Huisman Equipment is a leading designer and manufacturer of innovative technical solutions. The company has multiplied over the last ten years and needed a better understanding of business trends. That’s why Huisman decided to implement OneStream XF. The main deciding factor for Huisman was the flexible yet unified architecture of OneStream XF. With 90% of their project data in OneStream, Huisman is seamlessly reconciling across systems and locations and can make better business decisions based on real data. Read the full case to learn more.
Huisman Equipment is a leading designer and manufacturer of innovative technical solutions to the world’s leading companies in the renewables, oil & gas, naval, civil, and entertainment industries. Founded in 1929, Huisman is a worldwide operating company with its head office based in Schiedam, The Netherlands, and several production locations and sales, service, and engineering offices worldwide. Their product range can be subdivided into six main categories: Cranes, Pipelay Equipment, Drilling Equipment, Winches, Vessel Designs, and Special Projects. Products vary from stand-alone components to highly engineered integrated systems, from concept to installation and lifetime support.
Huisman Equipment was using separate applications across locations over the world for financial consolidation and reporting. Project reporting was done in Excel, with their main office using a Dutch-built ERP system for project registrations and capital expenditures. Subsidiaries in China and the Czech Republic used local ERP systems, and smaller service stations across Singapore and North America were Excel-based environments.
Huisman has multiplied over the last ten years and needed a better way to understand business trends. “Our scattered landscape of applications was the main driver to get a solution in place,” said Daniel Wabeke, Senior Group Controller at Huisman. “We had issues with global reporting and mismatched data. We struggled to report on projects and needed to standardize information across locations.” With contracts as large as 50M Euro, everything from contractor to delivery location data and more needed to live together to allow management to report contracts in full accurately.
“As on of the first adopters of OneStream in The Netherlands, we took a chance, and it was a good one”
The Selection Process
In the selection process, Huisman considered various options. They eventually chose OneStream Software after receiving guidance from a trusted consultant. The main deciding factor for Huisman was the flexible yet unified architecture of OneStream XF.
“As one of the first adopters of OneStream in The Netherlands, we took a chance, and it was a good one,” said Arjan van Ast, Group Controller at Huisman. “The flexibility of OneStream would allow us to connect the full system landscapes across locations to create harmony for group standards. This was key because we would no longer need to move data between fragmented systems.”
The implementation started in September 2018, intending to go live in time for statutory reporting in January. “We wanted to get OneStream going as soon as possible, so we replicated our Excel environment as a quick fix,” said Wabeke. “But later, we really started digging into the platform. We started to understand OneStream better and revamped our application with a focus on getting projects in scope.”
Huisman started organizing their data by using OneStream. During this process, they came across multiple issues regarding their consolidated project figures and financial results. “In the past year, we have refined the OneStream solution to collect and organize the data in the right way,” said Joost van Kooten, Project Controller at Huisman. “We wanted to be able to see what was going on in projects and how we should transform that information to finance. So, we started with projects then began balancing project reporting with financial reporting. By December, we had it up and running for the audits of the financials.”
“We trust the data so there are no disagreements about accuracy. We can focus on the contract, not fixing the data.”
The OneStream XF Cloud
Huisman’s choice to deploy OneStream XF Cloud provided a quick implementation via Microsoft Azure. Huisman received local support in The Netherlands, as their use case continues to get broader. Today Huisman has 100 business users and another 25 in corporate finance.
OneStream is capturing different levels of information across locations, which has streamlined project and contract management. Huisman has hundreds of contracts broken out into as many as 30 sub-contracts across 60 accounts, multiple locations, and currencies. One contract must be passed around internally through the sites, and OneStream fits this information together in one unified view. This allows users to drill from summary information on a project into employee detail, to manage the project lifecycle from proposal to delivery. The users can make their own analysis by slicing and dicing the data for their own point of view. Whether globally or country-specific, all contract data is in place.
“But now we have one voice, one truth.”
- With 90% of their project data in OneStream, Huisman is seamlessly reconciling across systems and locations.
- The company is also forecasting contracts based on detailed data collected across projects. Previously, upwards of 80% of Huisman’s data was unreliable. But by ditching error-prone Excel-based processes, their data is now trusted in OneStream. Huisman is able to make better business decisions based on real data.
“Before OneStream we had to dig into project data in all the individual ERP systems,” said van Kooten. “OneStream helps make our data auditable and extendable. It enables us to understand our business and create standardized processes within a global system. We trust the data so there are no disagreements about accuracy. We can focus on the contract, not fixing the data.”
- Huisman is able to see the full capacity of the business – not only financial data. They are now forecasting operational expenses, revenue and margins by project for a complete view of the forecast of the company. Huisman is tracking financial data as well as employee hours and rates by contract. Users can see the capacity utilization by project and sub-project to support capacity planning.
“There are no longer any surprises in our financial data.” said Wabeke. “We can easily see the results over time for comparison purposes, so we can answer any questions quickly. In the past we did not have a good gut feeling about our data. Everyone had their own view of the truth. But now we have one voice, one truth.”
- Huisman is currently building out financial planning in OneStream which will include contract expiration, invoice dates, payment receipt dates and more.
- They plan to grow the financial forecasts by project with a 36-month rolling forecast. They would like to derive the annual budget report and risk profile on contracts to eliminate 3 months of spreadsheet labor.
- In addition, Huisman will add payroll data via ADP to OneStream to track employee data by month and integrate it with contract data to develop scenarios for use of labor across locations.
“We are looking at adding more portfolio analysis and management,” said Wabeke. “Currently we are distributing PDF books of reports for management via the Parcel Service solution from the XF MarketPlace but we are looking to leverage the built-in dashboards for self-service access by management. We are really focusing on getting all the data from all the systems together and correct.”
Finext as the Implementation Partner for Huisman
Finext is the implementation partner for Huisman from the start of their OneStream journey. The first project focused on statutory reporting and the following steps focused on creating a truly integrated performance management platform. Together with the experts from Huisman we realized the vision of Huisman’s management and created a platform for further professionalisation and growth.