End-to-end planning and scenario management in the Bauli Group
Combining analysis, planning, simulation, and business modelling within a single platform for better group planning and control
As one of the industry leaders in bakers’ confectionery, the Bauli Group needed to evolve their sales planning process and business analytics to support further growth. Long-term use of the Board decision-making platform had already proved effective, so much so that the software was selected to build a sales planning and scenario management platform in the same environment, with the involvement of several business areas. Board is used by corporate controllers and the finance area, the sales network, and supply chain management (including production and logistics) because it can manage the different business models leading the sales campaigns for Bauli products (which either run continuously or are tied to specific celebrations throughout the year).
- Industry: Food & Beverage
- Department: Finance, Marketing, Sales, Supply chain
- Employees: 1,687
- Foundation: 1922
- Individual products: 1150
- Product sold (tonnes): 118,000 each year
With the third generation of the family in charge, the Bauli Group maintains an ideal balance between tradition and innovation. The origins of the group go back to 1922, when Ruggero Bauli - a Veronese baker - found success with his vintage Pandoro recipe. Over the years, the range of products produced by the group has expanded to include croissants, biscuits, and crackers. Following a century of success, the family firm is known and loved throughout the world, operating with famous brands like Bauli, Motta, Alemagna, Doria, Bistefani, and Casalini. 260 types of product are now sold by the group in more than 70 countries.
A planning and reporting solution for different business models
Celebration cakes (dedicated to yearly events like Christmas or Easter) make up the core part of business activity. Likewise, the Pandoro di Verona tradition, whose origins can be found in the early part of last century, remains one Bauli’s best loved products. Now, following the acquisitions made in recent years, the group has also begun to bake everyday products, including crackers, biscuits, and croissants. This business unit has grown to become another pillar of the group, alongside the traditional celebrations business. As highlighted by Matteo Baldi, the Business Intelligence (BI) Manager at Bauli:
“It is very important for a group such as ours to have a planning solution capable of managing and controlling different business models, not least because the sales patterns of our celebration and everyday products diverge considerably. Accordingly, we needed flexible software capable of both recognizing this difference and consolidating the information collected in the final reporting phase.”
Bauli had already selected Board as its decision-making platform for planning and forecasting, analytics, reporting, and scenario management. Specifically, Board supplied Bauli with a complete, all-in-one BI and Performance Management environment that has kept pace with technological change, consistently remaining easy to implement and use while delivering powerful simulations and data analytics.
From the start, Board adapted quickly to the business needs of the group. Following an initial needs assessment, a prototype was created for the management of P&L information. Once finalized, this platform provided Bauli with advanced functionality, not only in the reporting area but also for budgeting and the real-time generation of alternative business scenarios.
End-to-end sales planning
The use of Board now extends to all phases of sales planning, bringing together several of the business functions within the organization – including management control, sales, supply chain, and finance.
“Board ensures the orderly and standardized flow of information. The appropriate profiling and segmentation of this data means that we are able to plan each individual sales campaign having regard for all the parameters, to the extent of identifying the customer-product impact on each row of our P&L” notes Matteo Baldi.
Using the Board application, the Bauli sales planning process started with planning the volume of sales, expressed in quintals (i.e. 100kg), for each analytical dimension, e.g. by BU campaign or by customer account. This first phase, managed by the corporate controllers, integrated readily with other areas within the organization, such as the sales network, whose personnel can change amounts directly within the same application by applying discounts for example.
The second phase in the planning process consisted of pricing for price list purposes. Here too, corporate controllers take the lead supported by sales personnel who can make manual price adjustments and even add new products:
“In the pricing phase, the data made available using Board gives us visibility about future trends and the impact of new products to be introduced in the coming year” commented Matteo Baldi.
These first two phases integrated perfectly with the related supply chain processes, enabling production and supply chain managers to check input of the relevant amounts and plan activities appropriately.
The third phase of the planning process looked at a series of commercial conditions, such asparameters for invoiced goods and other discounts, the cost of goods sold, and marketing and distribution costs.
“Thanks to the integration of the sales planning process across several business areas, using Board we have managed to obtain continuity and consistency between the corporate control and sales network objectives and the plans of supply chain management. For example, the sales volume information is used for cost planning purposes by both production and logistics” highlights Matteo Baldi.
The final planning step involved advanced reporting that provides the Bauli Group with a P&L, which drills down to customer-product level while offering other significant business analytics, such as the performance of individual campaigns, results by region, and more. Starting with this information, Bauli uses Board at group level for spending control purposes, as well as to generate, examine, and compare various business scenarios.
Budgeting, forecasting, and scenario management in a single multidimensional environment
After all stakeholders in the planning process have input their data, and corporate control has validated the process, the P&L is finalized using the Board platform once more. This enables the P&L to be examined in various dimensions, including time, customer account, product, campaign, company and division, and country and currency. As Matteo Baldi notes:
“In a Group such as Bauli, where the two principal BUs are dedicated respectively to celebration and everyday products, the time dimension is extremely important. In fact, the sales of everyday products are planned monthly, while the time ranges for celebration products extend beyond one month, depending on the campaign concerned (for example, the Christmas period runs from November to January). Thanks to Board, we can manage this difference with ease. Not only: we can also “break down” the planned celebration sales on a monthly basis when consolidating the two business units, obtaining results that combine the two different approaches taken to budgeting.”
The Board application even allows the Bauli Group to generate forecasts that can be revised monthly and on a perfectly integrated basis with reference to actuals data. This way, the creation of reports can compare and analyze the various updated budgets as the actuals information becomes available. Management can then evaluate the variances across all commercial dimensions, including BU campaign, P&L line, product, and customer account.
“Previously, we could only generate one budget. Now instead, using Board, we can create various versions of the budget, compare forecasts made at different times during the year and analyse multiple business scenarios, all without leaving the platform. This is undoubtedly a plus for a Group in our sector, especially considering the uncertainties faced by the market in recent years” states Matteo Baldi.