Financial Forecasting Standardization Achieved with Anaplan at International Specialty Chemical Manufacturer

company overview

This company is a leading provider of specialty chemicals and performance materials for transportation, infrastructure, environment, and consumer industries. Headquartered in Massachusetts, the company operates in over 20 countries with over 4,500 employees worldwide.

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The Challenge

The company has many manufacturing plants around the world, as well as, multiple business lines under their name.  Prior to their deployment of Anaplan, financial forecasting was completed in Excel with non-standardized spreadsheet processes for each business and location. Because of this, the organization found it very difficult to deploy best practices across the different businesses and locations.

The Results

The new solution has standardized the way the company forecasts, while still giving different businesses the ability to forecast in their own nuanced ways. All businesses are now forecasting quicker, applying adjustments easier, and viewing the impacts on complex reports more readily. The corporate team can go to one place and quickly see which businesses have not completed their forecasts and which have. They also now have a more accurate forecast and are saving a tremendous  amount of time no longer dealing with the creation, sending out, and consolidation of forecast templates.

The Solution

The company partnered with Accelytics to create a standardized forecasting process using Anaplan. The tool provides the ability to forecast the full P&L efficiently, and includes a Variable Margin, OPEX, and Reporting model.

The Variable Margin model leverages the demand plan and contract data to calculate revenue and COGS. Previously, different businesses were using different versions of the demand plan, and they were also forecasting at different levels. This tool ensures a single, locked version of the demand plan is used by all, and that forecasting is being completed at the same level across businesses. This has enabled improved reporting like the automated calculation of Price, Volume, Mix (PVM) impact. End-users can select the versions, time ranges, regions, and manufacturing locations they want to compare and immediately view the PVM impact. FIFO methodology has also been built within the tool for more accurate beginning and ending inventory calculations.

The OPEX model includes five distinct rollups of the department/location dimensions to provide each of the five different end-users a view that will help them efficiently update their forecasts. The various OPEX forecasts are then consolidated automatically for flowing into the Reporting model. The Reporting model houses the P&L and brings together revenue, COGS, and OPEX forecasts from other models. This model also allows certain end-users the ability to apply high level adjustments and view the impact on the P&L in real time.

Because of the large number of Anaplan users in different businesses and time-zones across the organization, the corporate team has also been provided with a dashboard that enables them to see outstanding forecasting activities by business and location.

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