Focusing on achieving our Key Results, the Finance Department broke down barriers by collaborating with other departments within Hunter to better understand cost drivers affecting our bottom line. Interdepartmental collaboration allows us to assist key personnel in making effective and informed decisions based on improved data and analysis.
Kari Pelters Vice President of Finance
The Vice President of Finance has a strategic plan that encourages her staff to become interdepartmental business partners here at Hunter by supplying financial information for operational and strategic decisions made company wide. This is an ongoing effort to align Hunter’s key personnel with shared information through technology, procedure improvements, and education.
Learning About Hunter Operations
The first step to becoming effective interdepartmental business partners is having a thorough understanding of company operations. Over the past few years, the Finance Department has taken this first step by utilizing monthly department meetings to tour other operations around campus, including the cogeneration plant, FX Luminaire, and drip irrigation extrusion lines. This also allows other departments to meet the people behind the numbers here at Hunter, which is paramount to company-wide training on the intricacies of company operations.Back to Top
Advancing Through Technology
The Finance Department aims to create more efficient processes, watch for cost savings, and improve financial reporting to increase transparency and accuracy. To help meet these goals, Finance is leveraging new technology and upgrading existing software. An added advantage to technology advancement is a large reduction in paper use. A few technological advancements Finance made that resulted in a reduction of paper use include:
- Electronic Financials are accessible via HCP and BIDS with drill down capabilities into individual transactional data
- Payments are made electronically through Wells Fargo banking software, Payment Manager®
- Use of laptops in place of paper in meetings
- Expense reports are filed electronically anywhere and anytime via Concur
Ultimately, Finance’s commitment has spawned a company-wide effort to reduce paper use.
Hunter’s Business Intelligence Data Services (BIDS, formerly FReT), a SAP Business Objects product, allows managers to view their expenditures in real time so they can work with Finance to reduce expenses and increase operational efficiency and accuracy. Greater access and visibility to financial data in other departments helped Hunter spend cautiously and operate below budget in 2012.
Finance offers company-wide accessibility to high-level financials through Hunter Corporate Portal (HCP). In 2012, Finance created a Dashboard on HCP’s homepage with gauges displaying sales figures, level of operating expenses, and profit sharing projection updated on a daily and weekly basis. Additionally, daily status reports with actual, budgeted, and forecasted sales by business segment are displayed on the Finance Department’s HCP site.Back to Top
From new software to process improvements, Kari Pelters is a firm believer in department advancement through technology, encouraging efficiency and quality results. To ensure technological fluency throughout her department, Finance has monthly Coffee Talks that train employees on new or advanced practices and techniques, typically IT related. Coffee Talk topics in the past year included:
- Co-Authoring Documents on HCP
- Using MySite on HCP (employee’s personal profile page)
- Document Control on HCP
- Excel Pivot Tables and Nitro PDF Pro
The Finance Department is investing in education and technology to boost efficiency and improve departmental processes and procedures in order to focus on advancing Hunter’s performance.
Kari Pelters Vice President of Finance