Finding More Value
Over on the sales side, Director of Sales Donna Schmidt had been leading a search for a sales analytics solution. After attending the Catalyst training session, however, she realized the software’s applications could reach beyond the finance department in what she describes as an ‘aha’ moment.
“We were working with another third party trying to solve for similar things,” says Schmidt. “And then once I got exposed to Catalyst, it was like, ‘Wow, we don’t need to be working with this other vendor, they’re just answering one piece of the puzzle, whereas Catalyst is giving us a 360-degree solution. They’re giving us the financial reporting, but they’re also giving us all the sales analytics we could possibly need.’”
The Catalyst platform provided immediate efficiency gains for the sales team on multiple fronts. Not only did it provide the visibility they were looking for with each operating company, but it also opened up new possibilities for the team on how to see the data.
“We were so used to looking at the data op-co by op-co, but now with Catalyst, we can be looking at it customer-by-customer. If I’m trying to figure out why a customer is down, now I can quickly compare current year vs. prior year without having to reach out to people and request information,” Schmidt said. “Catalyst also makes it really easy to cut the data by channel, which would have been very difficult in the old world. Prior to Catalyst, it would have been really manual and not nearly as accurate.”
But the benefits weren’t just limited to sales and finance. Teams from the individual operating companies were now becoming curious about how they could access Catalyst and get the analytics they needed for their roles. Since Catalyst offers an unlimited number of users under a single license and role-based security, it could fill an additional role as a single source of truth to democratize data across the organization.
“I was talking to a GM from one of our operating companies today who wanted to see some Catalyst reporting features he had heard about,” says Vice President of FP&A Eric Zamora. “They have limited time and don’t want to spend hours looking at spreadsheets. They just want to find the numbers they need quickly. There are reports that are catered to them. It’s clean and easy. They’re not clicking a million buttons to get what they want. With Catalyst, it becomes, literally, one push of a button.”
While Zamora sees tremendous time savings on his individual FP&A tasks, he says the true benefit is the cumulative effect of making the data anyone needs accessible at any time.
“The huge benefit and savings here is that every time someone asks me for something – whether it’s a month-end close number or it’s the profitability of an item – it’s the cumulative amount of time I’ve saved once we implemented Catalyst that’s really the benefit,” Zamora says. “Instead of someone taking 10 minutes to write me an email, then I take 10 minutes to hunt down the data and then 10 more minutes to explain it to them – you condense that 30-minute exercise to maybe 5 minutes total. This happens over and over across multiple projects and multiple teams, and it’s a snowball effect. Over time you’re getting hundreds and thousands of manhours back.”