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Remploy and Forte - Multi-Dimensional Budgeting

Remploy is the UK’s leading supplier of employment opportunities for disabled people. Working closely with Government programmes like Workstep and NDDP, they assist over 2,000 people with a range of physical and mental disabilities to find work every year. In addition, they support 4,500 people in the employment of other organisations and 6,000 people in their own sites. With over 80 sites across the UK, they supply half of the top British companies with goods and services. Products include high-tech motor and electronic assemblies, school and college furniture, printing and packaging as well as protective clothing for military and civil use.

Remploy’s growing presence in the service sector supports both commercial and manufacturing operations. Services include recycling of white goods and computers, office back-up, and CCTV monitoring. The Managed Services division provides teams supporting the NHS and local councils as well as commercial companies such as Unilever.

In previous years Budgets have been prepared using excel spreadsheets for data preparation, business budget build, company consolidation and reporting. The introduction of "product group" businesses rather than businesses defined by site ownership created technical problems in creating multi-dimensional phased
budgets. This created a need to allow preparation by both "Site Owners" and Businesses.
The development of the "product group" Businesses with increasing multiple accountability, made it virtually impossible to design a suite of spreadsheets that would allow multiple on-line access and provide for consolidation at Business level.

• Multi-dimensional budget input and rapid consolidation of Business and Company views.
• Building budgets at site level which allow multiple access to varying numbers of business users.
• Automatic phasing across periods based for example on number of employees and production weeks.
• Dealing with structural changes in a flexible way.
• Enable central input of routine base data - salaries, wages, headcount, depreciation, central costs.
• Reduce budget preparation and elapsed time.
• Deal effectively with balance sheet budgets.
• Exchange data with BAANTM and operational spreadsheets.
• Transparency to executive, business management and senior departmental managers by the use of an audit trail of adjustments.
• Provide a basis for future business planning and forecasting.

Chosen Supplier
Forte was chosen as it met all the objectives. In addition Cyberscience had already established a good working relationship with Remploy and demonstrated their technical capabilities in meeting Remploy’s management reporting requirements with Enterprise Cyberquery (eCQ).

Savings and Benefits
“One of the main benefits has been greater transparency of budget detail. Management is able to see exactly how any budget has been established. We have reduced reliance on spreadsheets and improved data accuracy,” Alan Joynes – financial controller.
Implementing Forte will contribute to ultimate cost reduction and increased value added contribution from the Finance function. It has enabled the Business Accountants to focus on commercial issues.

In Operation
As each transaction is input the result is immediately reflected across all the different views required by management. In this way Forte has enabled Remploy management to monitor and control the build up of the budget.
Complex interdepartmental recharging and contra balancing have been created to meet the specific needs of Remploy. This has provided not only a Profit and Loss based budget but in addition has provided a budget of Balance Sheet and non-financial items such as head count.

As with any large and complex organisation Remploy found during implementation that there were areas of the Budget Build system that required enhancement.
Alan Joynes - “We have been impressed by the speed with which Cyberscience have delivered the changes we required at a critical time of the year. This has been a real working partnership.”

“We have been impressed by the speed with which Cyberscience have delivered the changes we required at a critical time of the year. This has been a real working partnership.” Alan Joynes – Financial Controller

Forte Budget Preparation
Building the Base
Whether you choose to use historic or zero base, on a fixed or variable basis, Forte provides interactive facilities for building budgets and forecasts with all the entry tools, links to indexes, profiling rules and reallocations available as required.
You can also choose to input data interactively or import from spreadsheets and other budget preparation modules.

Features and Benefits
• Multi-dimensional budget views provide each manager with their view of the budget even where this conflicts with operational structure.
• Comprehensive security restricts what data a user may see.
• Intranet deployment reduces the cost of software installation to near zero levels.
• Build from any base and generate inflation according to the type of expense. This reduces the time to build the base and allows changes to inflation predictions at any time.
• Flexible profiling rules phase the budget across accounting periods providing an accurate reflection of annual, quarterly, monthly and weekly costs based on number of employees, production weeks or any other criteria.
• Restructuring without coding change allows rapid response to changes in how the company operates. Management may create new views that reflect this in both current and historic data so as to maintain valid comparisons.
• Distributed input of data eliminates the need for information to be passed to those building the budget at the operational level.
• Central input of routine base data - salaries, wages, headcount, depreciation, central costs – is immediately reflected in the budget being built by user departments. This eliminates duplication of data input and reduces budget preparation time.
• Spreadsheet and third party import and export eliminate re-keying of data from users who do not have access to Forte and for import of data from complex modeling.
• Balance sheet budgets allow the production of full management packs just as they will be produced for the coming financial year.
• Forecasts provide the ability to predict the final outturn as the year progresses.
• Full audit trails and drill down capability provide transparency to executive, business management and senior departmental managers. Drill down shows who has made the changes and an explanation of why.
• Reallocations allow complex redistribution of costs from supplier departments to user departments.
• Ten user defined budget categories such as base, inflation, growth, recharges provide management immediately with an answer to “why has the budget changed”.
• Contra Balancing allows the balance sheet to be balanced at a stroke reflecting the budget changes in the Profit and Loss.





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