Bates Technical College Replaces Cumbersome Spreadsheets With Alight Planning

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Technical School Leverages Alight’s Agile Planning™ Solution for Higher Education, Streamlines Capital Planning, and Transforms Planning into a Value-Add Activity.

Bates Technical College
I can’t imagine the effort, processes, and ongoing maintenance that would have been involved using spreadsheets to achieve similar outcomes... we are now using Alight to make better budget management decisions.

Alight LLC, developers of the industry-leading Alight Planning financial planning and reporting software, today announced that Bates Technical College has achieved significant benefits by moving their manual, spreadsheet-based capital planning processes to Alight’s automated planning package.

Bates is located in Tacoma, Washington. The college operates on three campuses, with over 600,000 square feet of classrooms, shops, meeting rooms, and offices.

“I had my capital planning model up and running in Alight within weeks,” said Marty Mattes, Director of Facilities & Operations at Bates. “We now have access to both planning and budget tracking. I can’t imagine the effort, processes, and ongoing maintenance that would have been involved using spreadsheets to achieve similar outcomes – if we even could have. We are now using Alight to make better budget management decisions."

Bates needed a flexible planning solution that could look out six years, track both actuals and budget data, and enable multiple scenarios to reside in a single, integrated planning environment. Prior to Alight, Bates used the state’s processing paperwork, which was adequate for tracking the budget, but not for management. Alight is a management solution that enables Bates to quickly forecast multiple scenarios and make more informed decisions around capital planning.

“We wanted to run what-if analyses that would enable us to refine projections over the next 3-6 months as well as the next 4 years,” added Mattes. “Tagging line items to capital projects with Alight’s dimension functionality makes it easy for us to instantly filter the model and quickly view a single project across campuses. In addition to using Alight for capital planning, we recently completed a model for utilities-budget planning and management. We are now in the process of expanding Alight for budgeting processes such as maintenance and operations, custodial budgets, facilities administration, and parking.”

Since Alight is easy to deploy, Bates benefited from a rapid implementation that added value right from the start. In addition to saving time and reducing the errors inherent in traditional spreadsheet-based planning, Alight’s Unit/Rate/Amount structure and modeling interfaces enable Agile Planning™ characterized by the ability to perform on-the-fly scenario analysis.

“We are pleased to see another successful migration off spreadsheets for planning in Higher Education,” says Ben Lamorte, VP Marketing with Alight. “Historically, Higher Education finance teams were content streamlining existing budgets and reports. However, in today's cost-cutting environment, saving time is not enough. Schools like Bates are looking for agile planning tools to help them make better decisions faster.”

In addition to Bates Technical College, schools of all sizes have deployed Alight for Higher Education including: Indiana Wesleyan University, Tuft’s Medical Center, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Penn State University, University of California Education Abroad Program, The New School, and University of the Pacific.
To learn more about Alight for Higher Education, click here.

About Bates Technical College
For more than 70 years, Bates has provided the community with industry-relevant technical education. Today, Bates offers 53 programs in a wide range of career disciplines, and serves approximately 3,000 career training students and 10,000 more community members in programs such as Continuing Education, Home & Family Life, High School, Business & Management Training Center, and others. Our mission to inspire, challenge, and educate is at the core of each program we offer, and everything we do.

About Alight
Alight Planning is a true driver-based financial planning and reporting software package that automates complex business modeling for more accurate strategic plans, revenue projections, budgets and rolling forecasts. Its unique architectures and easy-to-use interfaces provide finance staff the power they need to build sophisticated driver-based planning models, while delivering traditional budgeting and planning structures such as line item detail, integrated financial statements and multiple-user security. Cost-effective and IT-independent, Alight Planning is affordable and easily deployed by Fortune 500 business units, as well as mid-market companies with limited IT resources. Alight has over 250 customers including Kaiser Permanente, British Telecommunications, Pittsburgh Mercy Health, the Swan and Dolphin Resort at Disney World and Verizon Wireless. For more information about Alight Planning, visit http://www.AlightPlanning.com or call 800-960-7717.

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Debbie Mullins
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