Drastically Reduce Sales Forecasting Time by over 5X Using SAP Analytics Cloud
At #SAPPHIRENOW 2019, Charles Reeves, Senior Manager Business Intelligence for Graphic Packaging International (GPI), delivered a phenomenal story on how the business streamlined their sales forecasting time from 25 days to a mere 5 days with SAP Analytics Cloud for planning.
As a leading provider in paper-based packaging for commercial products, the business had to find an innovative solution to replace a highly manual sales forecasting and reporting process involving hundreds of standalone spreadsheets. The solution GPI implemented with SAP Analytics Cloud not only saved them 5x the amount of time, but they now also have a single source of truth, accessible on one system, and have enabled their sales users to access sales forecast data anywhere on-the-go.
5 Challenges, 1 Integrated Solution
There were a series of challenges that GPI was looking to overcome with a new planning solution built in the cloud:
- ⏰ Provide accurate timely data to sales teams and support decision making
- 📉 Missing and inconsistent master data causing inefficient processes and rework
- 🔀 No standard outlook process leading to inaccurate forecasts that are passed to capacity and finance
- 🗂 Difficult to include all plants. Using offline files with manual data manipulation not practical and extends the S&OP cycle time.
- 🔎 Lack of visibility, collaboration, communication and security causes gaps and misalignment in the current process
The SAP Analytics Cloud Solution
GPI implemented the SAP Analytics Cloud for planning solution, complimented with the business’s existing system, SAP Business Planning and Consolidation. With this integrated solution, the business now has:
1. Ready to consume Sales Analytics, Visualizations and reporting to support decision making. This gave the business the ability to see trends and spots gaps visually. Drastic reduction of manual effort in data collection, analyses and alignment.
2. Easy, user friendly interface with the ability to update master data and control entry of bad data. This resulted in reduced time spent on data validation and cleansing. Leverages the current master data process for sales reporting.
3. A self-service portal that will be preloaded with everything needed to perform outlook and planning (acquisition friendly). This allowed for a single version of the truth all contained in a single system to be used for reporting and operations planning.
4. Entire outlook in one place allowing for sales management to forecast, review and approve their entire book of business across the organization. This empowered all users to have full visibility from browser or mobile device and use one solution for data collection, manipulation and reporting.
5. Native collaboration tools enable groups to work on the same forecast and share ideas. Flexible security allows both view and edit roles across individuals and groups. This allows for greater visibility of the forecast and fosters engagement across the Organization. Establishes monthly reviews prior to releasing the final version.
The Bottom Line
Graphic Packaging International has streamlined and developed a continuous sales forecasting process that has been reduced from nearly 1 month to now under 1 week. Sales personnel can now forecast and monitor their accounts leveraging SAP Analytics Cloud on the road, anywhere they go. Executives can now also gain alignment prior to finalizing the sales forecast; allowing them to make adjustments in a connected environment. The final publish is pushed back to the business’s existing systems, SAP Business Planning Consolidation for daily and monthly reporting & analysis.
Graphic Packaging International’s vision is now to integrate all their systems and have all their information in one place using SAP Analytics Cloud. We are excited to see what GPI innovates next!