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.
HARDWARE PLATFORMS: HP Blade Server Class C and P, Windows 2003 server.
PROBLEM SOLVED: As a large international retailer, Delhaize Group faced the common challenges associated with operating on a global scale with multiple systems, including Excel, Essbase, PeopleSoft and SAP. We wanted to prove our ability to take business performance management (BPM) to the next level within international groups operating in highly competitive markets. We were looking for a solution to provide one integrated system for maintenance and consistency in our data. We needed a user-friendly BPM system to grow with us that incorporated reporting, consolidation and planning. We were unable to centrally integrate data from local general ledgers and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to allow local companies to run their planning and budgeting process in line with the corporate office. The group finance department needed more detailed insight into the performance of all entities to help focus on shortening reporting cycles and increasing ROI.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Cartesis 10 provides us with insight to facilitate and enhance our strategic business planning process and reinforce our performance analysis and budgeting processes at corporate and operating company levels. With new standard, structured, simplified information and processes, we have enhanced local business ownership and now operate with increased plan accuracy. We are spending less time reporting and more time analyzing, knowing we are working with a highly improved quality of information. Overall, we have been able to reduce our consolidation cycle by 20 percent, from five days to four days for completion. We used to spend an average of one to two hours for one consolidation. Now we can achieve full consolidation of five scopes in five to 10 minutes. Cartesis 10's core product functionality provided us with extensive benefits and an excellent foundation for wider deployment.
STRENGTHS: Cartesis's solution allows corporate finance to concentrate on analysis rather than on data capture. The solution is on track to reduce our reporting cycle time by 20 percent and remove the bottleneck caused by complex intercompany reconciliation processes at group level.
WEAKNESSES: We hope future versions of Cartesis 10 will provide additional tools for cube deployment and management on Analysis Services.
SELECTION CRITERIA: Delhaize Group was looking to secure a worldwide implementation of a BPM system to meet the strict requirements of our long-term BPM vision. First, Cartesis solutions are able to leverage Microsoft technology, the standard within the Delhaize Group, making it a better fit for us from a cultural and implementation standpoint. Cartesis 10 has the unique ability to deliver integration of all core BPM data and processes in a single integrated data model. With more out-of-the-box functionality than competitor offerings and a strong international consolidation engine, Cartesis 10 had lower maintenance requirements and a fast implementation timeline. Ultimately, Cartesis provided us with a final proposal with the lowest total cost of ownership, making Cartesis 10 the winning choice for our BPM future.
DELIVERABLES: Cartesis 10 provides our controllers at both corporate and local levels with extensive budgeting and forecasting reporting capabilities.
VENDOR SUPPORT: We've had a long history and strong partnership with Cartesis. Their commitment to our needs is reflected through their product support excellence and ability to go from proof of concept to completion of phase-one implementation in three to four months.
DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is well written and easy to understand.
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