Case Studies - Gunnersen

About Gunnersen

Gunnersen is an Australian-owned and family-led distributor of wood-based panel products, timber and decorative surface materials.

The products Gunnersen distributes are used in interior and exterior building applications, and in large and small projects, from substantial commercial fit-outs to home kitchen renovations. Gunnersen is entrusted by leading manufacturers across Australia and the world to distribute their brands and products, because of its low cost distribution methods, combined with effective marketing and brand awareness.

Gunnersen is the largest independent Australian-owned business of its type and has a rich history, which dates back nearly 140 years. The company employs more than 250 people at several branches across Australia and also at its Auckland branch in New Zealand. Gunnersen’s head office and sales is located in Melbourne.

Gunnersen’s Planning and Reporting Challenge

Like many of the companies that come to OYB, up until recently Gunnersen was using spreadsheets for their planning and reporting, and in particular their annual budget. In Gunnersen’s case, they had around 30 spreadsheets, all linked together.

“We certainly didn’t have a system-based solution for our annual budgeting,” says Adam Simon, the General Manager of Finance, Admin and IT. “Because of the complexity of the spreadsheet system and the way it had to link together, there was little flexibility in what we could do. Obviously, when we were using this number of spreadsheets, having total confidence in the data was also an issue.

The Solution

When Adam sat down with OYB to look for a solution to their planning and reporting issues, high on his agenda was a system-based solution that was less complex, ensured data integrity and was flexible. He also wanted a system that was based online to be accessed across the country.

A customised budgeting and reporting tool was identified as the best solution for Gunnersen’s needs, which was implemented by OYB, working together with Adam and his team. While the work to improve Gunnersen’s planning and reporting processes is ongoing, Adam says he’s already seeing the significant benefits that the solution can provide.

“One of the benefits of having an online solution is that it allows us to do the work over the phone,” Adam says. “Instead of travelling to each of our 8 branches, I can open up the OYB reporting solution at the same time as someone from another branch, and we can work through the data. It’s a lot easier and of course a cheaper way to do the work.”

“Flexibility is also a key advantage. Before, we’d essentially produce a budget and that was it. With the OYB solution, I can do a budget and a forecast, and I can then re-forecast for multiple years and slice and dice the data in many different ways. We have so much more flexibility than we had with the spreadsheet based approach.”

The other key benefit for Gunnersen is data integrity. As Adam explains, “Obviously, when you are using 30 spreadsheets you can get into all sorts of problems and data integrity could be an issue. The solution we use now is much more reliable, and this is very important for us.

“I’ve more confidence in the integrity of our data.”

Summary of Benefits

  • Great flexibility
  • Time and cost savings
  • Online solution makes the process easier to manage
  • Data integrity

The relationship with OYB

The reporting solution, which is proving so successful for Gunnersen, would not have been possible without the support of OYB. The implementation was completed during a busy time for Gunnersen and Adam is convinced it wouldn’t have been completed if it wasn’t for the responsiveness of the OYB team.

“The OYB reporting solution is a great tool, but I’m sure there are other tools out there that could do as good a job. What made the difference for us was the service from OYB,” Adam adds. “I can’t emphasise that enough!

“I think the other important thing to note is that Jack (OYB Director, Jack Campbell) understands accounting and finance principles and that’s really important. I’ve dealt with IT people before who have had absolutely no idea about finance, so their solutions don’t meet the needs of finance clients. Jack’s expertise in accounting and his team’s expertise in implementing an IT solution was extremely important for us.”