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INSIGHTS INTO THE CHANGE PROCESS AT GENESIS ENERGY 

“WE USED TO HAVE A LOT OF IP SITTING IN PEOPLE’S HEADS. MINDFULL WAS ABLE TO EXTRACT INFORMATION FROM OUR PEOPLE AND PUT IT INTO THE SYSTEM.”

- Audrey Scheurich

 

 WHY DID YOU CHOOSE MINDFULL? 

A friend’s referral, reference checks and the presentation they made to us. Knowing Belinda had an accounting background gave us confidence that we weren’t going to get an IT view of the world. 

 

IN ONE SENTENCE, WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM YOU BROUGHT TO US? 

It was taking us a good three months to do a budget or forecast, so our idea was to put in a system that a) was a lot more robust and b) wasn’t reliant on particular individuals to get it all together. 

 

IN 3 POINTS WHAT DID WE HELP YOU DO? 

  • We had over 1000 spreadsheets. Mindfull brought all that together and now we’ve eliminated over 980 of them. 

  • It used to take us three months to do a forecast. Now we do one every month. 

  • We used to have a lot of IP sitting in people’s heads. Mindfull was able to extract information from our people and put it into the system. 


WERE WE MINDFULL OF THE TIMELINE? 

Mindfull had people working on weekends, they had people working overnight in South Africa and getting back to us in the morning. All that sort of thing to make sure deadlines were met. To be fair, we weren’t on time in the end, but Mindfull did respond when we needed to zip it up.

 
 
"We had over 1000 spreadsheets. Mindfull brought all that together and now we've eliminated over 980 of them."
 
 

WERE WE MINDFULL OF THE CONTEXT?

Genesis Energy recently went through the IPO Process. As part of that process there was a whole lot of work done around scenario analysis – What happens if we change the price path? What happens if we change the customer numbers? We’d create a version in Cognos TM1, make a change, and basically overnight we could rerun that scenario. Rather than taking us weeks and weeks to run those scenarios, we were basically doing it over a couple of days. It was a godsend.

 

WHAT ARE THE RESULTS OF OUR WORK?

As well as speeding things up, our business has a better understanding of what our forecasts are built on and what our key drivers are. Now we all work with one set of assumptions. Cognos TM1 has become the one source of the truth.

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK BEING MINDFULL MEANS?

Being ‘mindfull’ is about being aware of what’s around you and staying focused on the present.

 

WHAT ARE YOU MOST MINDFULL OF IN YOUR LIFE?

I’m ‘mindfull’ of being totally focused on a person, conversation or meeting when I am in it and not letting myself be distracted by phones, other issues, what’s going on outside and that sort of thing.

 

CUSTOMER PROFILE

Genesis Energy is one of New Zealand’s largest electricity and gas retailers with around 650,000 customers.

 

INDUSTRY

Electricity and Gas supply.

 

PROBLEM

Business used in excess of 900+ spreadsheets to do the Budgeting, Planning and Reporting.

The model was unmanageable.

The business was at risk.

 

SOLUTION

IBM Cognos TM1

 

RETURN ON INVESTMENT

Saving weeks of labour through the planning process resulting in a ROI of about 2 years.

Being able to do sensitivity analysis and scenario analysis without setup effort.

Being able to respond to Board of Directors requests within the expected time frames.

The ability to do full (detailed) monthly reforecasting.

Deliver monthly management reports within 7 working days.

Increased the efficiency of the highly skilled finance and accounting team by 35%.

Reduced document error risk by 95%.

Shortened their budget cycle from 12 weeks to 7 days.

Reduce the month end close process from 15 days to 3 days.

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Genesis Energy

Genesis Energy /

Utilities

GENERATING StreAMLINED repoRting

 

Meridian Energy is New Zealand’s largest electricity generator. Meridian Energy retails electricity to residential, rural and business customers through the Meridian and Powershop brands.

 


The Problem


Reporting at Meridian Energy used to be spread sheet-based. While this system worked, the organisation was becoming increasingly concerned about how much time they spent on reporting. The spread sheet system was growing larger over time, additional features were constantly added, and it involved a great deal of manual database extracts, says Kelvin Mason, Group Financial Controller at Meridian Energy.


The Solution


After evaluating a number of solutions Meridian identified IBM Cognos Express as the best fit, says Mason. Mindfull was chosen to deliver the solution. The first part of the solution to go live was a financial planning and reporting tool, followed by a Board Scorecarding application. Next, a Culture & Change (HR) application was rolled out. The company is just in the process of completing a Procurement reporting system, and a Retail dashboard application is also under development, Mason says.


Benefits Gained


The solution was implemented at the same time as Meridian Energy did its business planning and budgeting.


“We were getting fast results,” says Mason. “In the past, it would take two to five days to consolidate budget. Now we are instantaneously creating that consolidation and are able to be very quick on the analytics.”


The result – cycle-time has been cut-down immensely and the team is now able to focus on more important tasks.

The month-end reporting process has been cut from ten to four days, with a target to get it down to two days.


“It’s still the tip of the iceberg for us in terms of what this solution can do.”


Complete confidence in the numbers is also a big benefit.


“The ability to quickly look at the business in different ways has been outstanding.”


Future Focussed Reporting


Meridian’s shareholder requires it to produce annual budgets. This solution also supports the opportunity to move to a rolling forecast mode, with business unit owners being able to look at forecasts, budgets and actual expenditure in real-time. The solution is helping Meridian Energy to move from historic to forward-looking reporting. Instead of spending time looking backwards and creating reports that show what happened in the past, the organisation can run scenarios to model what a future outcome could look like.


The MINDFULL Model


Mindfull has empowered Meridian Energy to be able to manage the system and make changes to it themselves, Mason says.


“The beauty of the Mindfull model is that they don’t want to trap us into an endless piece of consultancy, where they have to come back and design everything for us,” Mason says. “They have taken us along with them and enabled us to build the expertise in-house.”


“Mindfull has done a good job. It really has been a partnership. When they first approached us to tell us about the product it was never the hard sell, which is always appreciated from my point of view.”


“Right along the process they have been accommodating. They listened to what we wanted and came back with good, practical solutions to get to the right outcome.”


“The way they operated with our business was quite seamless. Their developers are not sitting in a dark room somewhere – these guys were onsite with us, interacting with us.”

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Meridian Energy

Meridian Energy /

Utilities