Lippert drives financial performance in a complex, growing business

Recreation-industry leader automates FP&A for time savings, consistency, and agility across its large, diverse manufacturing operations

With over 140 manufacturing and distribution facilities and a history of acquisitions, diversified recreation-industry manufacturing leader Lippert needed an FP&A solution that could scale consistently and improve agility. With Anaplan, annual budgets are completed faster, financial data is more detailed and accurate, and acquired businesses can be added to financial processes with a click. And as business conditions change, reforecasts and revisions can be completed as needed for greater agility.

With Anaplan we got the best of both worlds: automation with flexibility. That’s huge for a large, complex organization like ours.
— Tim Kay, Director of Financial Planning and Analysis, Lippert


annual budgeting and instant consolidation leaves more time for analysis


integration of acquired businesses supports company growth


reforecasts and revisions support agility in a cyclical industry

If you’ve driven an RV, cruised in a boat, or pulled a trailer, you’ve probably used products made by Lippert. Based in Indiana with over 140 sites worldwide, Lippert is a $3.8 billion manufacturer of highly engineered components and parts for the recreation industry.

“Our industry is very cyclical,” says Tim Kay, the company’s Director of Financial Planning and Analysis, so financial planning is ongoing. But not long ago, annual budgeting with spreadsheets required teams to spend much of their time manually pulling together data. Consolidation of budgets took days. Quarterly or periodic forecasts were rigid and impractical given the manual effort. “We wanted to replace that with a mature, strategic planning and budgeting process that would enable us to get ahead of the ups and downs,” Kay says.

Lippert’s 140+ business sites — with products ranging from boat furniture to vehicle chassis to RV appliances — and a history of acquisition growth further complicated its finance processes. “As we grew, we needed a solution that could scale without adding time or clunkiness,” Kay says.

Focusing on flexibility

In 2021, the Lippert team turned to Anaplan and Allitix. “We started with a tightly focused finance use case and liked the flexibility Anaplan provided,” Kay recalls, so Lippert set out to automate FP&A with Anaplan.

“We automated our existing processes, but enhanced them at the same time,” Kay says. They leveraged the ability to import Lippert’s Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP with Anaplan via a data warehouse, and empowered some 40 controllers and accountants across the company to input data into Anaplan.

Simplicity and user ease drove data entry design. “It’s literally going to a website, making some selections, and inputting data,” Kay says, with built-in options and guardrails to accommodate the distinct operations of various business segments. “Too often, automation focuses on standardization with limitations that make users feel boxed in,” he notes. “But with Anaplan we got the best of both worlds: automation with flexibility. That’s huge for a large, complex organization like ours.”

“Lippert and their FP&A team fully embraced the deployment of Anaplan within their organization and showed their commitment from day one,” recalls Chase Cantwell, Solutions Architect at Allitix. “Tim Kay and his team displayed an unwavering ‘all-in’ attitude from initial Anaplan training to final deployment of their FP&A model.”

“We talked with Allitix daily throughout the implementation about what we wanted from each step in the process,” Kay remembers. “That helped them understand how we see things. They were as invested in the program’s success as we were.”

Elevating value to drive profitability

Plans developed in Anaplan are shared to Lippert’s data warehouse and used for internal reporting. Kay manages the Anaplan environment on his own. “Our solution needed to be self-sustaining within our finance organization,” he notes. “That wouldn’t have been the case with a lot of other solutions we looked at.”

Financial process improvements are substantial: Annual budgets are completed faster and forecasts and revisions are made as needed. Financial data is more detailed and accurate, and can be instantly consolidated across multiple business units. Reviews and edits can be made live, with no version-control issues.

“As a result, people are more engaged in the budget process,” Kay notes. “Automating the process allows more time to focus on value-added analysis and review, instead of compiling data. Automation alleviates timeline constraints and leads to more accurate planning. By maturing our financial planning process, we are ultimately helping the business achieve goals and improve profitability.”

Growth without limitations

Lippert’s Anaplan solution also makes the company more nimble. “If we want to refresh a budget or forecast as conditions change, we have that ability,” Kay says. “We can pivot and adapt quickly, which is a huge win. We're helping our business leaders react to change effectively, as opposed to being held back.”

The solution also simplifies acquisitions that fuel growth. “Acquisitions plug right into our budget and forecasting processes,” Kay notes. “This lets us scale quickly, which is extremely useful for a growing business like ours.”

Kay sees the Anaplan platform as a central to Lippert’s future success “Our teams are pushing us forward because they see the vision and the value of Anaplan,” he says. “We can always do more with Anaplan if we want to. There are no limitations.”

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