Loftness Relies on Budget Maestro to Address Specific Industry Requirements

ABOUT

A leader in the specialized equipment industry, Loftness is known for its productive and reliable equipment, built with exceptional quality and engineered for long-lasting reliability. Top land, vegetation, and agricultural management professionals from around the world rely on the Loftness Logix Line of equipment – grain bagging equipment, heavy-duty multi-crop shredders and windrowers, cutting-edge forestry and vegetation equipment, and professional-grade snow removal equipment – to increase efficiencies, saving customers time and money. The field-proven performance of the Logix suite of products for more than 650 customers around the globe is testimony to the company’s commitment to innovation, engineering excellence, and customer satisfaction

CHALLENGE

For CFO and Controller Dave Davis, automating the budgeting and forecasting process was critical to create efficiencies in the finance department. With a history of relying on Excel spreadsheets to manage the budget, Davis knew he needed to make a change to support the objectives of his growing organization more strategically. Like many manufacturing companies, Loftness was also faced with the specific industry challenge of requiring inventory balances on the balance sheet to reflect inventory built in advance of being sold. The new budgeting solution needed to reflect sales
and production forecasts and generate revenues and expenses based on this information. Without this visibility, Davis could not accurately identify what was needed from the operating line month to month. A new solution was necessary to build the budget based on unit sales and units produced and was critical to help grow the business.

SOLUTION

Having relied on Centage at his two previous employers, Davis knew it was the only solution with the flexibility to address his specific industry requirements. Through personalized and dedicated training services, the Centage team helped Davis customize his budget to capture the information needed to support business requirements and demonstrate the financial impact. With the solution in place, Davis can now develop a budget three months in advance to reflect inventory held and then sold, and changes cascade accordingly.

BENEFITS

Previously, Davis relied on eight different spreadsheets to develop a new yearly budget. Today, he is off and running with the click of a button. With built-in accounting rules and formula-free calculations, Davis can make changes without the fear of broken formulas and compromised data from year to year. What used to take more than a week now takes merely three days to complete, freeing Davis to focus on more strategic financial objectives.
By copying the original plan to create different scenarios and inputting planned capital expenditures to the forecast, Davis can change assumptions and immediately see the impact on revenue, expenses, and cash flow. Armed with this insight, Davis is empowered to offer key stakeholders valuable context around anticipated business decisions and their impact on the financial health of the organization. For example, by reducing the company’s bank operating line with confidence, Loftness was able to secure a low interest rate and provide an attainable and reasonable target for sales, production, and shipping. Meanwhile, as a result, the bank could lower capital reserves.
Personnel, often the largest expense at any organization, is difficult to manage in archaic and cumbersome spreadsheets. Davis now has visibility into specific wages per employee or department to better understand salaries, taxes, and benefits. This level of visibility provides a much more accurate portrait of wages than a spreadsheet-based process and empowers management to better understand the financial impact of its people. For example, production managers now understand the importance of always staying “right-sized” and that overtime can be more cost effective than hiring more employees. In addition, armed with accurate insight, Loftness has converted to a standard rate per labor hour that serves as a benchmark as production demand rises and falls.
Through ongoing training and support, Centage has consistently offered Davis and his team personalized and dedicated attention to specific business challenges and worked diligently to address key objectives.

FAST FACTS

Industry: Manufacturing
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Employees: 100
G/L System: Syspro

“With more than 20 years as a financial professional, I keenly understand the challenges a spreadsheet-based approach to budgeting and forecasting can present.”

“Having relied on Centage at three different organizations, it is the best solution I have found for manufacturing organizations to more easily and reliably budget and plan for the future. I trust Centage as an invaluable partner in ensuring the financial health of my organization.”

 

Dave Davis
Loftness
Manufacturing Company

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