Empowering Value-Creation with a Portfolio Monitoring Tool
Project Type: Real-time, dynamic Power BI dashboards and reporting
A private equity firm wanted to efficiently monitor the performance of its portfolio companies. To share data insights, the portfolio companies were manually compiling and sending updates to the PE firm - such as financials, income statements, balance sheets, daily sales, bookings, and daily cash - on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. During the early phase of COVID, it was especially important to manage sales and cash-on-hand, as many of the portfolio firms were in a cash crunch.
The process to compile the reports was cumbersome for the portfolio companies. Our goal was to build a tool to automate the reports to reduce the burden on the portfolio companies and provide the PE firm with real-time information on how each company is performing.
- Industry: Private Equity
- HQ in Cincinnati, OH with portfolio firms across the U.S.
Assessing the Landscape
- Eight portfolio firms with very varying business models and systems
- Limited access to real-time information for decision making
- Inability to quickly share qualitative and quantitative information with key stakeholders
- No standardized or automated reporting across portfolio companies, nor for their board and investors
- Compiling manual data creating a significant burden on portfolio companies
I. The Solution
Identified Key Performance Indicators
We partnered with the PE firm to define KPIs for the fund and individual-level assets. Across the portfolio, we focused on daily orders and daily sales, liquidity, and profitability. We also focused on non-financial metrics, like delivery and quality, and longer-term KPIs like EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA, and the ability to see these changes over time for all companies at once.
We then held feedback sessions with each portfolio company to tweak the KPIs and understand their current reporting processes. Before diving too deep into the data, it was key that we were tracking the metrics that matter.
Integrated Data Sources
After establishing a baseline for KPIs and current reporting processes, we mapped reporting systems for each portfolio firm and integrated their data sources into Power BI.
We wanted to create a standardized view of the portfolio knowing that each company has a radically different business model, processes, and data systems. We worked with 1-3 systems per company, defining the nuances of each system that made it possible to track the KPI's we needed (e.g. calculating sales was different at each company). We worked with dozens of systems: Salesforce, Infor, Encompix, Quickbooks, Syspro, TMW, and several other homegrown or industry-specific systems
We built relationships and worked closely with each of the seven portfolio companies in this effort, combining our systems expertise with their day-to-day knowledge of the business. Integrating directly to the data sources ensured the data feed was automated and eliminated any future need to manually pull data.
Launched Real-Time Power BI Reporting
We created dynamic, real-time dashboards and reporting that equip the PE firm and its portfolio companies with the information needed to make data-driven decisions.
The tool empowers the PE firm to better communicate with its portfolio companies by allowing them to collect the data they want when they want it. The report includes a fund-level overview with the ability to get more granular (by company, by date, etc).
The PE firm can now more effectively monitor their investments in real-time and can act quickly to manage risks and issues. The tool enables progress tracking of their value creation, reduces manual data entry, and increases overall data integrity.
Created sustainable processes by eliminating manual data entry
Directly integrated with data sources to reduce opportunity for error