Corporate performance management beyond the confines of Excel

Reporting, planning and analysis at a multinational group

The Julius Meinl Coffee Group makes an annual turnover of around €180m from the production and distribution of coffee and tea. Caterers benefit from all-in services, such as the provision and maintenance of coffee machines, so that they can offer their guests the perfect coffee experience.

Measuring performance independently of legal structures

The Julius Meinl Coffee Group consists of a domestic sales department, production lines and export divisions. By supplying products and services within the group, the 19 companies, which operate in 54 countries, are closely interlinked. To measure just the companies’ sales performance, the group management requires segment reports. These reports summarise business units, so the segments differ from the legal structure.

The limits of reporting in Excel

While SAP is widely used at the Julius Meinl Coffee Group, Excel played a major part in reporting. Stefan Mantler, Head of Group Controlling at Julius Meinl Coffee Group, says: “Once a business has reached a certain size, reporting in Excel comes up against its limits. With its replacement, we can now plan and produce reports more efficiently and set global standards in the group.” The solution with Corporate Planning is based on a data warehouse as the single point of truth. Since this requires access to the local ERP systems, these must be kept up to date and carefully maintained.

Transparency through informative reports

The Corporate Planning solution makes sure that the reporting system is clear and informative. Its function range extends far beyond that of Excel, including, for instance:

  • automatic translation of the local currencies into the presentation currency
  • mapping of several different charts of accounts onto a single group chart of accounts
  • assignment of the cost centres to profit centres
  • supplementary postings, such as IFRS adjusting entries and mark-up eliminations
  • net presentation of intercompany expenses and income

In order to visualise the figures and for storyboards to make them easier to follow, the Julius Meinl Coffee Group is planning to introduce CP dashboards with analytics by Qlik.

Integrated financial planning

In addition to the reporting, integrated financial planning, with OPEX, CAPEX, the planning of aged receivables and the calculation of DSO as well as other working capital, is carried out in Corporate Planner. The solution is also used for detailed budgeting and consolidation.

The managers have customisable input masks to assist them as they enter their figures during the four annual planning cycles.

Group-wide standards in corporate performance management

With the introduction of Corporate Planner, the Julius Meinl Coffee Group has achieved group-wide standardisation and harmonisation. For the group management, the precise insights into the companies and the transparency regarding local developments are more important than the time savings. Planning and reporting based on business units ensures that performance can be measured. And, over and above the optimisations in corporate performance management, the Corporate Planning solution enables the local decision-makers to identify more closely with the group strategy.