How this pan-African agency streamlined itself with the appropriate companion and software program

The Meridian Group CIO Graeme Vaughn

Graeme Vaughan, CIO The Meridian Group, says the properly designed and user-friendly resolution Corporate Planning, built-in into the group via its sturdy and intimate relationship with Insight Consulting, has basically shifted a previously disparate reporting and budgeting course of right into a consolidated and streamlined enterprise energy.

Who is The Meridian Group?

The Meridian Group, with headquarters in Mauritius, is the holding firm of 23 subsidiaries throughout Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The subsidiaries, in flip, are made up of 4 items: fertiliser mixing, fertiliser distribution, retail and manufacturing of commodities. It caters for all farmers, from smallholding to industrial enterprises, NGOs and authorities rising programmes.

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“Technology is a key growth driver for the business and supports its ultimate goal of improving food security in Africa,” says Vaughan.

Who is Insight Consulting?

Insight Consulting works with companies to formulate and ship on knowledge methods in any respect ranges of the organisation. It does this by embarking on long-term relationships with prospects and unlocking actionable insights, utilizing the newest pondering and expertise throughout the information worth chain.

What is Corporate Planning?

Corporate Planning (CP) software program assists companies to beat the time-consuming, guide burden of the planning course of in addition to the challenges related to inconsistent reporting throughout their planning and forecasting cycles. Businesses are capable of combine strategic and operational planning to facilitate clear and well-founded enterprise selections.

The affect of Corporate Planning software program on The Meridian Group

The Meridian Group didn’t have full visibility of its money stream and far of its money was tied up in uncooked materials. Insight Consulting helped the enterprise, via an in depth and open relationship with Vaughan and his group, to observe a bottom-up planning method with the software program, the place the person subsidiaries throughout completely different areas have been ready plan their very own budgets and forecasts.

By integrating with insights gathered from the group’s enterprise intelligence software program, The Meridian Group was capable of achieve full visibility of uncooked materials all the way in which to the completed product, after which developed a correct demand plan for the holding firm.

This demand-supply planning method had a direct affect on procurement, and The Meridian Group was capable of combine that into the revenue assertion and steadiness sheet throughout your entire enterprise. “That’s how planning should work: find out what the main business challenge is, and then use the best available software and processes to alleviate that challenge and streamline the business,” says Vaughan.

The challenges

Vaughan says that when an organisation grows organically, there are a selection of legacy techniques in place, with people with a substantial amount of institutional data in key positions. “You find that you have an inordinate amount of reliance on these key resources, which becomes problematic because you’re working with different people, different data sources, using multiple currencies and following different procedures in different regions,” he says.

When errors are made, they’ll have a big effect, he says. “Over the years, our organisation — and probably many others with operations as diverse as ours — had been running a set of highly complicated consolidated budgets on an annual basis. This is a mammoth task and there wasn’t much scope for in-depth scenario planning, or at least at the level that an organisation needs to be agile and proactive.”

Vaughan says that the advantages of getting a shared instrument outweigh the effort and time of getting varied subsidiaries and customers on board. One of probably the most pleasing outcomes of the implementation, says Vaughan, was the event of a unified tradition of company excellence, throughout items and areas.


“Relationships are key for me in this role,” says Vaughan, “because I’m not a technocrat. You need to be able to work with a business partner and have trust that your partner will help you assimilate tools that will make a meaningful impact in the business. You must have faith that the technology your partner is presenting is not just to make money but a real, meaningful solution to a problem that has been identified in the business, with a plan to solve that problem in the least amount of time and with the least disruptions.”

Vaughan provides that Insight Consulting and The Meridian Group didn’t observe the standard steps one would discover in a consulting relationship, and that it was natural and advanced on a weekly foundation out of necessity. “Let’s be honest, there are seldom standard operating procedures in a business operating in various countries with different challenges and so there was no prescriptive process, rather an honest look at our people, processes and the technology we needed, in this case Corporate Planning, to solve problems in our organisation.”

You will need to have religion that the expertise your companion is presenting isn’t just to make cash however an actual, significant resolution

Shanna Jardim at Insight Consulting agrees, saying that any relationship a companion enters into with a enterprise must align on the challenges, the corporate’s insurance policies and their present processes, after which the group should work collectively carefully and methodically to seek out the appropriate options.

“We were able to drill down into the data and find where the misalignment was and then apply the Corporate Planning software suite alongside the business intelligence software to solve real budgeting and planning challenges. This ongoing relationship and our close eye over the data has enabled us to pick up problems, and then take them to Meridian with the right solutions to solve them.”

About Insight Consulting
Formed in 2007, Insight Consulting is a strategic consulting agency that operates throughout Southern and East Africa. It is an information specialist firm that finds its enterprise prospects’ uncooked knowledge, frees it from vertical enterprise silos, understands its relevance, and actions it into enterprise worth for them, through the use of clever software program and analytical experience. For extra info, go to

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