The New Zealand-based natural health company moves to Oracle Cloud EPM for better data accuracy and faster decision-making.
Founded in rural New Zealand in 2006, Manuka Health was inspired by the knowledge that the country’s bee products hold special health properties. Driven to use science to harness these unique natural products, today the company includes a growing team of dedicated specialists (about 1.5 billion bees and 140 humans), who carefully craft Manuka Honey, as well as antioxidants Propolis and Royal Jelly.
Experiencing rapid business growth, Manuka Health needed to replace its manual spreadsheet-based budgeting, planning, and reporting environment with a fully integrated and systemized approach.
The annual budget process took several months, with two senior finance people spending almost all their time on preparation. Tom Maling, group financial accountant, and a colleague worked one-on-one with cost center owners to develop detailed budgets. With 30-plus overly complex spreadsheets and numerous individuals involved, collation and version control was virtually impossible. Final budget numbers couldn't be connected to original calculations once the information was copied, pasted, and cobbled together.
Finance staff spent a week each month manually extracting, consolidating, and organizing data to create month-end reports using Microsoft PowerPoint. The company was estimating revenue by budgeting at the SKU and customer level without any tools. These outdated, manual approaches caused significant timing challenges and potential for errors. The company wanted to increase budget accuracy and planning efficiency, eliminate manual data reconciliation from multiple sources, and minimize data integrity issues. Manuka Health also needed to improve the finance team's responsiveness when requests for information were made and automate budgeting and planning processes to increase productivity and free up time for more strategic projects. It also wanted to enable cost center owners to view and enter data directly, without relying on the finance team.
We've only ever performed five-year planning at a high level. Oracle Cloud EPM will allow us to answer more in-depth questions to support much more comprehensive planning.
Group Financial Accountant, Manuka Health
With a cloud-first strategy, Manuka Health sought the latest functionality offered by various software-as-a-service vendors. After independently evaluating several solutions, the company selected Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Cloud for its for integrated cloud-based planning, budgeting, and forecasting, which helps improve business predictability.
Oracle Cloud EPM allowed Manuka to gain huge improvements in data collation, calculation, and revenue modeling. The budgeting process has been reduced by weeks. Early in the process, contributors want different scenarios and an understanding of the whole budget to make decisions. Before, when a change request was made, 30-plus spreadsheets had to be consolidated into one and questions on the rolled-up budget were challenging to answer. Now changes are made on the fly, with total budget numbers available immediately.
The sales team is empowered to perform its own revenue budgeting with no need for IT to manage unruly spreadsheets. The new templates make data entry, visibility, and cross-checking much easier.
Automated (and higher-quality) month-end cost analysis and reporting has saved at least one work day per month. Variance analysis for individual cost centers, and the ability to adjust, refresh, and review data instantly is now possible. This is a far cry from the previous approach, when employees had to dig deeper for thorough analysis due to the need to extract and reformat Excel data every time.
Oracle Cloud EPM has also revolutionized the monthly demand forecasting process. Previously, sales teams had to wait a day for forecast validation. Now the integrated demand planning tool offers increased flexibility with data in one place, built from scratch, and is available for immediate review and feedback.
Manuka Health sells a range of products with different margins and product pricing in eight major markets. Standard margins were previously assumed across all markets; however, new margin analysis by unit and cost, with foreign currency capability, makes forecasting volumes straightforward. Revenue calculations are more sophisticated, with sales now able to view value impact across various markets.
DXC Red Rock managed Manuka Health’s entire implementation, from documenting business requirements and scoping to implementation and change management.
The most recent budget was the easiest by far. This system gives us confidence, particularly when reporting to the board and when budgeting. We can look at our demand plan, estimate revenue and COGs, and rely on the actual numbers.
Group Financial Accountant, Manuka Health