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Dudley College drives sharper financial planning with MHR Analytics

Dudley College of Technology, a further education college in the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, has partnered with MHR Analytics to streamline its finance systems, swapping a number of manual spreadsheet based processes for cutting-edge data software.

The college has seen significant growth in learner numbers over the last few years following the £60m investment into its estate and resources across the Dudley Learning Quarter, as well as achieving Outstanding at its latest Ofsted inspection.

This has seen demand for courses and services grow dramatically in recent years, creating a requirement for more robust, efficient and innovative systems. A year ago the college also set up and sponsors Dudley Academies Trust, consisting of four local schools, and shares best practices as well as finance, payroll and HR functions.

As a result, the college needed a fresh system that could provide tight financial control, while offering first-rate data management to support running a larger, more complex organisational structure.

Following an MHR Analytics’ “proof of technology” workshop, the college was able to test the software and chose to implement IBM Planning Analytics using MHR Analytics’ Financial Workforce Planning application, alongside a financial reporting, planning and analysis solution. The software was chosen to help the College to ensure data accuracy, analyse management information and make informed business decisions around budgets, resource allocation and pay rewards.

Andrew Woodford, Management Accountant at Dudley College of Technology, comments: “The proof of technology workshop delivered by MHR Analytics was invaluable, removing that leap of faith you have to take when making the decision to buy software for the business.”

“We are excited about our partnership with MHR Analytics and anticipate cost and time savings through technological enhancements to our already first-class planning, budgeting, forecasting and month-end management reporting. As the College and Trust grow and become more complex organisations this will enable us to continue to confidently make effective business decisions in a timely manner with complete trust in the numbers,” he added.

MHR Analytics’ planning solutions will automatically gather data together and organise it to produce a clear picture of costs, incomes and margins for the college and the Trust, in a technologically enhanced manner that was not possible previously. This will enable senior professionals within the college and Trust to trade time spent on manual reporting for more analytical value, as well as strategic tasks.

Nick Felton, SVP, MHR Analytics comments: “As a rapidly expanding academic institution, Dudley College of Technology recognised the need to enhance its reporting and planning systems, so it could make efficient and informed decisions. It was clear from the outset that an organisation of this size and scale could not operate at optimum efficiency using manual spreadsheets for reporting. Our software will enable decision-makers to make choices based upon accurate and up-to-date information, allowing the College and Trust to thrive and move forward with confidence as it continues to expand, attracting a growing numbers of students.”

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