Improve Data Collection and Analysis for Enhanced Financial Decision Making

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The Challenge

Legacy FP&A system was slow, labor intensive,
and error-prone. The output did not enable
management to make proactive, data-driven
decisions in a highly compeitive environment.

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The Solution

Based on a comprehensive review of all aspects of the process, QueBIT implemented IBM Planning Analytics. The solution is inherently scalable and

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The Benefit

The resulting processes are faster, require less manual intervention, and empower management to make informed decisions much earlier in the process. The system also provides insights that did not even exist previously, and includes new features such as front-end reporting.

About: World’s largest distributors of automotive parts and accessories

QueBIT’s client is one of the world’s largest distributors of automotive parts and accessories, and has a global footprint spanning three continents. They offer a wide range of quality products, including replacement systems and components, to parts and accessories that are trusted by millions of customers worldwide. Their global operations and rapid growth strained the Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) function. The FP&A group is responsible for the budgeting, planning, and forecasting processes of the company. In addition to managing the annual budget and monthly forecast processes, they are responsible for setting targets for all divisions of the company. With many diverse business verticals, each with their own set of market conditions, it was critical to incorporate a more flexible and efficient planning system that could be scaled with ease. The legacy planning system was not only manually intensive but also very slow, leaving little time for data analysis and improvement. This is where QueBIT’s expertise was invaluable.

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The Challenge

Running a thriving multinational corporation against cut-throat competition requires meticulous planning, efficient budgeting, and accurate forecasting. This puts a heavy burden on the FP&A department. Saddled with an old, legacy planning system, the department’s work process was fraught with unnecessary dependence on manual effort, often leading to delays and unwanted errors. Here is a rundown of the challenges faced by the client prior to working with QueBIT:Produrcing Manager
Scalability - The legacy system was not scalable, compelling each department’s plans to be created separately. These plans then had to be consolidated manually in Excel spreadsheets to understand the full picture. The data consolidation process was time-consuming and error prone. Moreover, if there were any unforeseen changes made to the plan, the entire process had to be repeated.

Speed - Before the implementation of the IBM Planning Analytics (PA) based system, they had to wait over two minutes just to load up each module of the legacy application before any work could be done.

Labor Intensive - The legacy planning system lacked a very basic feature - front-end reporting. This meant all data collected was manually combined and aggregated into extensive spreadsheets to make them presentable. If last-minute changes were needed, the entire spreadsheet had to be overhauled.

Data Analysis - The primary function of data collection and analysis is to provide actionable insights that can improve business processes. With this client’s legacy system, they barely had enough time to collect and collate the data, let alone draw insights from it.

“Working with QueBIT has been a definite plus. Really appreciate how generous they are with knowledge transfer, and always super helpful.”

- Director of FP&A

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Delivering the Solution

Deploying and customizing the latest IBM Planning Analytics solution.

After a comprehensive review of the FP&A department and their internal processes, QueBIT recommended deploying the IBM Planning Analytics system to make the client’s financial planning more efficient and streamlined while adding detail to support better analysis. Furthermore the client benefited from QueBIT’s knowledge transfer and learned how to extend the system on their own.

One of the projects the client was able to undertake independently was a new compensation planning module that calculates individual bonuses and produces bonus accruals automatically. Adding new applications in this way, without having to invest in additional software, validates the value of the IBM Planning Analytics platform, as well as the partnership with QueBIT.

Products Used:

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