On September 19, 1876, Melville Bissell patented his one-of-a-kind invention, the BISSELL Carpet Sweeper, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Within two decades, his invention became so beloved that Queen Victoria of Great Britain requested to have Buckingham Palace “Bisselled” at least once per week.
146 years later, BISSELL is still family owned and operated. It’s the 6th-oldest privately held manufacturer in the United States, and the biggest manufacturer of floor care products in North America. The company boasts a product offering that’s over 8,000-strong, from carpet cleaners and vacuums to air purifiers and carpet-cleaning formulas.
For nearly a century and a half, BISSELL has been on the leading edge of innovation in the floor care industry. But in recent years, even as the company experienced success and sustained growth, its internal budgeting and forecasting processes struggled to keep pace. “Our long-range plan was done completely in spreadsheets,” says Reid Turner, Financial Planning and Reporting manager at BISSELL. “All of our compensation planning was done in Excel. We had numerous versions and reconciling issues when we were trying to recalculate compensation for our quarterly budgets and annual plans.”
To support continued future growth, BISSELL’s management team knew it needed a cloud-based financial planning and analysis (FP&A) solution to simplify workforce planning, model scenarios, and analyze profitability by product, entity, region, and customer segments. With a global operation and product mix as sophisticated as BISSELL’s, migrating to the cloud was a necessity, not a luxury.
BISSELL has been an Oracle customer for years, so when the time came to decide on a solution, the choice was clear: Oracle Cloud EPM. “We’re primarily an Oracle house and we’ve had success with our previous Oracle implementations,” says Turner. “So, I think that led heavily into our decision to move on to Cloud EPM.”
BISSELL’s finance and accounting teams were able to quickly acclimate themselves to the new cloud lifestyle without incident. “Everything is very user-friendly,” says Turner. “From a change management perspective, everything went well.”
From the very beginning, Turner and his team knew this massive project meant more than simply an IT upgrade. The decision to move to the cloud was about improving the workforce planning process, gaining better insights into profitability and cost allocations, and establishing a single source of truth for long-range plan data.
“Before when we had an Oracle custom allocation tool for our actuals, we had to wait eight to twelve hours to get results in reporting every day,” Turner explained. “So that delayed a lot of reporting that upper-level management was anticipating.”
Since go-live, BISSELL has been able to reduce the actuals allocation processing time for customer and product profitability data from 4 hours to 15 minutes by using Oracle Cloud PCM instead of the custom allocation tool. Allocated actuals are available in Cloud EPM reporting within 3 hours instead of 8-12 hours.
“That is one of the most substantial efficiency drivers,” Turner explained. “It allows closer to real-time results to be available in reports that our users are expecting to see. There is less manual effort required in that process. Moving to the cloud and having all that automation saves significant work hours.”
In addition to gaining better and faster insights into profitability, being able to model various scenarios and execute long-range planning added new value to BISSELL’s FP&A process.
“That’s been a huge benefit to us, because now we can perform what-if scenario analysis, or analyze the impacts of headcount changes by recalculating compensation entirely in the cloud EPM solution. We never had that before,” Turner explained. “Each region can completely build their own long-range plan and control it all themselves. They can go in to the driver-based forms, trend-based calculations, and they could complete their long-range plan in 30 minutes if they wanted. It’s significantly faster than the process before of relying on spreadsheets.”
Getting rid of spreadsheets and standardizing on a single, cloud-based solution was the catalyst that allowed BISSELL to connect plans across the enterprise.
“As you pass around those spreadsheets, many things can change or links can be broken, so having all our planning connected—I think that’s the key. All our plans are synchronized, so whether we do our quarterly budgets or annual plan, it’s entirely connected. Compensation details are all available in there. It just simplifies the process greatly, eliminates version control, and eliminates a lot of reconciliation issues.”
With all of BISSELL’s financial and operational plans interconnected, company leaders from each line of business are on the same page. “Our management and executive level can now review those long-range plans in the system, whereas before it was all reliant on spreadsheets or slides sent over to them,” Turner explained.
Even with BISSELL’s EPM implementation in the rearview mirror, the company’s cloud transformation journey is still underway.
“We haven’t completed our cloud journey yet,” declares Turner. “Next, we’re going to move accounts receivable, manufacturing, inventory, and cost management into the cloud. I’m optimistic that moving those source systems to the cloud will get us much closer to real-time results in Cloud EPM.”
By modernizing their back office and embracing connected planning, BISSELL’s finance leaders can now chart the future with confidence. Despite all the achievements BISSELL has made in its 146-year history, they are just getting started.
Deloitte was instrumental in helping BISSELL implement Oracle Cloud EPM. On top of the initial setup, the organization helped build integrations between BISSELL's various systems such as HR and EPM. It provided support alongside Oracle to address any challenges BISSELL faced along the way.