Keeping vulnerable people safe

Never forgetting why you are there

Forecasts can keep you one step ahead, and they can be crucial evidence for Stakeholders such as lenders that you really know your business. But when your services involve supporting vulnerable people who depend upon you for their health and well-being, good forecasting can become a lifesaver.

Fulfilling your purpose

Forecasts are overwhelmingly financial in nature, designed to produce an objective and evidence based projection for income, costs and cash.

They rarely however include any insight such as the drivers and underpinning assumptions that the projected numbers depend upon.  Nor do they indicate the range of numbers within which the projected numbers are likely to fall. 

Key Stakeholders such as lenders and investors may therefore be unable to judge whether your organisation has the information it needs to navigate towards achieving those predictions.

This includes sight of opportunities and risks far enough ahead to be able to respond in time.  Also, insight about the business itself to know whether operations going forward are going to create the income upon which the forecast depends.

The challenge provided strategic planning and forecasting services to a Housing Trust delivering services to retired residents with limited means.  Many were very elderly and in receipt of professional care.

Expansion of services required loans for the creation of additional accommodation and a specialist care unit.  Without that expansion, there would be a significant risk that residents would know longer be safe should they become too old and infirm and would have to move elsewhere.

The covenants stipulated by the lenders depended upon their confidence in the Trust.  And that depended upon the quality of financial forecasts and of the forecasting process itself. 

For example, a forecast that is capable of explaining ‘why’ and of showing you ‘what if ..’ can provide Stakeholders with the confidence needed to enter into a 20 year contract.  But that’s only possible if there is a foundation of data that reflects the business operation and can demonstrate the influence exercised by each of the assumptions upon which it is built.  It must also be connected into a system that watches constantly for any signs that assumptions need to change such as risk to the demand for services, adverse movements in costs, new opportunities to be grasped.

Organisations that know how to use data in this way, and that are equipped to spot the right signals, will not only have a better forecast, but evidence to show that they know what they are doing and can be trusted to do the right thing.

The Figuringoutdata solution can develop a forecasting process that gives Stakeholders the confidence they need.

Monitor top level financial metrics

What to expect within each of the key financial metrics plus the headroom available given any covenants set.

Assess sensitivity to each assumption

The range of possible outcomes as assumptions are flexed through all of their potential values.

Drill down to see where value is created and lost

The contribution needed from each product, service, asset and account.  The value lost if customers depart or new customers are not converted. 

Lift gaze to see what lies ahead

The possible events that lie ahead, the chance of them happening, the impact felt within revenue and costs, and the cost of the action to take advantage or steer out of the way.

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