This global medical device company, part of a global conglomerate, was spun off as a separate entity. While most of the business functions had been migrated to their own systems, the final part of the spinoff was to move the financial processes to their own ERP and financial consolidation systems. With Transition Services Agreements (TSAs) in place, the company worked with Clarkston Consulting to complete the setup of the financial operations in SAP’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) solutions.
CHALLENGES & SOLUTIONS
Challenge 1: Transition from global conglomerate’s financial systems and provide a common tool for financial planning and consolidations that could be used across business units and subsidiaries.
Solution: Prior to the spin-off, the company used its parent company’s financial systems for their financial book of record. Transitioning from this system was complicated for various reasons.
- The project was on an aggressive timeline. From a cost perspective, penalties for not transitioning by the TSA deadline were significant, leaving no room for any timeline slippage.
- From a solutions perspective, moving from the existing landscape (a complex combination of several tools, including SEM – BCS and Cartesis Magnitude for consolidation, and Hyperion and BW – IP for planning) would not be straightforward.
- Adding to the complexity was the process of sourcing financial data from subsidiaries in Excel sheets via email and other modes, and loading them into Magnitude, SAP ERP, and finally SEM – BCS for reporting. Inevitably, this led to inefficiencies and delays in the close process, as well as difficulties in reporting (both statutory and performance).
Clarkston partnered with its client to implement a simple, three-layered architecture to address the challenge. The top layer consisted of SAP BPC, an integrated tool for planning and consolidation, thereby minimizing the complexities and risks associated with a distributed solution landscape. This provided a common process for consolidations across the subsidiaries. The second layer consisted of SAP BW to provide harmonized and mapped financial data for the planning and consolidation functions. The third layer consisted of Business Objects Data Services that could pull data from all the subsidiaries, convert the data, and send to BW.