Matthew Smith, President and CEO
Despite all the investments in an efficient ERP system, budgeting and forecasting continues to present major challenges for many manufacturing companies who are often encumbered by a complex labyrinth of processes that go into calculating the operating budget for a given fiscal year. Alteration in the forecast of products sold, changes in products awaiting manufacturing, and increase in the volume of demand for specific products are but a few factors that often render the budgeting formula and the result invalid. Furthermore, data aggregated from disparate data sources, different organizational teams, and a slew of systems add another layer of complexity to the entire budgeting process. Matthew Smith, president and CEO of 3C Software, observes, “Most companies perform an annual budgeting and forecasting process which is painstakingly time-consuming and incapable of incorporating changes instantaneously through manual input.” 3C Software is leading the charge in confronting these challenges with its flagship product— ImpactECS— a dynamic cost and profitability system that caters to a client’s unique budgeting requirements.
ImpactECS is specifically designed to integrate with any ERP system and accumulates input data from forecasting systems, shop floor and manufacturing execution systems, data warehouses, BI tools, Excel, and many others, all in one model. “ImpactECS can electronically gather data from various input sources, all at the same time, without requiring someone to rekey the data,” explains Smith. Furthermore, the platform enables customers to devise a budgeting, forecasting and costing models tailor-made to fit their business environment, offering complete visibility into the business logic and calculations. Unlike other players in the landscape, ImpactECS melds budgeting, forecasting, and product costing into an integrated process. Finally, ImpactECS provides users with the ability to perform unlimited calculations, reroll forecasts and budgets instantaneously and on demand.
Configurability of ImpactECS is what makes the platform one of a kind. “We never modify the source code of the software to provide the high-level of configuration.
ImpactECS enables customers to devise models—including budgeting, forecasting and costing models—tailor-made to fit their business environment and offers them complete visibility into the business logic and calculations
So the operability of the model lends itself to this highly configurable nature without modifying the underlying software,” Smith adds. Consequently, 3C Software’s customers can seamlessly upgrade to a new software release without having to worry about forward compatibility with their uniquely configured model.
As an enterprise-level system, ImpactECS is a highly scalable platform with customers in various industries and locations around the world. 3C Software’s enterprise server is the core calculation engine behind the scenes that executes all the business rules and calculations. Additionally, it provides all the answers and results to external systems, thereby expanding the reach of critical cost and budget information. “The engine interacts with the underlying database—Microsoft SQL server —and serves anything that the user requests,” elucidates Smith. Moreover, with the help of a dedicated team that has extensive knowledge about the industries and the budgeting and forecasting process, 3C Software has carved its niche in the budgeting and forecasting landscape.
Smith shares an instance to illustrate the efficacy of ImpactECS. Domtar, a large pulp and paper manufacturing organization, was looking to forecast based on changes in volumes and a mix of products, raw material prices, and currency fluctuations. The client was in dire need of a solution that determined the impact of the rapidly changing variables on the business. Leveraging ImpactECS, 3C Software provided the company an environment where they were able to make the changes, plug the variables into the model, and run a simulated restating of the budget and the forecasted cost associated with it along with the overall cost of goods sold.
The company is currently focusing on geographical expansion and extending its footprint to different parts of Europe. “We will continue developing our product and aim to increase our market penetration in the US,” concludes Smith.