In working with SAP B1 customers over the past few years with their proprietary SAP B1 QuickStart solution, NewIntelligence recognized a challenge that these customers were facing when it came to Sales Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting. There was a need for improved efficiency that customers could manage in house and have a reliable solution beyond the myriad of Excel spreadsheets.
Speaking with SAP B1 customers, we found that most of them did not do any real detailed sales budget for their company. If they did do a budget, it was at a very high level at either the Item Group, Customer Group or Salesperson level by period. Introducing any multiples of these attributes into their process made the number of combinations overwhelming and too time consuming to pursue.
While analyzing one customer’s need, it had been determined that they wanted to go more granular. The requirement was to budget sales by individual customer and item at the month level. However, they also needed to see their data aggregated by various item or customer attributes (i.e. Item Group, Customer Group, etc.). The number of combinations was extremely difficult to manage and required weeks, if not months, of manipulation to achieve their desired results. In doing so, the client spent a significant amount of time creating reports and manipulating data in Excel. Given the amount time this took, this process would only be done annually, and budgets remained static throughout the year.
With the help of NewIntelligence, the client implemented IBM Planning Analytics that not only met their needs but exceeded their wildest expectations. The time savings alone provided them with ROI within the first year. It allowed them to plan, budget and forecast from a top down approach. It also permitted them to leverage historical data as a foundation for their upcoming budget. In addition, it provided them the ability to adjust forecasts using relative proportions with breakback capability down to the customer, item and salesperson levels. The solution allowed them to work in sandboxes where they could test out what-if scenarios prior to committing these numbers. Now their budgets are not only done annually, but they are tweaked throughout the year and now provide an additional revised budget version.
Through this experience, NewIntelligence developed the SAP B1 Quick Start Planning Analytics add-on module to their solution. Now, SAP B1 users facing similar challenges can take advantage of this solution. Business professionals are equipped to create and analyze their own budgets and forecasts against actuals using sophisticated SAP B1 reports and dashboards with little training and no help from IT.