Case Study: Heckmann Corporation
Industry: Environmental Services
Location: Coraopolis, Pennsylvania
Heckmann Corporation’s dynamic growth
strategy was not being adequately reflected
by its static, cumbersome reporting solution
Heckmann needed the flexibility to quickly
create and distribute financial reports based
on business needs, while also freeing the
accounting staff to focus on more valueadded
- Epicor XL Connect
Epicor XL Broadcast
Dramatic savings in the amount of time
required to create and distribute reports
Visibility across all of Heckmann’s 9
entities, representing 81 branches in the
Epicor ERP system
Native Excel environment means
About The Company
Heckmann Corporation is an environmental services company. Heckmann is dedicated to the movement, treatment and disposal of water generated by energy companies involved in the discovery and production of oil, natural gas liquids and natural gas. Heckmann is also a one-stop-shop for collection and recycling services for oily waste products, including used motor oil, oily wastewater, spent antifreeze, used oil filters and parts washers. Heckmann is building a national footprint across its environmental service offerings and has more than 3,000 employees and operates in more than 70 locations across 26 states servicing more than 20,000 customers.
The Situation & Solution
Business was moving fast at Heckmann Corporation in 2012, with two acquisitions, a merger, a stock offering, and record-setting financial results. The process of creating and distributing financial reports, though, was anything but fast. Many of the reports were static, meaning they were dated at the moment of issue, and the steps required to change them was cumbersome. “Static reports, as you know, need nurturing and maintenance,” said Chris Bryda, Business Project Manager for Heckmann. “It just becomes too burdensome to manage.”
Heckmann was very experienced with its Epicor enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, and had embraced a strategic initiative to adapt new lines of business to the existing accounting structures. The goal was to allow the system to scale in step with the growth model. It has. Nine Heckmann entities now represent 81 branches within a master account in the Epicor ERP system…and reports for all of them are generated by Epicor XL Connect and distributed with Epicor XL Broadcast.
What happens when new reports are needed to reflect new lines of business, or entirely new reports are required, or the reporting windows narrow? “We don’t even think about that anymore,” Bryda said. “We essentially do the reports that we need, tweak the reports that we need, and distribute the reports as needed. When we are ready to distribute reports, it’s fairly easy and they’re already built for us.
The Benefits & Results
Heckmann made the move to Epicor XL Connect and Epicor XL Broadcast in the fall of 2012. The results were almost immediate.
“The accounting people love the products—not just like, love the products,” Bryda said, adding that each solution works within the native Microsoft Excel environment that financial professionals use every day. “Train them once, and then you’re done.” Modules for General Ledger, Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable are in place with Epicor XL Connect, allowing drill-down analysis on the numbers in any cell that is returning live data from Epicor ERP.
So, instead of having to manually research entries, “Here they have the information staring them in the face,” Bryda said. Drill-downs open the details in either lists or Excel pivot tables, which can then be further analyzed or exported for other purposes.
Epicor XL Broadcast, which uses an Excel list to manage and distribute multiple reports based on location, line of business, or a combination of several conditions, has also proven essential to Heckmann’s operations. As many as 50 separate reports are now packaged into one Excel workbook and sent to different levels of management within Heckmann entities using Epicor XL Broadcast, which allows users to specify which worksheets to send to each recipient, and in what format.
Combined with the report creation and drill-down capabilities of Epicor XL Connect, the Epicor XL Broadcast capabilities helped Heckmann achieve an ROI within the first six months of purchase, Bryda said, and continue to generate savings. “If we can do that same process with Epicor XL Broadcast and we save ourselves some time, multiply that savings by 12 and that’s the number,” he said. “It’s a no-brainer. When you actually do the analysis, why are you wasting your time doing it the old fashioned way?”
Overall time savings are estimated at as much as 40 hours per month, essentially 1/4th of a headcount. More important, though, is how that time is now being used. “It may not sound like a lot,” Bryda said, “but what it has done is freed up the people in accounting to do more value-added work.” Given the dynamic nature of Heckmann’s business and its history of growth, that’s time well saved.