September 27, 2023
Unlock Financial Planning Excellence with SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC)
Utility and energy companies are under increasing pressure to begin their business transformations. As more companies plan their roadmaps to SAP S/4HANA, streamlining financial planning and budgeting should be top of mind.
Effective financial planning is crucial for long-term business success and to meet sustainability goals. The need to make informed business decisions, allocate resources wisely, and adapt to changing market conditions has never been more important.
SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) for Financial Planning is a cloud-based solution that combines powerful planning capabilities and predictive analytics into a single platform designed to simplify planning processes, shorten budget timelines, enhance collaboration, and gain valuable insights to improve decision making.
Integrated Planning: SAC provides integrated financial planning across an organization, allowing seamless collaboration across departments to create a more accurate view of both financial and operational performance.
Real-time Data: By connecting various data sources, including Microsoft Excel and ERP systems, SAC provides real-time reporting and the most up-to-date information.
Scenario Modeling: Users can create public, shared, and private forecasts with enhanced planning capabilities. SAC combines actual budget data with previously prepared forecasts, so users do not need to generate new forecasts.
Data Management: The system tracks and generates reports on all user activities.
Capital Planning: Users can prepare projections on different levels of granularity, allowing companies to run capital and business unit budgeting differently as needed.
Collaboration: Using the planning stories feature allows users to group reports into a story to present data. Multiple users can work on the same plan simultaneously.
Digital Boardroom: SAC creates visualized reports as interactive dashboards to help communicate financial insights effectively.
Utegration has implemented SAC at Summit Utilities and Venture Global LNG and both pose powerful use cases for CapEx and OpEx.
Utegration was faced with a complex implementation at Summit Utilities – not only did Summit need an overall SAP implementation for legacy assets, but also required acquisition strategy support.
Prior to 2022, Summit had been distributing natural gas across six states to about 100,000 customers. Upon the acquisition of additional utilities in Arkansas and Oklahoma, Summit grew its business about five times its size.
SAC delivered an in-house solution that offered more than an Excel-based project management approach. The solution also met Summit’s requirement for a dynamic tool that showed live data to review both actuals and forecasts. SAC also met Summit’s need for a short implementation period and an easily adopted solution.
The OpEx planning and budget assessments in SAC now help Summit save a significant amount of time with one-step forecasting and the ability to correct inconsistencies and/or errors in data entry.
Venture Global LNG
Venture Global is a long-term, low-cost provider of American-produced liquified natural gas that services the global demand for North American natural gas and supports the long-term development of clean and reliable energy supplies.
SAC Planning delivered a multi-dimensional planning model with multi-step allocation capabilities that allow for quick reassessment when needed. Venture Global needed an efficient, automated OpEx forecasting tool that would allow the company to load budgets and compare actuals while automatically delivering data to their ERP. They also wanted different budget views and to develop budget stories. SAC has improved Venture Global’s ability to compare budgets and actuals while also allowing for customization as the company grows and acquires new businesses.
User adoption was quick and efficient—Utegration supported end-user training and knowledge transfer through the implementation process.
SAC has had a powerful impact on financial planning and analysis processes for both Summit Utilities and Venture Global. The benefits include:
- Enables users to create more accurate forecasts and budgets to reduce the risk of overcommitting or underestimating resources.
- Automates many manual processes including data consolidation and reporting, saving time and allowing for greater focus on analysis and decision making.
- Facilitates collaboration across departments to align financial plans with broader business objectives
- Provides valuable insights with predictive analytics and data visualization to support data-driven decision making, effectively creating better financial outcomes and business strategies
- Offers scalability so the solution can easily adapt and grow as business acquisitions are made
Implementing SAC will help utility and energy companies improve financial forecast accuracy, streamline planning processes, and drive better decision making across their organizations. As the need for business transformation and meeting sustainability goals grows, implementing a robust financial planning solution like SAC has never been more imperative.
Want to learn more about SAC? See a system navigation demo and hear Summit Utilities and Venture Global LNG share their experience with implementing and deploying SAC, including lessons learned.