BUDGETING, REPORTING AND FINANCIAL CLOSE CASE STUDY - PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

Cumming Corporation Generates 255% ROI After 6 Months With Vena
Three coworkers

Snapshot: Cumming Corporation

acme-lift-icon
Industry-leading, multi-faceted project management and cost consulting firm
earth-icon
1,200 employees and 40 offices worldwide
integration-icon-e1591136340732
Integrations: Deltek Vision and Deltek Vantagepoint for ERP, Cosential for CRM, ADP for payroll, Ceridian for HRM
HubSpot Video

 

“I wanted to have a very high adoption rate and a very short learning curve.”
Dominic DiBernardo
Chief Business Intelligence Officer, Cumming Corporation
Two people looking at a notepad

Cumming Corporation Before Vena

Before Dominic DiBernardo became Cumming Corporation’s Chief Business Intelligence Officer, he—as their Director of Operations—led and ran their annual planning, monthly reporting and forecasting.

Founded in 1996 as a project and cost management company, Cumming is a 1,200-employee, international, multi-faceted consulting firm that provides insight into construction projects for high-profile customers in industries such as education, healthcare and hospitality. Cumming has hundreds of assignments underway at any given time.

Before Vena, Cumming conducted its financial operations exclusively on spreadsheets. Their employees worked with data in silos, which created errors in their business processes.

“The biggest struggle was not only aggregating those different Excel files out there to make sure you have the right version, but also battling version control,” Dominic said.

Along with manual aggregation during budgeting periods, Cumming struggled to maintain template integrity. With so many ongoing projects, there were no controls over viewing privileges, which posed data security risks.

To achieve their forecasted growth, Cumming needed a centralized corporate performance management (CPM) solution to better coordinate its projects and plans. And to enable their finance team to spend more time on strategic planning, they needed automation for their data collection and verification processes.

One person showing a tablet to another person

The Vena Solution

In early 2014, Dominic and the Cumming Corporation finance team started their search for a best-in-class CPM solution. They had considered Axiom EPM, Adaptive Insights, BI 360 and Host Analytics before selecting Vena for its familiarity and flexibility.

Dominic knew that transitioning the organization’s employees to a new CPM solution would be the biggest challenge to finance modernization and transformation. With this in mind, he sought Vena’s Excel-native interface for its ability to retain his team’s skill investments in the Microsoft ecosystem.

“Excel itself is a very robust tool outside of the box. There's just some weaknesses that I think Vena fulfills. It acts as that multidimensional database on the back end that allows for two-way communication, and then that single source of truth, which eliminates a lot of the Excel or spreadsheet issues that you have with formula issues or version control, audit control and workflow.”

He was confident the familiarity would abbreviate the change management timeline and reduce the time to value.

“Excel has been a tool that has been around for the last three decades and it's something that people are very familiar with. And I wanted to have a very high adoption rate and a very short learning curve.”

With Cumming’s global portfolio of consulting projects in mind—which requires a large amount of collaboration between their finance and individual consultation teams—Dominic knew Cumming needed a flexible solution. He felt Vena’s flexibility and scalability would support their business’s growing complexity as they increased their volume of projects toward achieving aggressive growth targets.

In the initial setup, Vena provided a customized implementation for Cumming. By using Cumming’s pre-existing hardware investments, the project was completed on time and required less than one third of the expected implementation cost.

Dominic was right about the time to value. Cumming employees only needed one hour of training on average, and the firm generated a 255% ROI after just six months, as calculated by Nucleus Research.

Cumming Corporation With Vena

budget-analysis
Nucleus Research calculated a 255% ROI for Cumming Corporation six months after implementation
finance-presentation-icon
Budgeting cycle accelerated by 50% to every three months
streamline-icon-performance-increase@220x220
Reporting cycle reduced from four weeks after month-end close to one day
Two people working together

Key Results

With Vena, the international project and cost management consulting firm has now modernized their budgeting, financial close and account reconciliation processes. With more simplified processes, they’ve been able to streamline their data collection and governance processes to refocus on strategic planning.

After eliminating extraneous and time-consuming touch points, their employees now spend less time gathering, aggregating and verifying data—and more on value-adding work. They’ve reduced their budgeting cycle by 50% to every three months and have been able to create P&L reports faster than ever. Plus, they’ve reduced their reporting cycle from four weeks after month-end close to just one day.

And with new data security controls, they’ve also removed many competing processes to improve standardization. Their employees can now collaborate faster and with fewer errors. This not only improved budget accuracy, but also allowed the team to create rolling forecasts for more agile strategic planning.

Vena is leveraged even more widely now within the organization—greater data visibility has empowered all Cumming’s employees to make data-driven decisions, which has extended outside budgeting and planning. With deeper insights into revenue streams, Cumming has extended the use of Vena to refine their employee onboarding process and spending policies. As they acquired more projects and their workforce grew, they began optimizing hiring expenses—reducing employee onboarding time through aligning hiring opportunities with optimal revenue times, which resulted in reduced costs and increased efficiency.

Dominic compared implementing Vena to buying a Ferrari for the price of a Cadillac.

“A Cadillac is a very nice car, but if you can get a Ferrari for the same price, you're going to go with the Ferrari … Vena has proven to be that Ferrari for the price of the Cadillac when you compare it to the competition … It's way more robust than a lot of the other Excel-based vendors.”

*After six years at Cumming Corporation, Dominic DiBernardo has since moved on to Citrin Cooperman as their CPM Practice Leader Partner.

Ready to start your own growth journey?

REQUEST DEMO