This article first appeared on OneStreamsoftware.com
About Signode Industrial Group
Signode is a leading manufacturer of a broad spectrum of transit packaging consumables, tools, and equipment that optimize end-of-line packaging operations and protect products in transit. Signode brings this extensive product portfolio together under hundreds of trusted brands to offer complete transit packaging solutions to its customers. The company is a pioneer in the industrial packaging sector with a long history of customer-focused innovations in materials, processes and automation technology that have revolutionized the sector. For more information, please visit Signode.com.
“With OneStream we’ve experienced improved automation, especially with our Price/Cost and Product P&L cubes. We’ve improved our processes by allowing local users to edit transformation rules, which in return has reduced required administrative support. The local users have improved visibility into the data by using drill back to trial balance function and mapped trial balance reports. But beyond all, we now have a single CPM platform for all of Crown/Signode which has improved data integrity, security, and controls while providing customization for different divisions of the business.”
– Michael Wright, VP Financial Systems and FP&A, Signode Industrial Group
Headquartered in Tampa, FL, Signode Industrial Group is the Transit Packaging Division of Crown Holdings, Inc. employing over 8,000 people and operating at a revenue of $2.5B annually. With 80+ manufacturing facilities across 6 continents, Signode has over 50 ERP systems and was using Oracle HFM, FDM and Essbase to tackle complex financial operations. But unfortunately, these fragmented legacy products could not keep up with Signode’s growing requirements.
“Our version of HFM was very old, the performance of HFM was poor, and dimensionality wasn’t being used properly,” said Michael Wright, VP Financial Systems and FP&A at Signode Industrial Group. “We had to centralize all mapping changes for trial balance submissions into HFM, rather than allowing the local teams to manage their mappings. With so many ERPs, it took a great deal of time, and was significant work to accomplish.”
According to Wright, there was a manual process to extract data from HFM and load and calculate it in Essbase. This also meant that there was frequently a data latency issue between HFM and Essbase. The end-to-end solution was very complicated, required significant centralized support, and was an inefficient use of time for both the employees and the support staff. These are just a few of the many factors that contributed to Signode’s finance transformation project.
Making the Move to OneStream
To kick off the evaluation process, Signode initially met with Oracle, but upgrading from HFM to Oracle FCCS was going to be a very costly and time-consuming project. So, the company moved on to evaluate Host Analytics and Tagetik, before making their final selection with OneStream.
“During this process, we were acquired by Crown Holdings, who was still on Hyperion Enterprise,” Wright explained. “We selected OneStream because it had the all-in-one license approach, the flexibility we required for both Crown and Signode, plus strong customer references.” The combined Crown and Signode teams
implemented OneStream to replace both company’s legacy applications.
Implementing a Modern CPM Solution
While many people were involved with the design and implementation, OneStream and implementation partner, Nova CPM, were the two consulting teams that supported the project. There was a core team of internal resources that were heavily involved in all phases of the project and additional business resources were brought in for testing and UAT.
Signode went live with financial consolidation in April of 2020 and completed Phase 2 in Q1 of 2021. Wright explained, “In our second phase, we created a ‘Product P&L’ reporting cube that allocated costs to the various product lines in order to evaluate profitability by each of our 40+ product lines.”
During implementation, the project team really learned a lot more about how different divisions use data to run and understand their business. Today Signode has approximately 180 users in OneStream with 80-90% of those users working from Accounting and Finance departments. Signode also has users from Tax, Internal Audit, Treasury, and Corporate Development.
OneStream for Financial Consolidations & Reporting
On a monthly basis, Signode’s 100+ business units submit a variety of financial information, including trial balances as well as supplemental data such as volumes, headcounts, and AR aging. Controllers submit their trial balance multiple times during close to meet preliminary deadlines and review data. With OneStream, the local controllers can make any necessary updates to their transformation rule tables during the close.
“Supplemental data is submitted through a variety of forms, and there are multiple submission deadlines, depending on the data set,” said Wright. “To achieve this, we’ve structured the submission nodes and workflow channels so we can lock subsets of the data during close. OneStream’s ability to lock/unlock specific data sets for specific entities is huge for us. We’ve eliminated one FTE related to system administration and for our Business Unit Controllers we’ve reduced the time spend on data submission each month by 30%.”
From a consolidations and reporting perspective, the business units operate with approximately 25 different currencies with significant intercompany activity. For IC eliminations, Signode uses OneStream’s automatic elimination for AR/AP, sales, interest, and dividends which saves time and manual effort. “We use Cube Views and Dashboard reports out of OneStream, plus the Excel Add-In feature,” Wright added. “Many users prefer that approach because they can create highly customized reports, and leverage their familiarity with Excel.”
Benefits of OneStream
Signode’s budget and forecast process now utilizes OneStream as well. Wright explained, “Officially, we have three forecasts that we complete throughout the year, however, each of the forecast periods usually have a ‘pre-forecast’ scenario as well. We have setup OneStream to have scenarios that represent all combinations of actual months to forecast months. For Signode we were able to reduce our forecasting cycle by approximately 2 days.”
A big benefit to the company has been using OneStream in the cloud. The team no longer has to worry about connecting to different Crown/Signode networks to access the platform. This was not the case with HFM, where users had to be in network or VPN to access it. Additional benefits include faster system performance and more frequent refreshes of data.
“With OneStream we’ve experienced improved automation, especially with our Price/Cost and Product P&L cubes,” said Wright. “We’ve improved our processes by allowing local users to edit transformation rules, which in return has reduced required administrative support. The local users have improved visibility into the data by using drill back to trial balance function and mapped trial balance reports. But beyond all, we now have a single CPM platform for all of Crown/Signode which has improved data integrity, security, and controls while providing customization for different divisions of the business.”
The Signode CFO was very pleased with the outcome and recommended the OneStream solution to his peers. While Crown’s Americas division has already implemented Account Reconciliations, Signode is currently working to implement the AMCO Lease Accounting Solution. It will be replacing an Excel based lease template, which has significant challenges and frequently experiences versioning challenges.
Wright added, “OneStream gives the customer a lot of flexibility to design the application to meet their needs, while also allowing for additional enhancements over time with lower incremental costs. You can always build off your foundation.”