In the public sector, time is of value not just for the organization, but for taxpayers as well. With countless spreadsheets being utilized across the organization, the financial team at The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) needed a more efficient way to manage disparate data sets and optimize their resource allocation. To maximize taxpayer value, boost productivity, and streamline operational efficiency, the organization began searching for a solution that could cut down on the time required for data crunching and provide an integrated planning platform.
By partnering with Bedford Consulting, CPS implemented Anaplan for Finance and was able to quickly replace time-consuming consolidation processes, producing plans that could be analyzed and refined in real time across the organization. Not only did the Anaplan platform provide CPS with a powerful modeling engine with scenario-planning capabilities, but it also enabled the organization to build the required expertise in-house to maintain and further enhance its models.
Before Anaplan, the CPS team spent significant time each month pulling together and collating data. With the platform, it is now achieved instantaneously. As a result of improved efficiency, more time is available to analyze the outputs and provide deeper insights to inform the decision-making process. Having a single shared system has also improved organizational collaboration and greater transparency, with an accepted single version of the truth. In recent years, CPS has experienced an increase in the volume of complex cases that they need to prosecute while having to simultaneously deliver efficiency savings. Using Anaplan’s cloud-based platform, CPS can respond more quickly and better plan for the future.
The CPS team needed an agile planning approach—one that they could deploy in an easy-to-use platform with a quick implementation period. Within just a few months of implementing the Anaplan for Finance solution, the CPS team was able to supercharge their planning and decision-making process through the deployment of a robust, widely accepted, and evidence-based approach to budget setting and performance tracking.
Chris Sharp, Financial Director at The Crown Prosecution Service, discusses how implementing the Anaplan platform allowed his finance team to spend less time crunching numbers—and more time collaborating on valuable public-sector improvements.
I’m Chris Sharp. I’m the finance director here at the Crown Prosecution Service, and we’re responsible for prosecuting criminal cases that are investigated by the police in England and Wales.
As finance director, it’s my responsibility to make sure that we understand exactly what we’re getting for each pound that we spend, and making sure that we maximize value for money for the taxpayer. And that means making sure that we’re properly resourced throughout the whole organization, and we have the specialisms in place for each of the types of cases that we have to prosecute.
Before we had the Anaplan solution, the problem was that everyone was doing their own kind of work. I’ve got no idea how many Excel spreadsheets we had. It’s like counting grains of sand on a beach.
The key problems we had working with Excel was too much time was being spent collecting, collating, checking the quality of the data that was coming back. We wanted to make sure that actually we were focusing our time on adding value to the output rather than spending so much time on the input of data. We were just getting to the stage where we no longer had one version of the truth.
My role in choosing Anaplan was looking at what we thought was the best solution out there in the market. We then had to involve our internal security people to make sure that they were happy with going for a cloud-based solution. We were able to show to them that it actually meant that a lot of our data was more secure than it was when it was potentially in Excel, and was unprotected and being sent around the organization.
One of the key things for us, really, was to have a solution that we could start to roll out to the business very quickly. We wanted something where we could have an agile approach with a series of short sprints where we could roll out some modules very quickly. We were able to do that with Anaplan. Within just a few months of buying the software we were getting solutions out there to the business, and getting a very positive impact.
Before we had Anaplan I’d say we were spending probably ten days of the month just pulling together all of that data and collating. Now effectively that’s all done instantaneously.
I think one of the things that’s really impressed us is that we’ve now got a powerful modeling engine, but that it’s so simple to use. What we’re able to do now is look in terms of what resource we need, plan that out, make sure that we’ve got an actual workforce plan to get the right resource in the right locations at the right time, with the right level of qualifications.
We’ve already replaced our central information system with Anaplan, and we’re now getting to the stage where all of our forecasting and planning across the whole of the organization will be done in the system. We’re now getting much deeper insights, there’s much greater collaboration. We’ve had a real change in the type and mix of cases that we’ve had: increased cyber fraud, counterterrorism work, and we’re able to kind of plan for that now and make sure that we’re prepared to meet the future.
In the longer term, really, we wanted to make sure we’ve got a state-of-the-art system that can grow with us. We need to make sure that we’re always looking ahead, and we’re one step ahead of the criminals in terms of what cases we’re going to have to prosecute.
If I was to describe Anaplan in one word I’d say it’s transformational.