A Financial Analyst’s Perspective on GE HealthCare’s Forecasting Journey with Anaplan

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Cathy Kong is a Financial Analyst at GE HealthCare (GE) in Singapore who is responsible for collecting the budgets and forecast figures from across Asia Pacific including ANZ, Japan, Korea, and ASEAN. This requires close coordination with business operations to make sure reported data is correct.

With a goal of streamlining this process, GE Healthcare implemented Anaplan for its Healthcare Services business in November 2013, initially focusing on forecasting. Cathy was of this part of this implementation journey at GE, and played a crucial role in implementing the Anaplan models.

I sat down with Cathy recently, and got her perspective, as a citizen developer, on the effect the deployment of the Anaplan model for operations planning and forecasting deployment has had on her day-to-day workflow, and the insights it’s delivered for GE HealthCare.

Umesh: What has been your experience in Implementing Anaplan?

Cathy: I was trained and certified in Anaplan in November 2013, at the start of the implemnentation. Initially, I felt a bit overwhelmed after the training. However, once I was given the job of building the Ops Planning and Revenue Prediction model, l started to use Anaplan every day. With only occasional help from the Anaplan support team in Singapore,  I was able to build the model on my own. The sample model – “Formulas  & Functions” – was very useful in helping me to understand how to apply the formulas in Anaplan.

Umesh: What are benefits that you see in moving from spreadsheet based processes to Anaplan

Cathy: There are lot of benefits to using Anaplan over the spreadsheets we were previously using. For instance, the Anaplan model can react dynamically to outside business changes, unlike the previous spreadsheet model which had to be recreated every time there was any sort of business change or restructuring. And one additional benefit is that I now have clear visibility into our installed base, equipment sold, and expiration dates

Umesh: How would you compare life before and after Anaplan?

Cathy: Before Anaplan, we were using a simplified methodology which we all knew was inaccurate in many ways, and not able to provide us with true visibility into our business. For example, we were using static rates for the currency translation whereas now, with Anaplan, it has become a lot simpler for us to use the run rates to accurately arrive at our forecast figures.

Another example is having more flexibility for using various drivers and assumptions to arrive at the plan. Before Anaplan, we had these drivers, but now, I am able to modify these assumptions for a particular quarter or version, to further evaluate the impact of this change on the business. We have had frequent changes due to restructuring of the business, which meant that the Anaplan model had to be dynamic enough to accommodate the ongoing business changes.

Umesh: What’s the primary impct you’ve seen on your daily workflow after implementing Anaplan?

Cathy: I would say Anaplan has enabled us to do more in less time. We are now able to spend more time on analysis as compared to past. And the model is now ready to roll out across the region.

Anaplan: Empowering the Citizen Developer

Cathy’s story is a great example of how quickly Anaplan can start producing visible workflow efficiencies. And unlike other enterprise solutions that require significant IT investment and intervention, Anaplan’s intutive platform enables citizen developers like Cathy to deploy it themselves, to solve complex business problems and provide benefit to the business.

For more examples of how Anaplan empowers the citizen developer, check out our session videos from our recent HUB 2014 conference.

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