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Case Study

Customer Case Study: How MindStream Analytics and Interface solved their business challenges:


Interface was founded in 1973, and is located in Atlanta, GA. As the world leader in modular flooring, Interface offers an integrated collection of carpet tiles and resilient flooring. Interface is known for pushing the boundaries regarding flooring innovations in biomimicry and recycling while taking it a step further and engineering their products that go beyond carbon neutral to carbon negative.

Overview of the business problem Interface had and business requirements:

Interface's monthly corporate regional departmental forecast process was performed in Excel. After two years of standardizing their Excel based forecast process, Interface was ready to automate their corporate forecast process in OneStream. The laborious process was consistent and stable; unfortunately, the forecast was always a month behind.

The monthly initialization of the corporate forecast process in Excel was laborious. Actual summary data was refreshed via OneStream Excel add-in and transactional departmental detail data was sourced from their ERP for review and analysis. Once all the data was compiled and reviewed by department by the analyst (one person), the workbooks were saved individually by department and distributed via email to their departmental heads for completion.

By the time the completed forecast workbooks were returned by the departmental heads and submitted into OneStream for a high-level review, it was time to repeat the cycle again for the next forecast cycle.

"Our Forecast was so far behind, we needed a new partner to help get us to real-time data to make our business more proactive versus reactive," said Clarke Hair, CPA/CGMA, Director-IT, Financial & HR Systems.

Interface used a complex, manual, excel-based FP&A process for monthly review, and the summary data was loaded in OneStream. As a result, it was very time-consuming to refresh, distribute, update, collect, consolidate load, and review. In addition, there was limited automation at any step of the forecasting process. The SGA Overhead aspect involved an accounting analyst who owned the process of preparing the monthly departmental workbooks that contained various input and analysis worksheets. Once complete, the workbooks were manually distributed to department heads for completion. The workbooks were returned for compilation and finishing with a high-level review for accuracy. The process was as streamlined as possible within the spreadsheet format and an ideal candidate to automate within OneStream.

Interface wanted a spreadsheet-based user interface, and the budget moving forward will include the current year plus two years out forecast. They need the ability to track forecasts, prior forecasts, actual and budget comparisons, tracking by project, by department (IT, Marketing, Product Development, etc.), and supplemental details by vendor. The General Ledger Transactional details to support Project, Supplemental, and Subsidiary accounts details. Visualization by color scheme throughout columns, dimensions, and reports, As well as spreadsheet grouping (Row/Column - for simplified review). Workflow was also crucial for Data Security, Tracking, Consolidation, Parameter options, and BRs. People Planning was also an essential requirement.

How MindStream Analytics and Interface solved their business challenges:

With MindStream's guidance, Interface was able to bring together five different regional forecast processes in one unified platform. Before OneStream, the corporate forecast was always one month behind; now, it is real-time. The new OneStream FP&A solution was initially built for Corporate, but designed to be used by all the Regions/Areas across the company. We created a bottom-up pre-seeded monthly forecast and annual budget at summary accounts (leveraged extensibility), The Budget includes four versions (first pass, AOP Deck Targets, December Targets, and Final Targets). The Monthly Forecast with a 36-month rolling approach. People Planning MarketPlace Solution for all corporate positions. The solution focuses on the forecast but will be leveraged to create the annual operating plan (Budget).

Converting Excel spreadsheets to OneStream Cubeview dashboards enabled the automation of input forms and reports:

  • Non-project departmental expense summary and supporting detail input worksheets
  • Project departmental input worksheets using a native solution
  • Departmental T&E Expense Planning input worksheet using the native solution
  • Other operating income / expense input worksheet
  • Basic revenue and cost input worksheets using the native solution
  • Comparative reports (actuals compared to budget, prior year, and prior forecast)
  • View GL Transactional details to support Project, Supplemental & Subsidiary accounts details in OneStream custom table

"By partnering with MindStream Analytics, Interface was able to cut their cycle time from 30 days to 5 days, reducing cycle time by over 83 percent," said Clarke Hair, CPA/CGMA, Director-IT, Financial & HR Systems.

They increased visibility into forecasts and supporting details. As a result, department managers were able to gain more control.

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