CASE STUDY: Helm

Fast Facts
Industry :
Distribution
Location :
Highland Park, MI
Employees :
175
GL System :
Dynamics GP

“The time and costs savings achieved have more than paid for our investment in Centage and helped improve our day-to-day operations.”

“By automating the process and centralizing all the financial data across departments, managers now had the insight necessary to track costs and sales, and within the first year of using [Centage],
the company realized a noticeable reduction in costs.”

– Scott Lazenby, Senior Financial Analyst of Helm

Promotional Supplier Gains Significant Savings and Valuable Insights from Automating the Budgeting and Forecasting Process

Helm is a leading provider of customized branded merchandise, marketing fulfillment, and e-commerce turnkey solutions to some of the world’s largest and best-known companies. Established in 1943 and based in Highland Park, Michigan, Helm is also the nation’s largest provider of factory-authored automotive service and owner information. Helm supports its clients with comprehensive creative, marketing, technological and customer satisfaction services.

Challenge

For more than a decade, the financial team at Helm Corporation relied on Excel spreadsheets to manage the company’s budget. The manual month, end close process took nearly 10 staff-hours, and without an automated process to provide on-demand visibility into the financial data, management lacked the insight to make strategic business decisions quickly. Lorne Dubrowsky joined the company as CFO with a vision for a strategic future. He understood the limitations of relying on spreadsheets for budgeting and knew an automated solution was the only approach for success. After an industry-wide search, Dubrowsky chose Centage to ensure the accuracy, reliability, and flexibility needed to efficiently manage his budget and his team.

Solution

Centage’s solution was the only solution to truly meet Helm’s needs. After a few quick training sessions, Senior Financial Analyst Scott Lazenby and his team were up and running on the user-friendly system and began seeing improvements in efficiency and productivity immediately. “By automating the process and centralizing all the financial data across departments, managers
now had the insight necessary to track costs and sales, and within the first year of using [Centage] the company realized a noticeable reduction in costs,” Lazenby said.

Benefits

In addition to automating the budget process, the financial team also deployed Centage’s reporting and analytics capabilities for formula-free dashboards and financial reporting. By seamlessly extracting data directly from the company’s Microsoft Dynamics® GP system, it eliminated the need to handcraft formulas and avoided the inconsistencies of a manual reporting process.
Month-end reporting that previously took 10 hours to execute was now done in less than an hour. This time savings frees Lazenby and his team to focus on more strategic initiatives.

Unlike other budgeting and forecasting solutions on the market today, Centage has an extensive library of ready to-use reports, and Helm also relies on customizable reports to check the financial pulse of the business at any point in time. With just the click of a button, Lazenby and his team can create customized reports in real time to meet the needs of key stakeholders in the
organization. Centage Corporation’s service team was also instrumental in providing unparalleled support to help Lazenby and his team serve as a strategic partner to management.

“By relying on Centage to streamline our budget and forecast process, we are at an advantage, with the insight necessary to drive better decision-making and gain efficiencies across the organization.”