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Gartner Lee

"Time and time again, the modeling agility afforded by Quantrix has allowed us to focus on providing timely business insight to our customers while substantially reducing cost.”

        - JME Maxwell, Economist

Gartner Lee Ltd. is an international environmental consulting firm with offices across Canada and the Middle East that builds strategic forecasting and capital budgeting models to help clients determine the impact of different decisions -- the long-term effect of shutting down a landfill to a community, or the waste diversion rate created by a new recycling program, capital financing issues, and other scenarios. Each model incorporates many different factors and variables, including debt payments, operating costs, and geographic information, and needs to offer multiple views of data based on client request.

The Problem

Gartner Lee's models often grew so complex that even minor changes requested by customers caused significant delays and cost overruns. In some cases projects were being completed at twice the projected cost. "We were at the limits of our technology, and the size and complexity of the models were getting difficult to manage in Excel," says JME Maxwell, economist at Gartner Lee. ”We found we were spending too much time incorporating customer requests and revisions. A client would ask us for changes, but just to add a new township into a county model, or to add a new facility -- that was a huge amount of work," says Maxwell. "It was conceptually simple, but it would send us back to the drawing board for a week."

The Solution
Maxwell thoroughly evaluated enterprise modeling and forecasting tools from Cognos, Hyperion and Quantrix. Based on usability, performance and value, he selected the Quantrix Modeler, a desktop solution developed by Quantrix for the needs of the professional financial and data modeling community. "Quantrix offered the perfect mix of features we needed, and was really easy to use, so we could get started much more quickly," says Maxwell.

The Result

Quantrix allows Gartner Lee to make changes exponentially faster, and deliver client-requested information on the fly. In the case of the County of Simcoe, a large upper-tier municipality, adjustments to its complex models were causing delays and cost overruns in excess of 100%. With Quantrix, Gartner Lee was better able to address the County’s business challenges by quickly and easily incorporating the changes mandated by its evolving business environment. Importantly, Gartner Lee was able to deliver the County of Simcoe’s projects as much as 20% under budget.

Another customer, the County of Prince Edward, requires models to forecast corporate finances including a 20-year forecast of levies. The County needed to integrate departmental sub-models that reflected the detailed operations of service delivery in a comprehensive model. In its capital models, the County needed to create further subcategories of capital expenditures, a task that Maxwell estimates would have taken a week to build in Excel. "We went into Quantrix, and all of a sudden, this problem took us five minutes," says Maxwell. "In this instance alone, we saved the County of Prince Edward more than $7,000. I can count numerous other examples where Quantrix addressed Excel modeling inefficiencies to significantly reduce our internal cost overheads. Time and time again, the modeling agility afforded by Quantrix has allowed us to focus on providing timely business insight to our customers while substantially reducing cost.” In both cases, Gartner Lee was able to pass the savings on to the customer.

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