Case Study: Cash Flow Reporting for Western Emulsions, Inc.

Earl Williams, VP of Finance, Western Emulsions, Inc.

July 22, 2010

Western Emulsions, Inc. (WEI), a leading maker of pavement coatings and asphalt emulsions, was growing so fast it needed to manage cash with care to accommodate capacity expansions. They discovered the cash flow analysis template on the ModelSheet website and began using it. WEI improvised a semi-manual process to enter data from their SAP system into the cash flow model. The model provided visibility of cash flow and backup information that enabled management to tighten cash management quickly.

When VP of Finance Earl Williams called ModelSheet to discuss WEI’s expanding needs, he said, “Everyone here fell in love with your cash flow template.” Earl and Corporate Controller Hope Cue ticked off a list of improvements: tracking of individual invoices, aging reports for receivables and payables, longer time horizons, including checking account cash float, adjusting layouts of data to match WEI’s SAP reports and bank records. Finally, Earl wanted to automate the process they used to get the report up and running quickly. This required improving the interface between their SAP system, bank records, and the cash flow model.

Earl retained ModelSheet Software to customize the cash flow model. Some of the improvements were already available in the advanced versions of the cash flow model (tracking individual invoices, aging reports, longer time horizons). Other improvements, such as bank cash float, became standard options in the model. ModelSheet worked with WEI to analyze the data transformations needed to map six SAP and bank data files to the four input files in the cash flow template. The new data entry process slashed manual processing time from several hours per day to about 30 minutes.

Using the Cash Flow model with Senior Management and the Investor Group

Earl meets with the C-level executives and the Investor Group regularly, and the ModelSheet-based cash flow statement is an integral part of the financial discussion. Earl stated, "After bringing two new facilities on-line this year, the need to efficiently manage cash is a key success factor for us. ModelSheet has helped us do just that."

Earl said,

"The pre-built cash flow model plus ModelSheet’s very responsive consulting services got us where we wanted to be quickly. ModelSheet’s spreadsheet tools are so effective that the cost of changes was a lot less than we expected. We streamlined our data transformation processes based on their recommendations, and the resulting cash flow model was a big help in managing our capacity expansion. I would highly recommend the templates and the consulting services to anyone with challenges in reporting and analysis with spreadsheets."