Questions about this topic? Ask our Specialist!
The objectives of Bergzeit were to
- completely replace the spreadsheet-based planning approach with a state-of-the-art planning solution
- ensure consistency and data integrity between various parts of the planning and actuals
- reduce the efforts for recurring planning tasks
- enable the controlling department to maintain, change and expand the planning model independently from IT and external resources
- provide the transparency over various planning scenarios and the respective comparability
- facilitate the transparency and collaboration of the planning process through integrated workflows and status overviews
- integrated reporting with access and role management
As a key success factor, the reduction of preparation and consolidation time for the planning cycles was defined to allow to shift to more frequent forecasts, rather than only one yearly planning process. Along with the cycle, time reduction resources should be freed up from non-value adding repetitive technical tasks, allowing to focus on business content and decision-taking.
Solution & Challenges
During the process analysis phase, the various challenges were identified, and solutions were discussed with Bergzeit. To ensure an optimal knowledge transfer, Bergzeit chose Sereviso’s shared implementation model. The client is being guided through the various implementation steps and planning model design while the controlling department already implements the technical configuration. Supported and quality checks are provided by Sereviso as well during this process.
As in every individual planning model, the project faced various challenges and special requirements that needed to be solved. The solution was built sequentially to allow a fast implementation before the upcoming sales planning cycle. Various elements are linked to each other and ensure the desired consistency of the planning model. Those elements are:
- Revenue planning by channel and destination country, with the drivers’ invoice values, return rates, average order values, and average return values
- Payment provider planning to reflect the various fixed and variable fees for orders and returns by channel and destination countries
- Top-down material cost-planning with individual bottom-up overwrite possibility
- Freight cost planning based on carrier and destination
- Personnel Cost planning
- OPEX planning
- CAPEX planning and related depreciation
- Channel profitability analysis
Challenges appeared in the form of cross-dependencies between various planning areas that needed to be reflected to ensure a consistent and automated calculation. Revenue by payment provider for example is an important level of detail for Bergzeit. It would ask revenue planners to invest significantly more time without having all the required insights about payment providers. On the other hand, payment provider costs are already planned by another team. The solution now calculates a payment provider split and uses this split to allocate the planned revenue to the payment providers. This ensures consistency between revenues, payment provider cost, and shipments at all times.
Another challenge was the reflection of top-down planning versus bottom-up planning within one version. Usually, those different planning approaches are handled with different versions. In this case, the top-down approach should be used as proposal value but not be overwritten to display the total of the adjustments. The respective values and adjustments were therefore reflected in dedicated accounts, allowing to transparently compare target, adjustment, and new totals for the relevant values.
The sequential implementation allowed a very fast go-live for the revenue planning. The basic system configuration with organizational levels, GL-accounts, Actual data, and Standard P&L planning sheet was set up within 1 week after the project started. In the next steps, the other modules were rolled-out and tested sequentially, according to Bergzeit’s requirements and step-by-step replacing the existing spreadsheet solution.
With the customized planning sheets, integration of Actual data, and automated consolidation the cycle times of the planning process have dropped significantly. This is the basis to run and analyze more forecasts more frequently. The originally designed scope has in the meantime been extended by the controlling department to even more processes and functions reflected in the new planning solution.
The workflows allow for a constant overview of the planning process and facilitate the review process. Processes have been adopted quickly by the planning contributors as the integrated reporting functionality allows to have ideal transparency over the own data.