How One Healthcare Marketer Created a More Functional Budgeting & Planning Process For Her 19-member Team with Allocadia
“A process that used to take me five days each month now takes me three or four hours.” –
– Amanda Lomas, Director of Marketing Analytics, Change Healthcare
When Amanda Lomas took on a new position as Director of Marketing Analytics at Change Healthcare, she found a marketing team that was frustrated with its budgeting process.
Nineteen marketers spread across five locations needed to build budgets, forecast their results and track what they spent. The team didn’t have consistent processes or naming conventions, which made reporting incomplete and very manual.
The budgeting process was cumbersome, with several manual steps each month to re-forecast and true up expenses. One employee worked full-time to reconcile and combine all the different marketing budgets, and another spent time working with finance.
On top of that, when finance needed a specific number, they couldn’t find it easily. Every time the finance team requested an answer, the budget teams had to scramble to find it, causing delays and friction. Often times, marketers had to keep spreadsheets in addition to respond to ad-hoc reporting requests.
Amanda recognized that it wasn’t enough to find new technology; this less-than-optimal business process needed a complete overhaul. She chose Allocadia as a catalyst to create a sweeping process change inside Change Healthcare’s marketing organization. The goal: to completely rethink budgeting, planning and forecasting.
Amanda worked with Allocadia to create a new process that eliminated as much manual input as possible. Instead of requiring marketers to manually enter investment data, those numbers now flow directly from Change Healthcare’s financial systems in an automated way.
“One example is the way we now have our actual investment data flowing into Allocadia and mapping to individual line items,” Amanda recalls. “A process that used to take me 5 days each month now takes 3 to 4 hours.”
She also used Allocadia to create a standard process and language for everyone on the marketing team. First, everyone creates their budgets and forecasts in Allocadia. Then, every spend goes into Allocadia, tagged according to functional activity: corporate marketing and brand; advertising and PR; trade shows and sponsorships; content creation and campaigns.
A Faster, Simpler Budgeting Process
Now, the company’s leadership and finance groups can see all the data for themselves. Because Amanda created a completely transparent system using Allocadia, finance has monthly reports generated automatically for all the budgets they are interested in. And no one has to spend days aggregating everyone’s separate budgets, since they’re all in one place.
Change Healthcare’s marketers, finance team and leaders are much happier with their new budgeting process. The marketing team loves that Allocadia is an easy tool to use, since it works much like the spreadsheets they’re used to. Finance and leadership like that they can quickly view big-picture budgets and forecasts to answer business questions quickly.
Amanda masterfully used Allocadia as the catalyst for department-wide change management. She sums up the experience: “I knew the changes had been a success when I started getting emails from people who had never used Allocadia before, saying, ‘Wow, you’ve made this process so easy!’”