At SAPPHIRE NOW 2019 in Orlando, Florida, planning & analysis and the theme of collaborative enterprise planning was one of the hottest topics during the entire event.  Judging from the crowds in the Digital Core campus where the pod dedicated to financial planning and analysis (FP&A) was constantly overflowing with demos and questions about SAP Analytics Cloud for planning and the process of collaborative enterprise planning whereby SAP Analytics Cloud can be the linchpin of plans across the enterprise to allow planners to make better decisions.

On Thursday May 9, 2019 at the Digital Core campus, Jessica Britton and Harlan Monk from General Mills delivered a session:  Build a Multimodal Financial Planning System That Provides Food for Growth.  During this session, Jessica and Harlan delivered both from a Finance and IT perspective how leveraging SAP Analytics Cloud for planning, SAP S/4HANA, and SAP Business Planning and Consolidation together as a single finance system.

Jessica and Harlan highlighted how prior to their move to SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP S/4HANA, they experienced a fragmented approach to planning, activity focused finance, a high effort to gather information and inconsistent governance.  During the session Jessica and Harlan described how prior to their journey they had a landscape that included:

  • Multiple SAP and non-SAP ERPs
  • Dual SAP BW landscapes
  • 3rd -party planning system and multiple visualization tools

Through the course of their journey to transform their finance landscape, General Mills chose to leverage SAP’s dual planning tools—SAP Analytics Cloud for planning and SAP Business Planning and Consolidation.  Part of the reasons for choosing this combination of tools together were that they provided flexibility with models, easily managed by users, ability to handle large calculations, stability, and shareable models.

General Mills Deployment of SAP Solutions

Ultimately, the combination to spearhead this finance transformation journey General Mills deployed included:

  • Multiple SAP and non-SAP ERP’s feeding into SAP S/4HANA
  • SAP Business Planning and Consolidation, optimized for SAP S/4HANA for financial planning
  • SAP Analytics Cloud for Trade Promotion Budgeting
  • SAP BusinessObjects Analysis for Office assisting with reporting

The result of this transformation for General Mills was moving from a fragmented approach to a more global approach for planning.  Additionally, they were able to move from a more activity-based approach to an approach where they were able to assess the impact of decisions.  Due to the ability to have a more connected and collaborative approach, there was the ability to drive faster decision making.  Finally, with a more streamlined landscape, they have more consistent standards and controls.

SAP Analytics Cloud for planning and SAP S/4HANA proved again how, together as a single platform, they help customers plan, analyze and drive better decisions.

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