From Excel to the cloud

Johannesburg, 15 Feb 2024
Improving operations with technology.
Improving operations with technology.

While the world moves into the fourth industrial revolution, many industries born hundreds of years ago have turned to technology to help improve their operations. From mechanised processes to sophisticated management systems, technology is enabling industrial businesses to become more efficient.

Among the most prominent of these technologies are financial systems. Unfortunately, many companies still rely on Excel spreadsheets to run their finances, as well as their planning and budgeting functions, making these processes more onerous and time-consuming than they need to be.

Fact sheet
Solution: Oracle Enterprise Planning and Budgeting Cloud Services
Industry: Timber products for mining
Provider: Futuresense
User: Timrite

When Timrite, a company specialising in timber products for mining, decided to modernise its financial processes, Futuresense provided a custom solution. Timrite needed to incorporate a number of different business areas, making an out-of-the-box solution unfeasible.

Timrite’s business includes forestry, timber mills and factories. The company’s products are sold from the factories themselves as well as through a sales and marketing division. Using Excel to manage all of this, Timrite ended up with multiple worksheets with numerous tabs feeding into one another. The worksheets were set up in different ways, making consolidation very challenging and allowing for a lot of human error. In addition, producing reports with relevant information for decision-making was a long and tedious process.

Timrite decided to invest in a system that could support its multi-location operations on a single platform that all parties could have access to, and chose Oracle’s Enterprise Planning and Budgeting Cloud Services. Since the company’s processes were unique, Futuresense custom built a solution using the Oracle platform, consolidating all of the existing data to create an income statement and all of its relevant accounts, as well as forms for Timrite’s specific reporting purposes.

“Timrite has back-end operations such as forestry and milling that need information such as tons sold, square metres sold, or metres sold per product. Using the old system, setting up a report of an actual versus budget income statement, took days of collecting and collating data. With the new budget system implemented, and with the data from all the spreadsheets incorporated into the system, a report that took three days to compile will now take mere seconds,” says Vivienne Rothman, EPM Business Consultant at Futuresense.

“Creating a custom solution like this can be challenging, but Timrite’s requirements were relatively simple. The biggest challenge was figuring out the company’s entity structure as well as the various views required, but once our team had a handle on that, the project was completed in a short space of time. Working with such a multifaceted business was really interesting, and we are extremely proud of the fact that Timrite’s finance team now has the opportunity to use their time more productively, instead of spending days putting a single report together.”

Rofhiwa Sigama, Timrite’s Finance Manager, adds that the company has seen immediate benefits from the implementation. “Our finance team now has the opportunity to use our time more productively (analysing the information), instead of spending days putting reports together,” he concludes.