CPM for C.P.M.s and C.P.A.s

Smiths Aerospace tries corporate performance management solution to control spend

Arbor, MI  August 20, 2002  Aerospace manufacturer Smiths Aerospace Electronic Systems has tapped a corporate performance management (CPM) system from Comshare in a bid to give the business' nearly 200 department managers more timely and accurate information and, hopefully, enable them to improve the bottom line by controlling expenses.

Smiths Aerospace, a part of Smiths Group plc, manufactures equipment for Airbus, Boeing and the British and U.S. defense departments, and its 12,000 employees generate $2 billion in annual revenues in North America. The Electronic Systems business, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., is responsible for budgeting and reporting for 12 U.S.- and U.K.-based profit and loss centers.

The manufacturer has implemented Comshare's MPC software, which centralizes, distributes and gives access to budgeting and reporting information online. The software has helped reduce a two-day budget reporting process to a two-hour event, while improving Smiths' information accuracy rating to a near perfect score.

Currently MPC provides Smiths Aerospace managers online access to budgeting and profit and loss analysis, and the company is planning to put rolling forecasts online next. When that capability comes online, managers will be able to monitor incoming orders to see how they are turning into sales, project orders for the year and beyond, as well as identify trends over time, according to Comshare.

"Comshare MPC is important to our business on several fronts," said Tim Bosma, a financial systems specialist at the aerospace company. "MPC lets our managers control their departments by controlling their own budgets. It relieves the finance department of having to burden the [profit and loss] centers with additional data input, without taking on the responsibility for everyone's budget."

The software's built-in color-coding capabilities, which highlight exceptions, help managers focus on what's important, Bosma added.

Deployed on the Web, MPC taps centralized data from Smiths' Oracle database.