Supply Chain Software Provider Uses Planful To Remove Complexity and Accelerate Planning

66% Reduction in budgeting effort
33% Reduction in budgeting cycle times
ReplacedPrior solution for lower costs, easier maintenance, better scalability

This publicly traded supply chain software provider develops innovations that solve complex logistics, commerce, and other challenges for more than 1,000 customers. Its customers rely on the firm’s services as much as its software, together generating over $700 million in global revenue. But sharing resources across projects and countries created budgeting and planning challenges and privacy issues around worker compensation. So the company upgraded to Planful from its legacy FP&A solution for a flexible, robust, and secure financial performance management solution.

Solving Budgeting Complexity and Compensation Privacy

Over 4,000 knowledge workers moving between customer projects across 170 departments and 11 countries created a complex budgeting and P&L challenge. As workers devoted time to projects in various countries and currencies, compensation visibility was critical to developing budget, planning, and profitability models. But that created potential privacy issues for an already complex resource-sharing and budgeting equation.

“We knew the logic for the business and the mechanics that drive results on the P&L for revenue,” explained the company’s director of finance. “But when you’re talking about resource borrowing and lending, you need to separate out an individual’s compensation versus the average compensation and the time available. No one needs to see an individual’s compensation.”

The company had to accommodate the complexity and confidentiality issues and give business leaders insights to understand the budget implications of using various resources. So, the finance team would develop P&L insights manually without exposing compensation information while keeping an eye on profitability and preventing the business from borrowing too many or too few resources.

A Better Approach To Financial Performance Management With Planful

The company had been relying on a well-known business planning tool to manage its financial processes but was quickly growing frustrated with the costs and lengthy times required to make even minor adjustments. Worse yet, maintaining that system consumed too much of the finance team’s time and, as individuals became critical to certain portions of the process, those single points of failure could easily derail budgeting and planning efforts.

As the finance team looked to bolster collaboration with the business while maintaining compensation privacy, it discovered the dimensional hierarchies available in Planful. The company quickly moved to replace its prior solution and upgrade financial budgeting, planning, and reporting with Planful.

The company’s director of finance said: “We knew the past failures with our prior system and what Planful’s structured capabilities were, and Planful was ticking all the boxes. Using Planful hierarchies, we created a new dimension for resource (lending) departments, and then we married the three dimensions of geography, borrowing/financial reporting department, and resource/lending department to create a hybrid.”

Planful enabled the company to log available resources’ compensation rates, capture business requests for those resources, and then generate P&Ls and reports without revealing compensation data. Business leaders could then see budget and profitability implications without compromising worker privacy.

“Planful lets us build in checks and balances for resource borrowing and lending, folks can see data that allows them to make smart decisions, and we aren’t risking security or limiting reporting,” the company’s director of finance added. “Teams get access to the data they need but not the confidential information they don’t.”

Scaling Finance While Delivering More Insights To the Business

With resource-sharing issues solved, the company now worked to reduce over- or under-borrowing of resources and streamline budget and plan approvals across the process. More critically, Planful gives the broader business intuitive access to financial performance management insights so they can focus on business growth.

“Business leaders need to be agile and make decisions quickly, and we need to help them make those decentralized decisions,” said the company’s director of finance. “With Planful, we can now show them reports and information they never had before. They can easily run a report, see planning issues, and fix it.”

For the finance team, Planful provides an easy-to-maintain, finance-owned solution that helps it scale support out to the business without spending nights and weekends tweaking financial processes.

“Using Planful is night and day in terms of maintenance,” added the company’s director of finance. “We’re spending half the time on Planful and that was really a force multiplier. FP&A can be lean because we don’t have to hire someone to manage Planful.”

Faster Budgeting and Planning Cycles With Planful

More information and insights delivered to the business has obvious value. But time is money, and the company wanted to move faster as it planned for new customers and projects. Using Planful, it was able to shorten budgeting and planning cycles significantly without compromising on accuracy or decision-making confidence.

The company’s director of finance said: “Where we might have had five or six budgeting rounds in the past, we’re now down to two. We’re no longer spending so much time on manual reporting, which gives us more time for value-add analysis for the leadership team and board. But more importantly, there’s more trust in our budget numbers, and that’s given us the confidence to do even more in Planful.”

After creating a more accurate, more efficient budgeting process using Planful, the company cut budgeting time by 33%, streamlined its global budget approval processes, reduced the over- and under-borrowing of resources, and delivered trusted budget numbers to the executive team.

“The financial visibility enabled through Planful was transformative for our business,” the company’s director of finance concluded. “It was very, very impactful for our leadership and our users loved it.”


A supply chain software provider that solves complex logistics, commerce, and other challenges for more than 1,000 customers through services and software, together generating over $700 million in global revenue.





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