Millions of price points to Analyze
Across 100s of product groups, 1000s of devices
Fast Global Procurement Audits
Project validation across 5 continents, performed in >2 days
Accurate Forecast Reports in Mere Minutes
Month-end project accounting reports completed in Minutes vs 1 week
About Our Customer
Our customer is the world’s biggest procurement alliance in telecommunications, with sourcing activities on 5 continents. It provides procurement services for 45 operators who serve over 498M end users. Its mission is to negotiate the best contracts, and measures performance by the amount it saves shareholders and customers. With more than €20 Billion spent, it delivers procurement excellence by carefully analyzing Millions of data and price points. Fast, accurate measurement, analysis, and sharing of massive amounts of information, is critical to its, and its customers’, success.
It’s a challenge to drive €20B in procurement accurately and efficiently across Millions of price points and 5 continents. It’s even harder to do rapidly as business needs change pre-pandemic and beyond. But that is exactly the challenge faced by Analysts and Controllers every month working inside a global procurement organization.
Controllers needed to manage data quality and simultaneously meet tight month-end project accounting deadlines. The company had already chosen to migrate from Excel to Power BI to streamline and speed up shared analysis and reporting. But because Controllers’ monthly updates still required input, and because Power BI is a one-way “consume” interface, Excel was back in service as a data collection and entry tool. Supporting Analysts found that they still had to collect Excel files, many with errant inserted rows or columns, and manually upload the data to Power BI’s core SQL tables, before the consolidated results could be viewed in Power BI by everyone org-wide.
This process of investigating and updating project cost and budget items, as well as the manual SQL data uploads and updates, continued to take a large amount of Controller’s and Analyst’s focus, leaving less time for prescriptive analysis that they were striving for.
5+ days: Monthly Procurement Accounting close
12 FTE: Devoted to monthly procurement reporting
12+ hours: Spent on monthly data audit + update
A team of business analysts sought a way to leverage their existing Business Intelligence platform, Power BI. If they could keep analysis and entry both within Power BI they might avoid, perhaps eliminate, the manual issues of spreadsheet template data collection, validation, and reporting required to attain an accurate account of each procurement projects across 5 countries, 45 operators, 100s of product groups, and 1000s of devices.
In the past, Controllers could spend dozens of hours locating the latest spreadsheet, gathering details about procurement projects, updating with current values, sending it back, and waiting for results to be uploaded, before finally seeing consolidated results. Their efforts to catch data points for improvement or receive corrections from project workers were further challenged by time-zone and scheduling conflicts. Verification processes could take hours if not days.
Our customer streamlined the distribution and collection of the latest procurement details, across all Controllers, by choosing to add write-back to Power BI with Visual Planning from Power ON. With it their Controllers can enter the latest information directly into Power BI; no searching for the latest spreadsheets. Analysts and Controllers could see the data update as it writes-back to the transaction system of record in real-time. In mere minutes Controllers can complete investigation and data validation work directly inside Power BI using Visual Planner.
Adding the Power ON solutions to Power BI optimized controllers’ ability share, collect, audit, and maintain data quality across their entire monthly procurement forecast process.
We now confidently present timely, accurate reports to senior executives with much less effort, using a tool inside Power BI that requires no tech support.
With Power ON Visual Planner, Controllers reduced their month end Time-to-Project-Accounting-Close from 5 days to 2 days. Adding write-back to Power BI they were able to eliminate nearly all the manual, error-prone pain points of standard Excel project analysis and data validation.
Using Visual Planner for Power BI, our customer’s controllers achieved their goal to increase speed of project-close without sacrificing data quality standards; going from several days’ worth of spreadsheet back and forth, plus more days of data consolidation, to only 2 days of validation, 0 days of data upload, and mere minutes to publish reports to Execs.
With Power ON for Power BI, instead of taking 10 or more people nearly 3 weeks to complete the process and get reports to senior management, 10 Controllers and 2 Analysts are able to submit, consolidate and share reports and dashboards in fewer than 4 working days. This new, near real-time project accounting capability has brought at least two new capabilities to light that will be useful for analyzing performance and improving forecasts.
The Financial Services Group also leverages this new write-back capability in Power BI to maintain data quality without sacrificing speed on their monthly close processes.
By leveraging the power of their leading BI tool, Power BI, our customer was able to capitalize on the company’s existing investments; financial and cultural, across technology, skills sets, and employee tool acceptance. With Power ON the the Analyst team extracted more value and data accessibility, turning Power BI into an analyze+write-back, two-way street business application; and in doing so they are able to continue to deliver on their mission of unsurpassed value for shareholders and customers.
2 days spent publishing accurate project accounting
2 minutes spent updating month-end procurement reports
2 value adds: new use case applications made possible
“Write-back from Power ON allowed us to remove much of the frustration and delay for our controllers and project managers who must ensure quality reporting.”
Global Procurement Organization - Director, Business Intelligence