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Date Posted
21 May 2021
Marketing Agency

"The biggest win for the agency was having all our data in Workday Adaptive Planning and accessible."

Marcus Walters
Finance Director

Workday Adaptive Planning Software Ignites Spark44’s Global Forecasting and Budgeting Strategy

As an end-to-end customer experience agency, Spark44 recognise the value of breaking down data silos and collaborating across the business.

Every day, they preach these principles to their ever-growing base of forward-thinking clients.
However, to talk the talk, they had to walk the walk. From sharing feedback to harvesting client insights, everyone works together to maximise Spark44’s success.

Unfortunately, bringing this philosophy into the wild world of forecasting and budgeting proved problematic.

The Challenges

Before working with Formulate, Spark 44 used vast numbers of Excel spreadsheets with different versions of the truth and multiple sources of information.

The push was the need to forecast across 60 teams in 19 offices globally, with a mix of offices employing anything from 1 to 100 people.

The downsides of such a rapid expansion were taking a toll. Forecasting growth, reporting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and planning budgets became a Herculean task. 

Undeterred, Spark44 were determined to turn the tide. They came armed with a vision to consolidate all the information into one single source truth. This approach could then be accessed by every relevant team member, no matter where they are in the world. 

Only a specialist with expert knowledge of technology and access to advanced Workday Adaptive Planning tools could bring this vision to life. This is where Formulate stepped in. 

"To do just that, we needed a reliable, honest and trustworthy partner, experienced in taking the financial planning of a company to the next level. Formulate did just that and more.” “Simon was a particularly great help, even making himself available to tweak and update the model in the future. That is the kind of service that you can expect from Formulate. A good, authentic business with strong values, which goes above and beyond."

Marcus Walters
Finance Director

How Formulate Helped

With a rich history and track record of supporting several global brands, Formulate’s Finance Transformation Executive Simon Foley was the right person to help Spark44 overcome its major challenges. 

Leading a small team, he set about pulling data from no fewer than 20 different sources, including a budgeting Xero platform.  By doing so, Formulate could automate a large part of the planning process, making it much easier to create 12-month rolling forecasts – for the past, present and future, as specified. 

From months to minutes, processes such as forecasting cash flow, business growth and setting budgets could all be completed within one centralised space.   Considering the fact that Spark44 deal with many different project lengths and types, these results were remarkable. 

Thanks to Simon’s know-how in Workday Adaptive Planning integration, forecasting and budgeting have never been so easy. Using Simon’s savvy and the extensive experience of the wider Formulate team, they created a system that kept every Spark44 office connected. 

Now everyone can log-in, online and contribute using the cloud-based solution. The team can access the latest data and make better business decisions. As a result, Spark44 are enjoying a whole host of financial planning and analysis benefits. 

The Benefits & Outcomes

  • Connect the global team, who can all work from one single source of truth and improve data integrity
  • Enable easy participation in multiple locations for everyone involved in the financial planning process
  • Automate data flow, so every department uses the latest data to make smarter decisions and save time
  • Create accessible, actionable and accurate KPIs
  • Forecast growth in terms of cash flow and resources
  • Model scenarios to understand the impact of future decisions

While Spark44 deliver key customer insights to their clients, Formulate provide Spark44 with the insights that support them in becoming an even more successful business. 

If you’re looking to bolster your growing business with Workday Adaptive Planning partners, look no further. Get in touch today and Formulate’s friendly team will be on-hand to share their expert advice.