Cover image of the Success Story SBB: in the background you can see a train of the Swiss Federal Railways passing through the Swiss mountains, in the foreground three images consisting of diagrams, a passenger and the SBB logo | Success Story SBB: Business Planning with Anaplan

SBB's networks with Anaplan partial planning, reduces complexity, and is now able to simulate

The Swiss Federal Railways

The Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) is the most important service provider of public transport in Switzerland: With almost 15,000 employees and consolidated sales of around 5.5 billion Swiss Francs, it is also the largest of the four SBB divisions. SBB transports 1.32 million passengers each day. To ensure that trains run safely, and all passengers arrive at their destination on time, precise planning is essential, and it has to be simple, networked, and in real time.

SBB website

Challenge

Harmonization and simplification of complex financial planning to increase transparency and accuracy

Consulting approach

Introduction of an agile, auditable, and IT-independent planning solution based on the Anaplan platform

Customer benefits and solution

Shorten the planning process, consolidate at the touch of a button, proactive, simulation-ready planning control

Challenge

The central point of the planning: the timetable

“How can we simplify our complex planning while increasing transparency and accuracy? How can partial planning be networked automatically so that we can plan more transparently, consolidate faster, and simulate effortlessly?” These are the questions that Urban Ehret, Head of Finance SBB Passenger Division, asks when describing the central requirements for a new planning solution.

The basis for operation is the integrated business planning, which is planned several years in advance and integrated with its financial plan. However, before the financial plan is finalized, a great many planning steps are required.
“The main focus for us is the timetable,” says Urban Ehret, stressing that SBB is clearly different from other companies in this respect.

The “pitfalls” and problems of this approach are obvious. Often units work with different plan numbers, which is “like playing ‘Telephone’ at a birthday party.”

“If you don’t have the same data base, you can’t coordinate or plan joint capacities reliably,” says Fabia Odermatt, Head of Controlling Service Center Passenger Finance. The many data transfers are error-prone. In addition, there are performance issues: When consolidation is pending, aggregation takes days.

SBB’s financial planning is the basis for public subsidies in regional transport. The federal government and the cantons want to understand the subsidy requirements based on the planning. An audit trail is mandatory as a compliance requirement – and Excel really doesn’t do that.

Customer benefits and solution

This is what the new planning platform should look like

This makes the criteria clear: The new planning solution should be audit-capable because the Federal Transport Ministry and the external and internal audits also demand transparent information. Above all, the planning should become more integrated, simpler, and more intuitive for planners. “Adaptive is also an important criterion for us – adaptability to new conditions,” emphasizes Urban Ehret. “We have always had organizational changes and re-statements. It is therefore important to be able to adapt the planning quickly and as independently as possible of the IT department.” Additional criteria are the networking of planning in real time and simulation capability. For example, if there are fewer people traveling because of the coronavirus, how and where can costs be reduced? Unforeseen events make it necessary to be able to simulate alternatives.

Featured image of the Success Story SBB: in the background you can see a train of the Swiss Federal Railways passing through the Swiss mountains, in the foreground three images consisting of diagrams, a passenger and the logo of the SBB | Success Story SBB: Business Planning with Anaplan
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Find out how Swiss Federal Railways, together with valantic and Anaplan, networks with Anaplan partial planning, reduces complexity, and is now able to simulate.

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Your Contact

Marc Philipp Managing Director, valantic Business Analytics Swiss

Marc Philipp

Managing Director
valantic Business Analytics Swiss