• Kenneth Runkles

Stratelligence Business Consulting's Partnership with Vena Solutions

Updated: Jan 7



Stratelligence Business Consulting is super excited to be expanding our relationship with Vena Solutions! We are thrilled to have assisted one of our clients with the review and selection of Vena’s Financial Planning and Analysis solution and look forward to design and implementation. Financial Planning & Analysis solutions are paramount to the success of today’s strategic CFOs, and we know how crucial because we have been there!


As a CFO one of my largest challenges was developing and reporting key financial and operational data for timely decision making. I can honestly state that if I reported inaccurate information to a board of directors or partner management team, 90% always tied back to one reason, Excel error. And, in many cases we were utilizing well known ERP solutions. Enterprise Resource Planning solutions (ERPs) have transformed processing company business transactions but many still fail in my humble opinion with providing key business decision information in a timely manner. More on this later in a future post.


Whether in the role of CFO or Management Consultant Executive I witnessed countless companies and clients struggle with obtaining timely key business information and more importantly information that was accurate. One of the primary reasons for this is the overreliance of using Excel. This is without a doubt one of my biggest pet peeves.


I tell colleagues, clients, family, and friends, just about anyone that will listen that I hate Excel. I am often faced with looks of disbelief, a CFO that hates Excel, what? Let me explain, “hate” may be a little strong. Excel is a wonderful tool and is necessary in today’s business world. However, I see way too many organizations over relying on Excel. I witness on a regular basis organization’s that are utilizing large well known ERP systems and then heavily utilize Excel for reporting and analysis capabilities and for many it remains their primary budgeting and forecasting tool. So, do I really hate Excel? No, but I do hate when I see a company struggling to obtain good timely business intelligence information and/or spending months every year developing and maintaining a corporate budget. I also have sympathy for organizations when asked to evaluate their reporting and analysis processes and BI information or budget and forecasting capabilities, and they send me a zipped file with 35 Excel spreadsheets! How much labor is expended in designing and maintaining those 35 spreadsheets every month? Beginning to see my point? Today, there is a better way!!


Over 15 years ago during my second CFO position I set out on a mission to literally get rid of this overreliance of Excel. Why? Mostly because it is inefficient, inaccurate, and time consuming. And, I really got tired of reporting incorrect information to my fellow C-Suite teammates to only circle back with the correct information and the mia culpa that “we had an error in one of our spreadsheets.” Which is why I am super excited about our firm’s partnership with Vena Solutions.


Vena goes way beyond planning for finance. It’s so much more than a Financial Planning and Analysis solution. Vena can be utilized cross functionally to drive decisions and value, from marketing plans to project management to inventory planning. Business planning requires information from every corporate function, Human Resources, Marketing, Operations, IT, etc. Organization today must focus on new and creative ways to streamline growth and continuously add value. Whether you’re looking to plan for inflation, budget cuts, increase sales, or jump on the digital transformation band wagon Vena can be part of the solution. The power behind Vena is their Growth Engine. “Vena’s Growth Engine is the power behind your business plans. Created by their team of experts, the Growth Engine is a cloud-based technology that combines best-in-class technology with the world’s leading grid, Excel, to drive a complete Planning platform, making it the only planning and analysis solution robust enough for enterprise-level scalability, performance, and extensibility, yet simple enough for anyone at any organization to use.” That’s right, Excel is the front end to Vena’s extremely powerful Planning Platform. And I just found a reason to love Excel again! But, do not take my word for it check out what Vena has accomplished for the Kansas City Chief’s (95% Faster Reporting for Kansas City Chiefs | Vena (venasolutions.com) and Arizona Cardinals (Arizona Cardinals Turn 10 Days of Work into 5 Seconds | Vena (venasolutions.com) organizations.


Please contact Stratelligence and let us help you change your world!

Ken Runkles

Managing Partner

Stratelligence Business Consulting

571-350-8750

Ken.runkles@stratelligence-bc.com

Stratelligence Business Consulting | Management Consulting Services | Virginia (stratelligence-bc.com)