Improvement of cost planning through advanced analytics


– Context

  • A major aerostructure manufacturer was facing an ambitious financial improvement plan. Efficiency of its cost projections was a critical concern with high impact on target setting accuracy and company results.

– Key points of the approach

  • In 2 month, Step Consulting and its Partner D3S conducted the key investigations allowing to identify data quality issues and tasks automation opportunities

– Analysis of the bottom up forecast process (from job cards extraction to detailed labor and material breakdown combined with projects savings targets)

– Assessment of an Access database and several Excel files representing millions of lines and leading to heavy manual checks and high risks of errors

– Assessment of governance implicating controlling, program, manufacturing and procurement

  • The solution was developed in 3 months

– A model allowed to structure and bring insight in the full relevant data set

– Sequential tools were replaced by a unique software developed in Python (open source) and coupled with a power BI dashboard and a user interface

– Low value tasks were industrialized (e.g. raw data parsing, basic quality checks) and new added value activities were implemented thanks to functions enabling analysis at P/N level

  • Multidimensional filtering, cost breakdown and drill down capability on suspicious P/Ns
  • P/N cost evolution exploration (forecasts/actuals) ; trends recognition through several aircrafts
  • Reports showing progress and delays in financial improvement materialization


– An executable mock up was installed on 5 laptops, illustrating the recommendations for integration in companies’ digitalization roadmap

– Execution lead-time was reduced from ~3 weeks to a few hours ; job cards were adjusted by ~7% of costs per aircraft on the scope of the manufacturer