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Date Posted
5 June 2021

"Workday Adaptive Planning allows you to focus on what the numbers mean, rather than whether the numbers just add up correctly"

Ben Fryer
Head of Financial Planning & Analysis

Immunocore is a leading biosciences company dedicated to developing drugs to treat cancer, infectious diseases and autoimmune diseases

The entire process of drug development is kickstarted by the expertise running through Immunocore, from the discovery of suitable disease targets all the way through to the execution of clinical trials.

With Immunocore’s heavy focus on Research and Development (R&D), combined with the differing structures of each project, the biotech company needed a forecasting solution more tailored to their needs.

The Challenges

Immunocore first added Workday Adaptive Planning in 2015, alongside a NetSuite implementation. Having initially used a template-based solution, it soon became apparent that the NetSuite implementation wasn’t the right fit for Immunocore.

Immunocore traditionally relied on investment to fund projects, which required a long-term view. However, the Head of Financial Planning & Analysis, Ben Fryer, wanted a ten-year plan to work in tandem with a thorough short-term plan.

Added detail on specific projects was a must to help model the research portfolio, funding requirements and research costs. A forecasting and budgeting solution was required to keep track of financial investments and outgoings.

Each project also had differing structures, headcounts, costs and timeframes. So, the model needed to be robust and flexible to keep track of each factor effortlessly.

By budgeting in Excel, Ben was finding himself gathering and consolidating inputs from every budget holder. He would then have to introduce a significant amount of checks and processes to ensure data integrity.

It was time for a new solution that allowed Ben and his team at Immunocore to focus on what the numbers in the old spreadsheets meant, not just whether they added up correctly.

Ben knew NetSuite wasn’t quite fit for purpose or tailored to Immunocore. It was up to Formulate to create a tailored forecasting solution.

"Workday Adaptive Planning does the bread-and-butter stuff but more efficiently. So, there’s more time for understanding the numbers, with a better vision of actuals and more time to provide a meaningful analysis""

Ben Fryer
Head of Financial Planning & Analysis

How Formulate Helped

Right from the very start, Formulate were competing with tight deadlines. After an on-site meeting, Formulate’s Workday Adaptive Planning consultants gained a complete overview of what Ben needed for Immunocore.

Formulate’s agile Adaptive approach is informed by the customer. However, the time pressures meant that the Immunocore model couldn’t be tried and tested in the same way. Nevertheless, Formulate still delivered the forecasting solution on time.  Immunocore has since made significant changes to its business model, which has led Ben to revisit the forecasting model.

Workday Adaptive Planning’s extensive capabilities to remain agile and adapt to a changing business made the process of fitting Adaptive planning into the new model seamless. The software can evolve, and stakeholders can pick it up without the need for external consultants. It's a major advantage in a high paced business. The remodelling undertaken by Formulate of Immunocore’s earlier Adaptive solution helped gain greater cash flow visibility beyond profit and loss.

Ben’s first experience of implanting Adaptive was delivered remotely, making it hard to visualise implementation and iron out problems. On the other hand, Formulate delivered a combination of on and off-site work. This approach allowed a much smoother working relationship and quicker lead times.

The team at Immunocore identified several future benefits too. Having solved existing pain points with Workday Adaptive Planning, Ben foresaw the added benefits of working with Formulate. As the company retains control of the R&D to drug lifecycle, there will be a need for revenue-generating forecasts as they get to that stage. Furthermore, additional visibility is available to investors by duplicating the models for investors to stress test and share with the business.

With Workday Adaptive Planning, Immunocore can re-forecast their number monthly, giving them greater visibility of income, outcome and headcount analysis.  The time saved on Excel spreadsheets and the agile nature of Adaptive Planning allows the team more analysis time, which is crucial for the long-term forecasting and budgeting of their business.

With future benefits already identified, Immunocore is looking to get the whole business using Workday Adaptive Planning more frequently. In doing this, they’d be able to support collaboration and enable self-service, so teams can look at the numbers without Ben having to generate spreadsheets and send them out manually.

The Benefits & Outcomes

  • The ability to re-forecast numbers monthly, giving them more visibility of income, outcome and headcount analysis.
  • Generate management packs at the push of a button through Office Connect.
  • Additional analysis time, helping them produce a better commentary on the numbers produced.
  • Enhanced accuracy of reporting, forecasting and budgeting to gain a clearer snapshot of the future.
  • Immunocore can now easily track open roles and work with a headcount gap analysis.

To start utilising the power of Workday Adaptive Planning and the knowledge of one of the world’s leading partners, speak to Formulate today. We’re here to guide you through the process and bring you smarter forecasting and budgeting solutions.