A Financial Planning Transformation
Mu Sigma enabled a Fortune 500 specialty retailer to enhance financial planning by integrating strategies across people, processes, and platforms.
Financial Planning Management
Cumbersome Financial Planning
The client revamped its financial planning during the 2008 recession, focusing on detail and operational precision. However, as their business expanded, this process became cumbersome, inflexible, and too reliant on traditional methods. They envisioned a transformation: shortening their extensive quarter-long financial planning process to a more frequent and flexible monthly cycle. Achieving this transformation demanded innovations in tools, skills, and perspectives.
Creative Destruction by Mu Sigma
To reimagine the financial planning process, we used a ‘Creative Destruction’ method to evaluate the client’s ingrained practices. By initiating design thinking workshops with leaders from various departments, we encouraged fresh perspectives, fostered collaboration, and challenged prevailing norms. These sessions sparked invaluable discussions and uncovered inefficiencies: plans losing focus as they moved down the hierarchy, outdated processes due to changing business dynamics, inconsistent assumptions across units leading to redundancies, and operators burdened with metrics outside their influence, amongst others.
Drawing from the workshop’s revelations and a deep dive into the client’s existing state, our solution blended human expertise and advanced technology. We developed a system utilizing machine learning, simulation, and automation to optimize financial planning. We leveraged our proprietary ‘Art of Problem Solving’ ontology to map and organize the transformation process for the client’s financial planning operations. Key components included algorithm-driven plans integrated with present financial systems, real-time collaborative planning across departments, prototype-based modular solutions for adaptability, and refined planning frequencies and metrics to reduce manual involvement throughout the cycle. The realization of this transformation is a 2-year journey with incremental value additions along the way – designed to minimize operational risk.
Reduction in cycle time (42 weeks to 15 weeks)
Reduction in work hours (23k to 9k person hours)
In cost savings
The firm's is derived from the statistical terms "Mu" and "Sigma," which symbolize a
probability distribution's mean and standard deviation, respectively.