Iglo Group improves financial reporting and consolidation with SAP BPC 10.1

Iglo Group is Europe’s largest frozen foods company, with annual sales of €1.5bn. The Group produces, markets and distributes branded frozen food products in 12 markets across Europe and is a market leader in seven of these. The core brands, Birds Eye, Findus (in Italy) and Iglo, are synonymous with frozen food in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, France, Russia, Switzerland and Hungary, and has four factories across the UK, Germany and Italy.

The business challenge

Iglo Group’s SAP infrastructure lacked a flexible reporting tool to help quickly produce and analyse consolidated financial data at Head Office.

Weekly sales reports, and month-end and forecast data aggregation was done manually in Excel. Data was extracted from SAP BW and collated into separate spreadsheets for each country. These then had to be consolidated into a single file in order to create a reporting pack. The process was labour intensive and prone to duplication and error.

The system also lacked flexibility: it could take considerable time to produce new reports, retrieve historical data or process large amounts of information. The significant quantities of data involved also meant that spreadsheets were slow to open, manipulate and save. Meanwhile, new spreadsheets   had to be created weekly and monthly, requiring a great deal of storage – which came at a cost. Furthermore, the spreadsheets increased the risk of formulae errors and the possibility of different figures between Head Office and country.

“It was time to overhaul our reporting and consolidation system. We needed a powerful and efficient tool that would give the Finance team greater flexibility when reporting.” Philip Andrews, Head of FP&A, Iglo Group

Solution

Bluefin Solutions recommended a newly-released version of SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC 10.1). As a powerful Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) tool, SAP BPC 10.1 would give Iglo’s Finance team the capabilities it required to drive benefits in terms of:

  • Flexibility. It would provide the flexibility to make overlays to data where necessary to ensure it was complete and accurate. The adjustments can be inputted directly into SAP BPC, making the process less complex, and made visible to both Head Office and countries
  • Efficiency. An upload process can be created to allow Iglo to input financial plans, budgets and forecasts directly into SAP BPC. The existing system required IT to consolidate Excel data from each country and then feed it into BW. With SAP BPC 10.1, each country can input/upload its own plans into the system (at any time) to automatically produce a group consolidation. For the Actuals data, SAP BPC 10.1 is interfaced directly with the existing BW system and the data is pushed into BPC, avoiding unnecessary manual downloading and uploading
  • Format. Iglo’s Finance team wanted an Excel-based tool in a format they were familiar and comfortable with. SAP BPC has the EPM office add-in which allows users to input and report on data in Excel.

Process

Bluefin Solutions created a blueprint for the implementation of SAP BPC 10.1. This involved running a series of workshops in order to:  

  • Identify Iglo’s functional and technical requirements
  • Understand the day-to-day experience of the Finance team with the existing system
  • Document the solution to clarify how it would address Iglo’s challenges.

To ensure continuity, the team that ran the blueprinting exercise also carried out the implementation. Bluefin Solutions’ collaborative approach enabled Iglo’s Finance team to feed back at each stage of the implementation, providing valuable input as the solution was built.

“We worked with Bluefin to adapt the solution as the project progressed, making sure it would deliver exactly what we needed it to.” Philip Andrews, Head of FP&A, Iglo Group

Business benefits

The new, powerful, automated reporting tool has had several important benefits for Iglo Group, including:  

  • Reduction in the time taken to consolidate reports. The new, automatic month-end consolidation process is quicker, more efficient and less labour-intensive. Consolidation at Head Office in particular takes less time than before
  • Improved accuracy and support. Not only is the new system more accurate, it is more future proofed because it is based on a new version of SAP BPC. This means it will benefit from longer support time and as well as the newer HTML5 web UI. SAP BPC also offers Iglo the opportunity to develop further solutions such as total price variances (TPV) and statutory consolidation
  • Automated monthly consolidation and reporting. The integration allows Iglo’s Finance team to focus more on analysing financial performance, rather than collating information.

“The system really came into its own during a recent change of ownership. Producing three years of historical financial data proved relatively simple.” Philip Andrews, Head of FP&A, Iglo Group

Why Bluefin Solutions?

“Bluefin has a strong track record of delivering SAP BPC projects. The Bluefin team demonstrated a good understanding of Iglo’s operations, processes and challenges. We were also very impressed with the calibre of the Bluefin team – particularly their project management capabilities and technical knowledge.” Philip Andrews, Head of FP&A, Iglo Group

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