The Axsium Approach to Overcoming Common Labor Planning and Budgeting Challenges

by | Aug 18, 2022

This time of year always makes me think of an old TV ad. Parents gleefully push carts down store aisles, filling them with school supplies. Their children glumly shuffle behind them. All the while Andy Williams’ “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” plays. I loved that ad. My kids didn’t think it was funny at all.

If you’re like me, you’ll agree the prospect of sending your children back to school is a gleeful one. But school children aren’t the only ones who are less than thrilled. Because it’s that time of year again for organizations worldwide—time to create next year’s labor budget.

That means countless hours trading spreadsheet after spreadsheet. Negotiations around how much labor Operations needs and how much Finance is able to provide. Countless budget iterations to understand and work through different approaches and what-if scenarios, whether they’re sales growth targets or wage pressures caused by inflation. 

No matter their size and complexity, all organizations have one thing in common—creating and deploying the labor budget is a complex and time-consuming process

An Intuitive Labor Planning Solution

Overcoming that problem is exactly why Axsium created Planara, our new labor planning and analytics solution. Planara helps you smoothly navigate the labor planning and budgeting process by:

  • Getting your Finance and Operations teams to align
  • Letting you accelerate your decision-making and scenario evaluation
  • Improving your key planning assumptions and labor drivers analysis
  • Making it easier to adapt quickly to operational realities and changing performance goals

Align Your Labor Budgeting Efforts

Planara helps you align your Operations and Finance departments by giving them the same single source of the truth. Finance can see the labor Operations needs right down to the labor standard level. And Operations can see the Finance constraints that they need to work within. 

Planara also lets both sides see the impact of proposed changes in near real time. That means everyone can agree on compromises much more quickly. And you’ll find successfully delivering on your sales targets for the coming year much easier.

Planara helps you align your labor budgeting across finance and operations

Accelerate Your Labor Budgeting Process

Planara gets Finance and Operations working from the same source of the truth, helping you accelerate your labor budgeting process. Imagine being able to take an entirely new set of assumptions—from revenue makeup to labor standards to wage rates—and create an entire budget for the year in minutes. 

The time you’ll save in the back and forth between the stakeholders alone will get your budgeting process done in no time. And that means you can focus more attention on identifying and implementing improvements that will benefit your entire organization.

Analyze Your Assumptions

Planara’s built-in analytics and reporting allow you to analyze your planning results in near real time. In fact, you can create what-if scenarios and compare the results side by side in minutes. 

You can also identify outliers and areas for concern quickly. That gives your Finance and Operations teams time to dig into the root causes and come up with solutions. And your key stakeholders can address issues before they become problems, which will make your budgets more accurate in the long run.

Adapt to Operational Realities

If there is one thing that stays the same, it’s change. Typically, the general rule of thumb is once you’ve created your budget it’s out of date. That’s why Planara’s ability to adapt to change is one of its greatest strengths.

You can create new, effective-dated versions of your budgets based on an existing budget. And that means you can adapt to new operational and financial realities as they happen. The faster you can react to change, the faster you can steer the business back on track.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

My kids are older now, so I don’t have that same sense of relief when it comes to back-to-school. But I still laugh at the advert every time I see it online.

With Planara, Finance and Operations departments can align, accelerate, analyze, and adapt more quickly and efficiently than ever before. Hopefully, one day it will help labor planning and budgeting professionals see the budgeting season as the most wonderful time of the year as well. 

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