Now that the data comes directly from the source, we can be confident that what comes out of BrightAnalytics is correct

-Bart van den Broeck, CFO Tomtree
"The more we use the tool, the more often colleagues ask us to create additional reports."
- Bart van den Broeck, CFO Tomtree

Connectors in use

Modules in use

Daily monitoring and forecasting of cash flow: it can be done from now on

With the start of the corona pandemic in March 2020, a period of uncertainty began for Van der Erve Europe – an international player specialising in manufacturing licensed & branded clothing. What would happen to the company’s cash flow, now that both customers and suppliers were letting it be known that they didn’t know what to expect? Time for a tool that could make a cash flow forecast.

“When the corona crisis broke out, we received signals from both customers and suppliers that made us realise it was becoming crucial to closely monitor our cash flow,” begins Bart Van den Broeck, CFO of Tomtree, the holding company above Van der Erve Europe. “Until then, we did cash planning, but only a few times a year, using Excel sheets. That was very time-consuming, because it was still a largely manual process. We now also wanted to evolve to a weekly cash flow forecast, in order to be able to make good decisions. So we went in search of software.”

Easy to automate

It was KBC that recommended BrightAnalytics to Van der Erve Europe, after which a consultant specialised in cash flow compared various software suppliers. “After the demo, we knew we wanted to go with BrightAnalytics. However, they do not have a pure cash tool, but we immediately saw that it was user-friendly, very modular and easily configurable software. That indicated that the tool could be adapted to our situation, and that the step to automation was easily made,” says Bart.

The latter was important for Van der Erve Europe, as the company – unlike most other organisations – does not work with budgets to estimate the future. “Software often assumes you have a budget, and that’s your forecast. We work differently. The great thing is that BrightAnalytics immediately let us know, ‘We can do that. We adapt.’ ”

Personalized cash flow forecast

Now that BrightAnalytics has automated the cash planning for Van der Erve Europe, the company only needs two hours to do the reporting and analysis, whereas it used to take a whole day. And meanwhile, the so-called cash flow forecast was also integrated: “A personalised short-term and long-term forecast was built, as we like to see it,” Justyna Gorna, CFO Van der Erve Europe, continues. “On top of that, we discovered that we could also generate efficient and accurate reports on other matters, and thus arrive at new insights. For instance, the tool now also gives us insight into our dollar requirement – important, given that we are an international player – and the monthly P&L is also run through BrightAnalytics. A ‘sales & margin list’ gives us insight into our sales and margins.”

“Without BrightAnalytics, we wouldn’t have had the same insight today,” continues Bart. “Or would we have had to involve multiple resources, which would make it more complicated and time consuming anyway, and increase the chance of manual errors. Because the data now comes directly from the source, we can be confident that what comes out of BrightAnalytics is correct.”

Not an IT guy but a financial analyst

Since then, Van der Erve Europe has been implementing the tool within the company step by step. “The more we start using BrightAnalytics, the more often we get requests from colleagues to create additional reports,” says Bart. “So the ball is rolling, and there are a lot of ideas emerging to come up with new insights. Our motto is: if we can make our work more efficient or if it gives us new insights, then we do it. And BrightAnalytics always responds smoothly and quickly. Our contact at the company is not an IT guy but a financial analyst. This makes the conversations and the search for solutions much easier. He understands very quickly where we want to go, and can translate this into BrightAnalytics language.”

By the end of this year, the Tomtree holding company also plans to have its other two textile business circles, Beconnected and Beconnected Industrial, connect with BrightAnalytics. When all business circles connect to the package we can then create the consolidated reporting. Today we only have consolidated financial statements at holding company level. In the future, we will be able to monitor KPIs on a daily basis from management accounting or reporting. This will be completely new to our company. Finally, a separate dashboard for our brands & licensing team and one for the webshop team ensures that BrightAnalytics provides us with multifunctional support throughout the company in our daily decisions.”

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The benefits of BrightAnalytics according to Van der Erve N.V.:

  • User-friendly tool
  • Modular and easily programmable
  • Tailored to the needs and wishes of the company
  • Time saving and minimum chance of errors
  • Helps to work more efficiently and brings new insights

Wondering what BrightAnalytics can mean for you?