Exiting excel

Given Pacific Radiology’s size, regional spread, ongoing growth, and a series of upcoming acquisitions, it was clear to Richard Hollows, Group Financial Planning & Analysis Manager, that the business needed to relinquish its reliance on the manually maintained spreadsheets produced by multiple finance staff.  

“The growth from individual, relatively small medical practices to being the biggest provider of radiology services in New Zealand has meant we've had to improve all our systems. Like a lot of organisations, we require multiple layers of business unit and branch reporting. It was obvious we needed seamless access to all our data to make changes faster than it was possible using endless Excel files,” says Hollows. 

“While Excel did the job, we recognised the risks of continued dependency as our needs became more complex. The idea behind the project was to replace spreadsheets with a more robust and error-free way to manage our reporting, planning and forecasting. Our primary objectives included consolidation across all entities, autonomy in creating our reports, and access to centralised data.” 

Hollows and Pacific Radiology had worked with Fusion5 previously and enjoyed the positive experience. So, talking to them about achieving more detailed budgeting and forecasting using an industry-proven solution like Workday Adaptive Planning was a natural next step. Impressed with Fusion5’s expertise and the solution’s capabilities, Pacific Radiology decided to proceed with the project.  

Gaining company-wide visibility

Pacific Radiology went live with Workday Adaptive Planning for financial planning, budgeting, and forecasting in early 2022.  

“As a company, we were going through a growth cycle,” says Hollows. “Even as we implemented Workday Adaptive Planning, we took on quite a significant acquisition and another a few months later. So, the project timing was perfect. 

“To get up and running as quickly as possible, we took a minimum viable product approach, but we have a long ‘what’s next’ list to work through as we mature in our use of the solution.” 

Pacific Radiology’s basic monthly reporting is now generated through Workday Adaptive Planning rather than relying on its ERP. Fusion5 simplified and customised the Group’s consolidation and group reporting to align with its reporting and accounting structure.

A big win for Hollows and his team was seeing the revenue model automated in a detailed forecasting model where the forecast/planning versions are driven by centralised assumptions and key drivers. 

To his relief, Hollows can now also produce rolling forecasts. “We used to produce forecasts three times a year (annual budget plus a Q1 and Q2 update). These periodic updates took a lot of time and energy to complete against tight deadlines. Now, we can come into the year-end equipped with most of the information we need when starting our new budget round. It’s considerably less work than before, and we’re well ahead of the game.” 

Critically, Fusion5 equipped Pacific Radiology to achieve more independence by training its people to develop reports internally. The Group can now create reports without any reliance on the availability of IT or external consultants. 

The Workday wish list

While Hollows has used similar tools over the years, this is his first time using Workday Adaptive Planning, and he says he’s been “really pleasantly surprised - it's been an easy, easy tool to use. One of the strengths of Adaptive is that it’s very quick to refresh, so when you’ve got a multi-layered company, and want to see things from different angles and different views, it takes no time at all.” 

Although delighted with the benefits already realised with Workday Adaptive Planning, Hollows admits that they’ve been too time-constrained since go-live to develop all the reporting they would like.

“We had a short window to get it functional, and then we were straight into our budget round. From here, though, we want to ensure we're making the most of the solution.”

Their wish list includes making enhancements to link reports to PowerPoint or Word documents rather than exporting data back to Excel to make manual adjustments, and using Workday Adaptive Planning’s powerful scenario planning functionality off the back of the rolling forecasts. The latter will enable Hollows and his team to create and compare multiple what-if models incorporating real-time data. 

Hollows says that other objectives include introducing more people in the business to Adaptive as a trusted source for both financial and non-financial data. And given the Group’s level of investment in radiology equipment, it’s no surprise that asset planning is also on the ‘what’s next’ list.  

Working with Fusion5

Hollows says he finds working with Fusion5 ‘excellent’.  

“They’ve been part of our success story and have some very talented people. The implementation was smooth, and going into our first budget round was seamless. Their project manager was great to work with. If we had an issue, they were always available to resolve it, and the responsiveness of Fusion5’s support hasn’t changed post-go-live either. There’s been no problem getting help when needed.” 

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