Coordinating effective management and forward planning across 1,600 legal entities spread around the globe was a significant challenge for Veolia. The decision was taken to proceed with a major financial management transformation programme using Workday. This move has not only provided both finance and operations personnel with reliable real-time data and insight for more informed decision-making. It has also improved efficiencies and collaboration by simplifying and standardising internal auditing processes.
The management teams at all of our operations now have the insight and ability to provide accurate budget forecasts for Head Office, so I am now very confident in the quality of data in front of me.
Global Finance Transformation Leader, Veolia
A simpler, contemporary and more collaborative way of working.
The transformation of the group’s financial management and planning processes is based on four key pillars – talent, digital, organisation and process. The introduction of a cloud-based solution and the adoption of advanced new technologies for effective Enterprise Resource Planning was a major departure from the systems and processes previously used by Veolia. The company has not looked back, however, and is now benefiting from much greater flexibility, far closer working relationships between finance and operations, as well as a modern application framework.
“Workday has completely won us over,” says Yael Leblanc, Veolia’s Global Chief Finance Transformation and Internal Auditing Officer. “The system’s unique platform has truly transformed the way we work as it combines data consolidation, transaction processing and decision-making with a user-friendly interface that couldn’t be easier to use. We’re delighted.”
Collaborative budget preparation delivers accurate, robust and reliable data for effective forward planning.
“The successful management of any progressive and expanding organisation requires effective budgeting tools and operational insight,” says Paul Voisin. “With Workday Adaptive Planning, the development of projections couldn’t be easier. More importantly, the system enables us to understand and share real-time data and to work collaboratively when creating budgets. In effect, our finance team is now working as a business partner for operational personnel and that’s precisely what we wanted to achieve. Such an approach helps to validate the accuracy of budgets and improves confidence in financial planning and target fulfilment.”
Effective and prompt response to unprecedented challenges.
The increased flexibility in financial management and planning proved to be invaluable during the Covid pandemic. It enabled the company to adapt its processes and working practices very quickly when the first lockdown was announced. This included a complete budget review for 2020. “The flexibility provided by Workday Adaptive Planning enabled us to mobilise all actors very quickly, simplified data sharing and ensured the work was completed without delay and to a very high standard,” says Paul Voisin. “Such decisive actions benefited not only the financial management teams and corporate management at Veolia’s Head Office, but also the individual operations around the world.”
More scope to drill down into data and explore “what-ifs” for more effective forward planning.
Many of Veolia’s business units are now using both Workday Adaptive Planning and Workday Finance, enabling them to benefit from a single data model with a high level of integration. The new system provides a high level of automation and ensures that the finance team spends far less time creating and monitoring raw data. This enables them to work much more closely with operational personnel to test assumptions, perform insightful analyses, identify anomalies and develop ideas for new working practices and processes to improve performance and efficiency. As a result, business units are now well prepared for all eventualities as they are able to devise alternative scenarios and test radical assumptions, with approval workflows reviewed at different managerial levels.