Decentralised sales and cost management

Performance management practice in brief: HKL Baumaschinen GmbH

We are working in ever larger networks. Close collaboration within a company is a key success factor in the digital age. This is particularly the case when it comes to corporate performance management. However, those who wish to raise their planning, their analyses and their reporting to a whole new level must first ensure that the technical prerequisites that enable users in the various divisions to work together effectively are in place. HKL Baumaschinen GmbH has done exactly that – and its management is delighted. “We have created a platform of transparency that has been well accepted by the staff, as all 250 users are now talking about the same figures. This has provided us with a faster flow of information and improved our understanding of the costs,” says Danny Claußen, Head of Controlling at HKL Baumaschinen GmbH. The owner-managed construction machinery sale and leasing business based in Hamburg, with its 150 profit centres and over 80,000 machines for hire, is the largest construction machinery supplier in Germany, Austria and Poland.

What was your starting point?

Claußen: The regional divisions, followed in due course by the individual profit centres, were each to be given self-service access to their figures. After all, our four-person central management team cannot examine every profit centre from all angles. We wanted to create some entrepreneurial spirit, which was why we gave the profit centre managers a tool for them to keep track of their own figures. They had previously always received them from their heads of department.

What were the highlights?

The solution has created transparency and brought us to the point where the staff with P&L responsibility can obtain the necessary information themselves at the touch of a button. We now have a much faster flow of information, so the profit centre managers can take countermeasures sooner. They have also developed greater cost awareness, as it’s already clear at the operational stage what’s going to cost how much.

What lessons have you learned?

The involvement of staff with P&L responsibility in the operational management of a decentralised business is a form of information policy that needs to be supported by top management. For the software to be well accepted among the staff, training is essential, in particular to sensitise them to how the corporate structure is depicted in the software. After all, we’re dealing with salespeople and not financial controllers.

About HKL Baumaschinen GmbH and the project


Topics: local cost management, reporting, financial planning

Sector: construction machinery leasing

Turnover: € 350 m

Employees: 1,350

Users: 250

Pre-systems: ERP system (Infor ERP LN)

You can read more about how software solutions for operational management, financial planning and consolidation are implemented and used in practice HERE.