- Location: U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago
- Industry: Major League Baseball team in operation since 1901
"Epicor for Hospitality and Entertainment delivers the functionality to track and maintain a breadth of financial data, and the flexibility to leverage the information how we need it and when we need it."
Bill Waters, Director of Finance | Chicago White Sox
For more than 100 years, the Chicago White Sox have been a fixture of America's favorite past time. A Major League Baseball powerhouse since 1901, the White Sox also signed-on early to implement business technology that could effectively manage its financial operations.
In the summer of 1994, the White Sox sought to replace its antiquated financial management system, which wasn't providing the flexibility their organization demanded. The search was narrowed to three solutions by management, who then presented them to the accounting team for consideration.
"Finding a solution with strong reporting and budgeting capabilities was critical, but we also wanted to be sure the end-users could work with the solution," said Bill Waters, director of finance for the Chicago White Sox. "We found that the Epicor solution could provide the functionality we required, in a user-friendly format that appealed to the end-users." Chris Taylor, accounting manager with the Chicago White Sox, added, "We liked that the screens in the Epicor solution could be modified to match our business processes."
Driving Efficiency Down the Line
Since implementing Epicor, the White Sox organization has experienced improved efficiency in its reporting and budgeting processes through dramatic time-savings and increased accuracy. Previously, information had to be taken from the general ledger and re-inputted in a different system in order to generate reports. "With Epicor, we can report directly out of the system. The reports can be modified and the data easily manipulated, as needed," said Waters. "This has dramatically improved our efficiency and accuracy.
Using Epicor for Hospitality and Entertainment, the White Sox have seen dramatic improvements in gathering company-wide financials for creating the annual budget. "Since we implemented the Epicor solution, the time spent generating company-wide financials for establishing annual budgets has gone from three-to-four weeks, to three-to-four days," said Waters.
The White Sox operate on zero-based budgeting, which means for each fiscal year, its departments are required to re-justify the necessity of all expenditures. According to Waters, this necessitates financial information that is precise and accessible. "We are able to provide department directors with a detailed report on their past year's budget pretty much on-demand."
Waters continued, "Because our budgeting process is so detailed, the level of performance we are able to provide is only as good as the information we can get out of the Epicor system. Epicor for Hospitality and Entertainment delivers the functionality to track and maintain a breadth of financial data, and the flexibility to leverage the information how we need it and when we need it."
In addition to streamlining its internal budgeting, the Epicor solution has helped the White Sox simplify its reporting to Major League Baseball™ (MLB). According to Chris Taylor, "Major League Baseball has very complex and stringent reporting specifications for its teams, requiring a variety of financial reports throughout the year."
The White Sox leveraged the flexibility of the Epicor system to build these reports into the system, which helps them plan better and enables a significant time-savings.
"Prior to implementing Epicor, creating reports for MLB would take as much as three or four days. Now it takes a matter of minutes," said Waters. "Furthermore, as MLB modifies its reporting rules, we are able to adjust the reports in the Epicor solution quickly and easily to remain in compliance."
Leveraging Functionality for Optimal Performance
The White Sox continue to find new ways to leverage the functionality in Epicor for Hospitality and Entertainment to further enhance back-office processes. "The more we get to know the Epicor solution, the more we find we can do with it," said Taylor. Recently, the White Sox connected Epicor for Hospitality and Entertainment with its ticketing system to drive efficiency even further. According to Waters, "If we're in a play-off series and sell tickets for a game five, but win the series in four games, we have to issue refunds for those ticket holders."
By connecting the Epicor solution with its ticketing system, the White Sox can pull ticket-holder information into Epicor to process the refund, then transfer the data back into the ticketing system so ticketing agents have a complete record of the refund, down to the check number. "This way, we get the refunds out faster, which makes our ticket holders happy," Waters added.
Creating a Team Environment
With the success of the White Sox implementation of Epicor for Hospitality and Entertainment, other Chicago-based sporting-related entities including the United Center, the Chicago Blackhawks®, and the Chicago Bulls®, have followed suit and implemented the solution.
For the Chicago White Sox, the activity off the field contributes to the momentum on the field. "Our primary business is baseball, but every department supports the team in some manner," said Waters. "Epicor for Hospitality and Entertainment plays a key role in our success supporting the organization."
Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industries. With more than 40 years of experience, Epicor has more than 20,000 customers in over 150 countries. Epicor solutions enable companies to drive increased efficiency and improve profitability. With a history of innovation, industry expertise and passion for excellence, Epicor inspires customers to build lasting competitive advantage. Epicor provides the single point of accountability that local, regional, and global businesses demand. For more information, visit www.epicor.com.