Advanced Energy Industries Streamlines Planning with SAP BusinessObjects

  • by Davin Wilfrid, Former Contributing Editor, SAP Experts
  • March 18, 2009
Management
Savvy planning is key to achieving efficiency in your business processes, but for many companies the planning process itself is fraught with enough inefficiency to cause problems. Such was the case at Advanced Energy Industries, Inc. (AE), where the central finance department once constructed quarterly and annual planning reports from a flurry of emailed documents, revisions, and approvals.

“We had an extremely time-consuming manual planning process,” says Sydnie McConnell, business systems analyst at AE. “We have about 300 cost centers with about 200 total managers. Every quarter our finance department would put together templates and email them to each manager, who would then fill them out and email them back to us. The finance department would then open each template manually and consolidate the information and decide whether the managers needed to revise their plans.”

The process was inefficient in other ways, too. Because historical data was difficult to access, cost center managers were forced to create zero-based budgets every quarter. Lacking perspective on past trends, managers were less able to accurately predict future budget requirements.

The solution was to implement SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation, which has reduced the time spent on financial planning by hundreds of hours per quarter. McConnell says the solution allows cost center managers to view accurate data from the company’s SAP ERP 6.0 system and plan for the future in a familiar format.

Davin Wilfrid

Davin Wilfrid was a writer and editor for SAPinsider and SAP Experts. He contributed case studies and research projects aimed at helping the SAP ecosystem get the most out of their existing technology investments.

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