This article first appeared on the OneStream blog by Lauren Ford
Even the smallest numbers in a balance sheet can have a huge impact on business. And properly analyzing financial statements is crucial when decisions are to be made. As the biggest buyer of petroleum coke in the world, Oxbow Carbon is a leading industrial commodity logistics company for steel, aluminum and other industrial manufacturing.
With offices in over 40 countries, Oxbow understands how important it is for manufacturing industries, power plants, companies and households to have the products and resources they need, when they need them. Yet internally, Oxbow was struggling to deliver business-critical financial information to stakeholders in a timely, accurate and efficient manner. That was until, they replaced their legacy Hyperion products with OneStream’s modern and unified platform.
The Challenges of Manually Moving Data
Before OneStream, Oxbow Carbon was using the Oracle Hyperion suite of products, including Hyperion Financial Management (HFM) and Hyperion Planning. Both products were implemented by outside consultants and anytime there was a business change – which was frequent with acquisitions and restructurings – it required a call to the consultant to fix and update the system.
The entire process was disjointed and inefficient. They were performing consolidations in HFM, moving the data over to Hyperion Planning for budgeting and forecasting, and then moving it AGAIN into another Oracle Essbase cube for reporting. Moving data from system to system involved a lot of maintenance and overhead. Oxbow was ready to implement a new corporate performance management (CPM) platform that provided a streamlined, seamless experience across financial consolidation, reporting, budgeting and planning processes.
Selecting a Modern, Unified Platform
Initially, Oxbow looked at all the typical software review sites including Gartner Peer Insights and Capterra. From there, they evaluated several products, but most systems were planning-specific solutions like Adaptive Insights and others. They needed a solution that did everything – and did it well – within one platform. It was an easy choice for Oxbow once they were introduced to OneStream XF. OneStream Software was the only provider to offer one single, unified CPM solution that could address all of Oxbow’s needs.
A Streamlined Approach to Financial Consolidation and Reporting
Oxbow initially implemented OneStream to handle financial consolidations – which was their biggest pain point. The deployment process took about six months with the last three months being a parallel close with their existing HFM system. Oxbow received different results from each system and was happily surprised at how obvious it was that OneStream had the correct data. Ultimately, Oxbow ended up moving over to OneStream quicker than the accounting team originally thought they’d be comfortable doing. Today, Oxbow Carbon is using OneStream XF for consolidations, budgeting, and long-term planning and reporting.
The benefits received with OneStream really exceeded Oxbow’s expectations. Best of all, the payback on the upfront cost was a very quick. It represented a material annual savings in terms of maintenance payments, including using the outside consultants to make fixes or upgrade the environment – that’s tens of thousands of dollars every year. Oxbow experienced a huge cost benefit analysis just on the dollars, not counting any of the actual efficiency improvements received. Oxbow’s finance team is now able to deliver better reporting to their executive team that’s led to faster, more improved internal decisions about deploying resources and which businesses to focus on.
Future Plans for Oxbow
As an organization truly global in presence, Oxbow is thrilled to have OneStream in place. With consolidations, annual budgeting, account reconciliations and long-term budgeting and planning now live, up next Oxbow will explore building additional dashboards to deliver more visual representation of data to senior managers. OneStream is easy to use, well-structured and has unified all of Oxbow’s processes – the future possibilities are endless.
Learn more about how Oxbow Carbon modernized finance with OneStream! We invite you to hear directly from their SVP of Strategy and Performance, Brian Bilnoski on the benefits of replacing Hyperion with OneStream. Click to watch the video testimonial and contact OneStream today to schedule a demonstration.
Photo by Erol Ahmed on Unsplash