Virgin Galactic - Planning and Reporting Solution with Anaplan

company overview

Virgin Galactic (VG) is a commercial space flight company that is developing spacecraft to provide suborbital spaceflights to space tourists and suborbital launches for space science missions. Virgin Galactic has operations in California and New Mexico with offices in California and London. Virgin Galactic went public in 2019, trading on the New York Stock Exchange with the ticker symbol of SPCE.

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The Challenge

Virgin Galactic began development of a planning solution with a different Anaplan consulting firm and decided to discontinue the project due to VG’s unhappiness with the model progression.

VG’s requirements were to develop a Zero Based Budget (ZBB) tool, which department owners could use for their three primary planning cycles, a budget and two forecasts. VG’s in-place process consisted entirely of Excel worksheets from department owners imported by FP&A managers into consolidating worksheets, then uploaded to SAP.

Validation of results was manual and cumbersome. The process was inflexible when Senior Management passed top-down adjustments, which had to be spread to input levels of the department and GL account hierarchy. Results had to be reported against actuals and prior planning cycles, uploaded to SAP and imported into VG’s production Anaplan reporting model.

The Results

The new planning solution dynamically tracks inputs and adjustments, allowing quick, iterative analysis of planning data. Accuracy and auditability are systematic, rather than manual.

Planning results can be quickly and accurately integrated with existing reporting processes through automated actions. Security is enhanced with dynamic cell access, enabling line item specific access to sensitive HR data on a user level.

The Solution

Accelytics developed Operating Expense input dashboards in Anaplan, where budget owners can enter vendor and description specific spending plans with three separate bases for spreading annual amounts across 12 months (manual, 4-4-5, 1/12). Department owners can also upload plans from Excel worksheets.

Grouped department/account level results are dynamically calculated and shown on the user’s input dashboard. FP&A managers have multiple adjustment opportunities, which are tracked separate from the inputs and summarized together in the department/account rollup reporting structure.

Workforce inputs are uploaded from employee-level output of the HR system. Department owners and FP&A management can adjust inputs, add, edit and transfer employee records. Results are incorporated in in the department/account rollup for workforce designated GL accounts.

Capital expenditure input dashboards allow for vendor/description specific ZBB inputs and management approvals. Capital expense forecasts are incorporated in the department/account rollup.

VG’s planning solution includes a direct labor allocation solution for project planning where department/account direct labor totals are reconciled with direct labor allocation percentages to projects by VG’s Project Management Office.

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