RWG case study
Rotterdam World Gateway, the world’s most automated container terminal, transforms its reporting and budgeting process with Anaplan
Rotterdam World Gateway (RWG) is a fully automated container terminal that has ushered in a new era of port innovation. RWG is one of the first container terminals in the world to use remote-controlled ship-to-shore cranes and a host of other high-tech functionalities. RWG has become a disruptor in the logistics industry by delivering superior performance and reliability in an environmentally friendly way through technology.
Established only a few years ago, RWG has encountered substantial growth and recognition for its innovation. It is one of only three ports in the world, including ports in Long Beach (California) and Rotterdam, that uses extensive automation to run a fully automated container terminal.
With this rapid success and growth, RWG quickly realized it needed systems and tools that could scale with the business and be agile enough to keep track of the budgets during the 24-hour workday.
Prior to using Anaplan, the business was dependent on Finance to manually produce the numbers using many Excel® spreadsheets. RWG’s Finance Director, Enrico Douwens, knew there had to be a better way to control and automate the company’s financial planning and reporting to efficiently support the organization while also empowering the managers to have ownership and 24/7 real-time insight into each of their own budgets and other financial analysis to support their roles in RWG’s business.
“When choosing a platform for our planning, budgeting, and reporting initiative, it was crucial that we had a vendor that was present, supportive, and operating locally to us,” said Douwens. “We did a deep dive vendor analysis into four tools and narrowed it down to Anaplan and Tagetik. We choose Anaplan for its unmatched flexibility, agility, and web-based user interface, avoiding any ‘Excel-allergy’ that many non-financial managers have and achieving full acceptance throughout the organization.”
Implementation and deployment
“We chose to be active participants in the implementation so that we really understood the tool and its capabilities,” said Douwens. “We broke out the implementation into small project sprints. For each sprint, we would set one to two weeks aside per month to work with our consultants to deliver on one aspect of the project. Being able to bucket the implementation into digestible projects enabled us to learn while continuing on our daily responsibilities. Anaplan will also enable us to further extend our financial business support role in the future beyond the standard planning and budget processes we have now.”
“Anaplan has taken us out of the manual, labor-intensive process of data crunching many Excel spreadsheets and given us the ability to proactively manage the business. Anaplan has relieved any internal confusion or miscommunication across the business and eliminated departmental information silos so that we all work with one true source of data,” said Douwens.
The key requirement Douwens was looking for in a planning tool was to enable the managers to have control and ownership over their own budgets, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The container and logistics industry is truly a global business that does not stop for any weekend or holidays. RWG needed a platform that was intuitive enough so that the business no longer depended on finance to access their budgets and reports.
“When dealing with logistics, there is a lot of data to manage and make sense of in order to optimize our business. Anaplan has given us real-time insight into financial performance and reporting, including budgeting and other relevant metrics,” said Douwens. “With a single dashboard view of Anaplan, I can now address questions from the executive team without having to do hours of number crunching. And most importantly, our managers are enabled to manage their own business and budgets without depending on my team; that’s what I call financial empowerment.”
Douwens’ team plans to soon integrate its sales forecasts into Anaplan, which will enable RWG to plan its revenue based upon the vessel planning for the terminal.
“We are disrupting the container logistics industry as much as Anaplan is disrupting the business planning industry. That’s why we were a good fit—a fully automated financial solution for a fully automated container terminal,” said Douwens. “Neither of us are afraid to push the limit or take risks to find the right solution. We look forward to our ongoing success with Anaplan.”
- Financial Budgeting and Planning
- Lack of the business’ insight into budget versus actuals
- Manual data gathering through multiple spreadsheets
- Inability to scale financial planning alongside the growth of the business
- Cloud-based and flexible tool giving one source of the truth
- Real-time, always-on tool for RWG’s 24/7 business
Results at a glance
- Enabled individual managers to take ownership over their budget 24/7
- Brought visibility on the financial health of the business via reporting and dashboards