News Column

Hastings Direct to gain greater financial control with a budgeting and planning solution from Advanced

July 2, 2014

ENP Newswire - 02 July 2014

Release date- 01072014 - Hastings Direct, one of the UK's fastest growing insurance providers, has gone live with IBM Cognos TM1 from Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced).

The planning and budgeting solution, which will eventually be used by around 40 staff when the rollout is complete, will allow greater control and transparency over spend. It will also support the company's ambitious growth plans which could see Hastings insuring one in ten drivers by 2020.

The TM1 project began with the rollout of TM1 to 10 staff in April 2014. The solution, which replaces the use of Excel spreadsheets for budgeting and forecasting, will be available to all 40 staff later this summer.

The new TM1 solution, which creates, plans and analyses budgets, as well as forecasts spend using sophisticated modelling, will offer fundamental support in the realisation of Hastings' growth plans.

Advanced, an officially recognised installer of IBM software since 1983, was selected by Hastings to implement Cognos TM1. The company was chosen after the implementation team impressed Hastings' management with its open and honest approach to costing and their positive attitude.

Adrian Hill, Head of Business Finance, Hastings Direct, says: 'From an early stage we were impressed with Advanced and felt that the company was more realistic with the costing.

'It was clear that Advanced viewed the project as a partnership rather than just trying to deliver a solution. It was more about taking us on a journey and explaining to us why certain things were being done.'

Once fully up and running with the new IBM Cognos TM1 system, Hastings' finance department will refocus its efforts on delivering a more transparent, streamlined and strategic financial operation to save the business money and trim wasteful spend. The company's finance team was previously spending around 80% of its time compiling Excel reports, while the new TM1 software will free-up the team's time, allowing them to concentrate on more value adding work.

TM1 will also be used by budget holders across the organisation, as the business seeks a more holistic and collaborative approach to its finances, while reducing its reliance on Excel spreadsheets for budget forecasting and planning.

Added Hill: 'Some of our Excel spreadsheets had become so large they could only be opened on one particular computer meaning there was quite often a queue to use the computer - which would then take 35-45 minutes to recalculate once data was added.

'TM1 will be a game changer for the business. As soon as data is entered into the system, the outputs can be modelled immediately and planning and reporting will be simpler and faster because of the reliability and accuracy of the data.

'One of the great things about having Advanced as a partner is the team's experience and enthusiasm to get the solution working, train the staff and iron out any problems. The Advanced staff we've dealt with have all been very professional with positive 'can do' attitudes.'

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Source: ENP Newswire

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