- ABM needed a stronger data mining system and a more efficient reporting process.
- Its existing Jet Reports system had the functionality, and the team sought training with partner, Ujuzitech.
- By upskilling in Jet Reports, ABM achieved continuous audits and automated scripting of exceptions.
- Weekly management reporting time shrunk from 16 to 4 hours.
- 4 weeks of exception reporting work is now done in real time.
- With Jet Reports, visibility and accountability have improved company wide.
Associated Battery Manufacturers (ABM) was established in 1963 by the UK-based Chloride Group to produce batteries in Kenya for several British manufacturers including Chloride, Oldham, Lucas and Dunlop. In the early 1990s, ABM became 100 percent Kenyan-owned, and one of only a few battery manufacturers in Africa. It boasts a combined workforce of more than 900 staff who produce more than 1,400,000 batteries annually. Through its subsidiaries, ABM also offers power back-up, solar PV and water heating solutions in the East African region, selling over 100MW annually.
Mapping the Industry Model
Even though ABM has been established for more than 50 years, its business processes hadn’t yet fully modernized. With few others in the commodities industry to model their business after, it found data was being created, but not being mined properly.
“Finding the expertise that could properly map our processes and help us better utilize Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP has long been a challenge for ABM. This made things difficult for the internal audit team,” said Charles Ngare, Group Head of Internal Audit at ABM.
ABM set up its internal audit team in 2017. They found there was minimal real-time reporting from other departments, and most processes were manual and didn’t have a company-wide reach.
“We realized that we had data, but there was a limitation in the kind of reports that were available because users hadn’t clearly mapped out their data. This meant that the system wasn’t meeting our team’s needs,” said Ngare.
This led Ngare and his team to find a better reporting process for ABM.
Learning to Mine Data With Ujuzitech
Thankfully, ABM quickly realized that the solution was right under its nose. Its existing Jet Reports system had this capability, it just needed to learn how to use it.
“Initially Jet Reports was adopted by the finance department in 2013 to extract data from the system for management reporting. However, utilization of the tool was very low. Finance would run three reports at most, and they weren’t being used or shared,” said Ngare.
In 2018, the Internal Audit team underwent a quick and useful training session for Jet Reports with Ujuzitech and their data horizons opened. ABM’s internal audit team expanded the use of Jet Reports to better mine the data and produce smarter insights both within their team, and companywide.
“We really value and trust our partnership with Ujuzitech. Their hands-on approach to training gave our team the skills to work efficiently and autonomously.”
Smarter Internal Audit Reporting Process With Jet Reports
Armed with their expanded Jet Reports skillset, Ngare and his team are now able to audit company data more comprehensively. By leveraging the tool’s full capabilities, ABM can run:
- Continuous audits – an internal process that examines accounting practices, risk controls, compliance, information technology systems and business procedures on an ongoing basis.
- Automated scripting for exceptions – an automated alert of deviations from the expected data result.
“Jet Reports runs itself through the scripts and it’s able to send us emails every time there’s an exception within the ERP that goes against our control or a policy. This enables us to do continuous audits,” said Ngare.
These audit automations are essential to a thorough internal audit process, Ngare states. “There has been a large push in the audit industry toward automation. With Jet Reports, what used to take countless hours in the audit process, can now be done efficiently in real-time”
Jet Reports offers ABM fast, flexible audit reporting, so that Ngare and his team can:
- Cut reporting time and costs. The team at ABM can now explore data and create or modify reports on their own. Jet Custom data entities provided easy granular level detail unavailable in the standard Dynamics entities.
- Single source of truth. With complete report management, report automation, and a collaboration and publishing platform, ABM no longer faces siloed versioning and data that can’t be mined.
- Timely insights. ABM can now easily generate timely, accurate reports using the same fields and calculations the team is used to, right inside of Excel.
- Simple, self-service reporting. Now, when ABM employees need information, they can get it themselves, first-hand. Whether it be the audit team, finance, or management, everybody has been trained, so people can always access the right reports at the right time.
Jet Reports Boosts ABM’s Performance
Instant Audit Insights Creates Accountability
The purpose of an internal audit team is to preserve the health of the company. With Jet Reports, there has been more accountability across the company.
“We can quickly offer management insights on performance and what is happening within the business. We designed management information reports that are sent out on a daily basis, weekly basis, monthly basis,” said Ngare.
With automated scripting for exceptions, Ngare’s internal audit team can instantly identify problematic transgressions like fraud. This has led to a reduction in inventory shrinkage at ABM. Fraud used to take a month to identify in inventory or cash, but now is reported in real-time.
“Jet Reports helps us identify exceptions and instantly action them. This transparency and immediacy means everyone in the company is held to a higher standard,” said Ngare.
Time-Savings Keeps the Team Lean
Before Jet Reports, Ngare had anticipated needing more people to increase audit process efficiency. But by upping its audit ante using Jet Reports scripting capabilities, Ngare’s team experienced massive time-savings and can easily deliver valuable audit insights without the additional headcount.
“Weekly management reports used to take our team about 16 hours to do. When we started using Jet Reports and scripting exceptions, it now only takes our team about four hours,” said Ngare.
Companywide Visibility With a Single Source of Truth
All data available in real time and exists in one place, creating visibility across the company. Everyone can contribute and use the data as needed. The internal audit department can efficiently collaborate with the finance department, and management has direct access to what is going on inside of the company. No more waiting for someone to return an email with the required data report.
“We do not have to wait to ask finance about our performance, a report about the previous day is automatically sent first thing in the morning. And if you do not record your data, an executive will be calling the next day to understand why our production dropped the previous day,” said Ngare.
Jet Reports also offers outside the box company communication improvements.
“Our use of Jet Reports is not limited to auditing and reporting. It has been configured to automatically send birthday wishes and cards. This has had a very positive impact on relationships with colleagues and clients,” said Edwin Nyakuna, ABM Senior Internal Auditor.