Reporting under pressure

CFO Stuart Whitney has been part of Invivo’s head office team for over seven years. Despite the amount of planning, forecasting and reporting required by the rapidly growing business and its stakeholders, he primarily works alone. The company uses Xero for its financials, Vinsight, a wine industry-specific system, for invoicing and costing, and previously used Xero apps for reporting and modelling.

“Because we're a small but fast-growing company,” says Whitney, “our board required more and more information, but we didn't have big system budgets. While the Xero apps I was using were great value for money, they were becoming unsuitable as our business became increasingly sophisticated.”

“I advised our board that given we are highly likely to be in capital raising mode again in future, modelling is critical, and we need a far more advanced tool to make it manageable. Furthermore, such a tool would help me provide the detailed information and reporting the board and our bank require.”

Stuart Whitney | Chief Finance Officer, Invivo Wines

But it wasn’t until Whitney worked on a potential private equity financed acquisition deal that the system issue became really apparent.

“I spent much of the year working on these potential acquisitions, which included very complex financial modelling, which was a very stressful process. While I managed to get through the due diligence, it was extremely challenging given the timeframes and the workload. Unfortunately, after all our work, the acquisitions fell through at the last minute – so, many months of work with nothing but the learnings out of it. However, I came away with the absolute certainty that the company and I both needed a far more powerful tool,” says Whitney.

A fast, informative and affordable solution

Whitney had heard good reports about Workday Adaptive Planning. He investigated the solution, sought peer feedback, and presented a case to the Invivo board for investment, which was agreed upon.

“Time was at a premium, and I liked what I saw and was confident in my recommendation. Adaptive was an affordable fit for us, and Fusion5, who I’d approached about the system, appeared a good fit as our partner.”

Whitney is more than happy with his decision. “Adaptive wins on two counts for me – speed and quality of reporting. I'm frequently re-forecasting or producing various financial models with multiple scenarios. With Adaptive, I can do them in a fraction of the time it used to take me, and the information that can be derived from them is highly valuable, and reports are easy to produce.

“I use Workday Adaptive Planning OfficeConnect for reporting. It’s a very impressive, flexible tool which allows me to quickly develop reports and simplify complex data, providing great information on the business for both our board and outside parties such as the bank or potential investors.”

Stuart Whitney | Chief Finance Officer, Invivo Wines

Whitney says Invivo is quite complex for its size with a mixed supply chain model. “We make our own wine, our spirits and some wines are made by third-party manufacturers, and the business comprises four companies – each operating in a different country using multiple currencies for buying and selling.  

“What's key for me is that Adaptive allows me to slice and dice the data to look at our actual results and forecasts from different perspectives, by territories, products, brands and more.”

As Whitney works by himself, gaining back time has been invaluable. 

“We’re a growing company, so modelling, looking at potential scenarios, is a never-ending process. When I look back at the many months spent working on the potential acquisitions, much of that time was entirely spent on modelling. I could have done it in significantly less time with Adaptive and made the process considerably less stressful and more informative.”

Stuart Whitney | Chief Finance Officer, Invivo Wines
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