“G7 was so clear on what we needed that they were often waiting on us.”

JPS Energy Solutions worked with G7 to improve their Budgeting, Planning, and Reporting

THE CLIENT: JAMAICA PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY

As the sole distributor of electricity in Jamaica, Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) serves over 640,000 customers every day. It operates 4 power stations, 9 hydroelectric plants, and a wind farm.

 

THE PROBLEM: OVER-RELIANCE ON EXCEL SPREADSHEETS

Before working with G7, JPS relied heavily on interlinked Microsoft Excel files for its financial reporting, actuals data, and budgets. The Excel-based system had a number of limitations. For starters, only one person could edit a spreadsheet at any given time. That was not efficient, since the spreadsheet files covered multiple cost centers and each cost center had its own manager.

In addition, the Excel files were prone to errors. Updating the data was tedious, especially when the company tried to expand or restructure departments and the complex formulas had to be adjusted. Employees could not be confident that they were looking at the most current iteration of the spreadsheet, or that the data in the spreadsheet was up-to-date. Sometimes the files would even get corrupted. The folder-based access system wasn’t very secure at all.

 

THE SOLUTION:

Continuing to use the Excel-based process for financial planning and budget projections became untenable. JPS decided that it needed to move beyond Excel and transition to a web-based environment.

JPS began working directly with a big BI (Business Intelligence) software shop. Unfortunately, the representatives they dealt with were much more skilled with the technical aspects of the software than the functional, how-do-I-make-this-work-for-me aspects. Frustrated, JPS decided to try one of the big shop’s recommended partners. JPS interviewed two candidates and chose G7.

Working with JPS’s Strategy Department, G7 served as a trusted partner. Odeta Pine, the founder of the company and her team, have deep knowledge of both Excel and business intelligence software, so they understood how to transition from one to the other. JPS found G7 faster, more flexible, and more affordable than working directly with the big shop.

JPS was especially impressed by their responsiveness. Any changes or adjustments were made very quickly. “Instead of us waiting on her, she was waiting on them,” says Christopher Hayden, IT Specialist-Applications at JPS. “The reason G7 could do that is because they understood from a functional point of view what we were doing.”

THE RESULTS:

G7 created a web-based solution that replaced JPS’ convoluted Excel mess. It was so intuitive, employees didn’t need a manual to understand it! “It was easy to use, which is very crucial — especially when you want user buy-in,” Hayden says.

Now JPS has greater visibility into their finances. They can see the big picture, but they can also drill down to more detail as needed. Staff are confident that they are looking at one coherent version of the truth. The system is far more secure, and the Strategy Department is now empowered to manage security issues on its own. Best of all, G7’s service didn’t break the bank. The project was on time and under budget by 20-30% per phase and 25% across the board.

Odeta helps JPS Define Financial Reporting Goals

Odeta Pine leads Budgeting, Planning, & Reporting Strategy Session

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