Customer case study: Lanterna Education

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Customer case study: Lanterna Education

Learn how Lanterna Education uses Scratx to solve business critical financial operations challenges, after searching for a solution for years

Lanterna Education and its sister company Lanterna Elite (https://lanterna.com) deliver best-in-class tutoring services for International Baccalaureate high school students across the globe. The international reach, multichannel business model, and advanced technology stack pose certain challenges for their financial operations in the form of unique requirements and processes.

Sales of subscriptions and voucher packages require customizability of data sets to support accounting practices

Lanterna operates a digital proprietary solution for ordering, booking and facilitating tutoring sessions. Their customers and tutors are spread across the globe and they have a multi-entity company structure, while also being a subsidiary of a larger group. These circumstances are not unique for Lanterna, but such complexity of operating a business can lead to requirements on financial operations that tend to be solved in unique ways. 

One clear example from Lanterna is the need to pull data from multiple sources such as their own platform, ecommerce platform and payments providers, in order to prepare the information necessary for the accounting of sold lesson packages. Selling vouchers requires Lanterna to keep track of what’s ordered, paid for, consumed and what’s left to consume in order to properly account for deferred revenue, taxes and outstanding liabilities.

Lanterna has historically been forced to collect and process this data manually due to the sheer fragmented nature of input data sets, as well as the requirements on output data needed to prepare and process the data for accounting.

“A data crunching exercise that previously took us 3 days to get right is now reduced to a few minutes with the help from Scratx.”

– Emily Petersen, Finance Director at Lanterna

No other vendors could offer a solution to fit Lanterna’s requirements

Lanterna and Scratx started working together in Q4 of 2023 to harmonize data from Lanterna’s own platform, order data from their ecommerce platform and payment data from their payments provider.

They had been looking for years to find a solution that wouldn’t cost them a fortune up front without any guarantee they would get long term working solutions for their challenges described above. 

One integration platform wanted to charge them a 4 figure amount as a startup fee and then no cap on the project’s hourly billings. Looking into custom builds by external development teams would mean a lengthy project including specification, process mapping, architectural design, development, testing, deployment and continued maintenance.

Knowing that they have ambitious growth plans and aimed to update their technology stack in the near future, custom development just was deemed to become sunk costs. So they continued working manually with internal resources and their external accounting firm. Until they found Scratx.

“The best thing about Scratx is that they can help us address the dilemma of wanting to automate but not at all cost. They’ve found a way to liberate us from manual busy work without the need for custom code”.

– Daniel Bjärne, CEO at Lanterna

Scratx and Lanterna in close collaboration towards higher ambitions for operational excellence

Lanterna has high ambitions to reduce manual work both internally and externally (to reduce cost), while avoiding to rely on custom development of integrations and applications. With Scratx, Lanterna can apply a gradual, sequential automation approach and move towards their ambitions step by step without the risk of over-automating too quickly or wasting resources on ineffective custom development.

While Lanterna’s requirements for automation are unique, Scratx’s platform can support automation of a wide range of use cases with its data agnostic approach and spreadsheet-like user interface. Whereas Scratx is extending support for more and more automation capabilities, Lanterna’s input has been and will continue to be invaluable for the development of Scratx’s toolbox for achieving higher excellence in financial operations.

“Working with Lanterna is a bottomless source of learning for us to build a useful toolbox for financial operations with Scratx. Our heartfelt gratitude goes to Daniel and Emily for their trust, patience and feedback. We couldn’t be happier to work closely with Lanterna to make sense of fragmented transaction data and reduce manual busy work without code.”

– Joakim Olsson, co-founder and CEO at Scratx 

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