Easy cost management and follow-up
“It’s obvious BrightAnalytics was made for people with a clear and practical view of what a good financial reporting program should look like.” Nothing but praise from J. Cortès CEO Frederik Vandermarliere. The West Flemish family business manufactures cigars and sells them across the globe. With BrightAnalytics all figures are centralised and reported in a single location.
The Cortès story starts in Moen in the attic above the cigar shop of Maurits Vandermarliere. Ten years later he opened a small factory in Heestert and 83 years down the road the company has its own plants in Kortemark, Sri Lanka, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.
Frederik is the third-generation Vandermarliere to run the company. He was literally born between the tobacco leaves and harbours a deep-seated passion for his product. Under his leadership Cortès acquired a number of companies in 2016. Cortès now has a total of six subsidiaries.
Acquisitions and uniformity
Cortès was introduced to BrightAnalytics twelve months before the first of the acquisitions. “We’d been questioning our reporting method for a while. Initially we were looking to develop our own program”, says Ines Decoutere, financial manager at Cortès. “When we first saw what BrightAnalytics could do we realised we would never be able to develop a program like this ourselves. Of course, it was no longer necessary. All our expectations were met right off the bat.”
The acquisitions made it clear the company was in need of uniformity. “Each subsidiary had its own accounting program and its own reporting method”, Decoutere continues. “This makes it hard to create an overall and streamlined picture.”
Consolidating data and companies
The subsidiaries could keep using their own accounting programs because BrightAnalytics automatically reads in all data and users only consult what they need. Analysis is smooth, comparisons are easy. No superfluous windows or information, only transparency.
“The figures are now rendered in a uniform fashion and that makes our work easier”, says Ines Decoutere. “ Every figure can be traced back down to booking level and we use this feature a lot to look at the data in detail.”
Consolidating figures is no longer done in an Excel file. “It practically took an IT expert to do the job”, says Decoutere. Cortès implements four sub-consolidations and one overarching one. “Now it just takes a few clicks to bring together figures from each level.”
Cortès also uses BrightAnalytics for budgeting purposes, up to three years in advance. All subsidiaries prepare this process in a uniform manner and this saves a lot of work.
Cortès elects to give managers and accountants full access to all figures. Sales managers in the various regions only see the P&L for their area, allowing them to follow up on their costs and EBITDA and it also gives them an idea of their gross margin.
This cost follow-up has already delivered benefits. “We work more efficiently and we can see at a glance where we can cut costs”, says Decoutere. “Several years ago our costs for water had risen considerably. As it turns out there was a leak in the building. BrightAnalytics stopped us from pouring even more money down the drain.”
“The program gives you exactly what you need”, according to Ines. You always report in the same manner, both internally and externally. This creates a familiar overview, which inspires trust. “It’s very user-friendly”, CEO Frederik Vandermarliere confirms. “Even without accountancy training it’s easy to find your way around the program. There’s a lot you can do in a simple way, and at a reasonable price too.”
Discover the five benefits of BrightAnalytics according to Cortès:
- Fast, user-friendly and transparent
- Consolidating the figures of the different subsidiaries
- Drafting budgets
- Consulting figures in the local currency as well as in euros
- Access control tailored to the users
Consolidate market share
BrightAnalytics helps Cortès maintain a financial overview in a unequivocal way. The cigar manufacturer’s main objective in the coming years is to consolidate market share. The tobacco market is not an easy sector to keep turning a profit. It’s a product that exudes luxury and quality but it’s also very labour and capital intensive. It’s also a product that will always appeal to enthusiasts.