The finance team at Audio Research, one of the oldest continually operating manufacturers in American audio, is expanding the use of Alight Planning to the Alight Enterprise edition. Audio Research is one of the oldest continually operating manufacturers in American audio. The company was founded in 1970 with one goal in mind: to advance the state-of-the-art in music reproduction. Today, Audio Research remains a performance-oriented company by philosophy and design. While the company has grown steadily over the last quarter-century, the company recently began evaluating opportunities for strategic growth initiatives. In 2008, David Onan was selected to head up finance as Chief Financial Officer.
“I was talking to a peer about budgeting and forecasting who had looked at various products and came across Alight and liked it.” Said Onan, “At Audio Research, we take our forecasting pretty seriously beginning with the sale of product which drives required resources such as labor and inventory materials we need. We go on to forecast inventory, and we have other key drivers for people, engineering, and sales. We’ve used Excel to build this up, but we got to the point where only I could really use the Excel model, since no one else really could use the Excel model.”
Aidan Mitchell, Alight Director of Client Services, collaborated with David during the initial model development in Alight. “Right from the start, I knew the model would be a success. David wanted an agile planning model that maximized insights while reducing the errors inherent in spreadsheets. It was important to quickly slice and dice the financial statements by product line, product type, product family, and so on. The key to making the project a value-add experience was the additional requirement to do real-time testing on how various strategies or acquisitions would impact profitability and cash.”
“I feel so much better knowing that the Alight model is now up and running. Getting the plan out of spreadsheets and into Alight enables me to focus on the strategic work I need to be doing as a CFO.” Onan said, “We require the integrity of a structured budget program to assist with running multiple scenarios and consolidating companies. The maintenance of the model, importing actuals, creating variance reports, and doing what-if analysis is now an efficient process. We can now quickly run rolling-12 month forecasts along with the baseline budget and actuals across the P&L, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow. As well, I have immediate visibility into resource requirements as they relate to the drivers. As we grow our organization through acquisitions such as Wadia, we will continue to expand our use of Alight to support our growth.”
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