Marcel Gnoth recommends thinking in scenarios

43rd Controller Congress, April 23, 2018

Financial management at AIDA Cruises

  • From strategy to plan - thinking in scenarios
  • Commercial analytics in practice
  • The financial function in transition

Marcel Gnoth
Senior Manager Financial Planning & Analysis
AIDA Cruises

3 questions to Marcel Gnoth

1. Holidays with AIDA Cruises - this is a very analogue offer. To what extent and why does digitalization affect you, also in controlling?

AIDA Cruises moves with a complex business model in a very dynamic environment.

In the hotel and marine business of a cruise ship, a large amount of data is generated daily, from which we want to extract in controlling the management-relevant information with a high quality.

At the same time, however, the demands of our guests on the services change before, during and after the journey. Thus, e.g. many services that we offer on board are booked by our guests in advance via "MyAIDA". Here we need to be able to evaluate this information in the short term to properly manage our capacity on board.

2. Among other things, you show how thinking in scenarios works. Why is that important?

In the tourism sector, the framework conditions can change very quickly. Here we have to be very flexible in order to be able to quickly evaluate information that has been generated in the short term. Overly rigid, detailed planning in long cycles is then counterproductive. Rather, we must show our management and the departments short-term bandwidths on the basis of which action alternatives can be developed.

3. Are your experiences in the changing financial field, which you also report, transferable to other industries or are you specifically targeting AIDA Cruises?

In my opinion, these experiences are in principle also relevant for other companies, because changing general conditions affect everyone, whether they are corporations or family businesses. The financial sector as a whole must be able to adapt to digital business models and understand the macroeconomic context of these changes. At the same time, the financial sector itself is called upon to exploit the possibilities of digitalization (for example through automation) in order to better support the business processes in the company.