In 1947, a year after UCLA law school refugee Fletcher Jones sold his first used car for $70, a service station owner down the road from Fletcher’s car lot invented the concept of the self-serve gas station.
Since then, technology has made the idea of self-service not just commonplace, but expected—in buying gas, booking travel, and shopping for virtually anything.
At the company Fletcher Jones founded 51 years ago, that self-service ethos has found a place within the auto group’s corporate planning environment. Now known as Fletcher Jones Automotive Group, the company operates 19 dealerships in four states, from balmy Hawaii to chilly Chicago.
By making strategic use of the Adaptive Suite’s award-winning ease of use and self-service features—which make it easy to extend planning, reporting, and forecasting throughout and beyond finance—Fletcher Jones Automotive Group has established an active planning environment that extends to 100 users at all of its dealerships. Where the company once leaned on Excel spreadsheets for creating individual dealership budgets and plans, dealership executives now can collaboratively review KPIs, compare their actual performance against forecasts, benchmark their businesses against other dealerships, and make data-driven decisions more quickly.
Our latest release, Adaptive Suite 2017.3, builds on that philosophy with new features and functions designed to more tightly dovetail classic financial planning with operational planning. Improved self-service reporting and analytics headline the new features, along with more in-depth planning that conforms to our user-centric “click, not code” approach to modeling. Providing real-time access to more operational details than ever before, Adaptive Suite 2017.3 even provides time granularity and the ability to tailor calendars to incorporate company- and industry-specific time periods in planning and analysis.
The result is faster, more informed decision-making by more users across the business.
Putting more insight into more hands
It’s a model that works.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) relies on the Adaptive Suite to push planning beyond finance. Today more than 400 LLS managers and employees regularly access the organization’s FP&A system.
This capability provides line of sight into performance across the organization, enabling a deeper level of analysis and ultimately helping maximize the funds raised by volunteers and partnerships being applied toward mission-critical activities. Prior to implementing its cloud-based active planning environment, LLS had little time for meaningful analysis and review. Now, the Adaptive Suite allows LLS planners to automate the drudgery of gathering, rationalizing, and manipulating data so they can spend their time more strategically.
At P.F. Chang’s, which operates more than 400 Asian-themed restaurants in 19 countries, FP&A processes built around spreadsheets were preventing corporate decision-makers from accurately tracking and measuring operating expenses for each location. “It was truly static planning,” recalled Brianne Martell, FP&A manager at the nearly $1 billion company. “It was painful. I still have nightmares.”
The restaurant innovator found its own path to active planning by implementing the Adaptive Suite and distributing planning to the operational experts in the eateries. The results have been transformative. Forecasting cycle times have plunged 80%. Planning models now incorporate both finance and operational KPIs. And individual restaurant operating partners are finally able to maintain, manage, and report their own P&Ls—all with accurate, virtually real-time information.
Just imagine what the new features in our latest release can do for these already transformed organizations. And for an idea of how we here at Adaptive Insights are benefiting from better forecast accuracy and self-serve analytics, check out this new video from Kerman Lau, our vice president of FP&A.