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How agile forecasting and planning is evolving the role of finance

Learn how Lowe’s Companies navigates market disruptions through agile forecasting and planning and the key actions others can use.

Better Finance Podcast host Myles Corson welcomes Ryan Grimsland, Senior Vice President Corporate Finance and Treasurer at Lowe’s Companies, and Loren Garruto, EY Partner and Global and Americas Corporate Finance Leader. Together, they discuss how finance can enable business to better manage unpredictable market behavior as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic. They take a closer look at the challenges caused by the pandemic and how becoming more agile in forecasting and planning can help the business prepare for future disruptions.

The unprecedented disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed how businesses think about and use financial planning and analysis (FP&A). The traditional key business drivers used to forecast needs and plan for both the short-and long-term suddenly took a back seat to new and unexpected consumer behaviors, changes in operating standards and supply chain volatility.

For Lowe’s Companies, this meant taking a different look at FP&A forecasting influenced by new and shifting factors as the pandemic unfolded. Their robust forecasting function enables their leadership team to make quick and informed decisions and maintain their priority focus on the health, safety and well-being of Lowe’s customers, associates and their families.

Finance organizations need to think differently around forecasting and its mobility to continue to enhance forward-looking insights and provide better decision-making for the entire organization when uncertainty arises again.

  • Companies with robust forecasting functions can quickly address critical stakeholder and board questions and test scenario outcomes when disruptions occur. At the other end of the spectrum, companies with forecasting programs “not fit for purpose” face making critical business decisions with incomplete or inaccurate data and predictions. 
  • Investments in technology to analyze vast amounts of data and talent with the knowledge to recognize new business drivers will improve the speed to insight the business needs to make informed decisions, and create a competitive advantage in the market.
  • Companies that memorialize lessons learned from the pandemic by developing playbooks for future crisis management will enable their management team to become more agile and react more quickly during times of uncertainty.


Season 3, Episode 9


35m 38s