Increasing Visibility & Standardization by Including BlackLine in the Switch to an SSC

The Challenge

With annual sales of $3.3 billion, Trivium Packaging leads the world in the design and manufacturing of innovative and sustainable packaging solutions. This future-forward approach is also evident in the company’s approach to finance operations. Recently, the company implemented a shared service center, bringing multiple finance operations under one roof.

“Switching to a shared service model was essential to our longevity,” says Greta Benke, general accounting manager at Trivium. "It was key to improve efficiencies, standardize processes, and lower costs by eliminating the need for repetitive effort."

It was also an opportunity to streamline and standardize their existing reconciliation process, which was distributed across multiple locations. "The process wasn’t centralized and standardized," says Benke. "Reconciliations were prepared in various formats. There was little visibility, and it took tremendous time to pull information together."

The reliance on outdated methods also made it difficult to close on time. “Sometimes there was no time to perform all the monthly reconciliations. Although these were completed in the following month, it meant we often lacked real-time information."

Why BlackLine

Benke had relied on BlackLine at a previous company and knew from experience that the solution could both centralize and streamline Trivium’s close. “We discussed with my manager the need for a tool like BlackLine to make sure that reconciliations are performed and available on a common platform,” says Benke. “We reviewed a few other vendors before presenting a business case for BlackLine to the CFO.”

Trivium implemented BlackLine Account Reconciliations and Task Management solutions with the help of consultant Clearsulting. Contracting with Clearsulting freed resources, crucial when Trivium transitioned to the shared service center. “The finance organization did not have time to project manage the implementation,” says Benke. “Clearsulting helped us with best practices, IT, and customization.”

The Results

Centralized reconciliation. With BlackLine, Trivium has centralized its entire reconciliation process. This is in sharp contrast to their previous process, which was spread across multiple business units. Benke and her team now have access to real-time data and the big-picture view of all activities.

Reduced risk. BlackLine makes it easier for Trivium to stay compliant with internal control requirements and company policies, from both standardization and timeliness perspectives. “The company policy dictates that balance sheet reconciliations have to be on time. With BlackLine, we can now track the completeness of our reconciliations in every month.”

Improved accountability. BlackLine Task Management tracks and makes visible the hundreds of tasks crucial to the close. It also helps ensure accountability. “Task Management helps us measure what we’re doing on a day-to-day basis,” says Benke. “We can be clear about our expectations during the month. People know what they’re supposed to do and when they’re supposed to be done.”

Increased visibility. Prior to BlackLine, a lack of visibility made it difficult to monitor the progress of the month-end close. “Increased visibility has been one of the most important changes for us,” says Benke. “With BlackLine, we have a real-time dashboard. All our information is immediately accessible, and I can see how my team is doing. And if one of my team members is a little bit behind, I can easily reallocate resources."

Industry

Manufacturing

ERP

SAP

Region

Global

Company Size

Midsize

Business Impact

Centralized reconciliation

Reduced risk

Improved accountability

Increased visibility


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