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Energy companies are increasingly challenged to invest in new infrastructure assets to meet rising energy demands—with special attention to green assets—and manage the associated outlays to stay profitable. Their path forward must include a planning and forecasting system that accounts for the complexity and variety of their portfolios while ensuring top-down transparency, accuracy, and agility.

Since the different breeds of energy plants involve different varieties of assets—and thus require different methods of generational modeling—the traditional forecasting spreadsheet system presents a siloed view, with different sheets for each asset. Consolidating these disparate sheets is slow and vulnerable to manual error, and energy companies need (and deserve) a more modern approach.

“A digital interface offers an accessible tool for collaboration where spreadsheets offer barriers.”

There Is No Better Time for Digital Transformation

It’s not news that digital transformations help break down silos, even if the specifics for each industry are unique. But making the leap from spreadsheets to a more connected solution offers other opportunities.

First, with fewer redundant points for data input, automated tabulation, and analysis, modern modeling software saves time and offers insights in real-time as compared to labor-intensive spreadsheets. And by reducing manual entry and calculation, error margins are also lowered, while a digital interface offers an accessible tool for collaboration where spreadsheets offer barriers. Modern digital solutions also provide transparent online review and approval workflows, helping to avoid blind spots and maintain accountability.

The Right Solution

Digital transformation is an imperative. So what makes a successful solution? We can’t understate the importance of a collaborative environment with proper user access restrictions that allows all asset specialists to work on their respective areas in one central location.

Then there’s the importance of accurate assumptions for future periods. This can be achieved through making the recording process of actuals seamless and easy, allowing for faster and more reliable historical analysis. Transparency and data traceability are key for both accountability and error prevention.

In addition to these key staples of a digital modeling solution, look for a planning calendar that will integrate the review and approval process within the planning software, enabling real time progress tracking. This streamlines the planning cycle and lets asset specialists spend adequate time reviewing and refining forecasts.

The solution should easily integrate with other enterprise applications for data exchange. You’ll thank yourself if it works with various ETRM platforms to import trade data for revenue calculation or inform downstream systems or processes that use forecast details for further planning. These forecasts can drive plant maintenance scheduling or contract management for vendors at the plant sites. Such integrations drastically reduce the time spent on manual planning and reconciliation.

Another feature to look for that might be more popular after the last few years is the ability for easy what-if analysis, allowing asset specialists to explore various scenarios by altering key assumptions. These scenarios can be compared to deliver more realistic final forecasts.

“Transparency and data traceability are key for both accountability and error prevention.”

Your Partner in Growth

A growing number of energy and utility companies have been transforming their planning capabilities by gaining a real-time view of their asset portfolio. These solutions streamline the planning cycle, give valuable time back to asset management teams and provide the leadership team with easily accessible vital information to make strategic decisions. Companies that are embarking on this transformation journey have a strategic advantage in the market and are better positioned to cater to the world’s growing energy demands.

Spaulding Ridge has a proven track record and the industry experience to implement solutions like this at companies across the globe. As an Anaplan Global Strategic Partner, Spaulding Ridge leverages Anaplan as the best-in-class planning solution. With Anaplan and Spaulding Ridge, you not only gain invaluable real-time planning and forecasting capabilities, but the potential to unlock wider financial planning powers across your entire organization. That’s the power of industry experts.

Anaplan is a cloud-based platform powered by its HyperBlock engine, which can handle complex energy models with ease. It can seamlessly integrate with your other applications to build truly scalable planning solutions. Moreover, Anaplan is carefully designed to be intuitive to new users and to maximize collaboration, ensuring easy adoption and less change management within organizations. Finally, building and maintaining models in Anaplan is so easy that it makes your transformation journey as least disruptive as possible.

Email Nidhin Ramachandran at [email protected] to learn more about taking your asset and financial planning to the next level on a connected platform with Spaulding Ridge.