Managing performance in 56 countries in real time 

Mercur Business Control supports Hellmann Worldwide Logistics to plan and monitor performance around the world. Almost 600 users access the system to enter budgets and forecast or to run reports and analyze their business performance. Automated processes for reallocations are indispensable tools. They enable the central controlling department to create an accurate picture of performance on all levels of the Group.

A long lasting partnership 

Hellmann Worldwide Logistics has been a loyal and satisfied customer of Mercur Solutions for more than two decades. During this period Hellmann has grown steadily, to become a leading global supplier of logistics services. Growth inevitably means changing and increasing demands for planning, budgeting, reporting and analysis. Yesterday’s efficient and comprehensive solution cannot support tomorrow’s new requirement. 

Mercur successfully managed this process through constant development and technical innovation in every new generation. All the requirements for supporting more and more users as well as larger data volumes have been met. Today Mercur Business Control is used by Hellmann offices around the world as well as by the central departments at the group headquarters in Osnabrück, Germany. 

Hellmann – early adopters of new technology 

An increasing number of organizations deploy specialized applications for performance management. Nevertheless, according to industry researchers Gartner, 50% to 60% of large enterprises still use spreadsheets for planning and budgeting. But at Hellmann they understood the value of a common solution for planning, budgeting and reporting and implemented an early version of Mercur already in the 1980’s. 

Hellmann´s current solution 

Mercur is the main tool for Hellmann’s budgeting, reporting and analysis. Every monthly reporting cycle is started by updating the system with actuals from various ERP systems. This is done through Mercur’s built in data integration tools, which eliminates the need for all manual data entry. 

Mercur then automatically handles the necessary currency conversions, eliminations, reallocations, and consolidations to present a complete and unified picture of the Hellmann Group’s performance. In other words, Mercur is the main source of information regarding business performance for Hellmann’s management and financial controllers as well as for business managers based all over the world – in total almost 500 users!

Mercur in a decentralized organization

The main challenges during the setup and implementation of Mercur came from the decentralized organizational structure. Detailed reallocations and lots of different responsibilities, means a great number of consolidation hierarchies. Mercur offered solutions for all the requirements with only a minimum of customization. The controllers at local subsidiaries are able to run their P&L and other reports at any time, independent of the central controlling department at the head office.

Mercur also allows the users to connect to the system during the budgeting cycle to input their plans. Hellmann’s budget forms contain all the reference information and calculations that the users need to complete their budgets on time and without compromising on the quality of information. Central controlling can manage the process through Mercur’s Work Process Control function, which gives an overview of how the work is moving forward.

Important benefits

Hellmann benefits from Mercur for its performance management processes in many ways but most important are:

  • Less time spent for planning cycles

  • Fast and flexible delivery of reports

  • Improved analysis and decisions based on numbers that everyone trusts 

  • Elimination of manual work through integration with general ledger & other systems

  • Enhanced cooperation with, and ownership by, business managers throughout the world

  • Removal of administrative bottlenecks when the organization grows

  • Increased strategic value of the financial control function

A corporate culture for continuous development 

Mercur’s continuous development is driven to a large extent by our customers’ own ideas and requirements. As one of Mercur’s largest and most demanding clients, Hellmann plays an especially important role in this process. A Solution Review Team consisting of representatives from Hellmann’s controlling department and Mercur’s consulting and development departments meets at least once a year to exchange ideas and discuss improvements and new functionality for the future. This symbiotic relationship fits well with the spirit of both companies.

Founded in 1871 by Carl Heinrich Hellmann and now run by Carl’s great-grandchildren, Jost and Klaus, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics has always been a family-owned company. The family’s values are the basis for Hellmann’s corporate culture. This resonates well with how Mercur defines a successful customer partnership – long lasting and based on mutual trust.

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