Board Review

Streamlined our processes, and everyone sees the same numbers


What is our primary use case?

Mainly with our sales forecasting, cost-center budgeting, and financial reporting. We implemented last September, and had some startup issues, but that's normal. Since we ironed those out, it's been working pretty well. 

We went live with our 2018 sales forecast. We're just starting our first revision of that annual budget. There is a little bit of work to get that going, but that seems to be working well. And we're getting in the various reporting for the different business uses. So, so far, so good.

How has it helped my organization?

It has sped things up - since we never have enough time to get things done. This has streamlined the process. Before, sales was doing Excel spreadsheets, and then we were putting that in a forecasting system. This, on the other hand, is all direct, and we can report right from it. Then we're loading actuals in, so it's a much more streamlined approach.

What is most valuable?

Having one version of the truth. And we're tracking each revision, so we can say, "Okay, this is what you said, and now it looks like you're coming down or you're going up. You need to explain why." It's good that everyone sees the same numbers and can see what we're seeing. It makes things a little bit easier.

What needs improvement?

We, and finance and accounting, use the client more, where everyone else is on the Web version. Going between the two makes it difficult sometimes. But nothing you can't deal with.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've had a few little issues. We adopted the cloud version, we were something of a guinea pig for them. They've had a few issues that they were able to work out. But overall, it's a few bumps here and there, but it seems to be working well now.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is very good. We went away from our old system, partly because it had been life-cycled. But we always had issues with the size. We tend to budget at a detailed level, SKU-based, with all the customers. And we ran into limitations on what we could do. Where with BOARD, it seems, we have even expanded what we do, and we're not having any issues with response time and the like. It should be able to satisfy our needs for the coming years.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We were using Datum, I think Cognos bought them, or IBM. It reached its lifecycle, and they were reviewing, I think it was their TM1 system. We did a whole RFP, and had several vendors, from Oracle and BOARD and the TM1 system. We did a whole analysis and BOARD came out the winner.

We chose it for the usability. It was a lot easier to see the process and have the users involved. It was more collaborative, they felt it's their ownership as opposed to our trying to push that. So at least now they have the tools to make that easier for them. 

Again, it's our first go-around, so we're still working out the kinks. And there are complaints, but with anything new, that's always the case. Salespeople like to complain.

The most important criteria when selecting a vendor are financial stability and a company that is looking toward the future and taking advantage of the new technologies. Our old solution, they life-cycled and they weren't really supporting that system and they had moved on. BOARD continues to grow and develop, and understands the needs of dynamic organizations, and seems to adopt their product to that. So it seemed like a good fit.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the IT setup, but setting up what and how we wanted to report, I was involved with that. It was pretty straightforward. Just getting used to the different way the BOARD handles things, as opposed to our previous systems. Nothing that difficult; just getting used to things.

What other advice do I have?

I would tell colleagues to give this a good look. The setup may be a little bit more time-consuming, and understanding how everything works together. But longer term, it will probably save in the end. I don't have to be looking for other bolt-ons, it covers everything. So I would say that's probably the best advice. You may need more than one other solution, where with this, I think it will cover all your bases.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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