Power Planner is a revolutionary software product that runs as a PlugIn for Microsoft Excel. Power Planner helps you with the process of planning and budgeting. It is cheap, quick and easy to learn, and it simply “just works” directly inside Excel.
Here is how it works (it really is quite remarkable):
You load up your historical data into Excel. You bring in the data at the level you want to use for your budget/plan. Typically this would be sales quantity, price and margin from last year by product, customer, region, month etc. It is very flexible and you just need to bring in what ever you need. You can also use it to do you HR forecasting for salaries, your COGs forecast, expense budgets etc.
Create a Pivot Table that rolls up the data by these dimensions so you can see the sub totals.
Then you create a “copy” of your historical data and give it a name, eg Budget Scenario 1
Now you have your starting position for the new budget, you can start changing the numbers in your Pivot Table – just type over the total that is there with the new value for the budget.
There are stacks of tools to help you do this, so you can:
Apply a fixed % change over one or more dimensions (eg increase all Products of Brand X by 2%).
Watch below as the brand subtotal for Cola is increased by 2% from (217,157 to 222,157) and then the values are automatically propagated to the children and rolled up to the total by Power Planner.
Now that you have done that, you can incrementally build on the changes. In the next example below, we swap the pivot table around and make changes to the pack sizes so we can reflect the trends happening in the market for next year’s budget. In the example below, we decrease 500ml can sales by 1% and increase 500ml bottle sales by 1%. These market changes are rolled down and up and then saved to the database.
Change an absolute value at any level and have that number roll up and down the hierarchy proportionally based on the existing data.
In the example below you can see how you can make a change in the sales target for a single customer reflecting the additional stores that the customer will open next year. Note how the absolute value increase is proportionally spread across the brands based on historical sales, and the total budget is increased.
Goal seek a value of one measure by automatically adjusting values of other selected dimensions. In the example below we use 2 pivot tables. There is a problem because we need to hit $10.5 m for profit but we are not quite there. So we decide to goal seek the target profit number but allocate the sales increase over 2 of the brands that we know can carry the extra load.
Once you have finished your budget, you can just copy the budget and use this as your forecast to track how you are progressing throughout the year.
Watch this short high quality video to see how easy it is to copy the current year sales and create several new budget scenarios for next year.
Other Key Features
Row Level Data Security – ensures that you can share your models with multiple users and still keep your data confidential when needed. Each person can only see the information they are accountable for.
Make Changes to your Database. You can quickly and easily add or delete products, customers, markets (anything actually) into your database reflecting changes that will happen during the coming year. Just phase the timing of the introduction based on your monthly calendar so that the changes are only reflected into the plan from the date they come into effect.
Commenting. Power Planner allows any Editor user to make a comment directly into a cell in a Pivot Table. The comment is saved in the database along with the name of the person that made the comment. When a new Pivot Table is created and that same Pivot Table cell is displayed, the comments are also displayed.