At a glance
- High data volumes were inevitable for a wholesale brand serving 30k brands and 300k retailers
- Excel was such a burden that reporting wasn’t granular enough, meaning they couldn’t be easily distributed to the right people
- Implementing Pigment instantly transformed finance’s collaboration with other teams
- “Financial tools are often complicated for new users, but Pigment was the opposite.”
- Huge time savings for the finance team means they can add more value without adding headcount
- Pigment’s multidimensionality and granularity means they can get better insights to help them plan more confidently for the future
Excel was a huge barrier to collaboration, insight and transparency
Wholesale provider Ankorstore serves over 30k brands and 300k retailers through their marketplace. This means the amount of data they have is vast, and they need to be able to cut that data in different ways at the push of a button in order to get the insights they need for decision-making and forecasting.
But with their data in Excel and Google Sheets, this simply wasn’t possible.
In fact, not only were they not sharing reports with all the relevant stakeholders because of the spreadsheet limitations, but they were limited in what they could effectively produce at all. For example, they were only running forecasts for cash flow, and their global P&L was nowhere near as granular as they wanted it to be.
Building the FP&A function at Ankorstore meant the team could start breaking down some lines of the P&L and reporting by country, but they didn’t want to be in the position of having to add headcount every time they wanted to achieve something new. They also needed to improve the granularity of their analysis, as well as create a single source of truth for analysis and distribution of the data.
Instead, they wanted a solution that would help them achieve the granularity and transparency they wanted while scaling their existing team and opening up their bandwidth. This would allow them to collaborate more effectively with the relevant stakeholders and build a source of truth for their growing financial dataset.
Creating a scalable model for an ever-evolving business
After exploring other options available, it became clear to Ankorstore that Pigment was the only platform that would offer the level of flexibility they required due to our multidimensional approach to data modeling.
They also needed a highly collaborative tool, allowing them to work seamlessly alongside stakeholders to consolidate data and generate insights.
For the implementation itself, it was crucial to the Ankorstore team to work directly with Pigment to develop a process and environment that they understood and could own moving forward. That autonomy would allow them to adapt and evolve with the business without being overly reliant on an external provider or expert to make changes.
Scaling the finance team through more efficient processes and collaborations
The most immediate improvement Ankorstore saw post-implementation was in their collaborations. Key stakeholders were invited into the platform to contribute and get their insights, like country managers who view their cut of the P&L in Pigment, and the HR team who now have a real-time view of the people cost. Business unit directors also access Pigment directly for budget vs actuals insights, with actuals data coming from Payfit.
Even for those who aren’t in Pigment, or have questions that go beyond the scope of what their environment has been built for, the finance team is still able to get quick and accurate answers for them.
And then there are the monthly reporting packages for leadership, which previously took a full week in spreadsheets to consolidate the data, format it in a usable way, investigate variances and trends, and add commentary. The same process takes just 30% of the time it used to now that all the data is available in Pigment.
This means the finance team has been able to scale their own time, allowing them to both spend more time on strategic commentary and investigation, and to avoid adding to their own headcount when they want to take on new initiatives. The team is now able to operate in a lean and agile way while adding even more strategic value than they did previously.
Deep diving into the past and present to create a better vision for the future
But the benefits for Ankorstore go far beyond collaboration, as valuable as that is. Pigment has enabled them to build out their models in a scalable way. This means that as they take on new retailers and brands, or expand into new markets, they’re able to adapt easily and start generating forecasts and insights right away.
Because of the multidimensional structure, Ankorstore is now able to deep-dive and drill-down in a far more granular way than they could in spreadsheets. It means their investigation is more comprehensive, their analysis is more complete, and their recommendations carry even more weight.
Pigment has created a single source of truth within Pigment for Ankorstore’s financial past, present (both anticipated and realized) and future, allowing every decision maker to work from the same inputs and assumptions and make data-driven decisions more confidently.