Jeremy FinnBudget Manager
Jeremy, a budget manager in the commercial property and casualty insurance industry, is responsible for managing corporate expenses as well as revenue forecasting, reporting and analysis for a leading insurance company. With more than 70 people involved in the planning process, using Excel budget templates to collect and consolidate budgeting data became unwieldy. The proliferation of spreadsheets created the potential for having more than one version of the same data—a serious integrity risk. The overall planning and reporting process was time-consuming, error-prone and difficult to manage, often requiring help from the IT group. The end result of all of this was that Jeremy’s team spent much more time gathering data, number crunching and verifying information, rather than performing more value added tasks like planning, analyzing and helping to truly manage the performance of their business. While these deficiencies impacted the overall planning process, the most important and complicated component, premium planning, was hampered the most.
Jeremy was part of a team that championed a project to find a solution that would dramatically increase the accuracy and efficacy of their overall planning and reporting system and for premium planning in particular. After reviewing several solutions, Jeremy was instrumental in selecting IBM Cognos TM1, a multi-dimensional OLAP database and instantly recognized the value such a system would have on his entire organization. While Jeremy’s efforts impacted all facets of the project, his dedication regarding the premium planning model went above and beyond the call of duty. The byproduct of many long days and, occasionally, long nights, was a large, sophisticated premium planning model that collects data at a high level, uses complex allocation algorithms to produce detail level output, performs rapid ad hoc analysis and generates an entirely rule-based P&L statement. It’s an extremely complicated solution that integrates everything Jeremy’s company needed to produce the most comprehensive premium plan imaginable and it does so in less than half the time the legacy system required. There is no question regarding the integrity of data and there is an ability to trace results back to individual insurance policies—which requires having a policy code dimension with over 1,000,000 elements! This insurance policy detail eventually gets summarized and fed into the core financial model and Jeremy also uses this policy level information to manage the portfolio of each sales person. Jeremy’s indispensable contribution not only led to a successful outcome but also earned him recognition as the in-house “TM1 Guru”—not to mention a well-deserved promotion!
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