Long-term financial planning at SABCA
As one of Belgium’s main aerospace companies, SABCA manufactures critical parts for civil aviation, space, defence and the industrial sector. No easy feat: every component has to adhere to the highest quality standards, and most projects often run for 5 to 7 years. This long runtime also means financial planning can get quite complex. No wonder the company needed a quick solution to streamline its financial flows – enter Flexso and SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC)!
“Because our projects span multiple years, financial planning can be quite challenging,” Jean-François Adam, controlling department manager at SABCA explains. “Before implementing SAC, we planned in Excel, but we often met with the program’s limitations. By the end of a project, we had multiple versions of the file being passed around. With SAC, we have created a single source of truth, clearly defined roles for everyone involved and dedicated reporting features for each role, from program managers to members of the executive committee.”
Closing the gap vertically and horizontally
The new financial planning flow provides new levels of flexibility. Jean-François: “We are now able to predict different scenarios and easily switch between a short monthly view and long-term yearly view. What’s more, SAC lets us do this in minutes – whereas it used to take us up to 2 weeks to adjust the planning in Excel in case of a major shift. SAC automatically plans in lead times, converts exchange rates so we get a clear view of total costs and revenues, valorises salaries, plans in production hours and bridges the gap between capacity and demand throughout the entire project lifecycle. Additionally, the financial department can perform margin recognition, according to IFRS standards, on the same platform and generate high-level reports for the executive committee. This bridges the gap between operational financial planning and management as well.”
The business benefits of SAC for SABCA:
- Time gain: SAC automates a large part of the financial planning process.
- Increased flexibility: in case of different scenarios or unexpected changes, SAC can quickly recalculate costs and revenue, and get the financial plan back on track.
- Optimised workflows: SAC balances available labour force versus demand, ensuring that SABCA makes the most of its resources throughout the project.
- Clear overview: each involved party – program managers, budget owners, the finance department and the executive committee – can keep track of the financial plan in self-service dynamicreports.
Fast results with Flexso
Flexso helped SABCA implement SAP Analytics Cloud in record time. The project was delivered in December 2019 and took only 4 months to set up. This was achieved thanks to a clear division of the tasks: Flexso took care of the implementation, making sure to keep SABCA in the loop at every step of the way. SABCA itself handled all training, documentation and self-service report design to management, program managers and budget owners.
Of course, challenging projects like this are also great learning opportunities. Here’s what our consultants took away from the SAC implementation at SABCA:
- make sure to stress test your platform regularly during the project with large amounts of realistic data, and test different scenarios.
- include enough time for support after go-live.
- embed governance from the beginning of the project – this ensures logical flows and avoids the need to fiddle with the setup afterwards.
- write a quick user guide directly into the story, getting everyone on board.