“We know our cost drivers”

We asked Stephan Trümper, Commercial Coordinator, DuMont Systems

The media group M. DuMont Schauberg (MDS) is one of the largest, best-established publishing houses in Germany. MDS consolidates all of its IT activities in one comprehensive unit.

DuMont Systems provides more than 180 products to several thousand members of staff in four locations and external customers from the media industry. In order to maintain transparency in its IT expenses, the IT service provider implemented a professional IT finance management system.

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Why have you implemented a professional IT financial management system?

By professionalising our IT finance management, we wanted to create cost and service transparency for our IT services, heighten cost and quality awareness in IT and among our internal and external customers, and discover possible savings. For this purpose, we had to translate technical activities into products that are comprehensible to the customers. It was therefore necessary to elaborate how the expenses for providing a SAP workplace are generated, and which part of the IT services consists of internal costs for the computer centre. Until recently, we largely allocated the costs on a flat-rate basis. At some point, however, we wanted a more detailed understanding of the cost drivers in our IT value creation chain.

For which IT controlling processes do you use the anafee solution?

We are using anafee for cost planning. We are also using the solution for price determination and revenue planning, which means that the entire process of internal cost allocation is handled by anafee. Our next step will be to use the software to illustrate our invoicing process and integrate the downstream ERP system. The system has enabled us to give better answers to questions about the value creation contribution of IT, as we now know our cost drivers.

The option of web-based access by other parties has also been useful. In the future, we want our Product Management, Consulting, and the Central Controlling departments of our customers to be able to access the system and submit their volume planning. We are currently still using Excel files for all involved parties; these will be replaced by an integrated solution that allows us to consolidate all expenses from the various service areas and compare them to the services themselves.

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Why are you not using an ERP system to display your IT expenses?

Secondary settlement or cost allocation via an ERP system such as SAP is difficult with a large number of products. We offer nearly 400 services.

The mechanisms available in SAP do not allow us to carry out professional IT finance management in an efficient way. With finance management solution such as anafee, on the other hand, I can split not only the secondary costs but also the primary costs, which yields a detailed, centralised overview of all cost components.

How did the implementation of the anafee project go?

We had no problems at all. Even though we often had spontaneous requirements, everything was realised quickly. The competence of the anafee consultant has been extremely beneficial for us. But we were very well prepared, too. Because I was already familiar with the solution, I was able to contribute my experience with the previous project. Some of the functions of the solution were new to me, too – the option of displaying custom tariffs in an IT-supported environment, for instance. Within less than a year, we completed the entire project from its introduction and realisation down to the creation of the product catalogue. And the project has convinced me: costs can only be analysed, evaluated, controlled, justified and, ultimately, lowered if a transparent, traceable, usage-based cost allocation system is in place.

What are your next plans?

Having completed our cost planning process using the new solution, we will now embark on the actual settlement. We will soon be transferring the data to our SAP system to complete the bookings. In addition, we have set ourselves the task of optimising our service catalogue further by separating some of the products we had initially summarised in packages. Some of our customers would like the cost breakdown to be even more thoroughly usage-oriented.