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John O'Rourke | Apr 02, 2020

Gaining Agility in Planning & Forecasting at CHG Healthcare with OneStream

Surviving and thriving in today’s volatile business environment requires agile planning and reporting processes, with near real-time insight into business performance. Is your organization being held back due to reliance on static budgets, Excel spreadsheets or legacy applications for planning, budgeting and forecasting? If so, you are not alone.

Attendees at a recent OneStream customer success webinar learned how CHG Healthcare replaced their Excel-based budgeting process with OneStream’s unified platform for planning, financial close and reporting.  Read on to learn how CHG Healthcare implemented a complex budgeting and forecasting process with OneStream in a short timeframe, and the benefits they achieved.

Hitting the Wall with Excel

The webinar was hosted by OneStream Software President, Craig Colby, and the featured speakers included Steve Schultz – Senior Director of FP&A, at CHG Healthcare Services and Michael Gialanella – Principal Architect, Holland Parker Consulting.

CHG Healthcare

Following a brief introduction to OneStream by Mr. Colby, CHG Healthcare’s Steve Schultz highlighted the challenges the company faced with their prior budgeting and planning process.  With over $1.5 billion in revenue and 3,000 employees, CHG Healthcare is the nation’s largest physician staffing company—and one of FORTUNE magazine’s Best Companies to Work For.

As a rapidly growing organization, CHG had outgrown their Excel and email-based budgeting process.  Creating budgeting templates in Excel, emailing them to managers, then collecting and consolidating them over multiple iterations was very manual, error-prone and time-intensive.  With the need to support detailed budgeting of salaries and compensation down to the person level, their master OPEX budgeting template became onerous, and the FP&A team found themselves managing 90+ separate versions for each budget owner.  It was time for a change.

No More Excel Files Required with OneStream

After receiving RFP responses from 10 vendors, CHG Healthcare narrowed their selection process to 5 vendors for in-house demonstrations, then down to 3 finalists.  In the end, OneStream was selected because of our unified platform, focus on 100% customer success, and high-quality customer references.

people planning-1

OneStream was implemented for operating expense budgeting and rolling forecasting, including use of the People Planning solution from the OneStream XF MarketPlace, with a direct connection to the firm’s JD Edwards HR system.  This direct integration enabled the FP&A team to load data about their existing staff directly into OneStream, eliminating manual copying or rekeying of data.  CHG was then able to eliminate Excel files and email by providing managers direct access to Distinct People Planning Workflow Profiles to manage the confidential salary and payroll data.  In the secure OneStream platform, managers are able to directly perform planning for their staff and all operating expenses, including travel, training, rent, utilities, advertising, and administrative expenses.

OneStream’s Guided Workflows walk users sequentially through their planning tasks, while budgeting process dashboards provide administrators complete visibility into the status of the budgeting process.  Using the People Planning solution, managers perform salary and compensation planning for over 3,200 employees, utilizing a 12-period budget and a 16-period rolling forecast.  This pre-built solution supports a repeatable and proven process with precise and accurate people calculations, no more estimating.

Leveraging the flexibility and power of OneStream, CHG Healthcare is able to support a variety of budgeting approaches across the organization.  For instance, for back office functions 30% of the budget is seeded from People Planning, 20% is driver-based and 50% is driven via a zero-based budgeting approach for operating expenses.  For the Sales team, 25% is seeded, 30% is entered directly and 45% is driver-based. The rolling forecast process for business partners is 80% seeded, 10% direct entry and 10% driver based.

Less Manual Work, Improved Visibility and Accuracy

The benefits of moving from an Excel-based approach to OneStream have accrued quickly for CHG Healthcare.  The FP&A team has simplified the process of monthly projections into a repeatable process, that relies on less manual work and provides more time for value-added analysis.  Workflow Status Dashboards provide a unified view into all workflow tasks as all solutions for people planning, the budget and rolling forecast all naturally live and work together in a single platform.

The team has also gained:

  • The Ability to Forecast at the Same Level of Detail as the BudgetCHG pool table
  • Significant Reduction of Administrative Tasks
  • Improved Visibility into the Budgeting Process
  • Increased Accuracy & Confidence in Numbers
  • More Precise Calculations, Less Estimating

Learn More

While CHG Healthcare has accomplished a lot, there’s more opportunity for improvement ahead.  The next steps in the OneStream journey include moving their Gross Profit per Day Model into OneStream, elimination of additional Excel tasks through OneStream dashboards and forms and migrating their legacy financial consolidation and reporting application to OneStream.  To learn more, watch the replay of the webinar and contact OneStream if you are ready to make the leap from Excel to OneStream for budgeting, planning, forecasting and other key finance processes.

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