REVIEWER: Jean-Luc Vanderbroek, corporate director of Financial Systems for Delhaize Group.

BACKGROUND: Delhaize Group, a Belgian international food retailer, operates in seven countries on three continents with approximately 136,000 staff. There are a number of food store formats across the regions, with a network of 2,644 stores in total, resulting in net sales and other revenues of about $19 billion in 2006. Delhaize's corporate finance department  supports the worldwide retail network with a clear reporting structure designed to provide maximum insight into financial and operational performance at all levels. Individual operating companies are responsible for their own planning and budgeting processes and need access to real-time comprehensive performance-related information.

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