Connecting people and systems...on time
I was sitting at my desk, laptop and mobile in hand, wondering why connected planning is important in the reinsurance sector, when the answer was right in front of me.
In fact, this idea of connected planning is nothing new. Even self-employed people need to plan in connection with someone, and something happening in parallel. Connected planning was and will always be an approach to interconnect people, locations, systems and data.
The big news here is not that we need to do connected planning, but instead that we need to do it faster and more accurately than ever.
A budget can well be done face-to-face, on paper, supported by MS Excel and MS PowerPoint presentations. Cost centre managers, resource owners and senior managers could well gather around a table to rework their budgets, and resubmit each interaction until the final consolidated numbers where done. But there are some questions that would most probably have “NO” as the answer:
- Will this process unearth problems on time to tackle them?
- Would everyone have availability to meet face-to-face at least once a month?
- Is there anyone in the company to gather, consolidate and share the numbers?
- Will it be possible to efficiently manage thousands of spreadsheets and make sure only the most up to date version is in use.
When I started working with an Anaplan model for expense forecasting, 3 years ago in the Reinsurance industry, I asked this simple question “how was this monthly forecast process done before?”. The answer was simple - it wasn’t. To truly run a monthly budget forecast across 150 cost centres, 4 legal entities and 300 accounts, with people sitting in offices in different geographies, it’s just not possible with traditional MS Excel tools.
Anaplan allowed us to connect the most up to date data from HR (salaries, time keeping and payroll), numbers from the general ledger, and FTE forecast inputs to rework a budget on the go. Anaplan was able of bring together people from different parts of the business, and data from different tools and processes, under the same mappings and master data. This enabled the end goal of having a single and up-to-date budget at all times.
In my next blog, I'll talk about how monitoring cost per policy, can help reinsurance companies to manage well and bid quick.