Carlisle Tire & Wheel manufactures tires and wheels used on lawn and garden equipment, golf cars, recreational vehicles, and boat and utility trailers for both OEMs and the replacement market. With manufacturing and distribution sites in such diverse places as the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Trinidad, and China, the company needed an easier way to collect and consolidate budget information every month.
For years, Carlisle Tire & Wheel used spreadsheets that were emailed or sent over a network to Carolyn Vassily, manager of general accounting at Carlisle Tire & Wheel corporate offices in South Carolina. Vassily is responsible for the consolidation of all of the company’s sites and serves as liaison between them and Carlisle Corporation’s corporate office.
Vassily knew, first-hand, that the budgeting process was frustrating to her staff and her users. Budgeting and consolidation were error prone and time-consuming. “The process was difficult to control and to change the budget during the year,” she admits. “We needed a centralized system that could grow with us, with the flexibility to allow us to handle our operating plan, four-month rolling forecasts, and analysis of budget and actual numbers. In addition, we needed a system that met our IT standards and could integrate with our existing consolidation and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.”
The company chose Comshare budgeting software running on a Microsoft SQL Server database to collect and consolidate its budget. Vassily and her team evaluated several products, including software from Adaytum and Hyperion, before choosing Comshare. “Adaytum’s product seemed too complex and Hyperion’s had a proprietary database. Comshare software had a familiar look and feel to our users because much of it is Excel-based. The software runs on a relational database and can be integrated with our ERP software,” attests Vassily. And, because Comshare’s consolidation software was already in place at Carlisle, there were no compatibility issues in transferring data to and from Comshare’s budgeting software.
“It was also essential that the selected software allowed for rolling forecasts, changing budgets based on actual volume levels, and provided us with advanced ad hoc analysis,” confirms Vassily. “Comshare could do all of that.” And Vassily sees the administrative design of the application as an added bonus: “I like the functionality and monitoring capabilities of the Comshare software very much. It’s going to definitely help me do my job better.”
Comshare’s centralized solution also makes the budgeting and analysis process more collaborative. “In the past, budget holders would submit reports without knowing when they would be approved or whether alterations would be made,” admits Vassily. “With Comshare, they’ll be able to see the numbers, check them against the plan, and notice any changes.” Using Comshare, budget holders can also view explanatory annotations for changes at any level.
As budget administrator, Vassily sees value in Comshare’s ability to handle complex information. “We produce a wide variety of products. Comshare can provide us with detailed information to assist in the development of our production plan, since we’ll be able to look at our history by product line. We’ll spend more time doing analysis and less time making sure the numbers are in and correct.”
With Comshare, automatic alerts notify users of exceptions or unexpected results in the data. This is a far cry from the way things used to be according to Vassily who says, “Using spreadsheets, there were discrepancies, or numbers would be in formula fields. Comshare gives me the ability to monitor submitted results. I can see immediately if something doesn’t match and can quickly receive resubmissions. Comshare speeds up the process and ensures more accurate results.”
In addition, Comshare’s analysis capabilities allow Vassily to evaluate alternative courses of action. “I can change views and look at whatever I want very easily. For example, I can move from looking at numbers to looking at sales with a simple mouse click. All I have to do is click on an item and the software runs the analysis for me.”
Comshare’s built-in currency translation also saves time and aggravation. “With spreadsheets, I’d have to bring in the division that is in Canadian dollars, create a spreadsheet that translated it into U.S. dollars, and then take that spreadsheet and include it in my consolidated spreadsheet,” Vassily explains. “But with Comshare, I just assign the currency unit and it knows how to do it for me. There’s going to be less time involved in maintenance and administration of the budget, and more time in analysis of it, using Comshare. budget holders will have more responsibility and ownership of their numbers. It’s going to be more efficient for everybody, and it gives me a lot of administrative tools that I didn’t have before.”
About Carlisle Tire & Wheel Company
Carlisle Companies Incorporated, parent to Carlisle Tire & Wheel Company, is a diversified manufacturing company with core strengths in rubber, plastics and friction technologies. The company’s concentration is on businesses that provide manufactured products to niche markets in which it holds a significant position. Its goal is to grow these businesses by increasing market shares, improving manufacturing processes and targeting new markets with expanded product lines in four major markets including: construction materials, automotive components, industrial components and general industry.
Carlisle Tire & Wheel is an industrial component company that manufactures small bias-ply tires as well as stamped and roll-formed wheels used on lawn and garden equipment, golf cars, recreational vehicles and boat and utility trailers for both OEMs and the replacement market.
Comshare is the leading provider of e-business software applications for management planning and control (MPC), which comprises planning, budgeting, financial consolidation, management reporting and analysis. Comshare’s MPC applications deliver business-critical information over the Web that can be used to make sound planning and management decisions. In business for 35 years, Comshare is one of the top independent software companies, with customers around the world, many of which are Fortune 500 and Financial Times Top 1000 companies. Comshare is a Microsoft Data Warehousing Alliance Platinum Partner, an IBM Business Partner, an Oracle Business Alliance Partner, a mySAP.com Software Partner, and a Hyperion Alliance Partner. For more information on Comshare, call 1-800-922-7979, send e-mail to email@example.com or visit Comshare’s Web site at www.comshare.com.
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