At the third FP&A Board Connect, Lukas Herbert shared a business case study on Zero-Based Budgeting (ZBB).
Developing predictive models, forecasts and scenarios to assess risk and assist decision making is one of a finance department’s most important activities. If finance managers neglect this activity, the company may encounter serious problems.
The digital revolution is not only shaking company business models but also had a direct impact on the finance function. The world is now evolving at a faster pace and now more than ever before there is a need to question regularly the long-term strategy. Also Business partners need daily support to work on new ideas and to create robust business cases.
A rolling forecast is not only about seeing the future unravel, but a constant evaluation of the management team to see if they are able to adjust their operations on time. Without it, any form of strategic planning becomes useless. Below you find a real-life case. Step-by-step each question will be briefly discussed. It is about a foreign business unit, which was part of a large European corporation, on the brink of a crisis.
In the period from 2001 to 2006, the Retail division of Swiss Post transformed itself from a public service company into a business driven sales organization. Crucial drivers of change were, on the one hand, the adaptation of the steering systems up to the final implementation of a "Beyond Budgeting" philosophy and, on the other hand, a humanistic attitude of management and finance department against all employees. The success was amazing: The division succeeded in increasing the sales of new retail products from 0 to over 400 million CHF, optimizing the bottom line by more than 100 million CHF or more than 5 percentage points and becoming the first state-owned company in Switzerland to win the EFQM- Award for Business Excellence.
The financial planning and analysis (FP&A Board) Board of senior practitioners recently met in London, UK, to discuss the pros and cons of rolling forecasts, how best to introduce it, and to hear a case study from Maersk Group about how the shipping, transport and oil firm has benefitted. “We’ve abolished the annual budget completely and only use rolling forecasting (RF) now,” said Matthijs Schot, head of performance & analysis at AP Moller Maersk, as he shared his company’s implementation four years ago of an RF process and the lessons they’ve learnt.