When JOANN, the popular fabrics and crafts store, approached Alithya for help with its capital planning process, the finance team was struggling to look at the budget holistically, with seven business units making capital requests.
“We had three different inefficient processes in place for approvals to come in: paper requests, email, and DocuSign,” explains Jocelyn Pearce, manager, capital budgeting for JOANN. JOANN had 175-200 budget requests overall for the year—some would turn into projects, and some would be cancelled if other projects arose. Additional contingency dollars were in place for 20 or so pop-up projects over the course of the financial year for a total of 200-250 projects.
“It was easy to fall into a siloed situation for managing the seven different departments, and we struggled with setting the budget for the year,” says Pearce. “We managed the yearly budgeting process in Excel with four to five different versions circulating. This begged the question – ‘which version is correct’?” continues Pearce.
Additionally, when budget requests became projects, there was no standardization for managing the capital projects or running the meetings. Executives would attend multiple budget meetings, and each one was run differently. When closing projects, funds were either released back into the budget or, if there was an overspend, dollars needed to be appropriated from another project. This was all conducted via Excel, which made it hard to track dollars, and was a cumbersome, error-prone process. Moreover, reporting was only conducted monthly, limiting the ability for managers or executives to check up on a project at any given time.
After selecting Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), JOANN looked at managing capital projects within EPM Projects but found Alithya’s CPP solution to be more robust. “One of the cool things about Alithya CPP is that business area owners can enter capital requests throughout the year—not just once a year— and by the time we get to the budgeting season, it’s a seamless process,” says Pearce. JOANN has 25 users in the CPP system who can request capital dollars and 20 users who can approve requests.
JOANN’s Capital Planning process now provides the ability to:
- Holistically look at project data and visibility into planning processes helps project management teams align project decisions and priorities to organizational goals
- Monitor capital portfolio health for ongoing and future initiatives
- Save time and money and eliminate errors with an integrated plan
- Standardize and streamline the capital planning process
- Help decision-makers and front-line managers communicate throughout the request, justification, review, and approval process
- Assess the impact organizational projects and initiatives have on overall corporate resources and ensure they align with short and long-term financial targets
About JOANN Stores
JOANN Fabric and Craft Stores was founded in 1943 as a single retail store. Today, JOANN is the nation’s leading fabric and craft specialty retailer. JOANN retail stores and website, www.joann.com, feature a variety of competitively priced merchandise used in sewing, crafting and home decorating projects, including fabric, notions, crafts, frames, paper crafting supplies, artificial floral, finished seasonal and home décor items. JOANN operates approximately 850 stores in 49 states.
About Alithya Capital Planning
Alithya’s Capital Portfolio Planning solution - built upon Oracle EPM Planning - provides a streamlined, modern, and collaborative site for the organization to work together to manage their capital program. Check out Jocelyn Pearce’s video here or visit our solutions page to learn more about Alithya’s capital portfolio planning.
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