CASE STUDY | TECHNOLOGY | XP&A

Decision Inc. helps re-engineer planning and reporting
processes at leading UK technology and communications
business, through the reimplementation of SAP BPC

Solution Overview

Industry

Technology

Solution

Re-implementation of SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC)

Technology

SAP BPC

Location

United Kingdom

Client

DCC

Requirement

Within the wider DCC Business Accuracy Programme (BAP), the development of a new Financial Planning tool was identified as a key deliverable in the transformation of finance processes, systems and data quality across key business functions including Finance, Commercial, Portfolio and Risk.

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Decision Inc. UK (DI), has successfully completed the re-implementation of SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) at Technology and communications business, the Data Communications Company (DCC), to rationalise and simplify its financial planning and reporting processes.

About The Client

DCC provide the technology to connect UK homes and businesses to a single, secure, telecommunications network. Their technology platform delivers 27.5 million utilities smart meters into more than half of all UK households (16.5 million), working with major energy retailers and their end customers to monitor consumption and manage billing.

Through their drive to protect the planet and achieve net zero ambitions, DCC and partners have achieved significant milestones, such as saving more than 1m³ tonnes of CO2 emissions per year (2023).

They are responsible for the management of the network 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year through their Security & Technical Operations Centre, ensuring 100% of eligible homes and business can access the network.

In addition to the smart metering network, DCC operates the Central Switching Service which enables energy consumers to switch energy supplier on the next working day.

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The Challenge

Within the wider DCC Business Accuracy Programme (BAP), the development of a new Financial Planning tool was identified as a key deliverable in the transformation of finance processes, systems and data quality across key business functions including Finance, Commercial, Portfolio and Risk.

BAP findings:

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The current financial planning tool, built on BPC Microsoft edition, was made up of multiple models and had been used historically to provide workarounds for shortcomings in other systems and processes. This had resulted in a complex data model and over-complicated processes for using, maintaining, and reporting from the tool.

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The current system was perceived to lack stability and was not well understood from a technical support perspective. DCC lacked the technical knowledge to resolve ongoing issues, improve user friendliness, and develop the solution to meet finance & business needs.

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DCC initially explored the option of procuring a new software solution for financial planning, however, following an in-depth investigation of the current system, it was found the pain points were due to largely complex data structures and complicated processes rather than the technology itself. Consequently, BPC remained a key technology enabler

Our Budgeting and Planning system wasn’t fit for purpose anymore and the platform was going out of support from SAP in the near future. An overly complicated system design by the original implementor, combined with bad practices resulted in planning and month end processes lacking transparency and being too long and complicated.

– Dominik Plywaczyk , Finance Systems Manager, DCC

DCC sought to address the existing challenges in financial planning and reporting by focusing efforts in four key areas:

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Clearly defining the end-to-end policies, processes and controls required to improve financial planning and reporting

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Facilitating the changes through the better use of existing tools rather than investing in new technology

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Improving data structures and data quality

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Making the required changes to the culture of financial planning and reporting within DCC

Together, these areas provided the platform for DCC to embed clear policies and controls to ensure financial
planning and reporting in the organisation is simple, accurate and creates confidence in the outputs.

Between Aug 2022 and April 2023, DCC engaged specialist EPM consultancy DI, to reimplement a SAP BPC solution for planning and reporting to address these areas.

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The Solution

Phase 1 of the delivery focussed on:

Delivering a simpler and understandable data model incorporating key business planning & reporting dimensions & hierarchies.

Reducing the number of planning models to 2 (Resourcing & Planning) to manage Resource, Functional & Programme forecasting & budgeting.

Providing multiple methods of uploading data from other DCC corporate source systems (resource information, financial transactional data, business master data)

Leveraging in-system driver-based intelligence to automate manual business calculations (Labour Rates & Cost, Cost Recovery, Financing, Indexation, Cashflow)

Easing the system administration overhead

Improving the accessibility and accuracy of reporting to help the business better understand actuals and challenge the validity of plan data

Future phases will aim to further systemise manual offline models and processes as well as increase automation of calculations and integration with source systems.

The Outcome

The combination of recognised EPM technology platform (SAP BPC) and specialist BPC partner, DI, resulted in a robust, easy to use solution, delivered on time and on budget.

 

The new BPC implementation simplified and improved system design and brought further automation to the forecast. It also allowed standardisation and improvements to the planning process and data structures.

– Dominik Plywaczyk , Finance Systems Manager, DCC

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Solution used by staff, across all divisions, for planning & reporting

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The opportunity to decommission manual legacy systems

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Transparent, integrated and streamlined budgeting, forecasting, strategic planning and reporting within a single tool

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Reduction in manual effort and time to complete with lower administrative overhead

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Comprehensive ‘in process’ reporting suite facilitating efficient review process

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A technology platform from which to manage further planning and reporting processes

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A single and standardised system allowed the business to design, implement and manage a single FP&A and Financial Reporting policy

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DCC were able to better understand the demands on the workforce and reallocate resources effectively

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The solution enabled the business to deliver a robust 2023/24 budget with the ability to move to monthly forecasting in future

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Improved access to and confidence in data

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The solution allowed the business to focus on interpretation and decision making rather than preparation and reconciliation

The DI Project Team was a valuable partner that understood our needs and industry good practice. They were focused on delivery but also flexible enough to accommodate in-flight changes.

– Dominik Plywaczyk , Finance Systems Manager, DCC

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ABOUT DECISION INC. 

Decision Inc. is a global digital partner that enables businesses to reinvent themselves to realise their full potential.

We deliver agility, resilience, and intelligence to any enterprise, enabling them to adapt quickly and thrive through innovation and opportunity.

Our teams have engaged with more than 400 clients globally over the past 15 years, providing them with the expertise to build, operate, and optimise their digital businesses.

We achieve this by leveraging the world’s best technology to drive our client’s business ambitions forward into tomorrow’s reality.

Our success is ultimately driven by our entrepreneurial culture, industry exposure, and the passion of our people. We have three key cross-functional teams – Functional and Specialist Consulting, Development, and Engineering teams.

Based in four global offices, our exceptional consultants focus on delivering value to clients by keeping them at the centre of our service delivery.