Hyperion holds the business back
The St. Paul, Minnesota manufacturing plant of Boston Scientific employees 250 people in its operation. The existing budgeting and planning process was based on a highly customised Hyperion platform. Most of the budgeting was done based on business rules and calculation assumptions, which the IT organisation maintained. In addition, the finance team would collect data within Excel and request updates to Hyperion through the IT team. System updates could take up to two hours to run a new business rule.
"It became challenging maintaining the budget in Hyperion," said Mark Powers, Sr. Finance Manager, Boston Scientific. "Each time a business condition changed or a product was added or removed, we had to rely on technical coders in the IT organisation to customise Hyperion and re-run scripts. It was incredibly frustrating for the finance and business teams because we did not have clear visibility into what assumptions and business drivers were in place in the Hyperion scripts. These challenges became greater as our specific instance of Hyperion was being discontinued and IT support decreased, so we had to find a new solution."
The shift to cloud-based best practices
The finance team wanted to find a solution that would allow them to own and operate their existing budget, as well as a tool that could conduct scenario modelling much faster than their existing platform. After attending a seminar on budgeting and forecasting best practices, they decided to try replicating their existing budget model housed in Hyperion using Workday Adaptive Planning.
Boston Scientific implemented Workday Adaptive Planning in the midst of their annual budget process and rolled out to 25 users. The implementation period was one month long and they saved a tremendous amount of time collecting budget data from contributors.
"After implementing Workday Adaptive Planning and rolling it out to our customers, the feedback was universally positive," said Powers. "Our users found it very
easy to use and intuitive. They loved it!"
With Workday Adaptive Planning, the Boston Scientific site has significantly streamlined their budget process. The six-week budget cycle time remains the same, but they have reduced the time spent across the team by 80 hours and enabled the finance team to absorb the work of two other finance analysts.
"Now we spend less time dealing with system problems and IT delays and more time understanding how the model is structured and how it impacts the business," explains Powers. "With 25 participants in the budget process, the level of access to information, transparency and collaboration has increased substantially. It builds confidence between stakeholders and the finance team."
Boston Scientific is now conducting management reporting by importing data from SAP into Workday Adaptive Planning. In addition, they use the software to what-if analysis on employee productivity, sales volume, and house long-range five-year plans.
"Workday Adaptive Planning worked great for us during our budgeting process. I’d say it even exceeded our expectations. When the Hyperion system used by our broader company experienced unexpected downtime during the budget cycle, we were able to continue our budget process in Workday Adaptive Planning," said Powers. "We achieved a better budget process at a fraction of the cost compared to the millions of dollars and years of investment spent maintaining the on-premise Hyperion solution."