Eliminating heavy reliance on IT for financial reporting was a key initiative for Recology, a waste management company serving communities in California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. As the leading independent employee-owned recycling and resource recovery company in the western U.S., Recology lives and breathes their WASTE ZERO philosophy on using resources wisely, only creating waste that’s required and finding ways to reinvent waste in environmentally-benefitting ways. But before upgrading their ERP system to a newer version of JD Edwards, their financial reporting situation was anything but efficient or eco friendly.
Evaluating reporting options with JD Edwards
Bruce MacKenzie, Manager of Financial Planning and Analysis for Recology, completed a full assessment of the company’s current systems and processes that showed they were using an obsolete ERP system. Due to its dated infrastructure, their JD Edwards version 8.0 required the use of MS-DOS to extract data for reporting. As a result, an inordinate amount of time, energy, paper, financial and technical resources were widely being wasted, completely contrary to the efficient WASTE ZERO approach Recology stands on.
The JD Edwards reports in version 8.0 were so inflexible to use that Finance would have to rely heavily on IT to create custom reports. By the time they got the reports back from IT, the numbers were out of date and Finance still had to perform data dump exercises to drill down to the underlying detail. So instead of Finance being able to concentrate on analyzing financial trends, the majority of their time was spent manipulating numbers. This meant delayed answers to business questions, which was frustating for their CFO and the senior executive team.
No one quite knew how to use the JD Edwards 8.0 system, except for a few long-serving employees. Many of the finance team didn’t want to learn it because we knew it was obsolete. We relied heavily on IT for our reports—not just at month-end, but on an almost-daily basis.” – Bruce MacKenzie
MacKenzie and his fellow teammates knew it was time for a change in their ERP and reporting process.
Upgrading to JD Edwards 9.1
Knowing that their way to efficiency started with their ERP, Recology decided to begin at the root cause. Aside from upgrading to JD Edwards 9.1, they felt they could dig a little deeper to clear things up with their data and reporting. The desire for a more sophisticated and user-friendly financial reporting solution was wanted by all. MacKenzie and his team decided to evaluate some options, starting with the stack offerings provided by the JDE ERP solution itself.
We liked some of the things that the other vendors had to offer, but we weren’t terribly thrilled with the ease-of-use, set up, or execution. And the lack of real-time data with certain products was a big hang up for us.” – Bruce MacKenzie
In efforts to find a more viable solution, Recology chose Hubble, an all-inclusive solution that integrated directly with their ERP. Hubble Reporting software empowered the Finance team to pull data in real time from JDE, leverage prebuilt templates or create their own custom reports, and eliminate the Excel export to have greater confidence in the integrity of their numbers.
Hubble reporting is easy to deal with, really easy to install and the training classes were great. Overall, it’s an intuitive product.” – Bruce MacKenzie
Moving forward with revolutionized reporting
Today, Recology has implemented Hubble Reporting across all of its Finance and Accounting functions. Anyone in those units can run their own reports without relying on IT assistance. Accountants and financial managers can add new features to the reports such as percentages and different columns, without any technical training. In addition, the company created a new folder and hierarchy structure so that locating saved reports is intuitive and simple, even for a new employee. Lastly, the reports translate and present well in a PDF format, eliminating the time (and paper) spent printing from the legacy system.
“It’s been a godsend in terms of productivity,” said MacKenzie. Other company functions have taken note. In fact, the Human Resources department at Recology has also decided to use Hubble Reporting for payroll and other services.“Tremendous value has already been achieved and we know there’s more to come.”
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