Kärcher: Achieving Business Agility with SAP Analytics Cloud for Planning

Serving both consumer and professional markets, family-owned company, Alfred Kärcher SE & Co. KG (Kärcher), is one of the world’s leading providers of efficient, resource-conserving cleaning systems. With a portfolio that includes everything from domestic pressure washers and vacuum cleaners to industrial cleaners and street sweepers, the company has achieved success through a focus on innovation and quality.

> 80 Subsidiaries in planning transformation project
200 Up to 200 users in the planning process

Cleaning equipment firm Kärcher wanted to unify organization-wide planning processes using a collaborative enterprise planning solution. Their goal was to align finance, operations, and strategy so that they could make better, data-driven decisions. They commenced a series of projects to deploy SAP Analytics Cloud for planning across the enterprise.

Now, Kärcher is refining planning and forecasting models throughout the business, enabling it to respond to changing market requirements quickly and efficiently.

SAP Analytics Cloud for planning has provided a firm foundation for a company-wide transformation in our planning approach that is helping us respond to new challenges quickly.

Andreas Kerkau, Director of Controlling Systems and Tools, Alfred Kärcher SE & Co. KG

Defining the Data Problem

Sound financial planning has played a key role in helping Kärcher grow by 65% since 2010. However, with more than 80 subsidiaries worldwide involved in planning, coordinating planning processes was a complex task.

Before enabling SAP Analytics Cloud, Kärcher’s planning processes were siloed across the organization. They found that gathering the right information from the right teams was labor-intensive. Kärcher also wanted to improve accuracy by integrating multiple data sources. They needed a way to become more efficient.

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Solving the Problem with SAP Analytics Cloud for planning

 

To achieve this, the manufacturer decided to replace its existing spreadsheet-based approach with a unified strategy for collaborative enterprise planning. They wanted a solution that would improve planning and forecasting accuracy and that would also automate processes to reduce manual effort.

In order to increase efficiency and establish operational excellence, Kärcher turned to SAP and PwC to deploy a single solution for planning, self-service, and analytics, based on the SAP Analytics Cloud solution.

Establishing Planning Excellence with an Enterprise-wide Approach

 

Their teams were able to align strategic, financial, and operational plans by:

  • Enabling rapid prototyping, involving feedback from multiple teams
  • Integrating large volumes of historical data thanks to SAP Business Warehouse powered by SAP HANA
  • Leveraging the support and guidance from SAP experts as part of the “Customer First” program
  • Utilizing the proven analytics expertise and coaching services of PwC to enable business team members to develop planning projects

The results were improved visibility across the enterprise, increased efficiency and accuracy, and decision-making backed by data.

 

We wanted to improve planning transparency across the company with all business areas able to access and report information in a consistent and straightforward way. In this way, we would be able to align our operations to better meet strategic targets.

Andreas Kerkau, Director of Controlling Systems and Tools, Alfred Kärcher SE & Co. KG

Creating Prototypes with Flexible and Intuitive Functionality

SAP was the first choice when selecting an enterprise-wide planning solution, as most of their core processes run on SAP software.

Thanks to user-friendly features within SAP Analytics Cloud for planning, and coaching support provided by SAP partner PwC, business team members at Kärcher were able to easily learn the necessary skills to develop and deploy planning projects themselves.

The intuitive features also helped the team create prototypes quickly and early on during individual planning projects. This meant that different stakeholders could provide input and planning models could be adjusted as required.

 

Incorporating Stakeholder Ideas with Rapid Prototyping

As part of the “Customer First” program, our experts provided guidance on deploying and realizing the desired value of the solution. Through biweekly calls, our experts answer any questions and provide input and support to help their team resolve issues or address important topics quickly.

More Visibility Across the Business Thanks to Better Forecasts

 

Kärcher has used SAP Analytics Cloud for planning to implement projects for financial forecasting, financial target setting, and sales revenue planning. Soon, their teams will also start using our solution for financial forecast management.

Their teams also leveraged SAP Business Warehouse powered by SAP HANA to improve their planning accuracy and efficiency. With planning models that integrate with multiple data sources within Kärcher, the company can now base planning on large volumes of historical data. Bulk analysis helps their teams better inform their plan models, giving them more accurate results.

Automation in areas such as seasonal sales planning helps speed up budget workflows. Their teams have noticed processes are much more streamlined and have enabled users to complete planning tasks better and faster.

Their teams also enjoy the rich functionality that supports efficient management of planning processes. They can issue a planning calendar with clear deadlines and reminders for providing required information. Our visualization features also enables them to present planning results and analysis in a clear and user-friendly way.

Supporting Agile Decisions Based on Collaborative planning Insights

Using SAP Analytics Cloud for planning, Kärcher aims to roll out its new collaborative planning approach across other business functions such as Human Resources and Manufacturing. And following the upcoming deployment of the SAP BW/4HANA solution and SAP S/4HANA, their teams will also enhance its planning process with live data and data from external sources.

Kärcher is also currently working on projects for financial budgeting and driver-based planning
as well as making updates and improvements to its previously deployed sales budget planning solution.

As well, Kärcher will be implementing a pilot for the use of the SAP Analytics Cloud for planning in budget meetings. Not only did they implement a new tool, Kärcher developed a completely new approach for financial planning with SAP Analytics Cloud for planning at its core.

Thanks to the planning capabilities in SAP Analytics Cloud, we can provide enterprise-wide planning visibility. Whether at headquarters or across our international sales subsidiaries, clear and consistent data and processes mean that each area of the business can set operational targets that help us fulfill our strategic goals.

Andreas Kerkau, Director of Controlling Systems and Tools, Alfred Kärcher SE & Co. KG

Making planning a Key Business Strength in Uncertain Times

With SAP Analytics Cloud, Kärcher believes that the solution will support better-informed decision-making and enhance planning insights across the organization. With improved visibility and participation with planning models across the enterprise, from headquarters to subsidiaries, they get the efficiency, workflows, and accuracy they desired.

More accurate planning and forecasting will help us react to fluctuating demand quickly. Focusing on the future rather than the past provides a key business strength that will help us navigate volatile markets in times of great change and uncertainty.

Andreas Kerkau, Director of Controlling Systems and Tools, Alfred Kärcher SE & Co. KG

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