Workday Adaptive Planning is the key to agile corporate financial planning and reporting for Scout24.

Scout24 no longer has to prepare data, transfer it between different systems, send and collect it, check it and send it again. The speed and quality are immense.

Accurate, detailed, and diverse scenario planning

Enables collaborative planning across the business

Massive reduction in time collecting and consolidating data

Enhanced and faster reporting capabilities across all entities and products

When the COVID-19 pandemic swept across Europe in 2020, Scout24 was operating a complex planning and forecasting system. This involved compiling data into Excel, where up to 90 people with budget responsibility across several business units would then develop their plans.

According to Philipp Dobberow, the company’s Director Controlling, Reporting & Procurement, “They would then send these to my team, where we would do quality and data checks before transferring everything back into the consolidation system to do reporting across clients. In most cases, you didn’t end up where you wanted to be with the first iteration – needing to iterate several times meant you could end up with a four-month blockage on the budgeting process.”

The need for agile business planning in uncertain times

This was a major issue. And it was further complicated by the fact that, with data in up to 90 separate Excel files, nothing was integrated. This in turn made scenario planning difficult, especially as the pandemic hit. “There were major practical implications,” Philipp Dobberow remembers. “Lockdowns and periods of relaxation had an effect on our business. For example, when would property seekers be able to meet local agents again, which would have an impact on our online business?”

These were just some of the factors that persuaded Scout24 that a new, agile corporate management, planning, and reporting system was needed. As Philipp says, “We had to be able to make fast, data driven decisions on the financial side and react more quickly to adapt to the changes in regulations. That’s why we decided to replace our system with the Workday Adaptive Planning enterprise platform.”

Workday Adaptive Planning allows us to quickly adapt and develop the model ourselves which is a key advantage in unprecedented times.

Philipp Dobberow, Director Controlling, Reporting & Procurement

A collaborative, real-time approach for rolling forecasts.

Scout24 had clear requirements for its new planning and reporting solution. “First and foremost, it had to be collaborative so that all stakeholders can be involved in the planning and forecasting process,” Philipp Dobberow says.

“It had to enable all data to be processed in real time and merged into new insights. It also had to support a continuous planning and forecasting process, so that we could take a rolling approach throughout the year. And it had to be able to cover all sub-plans in the business, so that each sub-area could be merged into an overall financial plan.”

These advantages were all clearly evident in just one solution: Workday Adaptive Planning. And, according to Philipp, many of the anticipated benefits were rapidly achieved. “We started with an implementation partner but were quickly able to move on to do much ourselves relatively quickly,” he says.

“I see this as an important advantage, enabling us to adapt a relatively large number of topics ourselves, from creating new dimensions to marking new attributes for faster reporting and designating new cost centers. As a result, we can now respond fast, accurately and with agility when working with new scenarios and additional cost centers. Furthermore, integration of newly acquired entities is much faster.”

Using actuals removes the need for preparation phase in budgeting.

Now, rather than relying on Excel files, Scout24 makes monthly forecasts directly in Workday Adaptive Planning. As Philipp Dobberow explains, “We now meet once a month with divisional managers, where we go through the current status and talk through changes in the current financial year up to the end of the year. We can then directly update this information with the planners in the system, meaning we now have a monthly rolling planning cycle.”

Now, Scout24 needs almost no preparation phase for the budgeting process because actual data is directly available in Workday Adaptive Planning updated daily from the underlying ERP system. As a result, planners can do their work directly on the basis of the actuals. As Philipp says, “This means we no longer have to transfer data, prepare it, send it, collect it, and process it again. With Workday Adaptive Planning we have reduced our preparation time by 3 weeks to almost zero and the overall planning process down to 2 to 3 weeks. It’s a massive time-saver. And we also reduce the risk of errors drastically.”

With Workday Adaptive Planning we have reduced our preparation time by 3 weeks to almost zero and the overall planning process down to 2 to 3 weeks.

Philipp Dobberow, Director Controlling, Reporting & Procurement

Streamlined planning: less time, fewer errors, better efficiency.

The centralized planning function at Scout24 has also been significantly streamlined since the implementation. According to Philipp Dobberow, “In the past, data from the ERP system was merged in Excel and sent on to business managers, who were then told to work on the data over the next week.

“Now you simply arrange a meeting where you call up the Workday Adaptive Planning web interface, review together, consider the deviations, and talk them through.

“It’s fast, it’s efficient, and it leaves little room for error.”

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