Constellium is a global leader in the development and manufacturing of high value-added aluminium products and solutions, with more than a century of growth.
Constellium Group was set up in 2011 and is a legacy of Pechiney, Alcan, and Alusuisse. The Group is listed on the NYSE since 2013.
Light weighting, strong and highly recyclable, aluminium is the metal of choice for a wide range of applications such as aeronautics, transports, automotive, packaging with beverage cans, energy, construction.
Capital (and Capex) is a scarce resource for Constellium Group. An Excel-based solution was implemented since 2017, to manage and centralize the project portfolio across the Group, with a high granular view in order to achieve 3 main objectives:
- Manage a portfolio of projects from plant to Group;
- Have the long-term view: be able to make yearly capital allocation, have a long-term planning;
- Short-term view with forecasting, reporting and forecast to forecast comparison.
The centralization of this database implies to aggregate the Excel files of each of Constellium reporting units by running macros. This was a quarterly cumbersome and time-consuming process that lasted for over 3 years, tedious both on data entry, on their aggregation and conversion calculations. The 75 users in different sites around the world suffered in particular from the lack of flexibility, various bugs and crashes of the macro, and the lack of versioning.
Replace the existing home-made Excel with a more robust, performing planning solution able to:
- Create, modify, store a large number of projects with their own attributes
- Have planning functionalities: actual, forecast, long term plans
- Aggregate, calculate, translate, sort
- Manage multi-dimensions: entity, project, category, status, phasing
- Manage granularity: drill-down and drill-up
- Real-time view (vs. the quarterly view)
- Reconcile with each phase of the financial reporting tool (actual/budget/forecast/LTP)
This is not a project portfolio management tool (PPM) as the usage is not to follow the life of a project from within, but to have the overview of the portfolio capital requirements (i.e. sequence of cash and lease) with a finer grain.
- Acceleration and reliability of data (almost real-time), being able to play with the cube dimensions (requests by category, status etc… thus enhancing the accuracy of analysis and modeling with simulation capabilities.
- Be able to report monthly to the Capital Committee for tangible results on the decision-making.
- User adoption.
- Simplification of the process: the project was tailored to manage everything (input/output) in Smartview, the Excel add-on.
The project went live early March 2020 just before containment. In the context of the COVID crisis, when difficult decisions had to taken and many projects deferred to preserve liquidity, this new tool was really helpful to Constellium to react quickly and assess with the business units what was the new baseline for 2020.