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Specsavers Achieves Enterprise View of Corporate Performance to Lead Business Initiatives

Increased Visibility Into Data Enables Quicker, More Strategic Decision-Making

  • Tabs and spreadsheets only go so far in painting a comprehensive financial picture. At Specsavers, multiple “Excel silos” were blocking visibility into making data-driven decisions. The lack of collaboration created a lengthy consolidation process prone to manual input errors. The U.K.-based optical retailer turned to cloud-based software for improved budgeting, tighter reporting turnaround, and seamless data source integration. Adaptive Planning met those needs and more, giving Specsavers new eyes on the retail landscape.


    • Living in a world of "Excel silos" with lack of collaboration across management teams
    • Lengthy consolidation process prone to manual errors
    • Inadequate budget version control


    • Automated monthly reporting and what-if scenario modeling for decisions on hiring and investments in the business
    • Corporate-wide planning accelerated by 50%
    • Self-service financial reporting provides executives better visibility of what’s happening to make quicker, more strategic business decisions
  • About:

    Specsavers is a partnership of almost 2,000 locally-run businesses throughout the U.K., Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Australia, and New Zealand, all committed to delivering high-quality, affordable optical and hearing care in the communities they serve. With over 28 million customers, one in three people who wear glasses in the U.K. buy them from Specsavers.

    United Kingdom

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Moving away from data silos

Using spreadsheets to manage its budgeting and business planning, Specsavers faced a lack of collaboration across management teams in more than one hundred cost centres. Consolidating data into a single overall budget was not only time-consuming, it was often prone to human error. With the company’s plans to expand, such problems were only set to get worse.

"We were living in a world of Excel silos," said Matt Buckley, group planning and reporting lead for finance at Specsavers. "Budgeting and planning had become a version control nightmare amongst numerous stakeholders and contributors, and inaccuracies increasingly threatened to throw business goals off course. We were in desperate need of a single version of the truth on which we could base current and future budgeting decisions."

Leaping to the cloud

"Workday Adaptive Planning alleviated any fears in our leap to the cloud," said Buckley. "It was quick to deploy and has the look and feel of Excel, but the power and analytical capabilities of a much more sophisticated solution. It’s helping us produce error-free, standardised versions of our budgets, forecasts, and financial reporting that helps us make decisions with confidence in the data."

An empowered finance team making an impact on business decisions

Workday Adaptive Planning has allowed Specsavers to allocate budget far more simply and efficiently, reducing any unnecessary costs and minimising the hours spent correlating data from different cost centres. Planning has been accelerated by 50% thanks to automated aggregation and pre-population of planning sheets with data from the company’s general ledger and ERP systems.

Today, Specsavers generates monthly tailored reports and models complex ‘what-if’ scenarios within Workday Adaptive Planning for decisions on hiring and making new investments in the business. Specsavers can easily understand the financial impact of potential new FTEs and can quickly flow through the impact of varying retail performances to the bottom line. With Workday Adaptive Planning, Specsavers has automated its variance analysis and monthly retailing KPI reporting.

"By holding our retail data and KPIs within a robust application instead of across multiple spreadsheets, we have easy access to one version of the truth that has become the go to database for reporting this information," said Buckley. Furthermore, the detailed reporting means that Specsavers has a reliable audit trail.

Self-service financial reporting has been quickly utilised by the most senior decision makers within Specsavers. All of the executives have simultaneous and instant access to the very latest financial information and forecasts, giving them better visibility of what’s happening across the organisation to make quicker, more strategic business decisions.

"Workday Adaptive Planning offers Specsavers visibility into all of our key performance metrics all through a single pane of glass. We can rest assured that this information is both accurate and up-to-date, which is vital when we’re planning and making predictions," said Buckley. "Anyone who has spent time and effort trawling through Excel spreadsheets, never quite achieving the perfect final picture, would greet the ease and insight afforded by the software with open arms. It has allowed us to drive discussions based on a single view of the entire business, giving us the historic picture that allows us to look forward based on real trends, proving that the entire business can now benefit from a more collaborative, better informed and empowered finance team.”

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