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Case study: automotive repair provider adopts Workday Adaptive Planning

About the company:

  • Industry: Motor Vehicle Manufacturing
  • Headquarters: UK
  • Workforce: 1,500+ employees

A leading UK accident repair and body shop provider, with an annual revenue of over £400 million, faced significant challenges in its financial planning processes. The complexity of managing 108 different business units running their own budgeting processes, combined with a complex budget cycle and manual data entry on Excel, prompted the search for a transformative solution. The company embarked on a journey to streamline its financial planning using Workday Adaptive Planning.

Key Takeaways:

  • Streamlined data processes with Workday Adaptive Planning resulted in significant time and resource savings, cutting the budget cycle by 67% and reducing manual reconciliations.
  • Shifting to digital planning and minimizing error-related reprinting eventually led to cost savings of 50%, also enhancing overall financial efficiency.
  • Workday Adaptive Planning empowered the organization to assess acquiring similar businesses, fostering strategic agility through detailed analysis.
  • The success of the Adaptive project enabled the organization to transition from annual to detailed quarterly adjustments ensuring adaptability and continuous improvement.

Opportunities for Improvement:

Before adopting Workday Adaptive Planning, the company faced operational challenges in their financial planning processes. The company was managing 108 business units all within Microsoft Excel with four review stages and a complex budget approval process. With a six-month budget cycle, their forecasts were often outdated and looked at only once a year, and manual entry of data increased the company’s risk of errors and process inefficiencies. These errors and inefficiencies required extensive reconciliations to check number integrity, and yet errors still would flow through. 

These obstacles significantly hindered the company's growth. The manual processes drained time and resources, hindering the FP&A team's ability to provide valuable business insights. The complex and manual work often led to high turnover in the FP&A role, making it difficult to establish consistent and efficient financial planning practices. It also meant spending time and money in training new staff each year, which was both inefficient and costly.


With the implementation of Workday Adaptive Planning, the company experienced a notable shift in its financial planning dynamics. They reduced the time and complexity of their previous six-month budget cycle by 67% by first reducing the amount of data populated from actuals and previous forecasts in each phase of the budgeting process. Reviews were conducted as a live process. This meant changes could be made to the budget during review without delays in providing feedback on the results of those changes, creating a more dynamic and responsive budgeting approach. Subsequent steps involved reorganizing reviews into a regional review followed by streamlined central reviews. The goal here was to make the overall review process more efficient and effective.

By streamlining and automating their financial processes, they minimized errors and sped up consolidation and actualization to a fraction of the time. The platform's real-time recalculation capabilities eliminated manual interventions, ensuring data integrity and enabling prompt adjustments. This not only reduced resource strain but also empowered the FP&A team to deliver valuable business insights. With an easier budget process, this meant an opportunity for the company to perform quarterly updates rather than annually.


The impact of Workday Adaptive Planning was transformative. The speed of consolidation drastically reduced, and FP&A shifted from manual data entry and preparing physical packs for print to value-added analysis. They benefit from:

  • Streamlined processes, reducing the budget cycle from a challenging 6 months to an efficient 2 month budget cycle duration, saving time and enhancing overall efficiency
  • Minimized errors in consolidation and heightened system accuracy, ensuring a more reliable financial planning process
  • Real-time recalculation capabilities and reduced manual interventions, improving resource efficiency
  • Enhanced financial insight delivery, empowering business leaders with more informed decision-making
  • User-friendly interface and automated processes, boosting team productivity and ultimately helping to reduce turnover

What's Next:

With the successful implementation of Workday Adaptive Planning, the organization is exploring further optimization opportunities, leveraging the system's capabilities to support ongoing strategic initiatives and transitioning to more frequent updates. Plans include transitioning from a data-capture process to a driver-based process, enhancing the precision and strategic alignment of financial planning.

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