Six million books published by more than 50,000 customers. Online orders in seven languages. Transactions in five currencies. Shipments to 80 countries.
Such is the global reach of Blurb, a leading book-making platform that enables consumers and professionals to create, publish, share, and sell high-quality photo books, trade books, and magazines in both print and digital formats. Reporting, planning, and forecasting Blurb’s business used to be far from easy, noted Gene Domecus, chief operating officer at Blurb, whose three customer segments—consumers, businesses, and self-published authors—all have very different needs.
“When you think about the complexity of those three sectors times that many geographies and all the costs and nuances that go on with that,” said Domecus, “the only way you can figure out what’s really going on is to break it apart and dig in.”
That was tough to do on spreadsheets. “We spent a disproportionate amount of time quality-controlling the construction of the company’s forecasts,” said Domecus, who recalled “being somewhat afraid of whether all my Excel links were up to date.”
A single source of truth
Blurb turned the page on that planning horror story when it implemented Adaptive Insights, taking advantage of the tight, two-way integration between the Adaptive Suite and NetSuite ERP. “The complexity of our business required us to integrate our financials and operations into a single source of truth,” he said. “Integrating NetSuite ERP into the Adaptive Suite has saved significant time and effort that was previously spent on data gathering and reconciliation.”
With its streamlined active planning process, Blurb has been able to gain greater visibility into the company’s operations and performance, eliminating dozens of Excel spreadsheets, producing fewer errors, and enabling a holistic, real-time view of the business.
Hearing firsthand from employees, Domecus learned the integrated active planning environment was working for stakeholders across the business: “Multiple people came up to me over time to say to me how much easier it was to do their job being in this one system. It’s just so intuitive and easy to adopt for non-financial managers. That was kind of the ‘Aha!’ moment for me.”
There was a personal “Aha!” moment as well. With the Adaptive Suite and NetSuite ERP working as one, Domecus discovered that “a good 50-75 percent of my time was freed up to be looking at what the numbers meant, and what they were telling me about the future.”
It’s a story more than 700 Adaptive Insights and NetSuite customers already know well. But it bears repeating at a time when business demands and market forces change too quickly for companies to keep planning and forecasting with hard-to-use, static tools. As for Domecus, he said he’s happy to share the moral of the FP&A story at Blurb: “Adaptive Insights and NetSuite truly are better together.”
Learn more at Adaptive Live 2017
Headed to Adaptive Live May 30-June 2 in San Francisco? Be sure to check out two conference sessions designed especially for NetSuite users. “Adaptive Insights and Active Planning Drive NetSuite Users’ Business Success,” set for 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 31, will explore the experiences of four customers who use the integrated solutions. And “NetSuite + Adaptive Insights = Better Together,” starting at 1 p.m. Wednesday, will demonstrate how the platforms work together to improve planning, forecasting, and reporting, along with better analytics to empower teams to better manage their business.