Roche Optimizes Predictive Planning to Improve Personalized Healthcare

Hoffmann-La Roche AG (Roche) prides themselves on their vision of “ensuring the right treatment for the right patient at the right time.” They achieve this through their commitment to drive astounding scientific and technological advances that effectively transform the lives of people everywhere. Operating for over one hundred years, Roche relies on their unique understanding of human biology and approach to health data analysis to revolutionize patient care. 

An important part of the R&D (research and development) finance focus at Roche is to efficiently forecast the evolution of expenses across decentralized R&D business units. To achieve this goal and overhaul their time-consuming processes, Roche implemented a solution leveraging SAP Analytics Cloud.

70% of forecast data entry points automated in SAP Analytics Cloud
7% improvement in forecast accuracy
2 hours to generate $4.2 billion financial forecast

Challenges

Roche had a few challenges to overcome in order to achieve their digitalization goals. The company’s forecasting process used by its R&D finance time was costly, reactive, and time consuming. This made it very difficult for Roche to make confident decisions and kept the team from transitioning fully into a proactive, future focused organization. Additionally, their SAP Business Warehouse, while good for storing and managing data, did not provide any augmented functionality. The organization clearly needed an overhaul on its analytics and planning capabilities. 

Solutions

Roche’s R&D finance team joined forces with their IT team with the goal of optimizing end-to-end processes to free up valuable workforce time. The task force decided to implement SAP Analytics Cloud as their predictive planning and analytics solution. 

Immediately, the team capitalized on the native integration between SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP Business Warehouse. This allowed years of historical data that had been collected to be leveraged by machine learning algorithms when creating forecasts and running planning simulations, due to the built-in connectivity between the two solutions. 

Deployment and implementation were fast, with users getting up and running on predictive planning features over a few months period. This was due to the self-service nature of SAP Analytics Cloud features, meant for business users to find insights and create forecasts themselves, without needing to involve professional data scientists. 

Additionally, streamlining to a single, scalable solution helped Roche lower maintenance efforts and reduce costs. This also helped with access to data, users only had to look in one place to get up to date data and forecasts, instead of searching multiple systems for insights. 

Our 10-year ambition requires a radical shift in the way we work. I am excited to see finance at the forefront of this transformation.

Alan Hippe, Chief Financial and IT Officer, F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG

Results

By implementing SAP Analytics Cloud, Roche built an entirely new forecasting experience and streamlined planning processes. The organization successfully shifted the focus of the R&D finance teams from a traditional historical data reporting model to a future facing predictive forecasting process that automated 14,000 out of 20,000 forecast data entry points. 

This means Roche can now actively investigate future scenarios and simulate different outcomes, ensuring the team is prepared for any potential scenario. Decisions can now be made with utmost confidence, because they are based on up to date, accessible data all in one single source of truth for BI, augmented analytics, and predictive planning. 

Time is now spent finding useful insights and creating forecasts with features such as Smart Predict, and automatic forecasting, instead of having to manually manipulate and adjust 100% of forecasted data points. Additionally, Roche has seen an increase in cross-functional collaboration between departments due to the easy collaboration SAP Analytics Cloud provides. Users can take advantage of in-app commenting and discussion, as well as all referring to the same dashboards, stories, and models to make confident decisions for the business. 

Roche employees can now spend valuable time that was previously occupied by dissecting and hunting down data, to further the success of drug discovery. This gets them closer each day to achieving their goals of personalized healthcare for each patient.