E-commerce marketplace and manufacturing
As Spoonflower’s business rapidly expanded, its Finance Function struggled to keep pace. Relying on far too many manual processes, Finance was buried in spreadsheets with unstructured ERP data from Netsuite, making reconciliation and version control an uphill battle. It was unable to efficiently forecast various scenarios and deliver insight to management in a timely fashion.
Needing to swiftly accelerate the maturity of its Finance Function, the Company sought FutureView Systems for its robust FP&A Platform, proven methodologies and seemingly always available team of finance experts. Spoonflower required a partner that provided efficient finance solutions to deliver the greatest value and insight for management to make more informed decisions.
Spoonflower, a print-on-demand and e-commerce marketplace, has relied on FutureView Systems for its financial planning, forecasting and reporting solutions since 2019. As is the case with many growth companies, Spoonflower found itself relying on far too many manual processes within its finance function that weren’t scalable.
Managing complex Excel models and manually staging unstructured data consumed the daily operation of the finance and accounting team, headed by Brad Schomber, the company’s CFO. Although the financial planning acumen was abundant, it was hindered by inefficiencies that not only delayed Finance’s essential deliverables but potentially compromised them as well.
“FutureView has allowed us to really gain more detailed insight into the business and bubble it up to management and enables management to make better overall decisions for the health of the business,” Schomber said. "Our budgeting and forecasting process is now more efficient and quicker. It takes up less of our top managers’ time and promotes more conversations.”
Having reliable and accurate data is critical for a successful finance function and its potential to make an impact on the business. However, many companies fall victim to data issues such as incorrect summary data, metric version control and error-filled manual inputs.
However, Spoonflower’s utilization of the FutureView Platform drastically reduced the chance of error-prone antiquated financial processes while delivering far superior capabilities than traditional solutions like Excel or other FP&A software providers.
Version control management capabilities enable collaboration with budget owners without compromising the data and results Finance uses for reporting and forecasts. Schomber says he spends a lot less time worrying about the use of the proper version and correct math is used behind the scenes because the FutureView System is sound.
The Company's Accounting and Finance teams rely on Netsuite’s ERP system to aggregate transactions, debits and credits incurred by the business. Unfortunately, Netsuite’s basic reporting and system management features weren’t enough to suffice Spoonflower’s needs. To combat this, the company needed a robust FP&A platform with direct integrations with Netsuite and the ability to automate and structure reconciled data for use.
"FutureView has done a great job of reconciling information from Netsuite and Looker. Each one (system) tells a slightly different story, and with FutureView, we now understand it better,” Schomber said.
Due to the automation prowess and structured ERP data FutureView provides, Spoonflower saved countless hours and even additional headcount. Without FutureView, the Company would have required two to three financial planning and analysis (FP&A) personnel and perhaps another accountant, according to Schomber.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, uncertainty remained abound. Would consumer demand for Spoonflower’s textiles and decor items fall off a cliff? Would Spoonflower be considered an essential business as it supplied masks for front-line workers and the public at large? Might quarantine measures benefit Spoonflower as at-home hobbies and e-commerce purchases surged?
These were just some of the questions facing Schomber and the Spoonflower organization as a whole. Time was of the essence for everyone, especially Schomber, who joined Spoonflower less than a month before the COVID pandemic.
To best approach these questions, Finance needed a robust FP&A solution, capable of developing multiple scenarios and forecasts that would have taken weeks to produce manually — and could be susceptible to errors and omissions given the expedited need for insightful scenarios.
"We were able to quickly set up multiple scenarios and gameplan for each of those so no matter what happened we were prepared. FutureView enabled us to be proactive instead of reactive at a critical time in the business."
Spoonflower not only survived but thrived during the pandemic, setting up the Company for future success and opportunities to scale its U.S.-based manufacturing and on-demand marketplace. Going forward, Spoonflower’s use of the FutureView Platform will help set the company up for any other scenario that may arise and have a plan in place to overcome any circumstances.
Before partnering with FutureView, Spoonflower lacked robust finance tools to analyze its data the most comprehensively and efficiently possible. Two years after first implementing the FutureView Platform and its team of experienced finance experts, Spoonflower was acquired by Shutterfly in August 2021, bolstering the “depth and breadth of what people can create, customize and buy on the Shutterfly platform,” according to the company.
The FutureView Platform enabled Schomber and the Finance Team to deliver accurate and insightful metrics necessary to successfully navigate the acquisition process. This included various forecasts based on previous performance and detailed reports for management and other stakeholders to easily consume and drive strategic conversations.
"I can't thank the FutureView team enough,” Schomber said. "What I really appreciate about FutureView is both the platform and its capabilities. It makes my life easier, it gives me more information and that gives me comfort as a CFO. On top of that, you layer in the services FutureView provides, it's that combination that makes the FutureView experience an excellent one."