Forecasting at Atradius Group Finance: Optimizing Hyperion Planning
Atradius provides trade credit insurance, surety and collections services worldwide. Their credit insurance, bonding and collections products help protect companies from payment risks associated with selling products and services on trade credit. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Atradius has been supporting world trade for over 90 years, with a total income in excess of €1.9 billion. Atradius has 3,650 multinational staff and operates in over 50 countries.
Activity: Trade credit insurance
Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Total global revenue: € 1.9 billion (2020)
Employees: 3,650 worldwide
Implemented services: Optimization of Hyperion Planning
The finance team at Atradius uses Hyperion Planning (HPL) to support their budget & forecast cycle. With the next forecast cycle soon approaching, the team faced a blocking issue with their planning application. Since the go-live of the application three years ago, the performance of the system had been gradually declining, up to the point where updating the application with required master data changes were not possible at all. As this was blocking the upcoming forecast process, support was needed to get ready before the next forecast cycle begins.
Leila Nehme, system administrator at Group Finance Operations at Atradius, reached out to inlumi for consultancy support to resolve the issues in the planning application. The inlumi consulting practice suggested starting with an initial investigation by planning expert Martin Lundbye and then deciding on next steps, rather than opting for a full re-design of the application. This approach provided insight in the root cause of the performance issues – which then could be addressed in the most effective and efficient way possible. Typically, there are several possible reasons for a performance decrease, such as redundant data, design of dimensions, roll-up in dimensions, database settings, calculation logic and much more.
During the investigation phase, Leila and Martin worked closely together to identify potential root causes of the issues Atradius had been facing, both from a functional and technical point of view. One key point was to assess the solution itself – does it match the business requirements? In this case, there was no wish to change much of the business logic, so the focus was on the technical aspects. Specialists from Atradius IT were also involved, for instance to analyse the hardware.
Several improvements were identified related to database size, dimension structure and business rules optimizations. These would resolve the blocking issues and improve application performance. In order to test and run different optimization scenarios to find the best solution, inlumi Managed Services arranged access to a separate test environment. After presenting the recommended changes, the Atradius team was able to migrate and test the performance improvements to production themselves.
“We haven’t encountered any major or unsolvable issues since this project. Everything is running smoothly and better than expected, and ready to support the next forecast cycle. It has been really helpful and great working with inlumi.”
-Leila Nehme, system administrator at Group Finance Operations at Atradius
Together, inlumi and Atradius have optimised the application to perform fast and run smoothly, in time for the next forecast cycle. The database size has been reduced with over 60%, deployment time has been reduced from 12 hours to just one hour, and business rules performance is “super fast”. Overall, Leila is very satisfied with the results: “We haven’t encountered any major or unsolvable issues since this project. Everything is running smoothly and better than expected, and ready to support the next forecast cycle. It has been really helpful and great working with inlumi.”
For us at inlumi, this is a great example of true collaboration, working closely with our client’s team to address challenges together and share best practices. “Having a client with such great commitment and receiving fast and insightful responses makes it much easier to deliver a high quality service with mutual understanding of the issues – and solution – at hand,” says Martin.
We look forward to supporting Atradius in the future, leveraging inlumi’s cross-functional, cross-border expertise in EPM.
For more information about this case, please contact Sander van Yperen, practice lead for inlumi Consulting in The Netherlands, Martin Lundbye, planning expert and Consulting Director at inlumi Denmark, or Leila Nehme, system administrator at Atradius.