Gordon to Deliver Greater Efficiency with Better Software Planning

Gordon Food Services Inc., Grand Rapids, MI, announced it has signed a contract with Ann Arbor-based Comshare Inc. and will implement the software firm's Web-enabled Budgeting and Analysis system.

Gordon is among the largest privately held foodservice distributors in North America, has annual revenues of $1.65 billion and employs 4,500.

In a press announcement that crossed our news desk, Jeff VanDyke, finance manager for Gordon Food Services, spoke on the considerations and benefits that will allow the company to operate more efficiently, presumably allowing the company to better serve foodservice operators...

First off, GFS needed to replace its old mainframe budgeting and reporting system with one that was easy to use and gave its managers greater flexibility to analyze and report on the data it contained. The foodservice distributor chose the BudgetPlus 3.0 system from Comshare Inc., running on an Oracle database. Comshare is a leading provider of management planning and control applications/ to get the job done. The BudgetPLUS(TM) 3.0 to run on its Oracle database and link to the desktops of 120 of its managers via client/server and Web technology.

The system will allow Gordon decision-makers to analyze incoming data and generate reports themselves. "Most of our managers did not like the budgeting system we had, because it was inflexible, too time-consuming, difficult to navigate, and lacking in forecasting capabilities," according to VanDyke. The system will let managers better budget human resource expenses, depreciation from new assets expenses, and their departmental expenses. "In addition, our sales branch managers will be able to forecast sales based on historical data, and then analyze the results and make modifications where necessary," VanDyke added.

He specifically cited we liked the software vendor's client/server, Web capabilities, and Oracle relational database. Benefits are expected in areas of we'll see time savings, faster turnaround of information, greater information sharing, and improved decision-making "all year long, not just during the budgeting season. We no longer have to take the time to transfer data back and forth on the mainframe, and changes take effect immediately. We also can view the information several different ways, which gives us more flexibility in deciding which scenarios are the best ones to carry out in managing our business.

"The ability to put the analysis and decision-making in the hands of managers gives those users a powerful tool for running the business from historical data, actuals, and forecasts. In addition, `what-if analysis' is extremely important to GFS. In fact, it was one of the major criteria for selecting the right analytic software for our company," he added.