EPM Cloud Planning Essentials: Valid Intersections
As clients are adopting EPM Cloud Planning for their Enterprise planning needs, we are beginning to see patterns on how and what features are valued and utilized as business critical in these implementations. One such tool in the kit is Valid Intersections. When businesses and implementation partners conceive design for a planning application, one of the foundational pillars is the business dimensions in the application. The dimensions allow the development of forecasting models, what-if scenario modeling, and currency conversions while facilitating management reporting needs of the organization.
As an example, for a manufacturing client, the business dimensions will be the products and its business units or cost centers manufacturing these products. In the financial services industry, the typical business dimensions are business units, channels, products or services, etc. Valid Intersections will ensure that certain business units will only get to plan certain cost centers and products. This is true of an EPM Cloud Planning, at a manufacturing client, that Alithya implemented.
Figure 1 - Data form layout with Valid Intersections
The client is a leading recycler of metals and electronics in the world. The client required that certain products be recycled at certain locations, and by extension, at certain entities/ cost centers. For example, if a cost center opens an inventory data form, they should only see the products that the cost center recycles and puts through the production cycle. See Figure 1 above.
Figure 2 - Valid Intersection Definition between Yard and Product
Valid Intersection rules prevent planners or area managers from planning for a product that is not part of their Yard processing. The rules are defined in Valid Intersections by defining constrained assignments between the Yard and Product dimension. See Figure 2 above.
Other business use cases of Valid Intersection seen by Alithya in the field are –
- Assignment of underlying currency(s) to a business unit or entity
- Assignment of cost center(s) to business unit for planning
- Assignment of labor job codes to a department
Valid Intersections are powerful but also need maintenance as business needs change. Below are two main considerations while designing Valid Intersections in EPM Cloud Planning –
- Design consideration for evaluation order of Valid Intersections. E.g. The form should first resolve for underlying currency before resolving for valid intersection between Entity and Yard and, then valid intersection between Yard and Product. To handle this at our client, we need to have the Valid intersections line up as follows – first will be the Entity and Currency Valid Intersection definition, followed by Entity and Yard Valid Intersection definition, and finally the Yard and Product Valid Intersection definition.
- Design consideration for being able to switch between members in a form for Valid Intersections. E.g. As illustrated in Figure 3, Connecticut and Rhode Island are only valid for E_885. Conversely, if I pick one of Connecticut, Rhode Island, or No Yard, I will only see E_885 or Total Entity.
Figure 3 - Entity and Yard look in data form
For planner to toggle to other entities, it is important to make sure both Total Entity and Total Yard have valid intersection against each other. Otherwise, the form will not let you pick another Entity based on the Valid Intersection rule. This is an essential rule for Valid Intersections defined on page dimension members in data forms. Below is an example of how Valid Intersection rules have been defined to include Parent members of each dimension between Entity and Yard.
Figure 4 - Entity and Yard Valid Intersection
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