CASE STUDY | BUDGET, PLANNING & CONSOLIDATION
Decision Inc. helps Yorkshire Water overhaul an underperforming real-time consolidation solution – SAP BPC RTC optimised for S/4HANA.
Decision Inc. enables Yorkshire Water to overcome performance degradation of their SAP BPC Optimised for S4 system. A focused System Review uncovered key configuration issues which meant that with production levels of data the system performed badly and impacted other SAP systems.
A short tactical engagement was undertaken to address the performance issues.
About the Client and Project Scope
Yorkshire Water is a regulated water and waste company that provides some of life’s most essential services. With over 5 million customers, 140,000 business premises, over 3,000 employees and over 30,000km of water network.
In 2020 Yorkshire Water engaged with Decision Inc to remediate existing components which were not functioning correctly and perform a focused system review to assess the performance of their SAP BPC Optimised for S4 reporting and consolidation solution.
The key challenge was that Consolidation and Planning methodologies has been simply migrated from the incumbent BPC Standard system to the new BPC Optimised system, without detailed consideration of the opportunities and limitations of BPC Optimised for S4.
Key areas of focus to enhance performance:
- Technical Set-Up and the use of versioning
- Configuration of views and calculations – Performance tuning to take advantage of HANA database architecture
- Application Design, including a reduction in the usage of unnecessary S4 dimensionality
- Housekeeping Activities – Developing, scheduling and handover
- Tactical re-building of forecasting components
Utilising a balanced-team of functional and technical delivery experts Decision Inc. was able to make the following system adjustments:
- System Architecture improvements including better use of HANA views, Real-Time cubes and reducing the usage of the ACDOCC table
The Engagement with Decision Inc.
- Re-write of calculations, including the use of AMDP
- Enhancement and re-writes of Reports and Input Forms
- Remodel of approach to Audit Data
- Design and development of Housekeeping activities
“The Optimisation workstream delivered significant performance improvements. Before the work simple processes took tens of minutes rather than tens of seconds and other Finance and HR users experienced system performance issues. The work the Decision Inc. team undertook addressed all these issues and gave us the confidence to go-live with the new system.”
The project was delivered in two sprint steps, with most enhancement delivered in an initial 2 month engagement. Following the performance improvement, the scope was broadened, and additional enhancements were delivered in a 6 week follow-on engagement.
- Reports and Inputs – Refresh speeds were improved by 75-95%.
- Calculations that previously timed-out, were able to complete successfully – Broadly 70% to 80% improvement
- Data in the solution was reduced by roughly 60%
Overall system performance meant the finance team had the confidence to go fully live with the BPC Optimised for S4 system and cease duplicate parallel run activity in the incumbent system.
The Experience Working with Decision Inc.
“The Decision Inc. team impressed us from the moment they engaged with us. A key differentiator was the team’s mix of skills, with experienced consolidation accountants who understood our finance business processes and how best to conceive them in the system and technical experts who were able to diagnose the problems with our system and identify and execute fixes or an alternative approach.
Above and beyond the skill and experience the Decision Inc. team demonstrated was the speed and cohesion with which they worked. The leadership was not afraid to put difficult conversations on the table, we were quickly able to trust that the questions posed, and the advice given was balanced and focused on getting the best outcomes for Yorkshire Water.”
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The latest version of the SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) application, version 11.1 was released in 2019. It is now built on the BW4/HANA 2.0 platform, which is a significant improvement from the earlier versions.
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