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ENMAX rides the waves of change to drive business strategy

We never really had a very robust planning capability before. Workday Adaptive Planning opened our eyes to what's possible.

Director of Business Systems Process and Strategy

  • ENMAX, an energy utility company owned by the City of Calgary, Alberta, ran on disparate legacy software systems that managers found inflexible and difficult to use. Decision-makers lacked easy access to accurate, consistent data at a time when ENMAX was growing rapidly. Company leadership saw an opportunity for simplifying technology management and transforming how people made planning decisions.

    For ENMAX, Workday Adaptive Planning has become the go-to collaborative planning tool. Sandy comments, “20 or 30 analysts from different business units or cost centers can collaborate on strategic decisions. They can save their models in a centralized cloud resource and can immediately assess the business impact of those decisions.”

    Prior to deploying Workday Adaptive Planning, finalizing a plan was a laborious process that required multiple iterations across numerous spreadsheets. “For the first time in our history, we had no topside adjustments and pulled final numbers into our board packages within minutes,” says Alwani. “We made every plan entry in Workday Adaptive Planning.”

    Workday Adaptive Planning also enabled ENMAX to transition to a remote-working model with little to no disruption to operations. During COVID-19, users could easily access and use Workday Adaptive Planning from home. The ENMAX finance team was able to complete accounting close and forecasting activities remotely throughout the year without a single delay. That would not have been the case without Workday Adaptive Planning.

    Boosting business agility and powering strategic thinking

    ENMAX spurred a transformation initiative by deploying Workday Human Capital Management, followed by Workday Core Financial Management. As a result of these successful deployments, ENMAX was eager to adopt Workday Adaptive Planning. “It took next to no downtime to onboard finance and business stakeholders onto Workday Adaptive Planning and build new models and reports for them,” says Ray Alwani, director of business systems process and strategy at ENMAX.

    ENMAX has brought collaborative, strategic planning and decision-making to executives and business teams across the organization. Creating reliable data models with centralized design and governance allowed the company to adopt self-service forecasting. With consolidated results calculated in real time, ENMAX has gained a new level of planning transparency and can more quickly respond to change. Brad Sandy, business systems functional process and strategy manager at ENMAX, says, “Workday Adaptive Planning allows us to be structured, systematic, consistent, collaborative, and, most importantly, more agile.”

    Accelerating the momentum of strategic planning

    ENMAX uses Workday Adaptive Planning for what-if scenario analysis. Shared forecasts which incorporate the latest information allow users to quickly assess situations and make critical decisions to minimize risk. Most what-if analysis is based on a single working plan, created by the finance team and cloned to enable the reporting needed for monthly forecasts or the control budget. When ENMAX acquired another company, Versant Power (previously Emera Inc.), finance managers were able to load Versant Power’s plan data into Workday Adaptive Planning with minimal effort.

    Given the pandemic and changing economic conditions, ENMAX undertook a full strategic review in 2020. ENMAX was able to use Workday Adaptive Planning to model various what-if scenarios and quickly understand the impact of business decisions and changing assumptions on projected financial results. This enabled ENMAX to make quick strategic decisions as part of its business planning cycle.

    Workday Adaptive Planning has also streamlined the process of consolidating plans, providing a holistic view across the organization in real time. “We can change assumptions and drivers and reproduce our consolidated plan within minutes,” Alwani explains.

    Greater impact from employee expertise

    Bringing planning and financial management onto a single platform with a shared data model has made the team more efficient and raised the level of strategic analysis. ENMAX’s Vice President of Finance, Strategic Planning and Optimization, Sheri Primrose, says, “Workday enables us to elevate the roles of highly experienced employees and allow them to make a strategic contribution. We realize much greater benefits from their talents.”

  • About:
    ENMAX is a utility company in Calgary that distributes electricity, natural gas, renewable energy, and value-added services to its 667,700 customers. It was founded in 1904 and employees 1,880 people.
    Calgary, Alberta
    Energy and utilities, Manufacturing

Workday’s continuous optimization truly improves the way we organize ourselves. We acquired a better way of working, not just an application.

-Director of Business Systems Process and Strategy

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