Andrew Price, Group Financial Controller of Legal & General discusses how they were able to implement Anaplan in just six weeks and now manages 1.65 billion cells of data with ease—enabling Finance to gather corporate metrics for the CEO in only 30 minutes instead of one week.
The key challenge pre-Anaplan was around the number of spreadsheets we had. We were just drowning in spreadsheets or [Microsoft] Access databases. We really needed a solution that was going to help us alleviate the pain and the nightmare that we had. We used to get the information to the board two months in arrears or a month in arrears. My team was working all hours. We were trying to get information from divisions, which was frequently wrong—it wasn’t well controlled and was very difficult to share across divisions.
Now we can read forecasts quickly and as often as we like. It was a very easy tool to implement—six weeks all in from the first use case to actually delivering the ultimate product. It made us masters of our own destiny.
We’ve got about 1.65 billion cells of data, no way would be able to do that all on the spreadsheet. And I think the other thing is that it’s really made the business much more sort of flexible, adaptable. We had a re-organization in November 2014—we moved from six divisions to seven divisions. The CEO asked us for some information on those new seven divisions. We were able to prepare that information in 30 minutes. He thought it was going to take us a week.
We’ve managed to cut the cost of production down to about 40 percent and, given the way our business is growing, that would have probably meant an extra two or three heads on my team. We haven’t had to recruit because Anaplan is there and it has definitely changed the perspective of my team. They’ve become a lot happier. They don’t have to work until three in the morning turning over grunty spreadsheets.
Anaplan has been brilliant by giving resources to us to help us build business cases. We have lots of informal introductions across the industry, which we wouldn’t be able to source ourselves, and also just for existing users, and they’ve had a brilliant open and honest approach.
So over the next 12 months with Anaplan, we’re absolutely looking to roll it out to our HR department. We’re relatively finance focused at the moment, and also I can see that we can definitely use it for more of our sales side and sales incentives. We think there’s a lot more we could do in Anaplan.
Anaplan has performed really well. Very, very encouraged; very, very pleased with the performance so far. Albeit, we’re only two years down the track, there’s still a lot more to go. I look back two years and think, “Gosh, if we didn’t have this, we would be really, really struggling now.”