Planful Customer Panel & Customer Awards | Kimberly Simms
Announcer: Welcome to the stage, Planful's Chief Customer Officer, Kimberly Simms.
Kimberly Simms: Okay, who doesn't like The Breakfast Club. Remember? Yeah. Haven't seen the movie. Anyways, all right. Hi, everybody. So happy to be here. So, like the song said, don't forget about me. I'm one of the only ELT members that actually doesn't have a really fun accent. I'm from Colorado. So, like me, some of you may have a little accent envy, so we have quite a few Australians in particular, if you didn't notice. So, I've taken it upon myself to learn a little Australian, and I thought it might be fun to share a little bit of my knowledge with you guys. So, this is a group activity, and I need all of your participation in this. So, I'd like you to repeat after me, everyone say the word'rise'.
Kimberly Simms: Okay. Now everyone say the word'up'.
Kimberly Simms: Now everyone say the word'lights'.
Kimberly Simms: Okay. We're going to say this all together now. Rise up lights. Ready?
Audience: Rise up lights.
Kimberly Simms: Oh, it's coming. Okay. One more time. See if you can hear the word.
Audience: Rise up lights.
Kimberly Simms: All right, does anybody know what word we're saying in Australian? Razor blades. Exactly. See? So, you need to take this home. This is a good gift to bring home to your family and friends. For sure. Thank you all. For indulging me in a little language lesson and for joining us here today. So yes, you can tell I am so happy that you're here, but I'm even more excited that I'm here. As Grant mentioned earlier, this is his first in person perform event. And guess what? It's also mine. I started with Planful about two years ago in the thick of the pandemic, and you can imagine my stress of starting as a Chief Customer Officer at a company where it's near impossible to actually go visit any of our customers, but we all figured out how to manage, right? Relying on Zoom and Slack and emails and phone calls. I've actually had the chance to meet many of you in person, and the funny thing is most of you have had the pleasure of meeting most of my kids as well. And sometimes my dogs over the Zoom. But now I'm finally getting to meet you in person, and I'm so very grateful for this opportunity to be here and excited. Just to get to know you a little bit better together. I'm very lucky to be the Chief Customer Officer at a company where the number one value is customers. We put our customers first, and we strive to always do what's right for them. That's how our value is written, and it's a value that we all work towards. All of us here at Planful each and every day. I'm also very lucky to be Planful's Chief Customer Officer specifically today as we're getting the chance to recognize our avid supporters with the Planful Champions Club inductees, and our most progressive customers with the Planful customer awards. Both of these are coming up shortly, but first let's get going with our customer panel. It is my sincere pleasure to welcome to the stage the following Planful customers, Brad Tingey from VP, he's the VP of Finance at Golden State Foods, Angel Woodard from Kiewit, and Gaylord Miller from Imagen Dental Partners. Hi, guys. Thanks for coming. It's great to have you up here. All right. So, let's start with some introductions. Brad, why don't we start with you? Maybe tell us a little bit about your role, your company, how long you've been with Planful.
Brad Tingey: Yeah, so I'm Brad Tingey. I'm the Vice President of Finance at Golden State Foods, and we've been on Planful for, I guess, going on seven years now, and I was part of the team that originally selected Planful back in 2014 and been involved with the product ever since.
Kimberly Simms: Gosh, so long ago. That's great.
Brad Tingey: I know. Longer than probably most people here have been with Planful so, except maybe Ben Page and Kevin Lawrence and a few others, so.
Kimberly Simms: It's great to have you. Thanks, Brad. Funny question. Wanted to find out about this one. I thought this would be good for the audience to know. It's always fun to talk about what you wanted to be when you grow up. Did you always want to be a leader in finance?
Brad Tingey: No. I initially wanted to be a naval aviator, but then I realized I don't like flying very much.
Kimberly Simms: Like Top Gun?
Brad Tingey: Yeah. Top Gun, of course. That's a naval aviator, then NBA basketball player or coach, but I didn't grow high enough and, there's just some things you can't do, and I was impressed very early on. We had a basketball tournament years ago, and the coach walks into the room playing against this team from Iowa. Coach says,'guys, we're not going to win'. And, but you can say you played against somebody who played in the NBA, and that guy was way better than us. He was really good.
Kimberly Simms: That's cool. Thanks for sharing. Okay, Angel, over to you. Why don't you tell us a little bit about where you work at, your role, how long you been working with Planful?
Angel Woodard: So, I am the IT controller for Kiewit technology group. Kiewit is a construction company for those that don't know, and I've been there for, going on 16 years. We've been using the Planful tool for working on our fifth year this year.
Kimberly Simms: That's crazy. Okay. So, now that everybody's back in the spring or the swing of travel, there's been some crazy stories out there, but I happen to know one particularly that Angel dealt with. So, you want to share with the audience?
Angel Woodard: Yeah. So, I was fortunate to be invited to Planful, their palooza over in San Diego in July last year, and when I was at the Coronado I had left my room to go down to a luncheon, and when I came back the inside of my shutters in the room were still locked, but the windows were all open, and I remember when I had checked in that I told them I didn't need housekeeping. I was only staying two nights. So, I went down to the front desk and I said, is there any way you can run analytics to find out if somebody was in my room, nothing's missing, but the windows are wide open and my shades are still locked from the inside. And so, they spent the afternoon running analytics and pulled me aside around five o'clock in the evening and informed me that nobody else had entered my room, and I can only imagine that it was probably something paranormal. And then I go home back to Omaha and was watching a YouTube video that was out an hour and a half long about Coronado Hotel. So, I think I experienced a little paranormal activity there.
Kimberly Simms: Yeah. That gave me the shivers when you told me. I'm not sure how quickly I'll be back at that hotel. Thanks for sharing. Gaylord, so glad to have you. Would you mind telling everybody a little bit about where you work, your role, and how long you've been with Planful?
Gaylord Miller: Sure. So, I'm Gaylord Miller, I'm the Senior Director of FP& A at Imagen Dental Partners, and we actually went live last March, so we are just a year all on Planful.
Kimberly Simms: I love it. Well, why don't you tell us a little bit about your travels? So, you've lived in a lot of different places. Where has been your favorite place that you've lived at?
Gaylord Miller: I ruled out Canada after it's snowed in June. I was like, this is not summer, so we can't do that.
Kimberly Simms: Yeah.
Gaylord Miller: But actually, in my younger days, I lived in Barbados for a while and we were on a hill, a 10 minute walk from the beach, and just on the beach in the Caribbean every day is pretty good living.
Kimberly Simms: Really good living. So, again, those of you that heard that I'm from Colorado. 18 inches of snow over the weekend? Yeah. Barbados is sounding pretty good. So, thanks, Gaylord. All right. So, our theme is better together and I thought it would be great to start off some questions with that in mind. So, Brad, your team is set up so that your finance and accounting teams are really one team. Tell us about how that works and how Planful has helped you.
Brad Tingey: Yeah. For us as we started our journey back in 14. Our goal was really to try to consolidate our reporting and really have that one source of the truth that where finance was really in control. And for us having the accounting, the finance teams together while there's individuals that might play dual roles or singular roles, it allows us to best answer the needs of our users both for us as finance team, but also for our internal management teams and all the varying and ad hoc requests we get from day to day. It was sort of crystallized last year. We had this theme internally, we're using better together here, but ours was one team, one dream, and that for us is we work together. I think we get the best outcome.
Kimberly Simms: I love that. That's great. All right, Gaylord, next question is for you. So, you have a unique situation because you have multiple dental practices in your business, and you've rolled out Planful to all of these dental practices. So, tell us a little bit about that journey and how you're using Planful.
Gaylord Miller: One of the things that was really interesting about our business model is that we partner with dentists and that we take an ownership stake in their practice, and they get shares in our company. So, it's true partnership. These dentists, they're very successful, highly professional people that are used to running all of their business, right? So, they do HR, they do finance, they do legal, they do everything for there. And all of a sudden we're taking all these things from them, and it was very difficult for some of them to let go of these things. So, what we've been able to do is give them access to Planful and we've attached Planful directly to Acumatica accounting system. We've been able to drill through all the way down to the invoices. So, these dentists now feel that they have as much control as they had when they were managing their own practice because they get in there whenever they want, they run their reports, they're drilled to look at invoices, and they're very confident in that we are doing the right things for them as partners.
Kimberly Simms: That's really cool. So, they're happy and probably showing a bright white smile.
Gaylord Miller: Absolutely.
Kimberly Simms: In the process. So, got it. Throw the dental plugin. All right, Angel, onto you. I know the jokes are bad this morning. You've had some really great success as well about rolling Planful across your business too. Maybe share a little bit about how you guys have done that and some of the benefits that you're seeing.
Angel Woodard: Yeah. So, we actually started using it in our overhead department first, and then we had another Kiewit overhead department, Kiewit business services, decide after bragging about it and geeking out about it, so to speak with their finance group. We had them start using it as well. And then we came in under budget last year in 2021 so nicely by using the program that we actually enabled the entire home office departments. There's 17 to 20 home office departments, and had we not come in under budget, the entire home office would've been over budget. So, that was a huge success for us with that. I kind of presented to our Vice President and my Director that maybe it would be a good idea to try to do something shared services with other home office departments and help them use Planful, and meet their budgets more on an annual basis. So, we're starting down that path. Things have been a little bit slow with some staff turnover and stuff, but.
Kimberly Simms: Yeah.
Angel Woodard: We're well on our way.
Kimberly Simms: I love it, and I have to ask you this. I mean, I've talked to a lot of customers on prospects about bringing Planful out to the business, and there's a little bit of fear in that. You're a controller. Were you able to let go of control and bring the tool out?
Angel Woodard: Well, we're working on year five and it is getting easier. I have somebody on my team named Jenny that's here. If anyone gets a chance to meet her, who has done a fantastic job to work with our money managers on a very regular basis, and when you can give all of that data to multiple people that are managing part of your budget, they are in there. They are looking at that data. They're keeping it up to date. We're meeting with them regularly. So, while it's been very difficult to let go of some of the control, I really do have faith in our users and the tool.
Kimberly Simms: That's great. Thank you for sharing that. Okay, Gaylord, next question is for you. We talk about Planful being a finance owned solution, and Gaylord you're a two time customer with us. So, you've done this before where you've actually rolled this out and you've been successful both times in making this a finance owned tool. Any best practices or guidance you can share with the audience?
Gaylord Miller: Two very different experiences, right? My first experience seven years ago, when we were host analytics I think some things that work, the tool is very intuitive. It's very easy for finance and it does not need IT support which really helps, and I think two of my team members are here with us today. The third one chose to go to Mexico on vacation. So, not to let her go. Empowering them to own the application and to support the organization with the application I think has probably been the most successful thing we've done. And just the ability to export templates, send them out to users so that users don't just go into the application sort of, couple times a year to do budget or forecasting, but they regularly interface with the application. I think it's key to having finance own it and then have the entire organization be part of the application.
Kimberly Simms: I love it. That's great. Well, thanks for sharing the experience. That's great. Angel, along those same themes of adoption and change management. You came from a very Excel heavy process when you came to using Planful. Any specific bits about change management and adoption, things that you did specifically at Kiewit that worked really well. What was your experience?
Angel Woodard: So, I think our biggest success was the ability to create templates that mirrored what our people were used to using. It operates very much like Excel. They can still export it if they want to have side spreadsheets, but obviously we encourage them to use the tool. But just the ability to transform our templates into what they're familiar with.
Kimberly Simms: Yeah.
Angel Woodard: And then just continuously improve that. We like to do check- ins with them. If we're making the tool more aesthetically pleasing for them, then they're more likely to use it and continue to do what they need to do in the tool.
Kimberly Simms: I've heard this from a few folks. I like the Agile. It's a living, breathing solution, and I think that you guys have done that so, that's great. Thanks for sharing that. So, Brad, along the same theme of adoption, you guys are a global company. You've rolled out Planful internationally. Would love to learn about your experience in doing that, what worked. Any advice for the audience?
Brad Tingey: Well, I think the first thing is to have a really good team. I think we were really methodical in our approach to start with making sure we understood the tool before we used it as something that corporate was telling them to do, and so we wanted it to not necessarily be something where from the center we were pushing it down to the team and would get maybe the expected human resistance from that of I don't want to do that. What I'm doing is good enough.
Kimberly Simms: Yeah.
Brad Tingey: But as we developed the tool and understood how to do it, we opened it up initially, and we got surprisingly the first adoption. We had our China business group raising its hand saying we want to do this more, and as we've got a number of people here, we've got, I think, 12 to 13 of our team members here representing a number of our business groups domestically. But we've used that methodical approach to roll it out to China, Australia, New Zealand. I just got back from Egypt visiting with their team there.
Kimberly Simms: Yeah.
Brad Tingey: And as you get to know what your teams are doing domestically or internationally, to really help them see how the tool can really make their lives better.
Kimberly Simms: Yeah.
Brad Tingey: Not just from a corporate office perspective, well, this is the report we want to see. This is what we want to go over in our monthly reviews, but also help them use the reports to help them run the business better.
Kimberly Simms: I love that. I actually, I feel like what you've done, you've brought them along on the journey with you and that's just classic change management 101, so.
Brad Tingey: We still have a long way to go, and there's still many of our team members here who are new to Planful.
Kimberly Simms: Yeah.
Brad Tingey: And so, it's constantly finding the way to help it become helpful to them, not just, well, we did this three years ago. Well, the team might have changed.
Kimberly Simms: Right.
Brad Tingey: And so how we can do that is really something that we work on every day.
Kimberly Simms: That's great. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. That's great. All right. So, this question's for all of you guys. I would love to hear from each of you what you love most about Planful. So, why don't we start with you, Brad?
Brad Tingey: For us I was thinking about long relationships I've had. I've been married almost now 19 years, and I've been at Golden State Foods for eight, but it's been good to have a relationship with Planful for seven years. We've been successful in a lot of ways as Grant was talking about being able to answer the questions. Our business has changed.
Kimberly Simms: Mm-hmm(affirmative).
Brad Tingey: While a lot stayed the same, and we've been able to do that with the help of Planful. So, for me what's been great is we've been able to do that, owning it from finance with very, if we need something done we know how to do it.
Kimberly Simms: Yeah.
Brad Tingey: And that's been very helpful.
Kimberly Simms: The finance owned theme. I love it. That's great. Thank you. What about you, Angel?
Angel Woodard: My favorite thing about Planful is probably the versatility of the tool and then also the collaboration. Jenny and I are on Planful Engage a lot.
Kimberly Simms: Mm- hmm( affirmative).
Angel Woodard: And I think just the ability to get on a platform and talk to other customers and bounce ideas off of each other and ask each other questions is extremely valuable.
Kimberly Simms: Yeah, it's great. And those of you that don't know what Planful Engage is, we'll talk about it here shortly. So, thanks for sharing. Angel is a key contributor out there, so thank you. Gaylord, what about you?
Gaylord Miller: For me? It's the community. As you said, this was my second go round of Planful, and I went through a fairly robust process to choose the tool this time. 140 point evaluation on Planful rose to the top, but sort of once I got to that point where it was going to be Planful again, my friend Shaneel, who's in customer support, was part of the deal. She was there, and I was like I'm not coming inaudible to get Shaneel, and Shaneel was like, if Gaylord doesn't get me, I'm quitting. And then yesterday running into Nick and Susie, just faces from support calls, people that have always been there with you. And then they just look at you like, oh, I know you, and it's just great to meet them in person.
Kimberly Simms: Yeah.
Gaylord Miller: But it's this seven year journey I've been on with these people. I love the community.
Kimberly Simms: We feel the same about you guys. There's definitely a great connection between all of our teams and our customers. I love that. It's great. All right, last question for each of you. What are you guys the most excited about for this week? Gaylord? Why don't you start us off this time?
Gaylord Miller: Again, I'm on that theme of just reconnecting in this together space.
Kimberly Simms: Yeah.
Gaylord Miller: I went to a trading session yesterday to get one question answered and it was deep into the course, and Nick walked over, and my journey with Planful has progressed, right? I used to ask, how do I do this in the tool? Then I would start asking, can the tool do this? And now I just, here's my business situation. What can we do? And Nick, he took that and he said, I don't know, and he went outside and he put it on the Slack channel for all the Planful experts. And he said, you've given us a great challenge. We're working on it. So, we don't have an answer yet, but it's that, being able to connect and talk and work with people right there.
Kimberly Simms: Yeah.
Gaylord Miller: I'm excited. It's fun.
Kimberly Simms: Oh, that's great. Angel, what about you?
Angel Woodard: I'm excited about tomorrow night. Everybody would agree with me, and it really goes back to the collaboration, right? Just being able to meet with people. I'm a socializer, if any of you know me at all. So, I love to talk and I love to meet people, and I love to bounce ideas off of each other, so.
Kimberly Simms: Yeah.
Angel Woodard: Just that opportunity for the whole couple of days has been fantastic.
Kimberly Simms: Yeah. Tomorrow night will be fun.
Angel Woodard: I'm excited about tomorrow night.
Kimberly Simms: That's great. Brad, what about you?
Brad Tingey: Along the same lines as Gaylord and Angel. I think for me I'm looking forward to spending time with our team, and seeing what ideas they can come away from this to see how we can make our instance even better.
Kimberly Simms: I love it. That's great. Well, guys, that's all the questions that we have today, but thank you for sharing your insights and experience with us and the audience. You guys are awesome. So, thank you. They're just fantastic. Thank you again to our wonderful customer panel for taking so much time to share their insights with us. Okay, moving on to our Planful Champions Club. We launched our champions club last year to promote the achievements and skills of Planful experts and advocates across our ecosystem. Our champions club is actually pretty unique in that it can include members from our employees, from our customers, and our partners who've really gone the extra mile to become power users and advocates of our Planful platform. Last year, we honored 50 individuals as our inaugural members and, of the champions club, and if you're part of those 50, the inaugural class, what I'd like to ask you to do is have all of you guys stand up and let's give you guys a round of applause, and this is our champions. Stand up within the audience. You may see some of these folks popping in and out of our VIP champions club lounge in the expo hall. This is one of the exclusive experiences included when you become a Planful champion, along with invitations to private events, trainings, a community of experts, and so much more. If you want to become a part of our next Planful champions class, go check out our Planful Engage community online, or you can visit the Engage booth in the expo hall. And now it is my great pleasure to announce the 20 newest members of the Planful champions club. Please hold your applause if you could until all the names have been announced. So, let's start with our customer inductees. Not following directions over there. I'm just kidding. Lauren Bissell from Golden State Foods, Tori Best from Hill Group, Josias Pontes from Sigilon Therapeutics, Lee Johnston from LT Apparel, Justin Emery from Marqeta, Erin Pelagic for New Financial, Gaylord Miller, Imagen Dental Partners, Pete Hicks from Polydeck Screen Corp, Mike Petrauskas from Elgin Equipment, Michelle Chaffin from Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences, Grant Brooks from FIGS, Michaelson Betty from National DCP, and Nick Posthumus from Starkey, Michael Ryda from Southern Veterinarian Partners, Jason Lifchez from Vail Resorts. And now for our partner champions, Svetlana Okladnykh from RSM UK, Dana Murrieta from Bakerfield Solutions, and last but certainly not least, our Planful employee champions. Mitch Rubin, Nancy Armistead, Shaneel Weaver, Linda Lifchez, Margaret Powell, and Ron Wicklander. Now can everybody I just announced please stand up, and let's give you guys all a big round of applause. Great. Thank you, each of you for being such an incredible of Planful in everything that we do. Okay. Let's keep going with the award energy. This is our very first year for Planful customer awards, and the response was simply incredible. As I read through the nominations, I was honestly struck by how our customers are doing so much and making such huge transformations in how they work to collaborate and drive growth to everyone who is nominated and, in fact, to all of our customers. We really appreciate all the amazing work that you're doing with the Planful platform. You're truly advancing and elevating the office of the CFO, and raising the financial IQ of the people across your business. For these awards, we would like to recognize a few customers that have demonstrated a strong and sustainable commitment to their transformation. We have four customer awards. The rookie of the year award for a customer new to Planful in 2021 that got off the ground with a fast start, and they were able to realize value quickly, the innovation award for using Planful in the most creative ways, the advocacy award, oops, I'm supposed to click. There you go. The advocacy award for the customer that has gone above and beyond in promoting Planful inside and out for their organization, and last but not least, the impact award for showing significant impact to their organization through the use of Planful. Grant, would you mind coming out back onto the stage and helping me hand out these four customer awards? Hi.
Grant Halloran: Hi. How are you doing?
Kimberly Simms: I'm good. All right. Our first award, the rookie of the year. This company is a global digital transformation consultancy with headquarters in both London and in Chicago. They were selected as a rookie of the year because of their fast 10 week rollout of Planful for reporting consolidations and high level forecasting for more than 50 users. They also introduced a really unique set of Planful dimensions to slice and dice their data for their reporting in order to deliver expanded insights across their business. Our rookie of the year award goes to Kin and Carta. Brett, please come on up and join us on the stage.
Grant Halloran: Congrats. There you go.
Kimberly Simms: Brett, we're going to take a picture. Got to take a picture. Congratulations. All right, thank you. Congratulations, Kin and Carta. All right, our next one. Innovation. Our innovation award winner is a premier mountain resort company that has locations around the world. They're a leader in luxury destination based travel at iconic locations like Veil, Colorado. This customer is our innovation award winner because they have implemented Planful to help them plan down to the day their expected revenue and staffing needs to support restaurants, lift lines, and ski shops. So, if the Christmas holiday we're going to fall on a weekday or a Wednesday, they're in a great position either way to plan for providing the best experience for their guests. Without further ado, our innovation award winner is Veil Resorts. Jason, come on up.
Grant Halloran: Congratulations. Hold on. It's awesome. Here we go.
Kimberly Simms: Come on out.
Grant Halloran: Drop it.
Kimberly Simms: Congratulations. So happy. Thank you.
Grant Halloran: Hold on.
Kimberly Simms: All right. Congratulations, Veil. All right, for our advocacy award, this company developed a portfolio of cloud ready technologies for student recruitment, workforce analytics, and alumni engagement at more than 2, 500 colleges and universities. This customer is our advocacy award winner, not only because of how they vastly accelerated their dynamic planning efforts with Planful, but also because of the team's eager participation in the Planful community, supporting webinars, events, and references coupled with their supportive and engaging feedback to our product teams. Our advocacy award winner goes to Ellucian. Yay. So, unfortunately the Ellucian team wasn't able to make it to perform this year, but they're streaming us virtually. So, hi, Jessica and Mike. Thank you both for your continued support and congratulations to Jessica and Mike, and the entire Ellucian team. Finally, for our impact award. This biopharmaceutical company is focused on researching, developing, and commercializing medicines for people impacted by rare, autoimmune and severe inflammatory diseases. Our impact award winner has brought their business and FP& A teams together in an aligned approach for both planning and forecasting. They've truly reimagined their FP& A function going from a centralized operation, to now sharing their vision with a large cross functional contingency across their business. They now have more than a hundred users accessing Planful every day. Congratulations to Horizon Therapeutics, our customer impact award winner. inaudible, come on.
Grant Halloran: Congrats. Hold on. Who wants to take this?
Kimberly Simms: Yeah, that's perfect. Congratulations.
Speaker 8: Say hi to Christina.
Kimberly Simms: Thank you.
Grant Halloran: Hold on.
Kimberly Simms: Congratulations, guys.
Grant Halloran: Hold on.
Kimberly Simms: Congratulations, Horizon. Congratulations again to all of our winners. Let's give them one last round of applause, if we could. All right. Grant, you want to wrap us up?
Grant Halloran: Yeah. Amazing award winners, and hopefully we'll have a new set next year. So, inspiring stuff from them, but thanks Kimberly. I'm so proud of the organization that, Kimberly was such a hard person to hire. I mean, it's difficult, but man, she put me through the ringer and I was so glad when she finally said she wanted to join us because I think we have the best Chief Customer Officer in our space.
Kimberly Simms: That's nice.
Grant Halloran: You're amazing, and incredible team. So proud of them. So, now we're going to take a break. Go and get a coffee fill up, and like I said before, make sure you're back in the seats for Barbara. She's going to be really cool. Check out the app. Put some questions in there for her, and be provocative because Barbara will answer pretty much anything. So, okay. Have a great, we'll see you in a minute. Thank you.
Join Kimberly Simms, Chief Customer Officer at Planful, as she talks with a group of finance and accounting executives from Planful customers. The panel will share insights on leading through aggressive change and working alongside business partners to elevate the financial IQ of the entire organization. In addition, we'll announce the Planful Champions Club class of 2022! This exciting and unique customer awards ceremony celebrates our ecosystem’s best and brightest and promotes their skills and expertise. You’ll also learn how you, too, can join this exclusive community of finance and accounting professionals.