Scenario analysis has taken on a whole new meaning these days. COVID-19 pushed companies into chaos, and the continuing uncertainty makes planning especially difficult. In the process, the playbook we’ve all used over the past decade or two has been rendered virtually useless.
The impact of the pandemic, along with the transition to working from home, has forced FP&A teams to scramble as the business makes more, and more frequent, requests for help. But this new dynamic has also pulled Finance front-and-center in nearly every company as the business looks to FP&A for the strategic financial guidance that only they can provide. Now, you’re being called on to do more what-if scenario planning, and do it faster than ever before because things are still changing so rapidly. Where it was once the status quo to turn around a what-if request in a day or two or “by EOW”, those insights are now needed in hours or even minutes. And the results could be the difference between stability and disaster.
It’s your job to help everyone, in all the corners of the business, make better, faster, more intelligent decisions. But the ad hoc scenarios you’re modeling need three things:
- Accuracy so the business can move forward with confidence.
- Speed because new information and economic conditions are changing constantly, sometimes multiple times per day.
- Executability so the business can quickly put into action any course-correcting tactics.
We can help, and we show you how in our latest webinar, “Multi-dimensional Ad Hoc Analysis.” You can watch the webinar now, on demand. It includes a product demonstration showing you just how quickly and easily Planful helps you model new what-if scenarios, make changes on-the-fly and instantly see the results.
The demo also walks you through several real-world use cases, highlighting how Planful’s multidimensional ad hoc analysis capabilities allow you to change granular assumptions or top-level results, and then use our breakback functionality to instantly run the necessary calculations across all of your accounts, departments, products, geographies, etc. It’s powerful stuff, and a huge time-saver. So, if you’re changing headcount or adjusting an expense line item, Planful cascades the updates across the entire scenario in seconds, so you can see the full impact instantly. Or, if you have a top-level target to hit, breakback does the same to quickly calculate the line item numbers needed to hit that goal.
With Planful Spotlight for Office, you can leverage these multidimensional ad hoc analysis capabilities directly within MS Excel, Word, and PowerPoint, giving you the speed, power, and insights from your favorite Office applications, all while retaining the connection to Planful and your source data.
Once the pandemic took hold, we saw a massive spike in the usage of Planful across our customers. They quickly began running what-ifs and changing models as shut-downs and economic disruptions hit their businesses. Planful gave them the speed and insights to quickly react, provide their executive teams with strategic guidance when they needed it most, and then pivot just as quickly as the situation continued to change.
“We’re definitely using a lot more scenarios in Planful in the face of COVID-19,” said Randy Brown, Director of FP&A at Nature’s Sunshine. Andrew Freeman, Director, Financial Planning & Analysis and Management Reporting at Webber, added, “We relied on Planful this morning because we need to do a new forecast with everything going on. Planful is a blessing because we can access it from anywhere.”
If you’re not already a Planful customer and curious how you can get started fast, Planful Now is a deployment program designed to get you up and running on the highest impact use cases you might be struggling with today. In 30 days or less, you could be using Planful for multi-dimensional ad hoc analysis to quickly create what-if scenarios, change business drivers on the fly, and dynamically analyze the results in real-time. The next time you’re asked to answer those critical business questions, you’ll be empowered to do it in seconds. And that’s the stuff FP&A professionals dream about.
In the meantime, be sure to watch this 30-minute overview, “Multi-dimensional Ad Hoc Analysis.”