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Power/mation Streamlines Financial Processes and Gains Insights to Better Serve Diverse Industrial Automation Customer Base

Power/mation is a high tech automation distributor of sensors, motion control, robotics, linear actuators, AC and DC variable speed drives, power transmission and torque devices, programmable logic controllers, SCADA solutions, operator interface panels, safety products, network and communications solutions, wireless solutions, connectivity, tension control, temperature control, panel components, machine vision, energy saving devices, and value add services.

With Adaptive Planning, Power/mation saves 100 hours of labor and improves data visibility and forecasting to power financial success.

High-tech industrial automation solutions, including smart sensors and robotics, are used by manufacturing organizations across industries. Any market-leading automation solution distributor must have the financial operations in place to meet the needs of a very diverse customer base. This is a reality that Power/mation Controller, Moni Mueller has used to guide her financial management decision-making in her 15 years with the company.

“Power/mation deals with customer in so many different industries that no one industry trend is going to impact our sales,” she said. “But on a regular basis we must keep track of our top 25 customers and their industries. Success for my company centers on the accounting department.”

In the past, Mueller was saddled with a complicated budgeting process that made it difficult do variance analysis or re-forecasting during the year. These factors encouraged Power/mation to work with IntuitiveTek, an Adaptive Insights strategic partner in Lakewood, CO, to modernize with a nimble and accurate cloud-based financial planning system from Adaptive Insights. Today, the Adaptive Planning system not only makes budgeting faster, but Mueller and her team easily upload actuals every month to clearly see where the company is year-to-date. Then, they can do what-if analysis to improve decision-making.

“Now, the whole budgeting process takes just 2.5 months. Using Adaptive Planning has saved us at least 100 hours of preparation time,” Mueller said. “And, forecasting in the past was based on so many assumptions that it didn’t have much meaning. But re-forecasting is something I do on a regular basis because data is so much easier to access.” Budgeting at Power/mation used to be a nightmare that involved working with 26 linked, password-protected spreadsheets for every department across four divisions in multiple states. It would take at least five minutes to just open the budget. Any time a new line was added to the general ledger, it caused potential issues because users could accidentally go into the wrong spreadsheet to enter data and overwrite formulas. And, once a year, 13 Accounting Department staff spent 10 hours keying in every line of the budget. Sales managers, who created budgets by sales rep, typically just roughly estimated what sales and growth margins might be for the coming year. There was simply little time for analysis or forecasting to help drive business success.

Improved financial processes lead to better decision making

Fortunately, new possibilities opened when Mueller received an invitation from IntuitiveTek, to see a demonstration of Adaptive Planning. It was immediately clear that the planning software would make it much easier to quickly access much more accurate financial information. In short order, Power/mation decided to hire IntuitiveTek’s knowledgeable consultants to implement Adaptive Planning, The project was successfully completed in just a matter of months, and IntuitiveTek experts still provide Power/mation with free Tier 1 support services. Mueller said, “It’s a big thing to me that IntuitiveTek is not just people setting up your system. They’re accountants who understand how accounting needs to be.”

Today, it takes less than three months for Mueller and her staff to create the budget in Adaptive Planning. Sales managers are also getting better financial planning results because they have the tools to import actual sales numbers into Adaptive and then create budgets by sales reps based on sales and growth margin projections that are much more accurate.

Beyond budgeting, now, it is easy to upload actuals every month into Adaptive Planning, determine where the company is actual year-to-date, and do re-forecasts with what-if scenarios to assist corporate decision-makers. For example, recently a board member wanted to know what an employee cost per year. Instead of combing through spreadsheets, Mueller simply went into the budget in Adaptive Planning, and with a few clicks, provided an accurate answer in just minutes.

“We’ve always used the budget to make financial decisions to better serve our customers, but because we have better information, we can decide whether to buy that piece of capital or hire an employee, or hold off,” Mueller observed. “With Adaptive, the data is so much easier to see. It makes a big difference.”

”We must keep track of our top 25 customers and their industries. Success for my company centers on the accounting department.”

“It’s a big thing to me that IntuitiveTek is not just people setting up your system. They’re accountants who understand how accounting needs to be.”

- Moni Mueller,
Power/mation Controller

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