Reporting Across Projects
Taylors International Services, Inc. provides life support services such as food service and catering, camps and housing, emergency response services, and safety services for the oil and gas industry, defense, and government. Taylors has earned a reputation for dependability, quality, and value among both offshore and land-based customers through the simple philosophy, “You do what your company or organization does best and Taylors will look after you while you are doing it.”
Using FRx Became Too Time Consuming
Taylors has several subsidiaries which it accounts for in separate Microsoft Dynamics GP companies. In addition, Taylors has sophisticated job costing which it executes in GP. Consolidating the company databases and running reports in FRx had become a really time-consuming chore that bogged down the Dynamics GP software. They needed a solution that would enable them to maintain the detailed reporting while providing flexibility and reducing the time and effort to consolidate data and produce reports.
Complete and Easy to Use
Taylors chose BIO Business Intelligence for Microsoft Dynamics because of both its ease of use and superior out-of-the-box content. “BIO is not only more efficient, it makes us more efficient. It’s really easy and quick to set up new reports,” states Jamie Tarpley, Executive VP and CFO at Taylors.
Tarpley and others from Taylors looked at all of the solutions available at Microsoft Convergence, a conference and expo dedicated solely to Microsoft Dynamics and related technologies. They were impressed with BIO’s out-of-the-box analytics as well as how easy it is to create and modify reports and drill down to transaction-level detail when analyzing the data.
BIO Today at Taylors
BIO is used across the enterprise by accounting and finance, operations, and sales. BIO has given users a level of visibility into the numbers and the business that was previously unavailable. In the past, reports and special requests consisted of a series of iterative actions—make a request, export data, run a report, review the report, determine what else is needed, make another request, run the report, review the report, etc. Now users have self-service access to the data, saving time and eliminating frustration.
The accounting department uses BIO to produce financials, including not only traditional P&Ls and balance sheets, but to also produce a P&L for every project. Projects very often cross geographic subsidiaries—a ship may pick up from Mexico and go to Brazil—and, therefore the reporting needs to be run across Dynamics GP companies or databases. Today users can run these consolidated reports without having to know where the original data is located.
Operations personnel are more focused on analytics, analysis, and operational issues. They will, for instance, look at analytics like food cost per person per day compared to budgeted numbers. If those numbers look suspicious, they can drill down to transaction-level detail to see what is causing the variance and determine if it is a coding error, an operations issue, or a charge that is not included in the contract and should be rebilled to the client. Operations users are able to call up up-to-date project P&Ls during a meeting and resolve issues on the spot.
The other major group of users is the sales department. Sales managers are more concerned with client profitability, looking at revenues and margins by contract. IT created the initial sales reports and then the sales people can access them any time they want for up-to-date results. Then they can modify the reports to look at whatever they need to see. According to Tarpley, user feedback is extremely positive. They learn to use BIO easily and enjoy the freedom of self-service reporting and analysis.
Efficiency and Accessibily
BIO has cut at least two days off of the monthly reporting cycle. Creating reports in BIO is more efficient as is the actual processing of the reports. The consolidation process is easier and faster as well. Further, users have instant access to the information they need. Self-service reporting gives them the data they need at their fingertips and BIO’s powerful ad hoc analysis capability lets them dive into any numbers, drill-down to the transaction level, and look at trends, variances, and anomalies. Tarpley says that BIO has been great to work with and “the savings we’ve realized in the past year far exceed the cost of the system.”
“BIO does exactly what we need. Next we would like to increase efficiency even further by creating a consolidating company to handle eliminations,” explains Tarpley. The company is also looking into increasing their shared custom views, including creating more dashboards.