In April 2020, the Baltika company, part of the Carlsberg Group, together with the Advanced consulting company implemented a project
to develop a tool for financial planning of the entire business based on the world-famous cloud platform for integrated planning of Anaplan. The main goal of the project is to build a single integrated process for the formation and management of a financial forecast (P&L*), reducing the time and cost of its creation and increasing the detail of data, increasing the quality and speed of key management decisions. For the Baltika company, the leader of the market of low-alcohol beverages, the agenda for digital business transformation is a priority within the framework of the approved sustainable development strategy. That is why one of the most important initiatives in this direction has become a project to automate the process of creating and managing a financial forecast as a key and final stage of the S&OP** process.
“The financial forecast is the cornerstone of the business process, and any imperfection in working with it carries significant consequences for us. The growth and development of business is associated with the complexity of business processes, which steadily leads to the need for implementation of automation solutions. We had a task to increase the transparency and speed of creating and managing P&L with a level of detail of the plan that could not be implemented without the help of an integrated, well-structured solution.
At the same time, we aim to significantly improve the quality of interaction of all involved departments. The launch of a flexible
platform for planning and control in a dynamic mode has become particularly relevant in today’s realities”
Elizaveta Palitsyna, Director for Controlling the Operational Function of the Eastern Europe region
Another requirement for the target process was the transition to a qualitatively new level of financial performance management – the
launch of scenario planning to improve the speed and quality of key decisions. Previously, 90% of the team’s time was spent collecting, processing data, checking their quality and eliminating errors. As a result, the most important tasks of analysis, strategy selection and there was not enough time left to make decisions. After automating the process with the help of Anaplan, a “single consistent source of truth” appears, reducing the risks of inconsistent assumptions and parallel calculations, as well as conflicting solutions. And, most importantly, the availability of the necessary data and the capabilities of the new system now allow you to create different scenarios for any target financial indicator. In the system, combinations of scenarios can be done literally on the fly, instantly compare them with each other and make decisions at any level of detail: the level of the client, sales department, product, channel, cost item, etc.
Thanks to the Anaplan platform, a customized solution is created taking into account the specifics of the Baltika business. A model has been developed for calculating the financial forecast from details to the article and the client based on a variety of incoming data for calculations: logistics, revenue, cost, production, marketing costs and other expenses. At the same time, users have the opportunity to make the necessary manual adjustments within the agreed access rights, the ability to choose combinations of scenarios with various
introductory ones in order to eventually form and approve the most optimal version of the company’s financial forecast. According to
Leonid Trotsenko, Head of the Anaplan Practice at Advanced, “the peculiarity of the Anaplan platform is its flexibility and high
performance. We always create a solution “for the customer” taking into account the unique requirements and features of the target
business process. In addition, in 2019, the Anaplan solution again became the leader in the field of “Corporate financial planning and analysis”
in the prestigious Gartner rating***, which confirms the relevance and reliability of the platform for the purposes of the project at Baltika.”
In addition to the organization of calculations of the financial forecast of the business, a separate model is organized in the model for preloading, cleaning, verification, and data enrichment – Data Hub. From the Data Hub, ready-to-use data will be transmitted as The source is included in the calculation model, allowing you to significantly improve the quality of incoming data and speed up the overall calculation process.
Since the capabilities of the Anaplan platform allow storing data for calculations in maximum detail, based on them, the system will also implement a block for automatic calculation of deep factor analysis for all target indicators, as well as a system for setting and monitoring several hundred indicators. The P&L and Factor Analysis data will be used to prepare various reporting, including Ad-Hoc****, both on personal dashboards, called dashboards, directly in the Anaplan workspace, and in the form of uploads in various formats:
Excel, PDF, CSV, TXT.
The project plan assumed the launch of a ready-to-work solution within 8 months after the start of the project, which as a result became a reality thanks to the flexibility of the platform itself, which lacks programming, as well as thanks to the agile approach to the
implementation of Anaplan Way projects. The speed of launch and the accelerated start of receiving benefits from the solution, the so-called time to value, It distinguishes Anaplan from launching traditional solutions, the implementation of which for such a task can take more than 12-18 months.
“The principle of creating a mixed team with the customer, which jointly implements the project at all stages: architecture development, testing and launch, allows to ensure the launch of the platform and its development by business users in such a short time. From the first day of the project, a Competence Center is being created, which will allow Baltika to independently develop the solution after its launch.”
Fedor Matveev, Head of the Automation Business unit at the Advanced consulting company.
The project has become unique for the Carlsberg Group of companies in Russia for a number of reasons. The choice in favor of Anaplan was made from a position when the business has long existed and maintained its own solution for planning purposes. The launch of Anaplan was the first time in history when it was the business team, not IT, that initiated and eventually was responsible for the implementation of a large-scale project to launch a new IT solution. The initiative was supported by the IT team, and as a result, the company has a precedent for hybrid ownership of the project and the system. This approach has generated a unique fusion of competencies within the internal project team: an exceptional understanding of business tasks at each stage of the project and a focus on getting the benefits from the solution as soon as possible, flexible project management skills, as well as a proven algorithm for training and involving the customer’s team in product development from the first day of the project.
The emerging practice of creating hybrid teams for the implementation of IT-related innovations will allow Baltika in the future launch projects on their own of any complexity and in any field. With the strategic goal of creating a full-fledged integrated business planning, promising areas for the development of Anaplan in the company are automation of cash flow management (cash flow), operating expenses (OPEX), as well as the transition to forecasting based on machine learning algorithms and much more.
About the Baltic. The Baltika Company, part of the Carlsberg Group International Corporation, is one of the largest producers of low-alcohol beverages in Russia. 40 regional and national beer brands (including Baltika, Tuborg, Zatecky Gus, Carlsberg), as well as 8 non-beer brands are sold in 75 countries of the world, of which 43 are the only Russian beer supplier.
About Anaplan. The Anaplan integrated planning platform is one of the most advanced solutions for automating various business planning processes: Supply Chain Management, S&OP, Financial Planning, Sales and Personnel Management, etc. It is included in the list of the 100 best cloud companies in the world according to Forbes Cloud 100. The Anaplan platform is in service in 200 of the 1000 largest companies in the world.
About Advanced. Advanced Group of Companies is the largest partner of Anaplan in Russia and the CIS and one of the first partners of Anaplan in the world. For more than 10 years, he has been engaged in the integration of the Anaplan platform and methodological consulting in the field of business planning and forecasting in Russia and 33 countries around the world. Advanced’s clients are the largest multinational and Russian companies: Unilever, Uralchem, LafargeHolcim, Biocad, MMK, Roust, Nike Russia LLC, Medsi, etc.
* P&L (Profit & Loss) – The budget of income and expenses (BDR), the main financial plan of the company.
** S&OP (Sales & Operations planning) – The process of planning sales and operations.
**** Ad-Hoc – at the request of the user.