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Rendine Saves Time with Spreadsheet Server

22 05 Cs Rendine Case Study

Rendine Constructions is a second generation, family-owned company in Geelong, Australia. It began in 1973, as a small carpentry subcontractor before transforming into a multifaceted commercial and civil construction builder. With an established maintenance and emergency management division delivering first-class constructions throughout Victoria, Rendine creates municipal and community buildings.

In 2017, Rendine delivered the region’s first construction hub where it offers engineering, design, civil and construction services. Now, Rendine’s 43 staff boasts a collection of expertise rarely found within a singular construction company, defining it as a leader in the industry. Rendine’s push towards business information modelling to improve industry intelligence and streamline processes has led to advancements in its technical capabilities and its move into the world of modular building.

Rendine Streamlines for Growth

Meeting a demand that Australia didn’t know it needed, Rendine has become the go to company for portable buildings. These building support the major institutions of Australia, including schools and sports pavilions. This innovative method of construction is proven safer for its customers with work done away from children and athletes, the frames are 95% prebuilt at Rendine’s construction hub before moved to their destination.

In 2015, Rendine implemented Viewpoint Vista, an industry-leading construction enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. The ERP provided reporting of critical financial data with visibility and control.

But as the company grew, so did its need for smarter data. Colin Drain Finance Manager at Rendine says his role has expanded since he joined, now working with three account assistants.

“My role has grown enormously since I joined because of the number of different contracts that we are running at any one time as well as the size and complexity of those individual projects.”

With Rendine’s growth, Drain and his team struggled with a lack of Excel friendly reporting. What Rendine needed was a tool that could make the data work for Drain’s team.

Focusing on More Important Business

Rendine needed a tool that would allow it to:

  • Close Its Books Faster. Rendine needed to connect to its live ERP data from inside Excel. The Finance team wanted the ability to quickly create custom reports and get a jump start with pre-configured queries from management. There was a need to drill down to see the data behind the numbers and get instant answers to critical business questions. 
  • Streamline Reporting for All Their Data Sources. Rendine sought to bridge the gap between its company data and insightful reporting by combining its general ledger and non-general ledger data from multiple platforms in a single report. Rendine needed secure access to data from within Excel and the ability to create real-time financial and operational reports.
  • Make Reports Designed for Finance. Drain’s team required a fast, flexible, and intuitive solution purpose-built to meet their needs. Ideally, the team wants to be able to easily create reports themselves without relying on IT or expensive consultants.

Rendine found its reporting solution in Spreadsheet Server. insightsoftware assisted with its implementation and Rendine was quickly up and running.

With Spreadsheet Server’s self-serve custom reports, ability to connect data from multiple platforms, and automated preparation of data, month end close is now as simple as a click of a button for Rendine.

“As soon as the all the invoices have been posted and we want to close off for the month, all I have to do is refresh the data and let the project managers know that the costs are up to date,” said Drain. “Then they can start their preparation for monthly review.”

Spreadsheet Server Streamlines Rendine’s Reporting Process

Time Better Spent

One of the biggest wins for Drain is the time his team saves on menial tasks with Spreadsheet Server. At one time, Rendine has between 15 and 20 live projects on the go. This is a lot to juggle for a finance team with critical monthly reporting as a key part of their jobs. Spreadsheet Server not only speeds up the reporting process, it guarantees that the data is reliable.

“Every report that is automated is going to be time that you don’t have to check the data,” said Drain. “Implementing Spreadsheet Server easily saves us four to six hours a week.”

Easy Dashboard Communication for Decision-makers

Beyond the Finance team, there are always going to be report requests. Managers want to know what is going on in the company. For Drain, this means creating and extending reporting to the decision makers above.

“Spreadsheet Sever has helped massively with our directors who don’t have that in-depth technical knowledge,” said Drain. “They just want something that’s easy to view and understand. Now the finance team reviews the report, which then automatically goes to the management team.”

Rendine is like most midsized companies. Everyone wants one page that shows the status of their projects – which ones are on track, behind or over budget. Customers often have similar requests.

“We need dashboard templates to help customers and present them data which is coming from a variety of reports,” said Drain. “We can give them key metrics that they are looking for on one page. Just the essential data about the progress of their project.”

Further Functionality for Rendine

Rendine will continue exploring further functionality of Spreadsheet Server. Its goal is to eventually be able to self-serve by building and tweaking its own reports.

“We want to expand billing reports so we can look at contracts, values, variations, and things like aged debtors,” said Drain. “This would help us to tighten up our credit control. We’re working with the insightsoftware team to help build out new reports for this and we’ll be on our way.”

Exploring functionality is especially valuable for construction and once the report is set up its easy to reuse.

“There’s an easy functionality inside Spreadsheet Server. When you get into the operational side or profit and loss by project the data needs to be smarter. There will always be a job cost, a project cost, contracts and billing. Having a tool that speaks to everyone involved is key.”

Spreadsheet Server is a real time saver. Every report you automate is going to be time that you don't have to check the data.

Colin Drain Finance Manager

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