Automotive maker enhanced their planning and budgeting process

Oct 05, 2022
  • finance
  • IT
  • automotive
  • SAP

Leading Asia automotive maker implements SAP® Analytics Cloud (SAC) to streamline and enhance its budget planning and forecasting process.

The automotive maker manufactures a diverse portfolio of vehicles ranging from trucks, buses, pickup trucks, sports utility vehicles, and industrial and marine engines. Their operation and services extend throughout the world.

Taking the leap forward

Stepping towards greater digitalisation, the automotive maker realised the need to streamline and optimise their budget planning and forecasting process to one that is simplified and agile.

Compelling reasons for change

Manual, tedious and error-prone

The budgeting process was heavily manual. It mainly relies on the planning team to extract the actuals from the finance system, enter into spreadsheets and send them to personnel across departments for their input. They are then sent back for the final approval and consolidated into reports. Subsequent changes required a manual refresh of the working files and re-updating reports and PowerPoint slides. The team often experienced over time due to the tight deadlines and voluminous data.

Inefficient file management

Without a proper data management system, this has resulted in the rolling of multiple files with each new budget cycle or changes in budget comparatives. As the business and transactions grow, multiple working Excel files with linkages within their server have caused the files to lag and update incorrectly.

Lacking valuable insights & recommendation

Most of the time is spent manually crunching data to meet tight deadlines. There is no additional capacity to analyse and extract insights and recommendations from the figures. Furthermore, real-time figures were not unavailable to provide the most up-to-date.

Implementation journey

delaware was engaged for our expertise in financial planning & reporting. And eventually opted for the SAP® Analytics Cloud solution. The scope involved building assumption input templates, reports, and chart visualisation for added insights into the platform. Calculations and data flow logic are included to provide end-to-end planning across SAC with a few clicks.

The planning workflow will allow for proper and complete budget approval from the different departments to the Financial Planning & Administration team.

Realising the value

To date, the automotive maker’s SAP® Analytics Cloud journey has provided several business values across various areas of analytics and enterprise financial planning:

Higher process efficiency

The budget planning and forecasting process are now streamlined and more efficient, reducing multiple areas of manual work. The budget approval process are now completed using calendar tasks, where tasks are activated and automated email prompts are sent to planners. Deadline reminders are set to ensure timely updates on budgets and the reviewing process.

User friendly

Managing different planning & forecasting versions and comparing reports can be done easily using the Version Management feature. Users can now easily switch between budget cycles, allowing for optimised and agile planning cycles.

Reduction in multiple excel budget files

The planning templates created in SAC are now accessed by different users based on their access profile. This minimises the additional effort needed to split up the other budget packages for each department.

Data governance & security

Maintaining master data in the system, such as the general ledger (GL) breakdown, helps maintain single-source-of-truth with consistent information across reports. With the new platform, access is better controlled, improving security need-to-know basis and preventing unauthorised changes. Access is now restricted and more secured with the relevant security access controls.

Insights and recommendations

The platform allows integration with business intelligence (BI) and planning. The charts are presented intuitively with real-time visualisation of the latest figures to provide insights from some of the reports quickly.

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