustomed to the product, all issues that have arisen have been quickly addressed by FRx Software support and Epicor support.
DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is helpful and easy to understand.
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