Organizing internal processes can be a significant challenge for businesses, often requiring exclusive solutions tailored to their specific needs. This executive summary highlights a successful project in the sports fashion industry, where our client sought to improve their Personnel Expenditures Planning and decision-making by reducing workload and enhancing forecast accuracy. By transitioning from Excel sheets to a streamlined solution integrated into the Financial Planning, we achieved outstanding outcomes.
Outcome: The project resulted in the implementation of a global SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) solution, enabling Personnel Expenditures (PEx) and Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Planning for all areas, including volume-driven ones. The solution offered intuitive handling, simulations visualization, comprehensive reporting, and dashboarding, providing a valuable overview of changes and facilitating cross-functional collaboration. With swift adoption by the entire user community of 300 individuals, administration became possible without IT support. The SAC solution ensured transparency through a well-defined authorization and confirmation process, allowing the monthly execution of the planning cycle.
Process Definition: To achieve the desired outcomes, we began by structuring the process, acknowledging the limitations of standard solutions that previously led to reliance on Excel. We utilized our Process Matrix approach to collaboratively design an principle process. This involved gathering and validating Total Cost of Employment for each country, planning FTE phase in and out simulations, creating the FTE plan using actual and plan data from SAP, and calculating personnel expenditures by combining the FTE plan with individual compensation packages. The process was made comprehensive with reporting and dashboards for transparency and insights on FTE planning.
Project: With a fixed process in place, we initiated an implementation project. The core team consisted of a Product Owner from HR, supported by Power Users, SAC Planning and Reporting specialists from Dahlbeer, and an Agile Expert from the IT side. Employing two-week sprints, we achieved the first go-live after two months and subsequent go-lives within a month for FTE Planning. Emphasizing easy usability, the training efforts were minimal.
Solution: Users appreciated the solution for its simplicity, speed, and ability to fulfill their job requirements effectively. Power Users benefited from maintaining authorizations and master data independently, reducing the need for IT support. The internal IT team appreciated the solution's low maintenance efforts. SAC analytical apps were utilized for administration, planning, and reporting, ensuring a fail-safe, user-friendly, and well-structured process. Business users also built SAC Stories for data analysis, validations, master data overview, and ad-hoc style analytics.
Adoption: Adoption of the new solution was swift among central users following the first go-live for assumptions planning. The transition from Excel-based data compilation to the clean and structured SAC-based process significantly reduced the work-load and potential errors. Subsequent go-lives, with training efforts focused on user roles and collaboration expectations, witnessed a self-sustained wave of adoption driven by users training each other. Cross-functional business partners also embraced the solution due to improved reporting and reliable integration with downstream financial planning.
Conclusion: The success of this project has paved the way for future endeavors for our internal counterparts. The business team effectively handed over day-to-day operations to a new team in a service center, allowing them to independently run the SAC-based process after a single hand-over session. With valuable lessons learned, our team is now eager to take on new challenges, applying the early validation of prototypes with business stakeholders. This project exemplifies the power of specific hand-tailored solutions and the transformative impact they can have on internal processes, decision-making, and business outcomes.