Part 1 – An Introduction to 4Cast
Quick Links to Topics:
What is 4Cast?
4Cast is a planning and budgeting solution built specifically for VA Medical Centers.
It is designed to support annual Budget Calls, Business Planning, Operational Planning, and Resource Tracking.
How do VAMCs get access to 4Cast?
4Cast is offered as a “Software as a Service” or “SaaS” platform.
In other words, 4Cast resides in the Federal cloud and is accessible to Medical Centers via the web.
VAMCs who want to use 4Cast do so via an annual software license.
Why should VAMC Directors, Associate Directors, and/or CFOs care about 4Cast?
4Cast can make a major operational and financial impact for VA Medical Centers (click to read more).
-> Minimally, 4Cast is a modern tool that can replace many of your Station’s manual planning and budget tracking activities, saving time and money.
-> Maximally, 4Cast can help transform your Station’s overall approach toward planning and budgeting, resulting in better financial balance.
It will drive efficiencies, improve decision making, increase business acumen, engage Service Chiefs, and achieve broader goals of modernization, accountability, and transparency.
Here are a few recent quotes about 4Cast from VAMC Directors, Associate Directors, and CFOs:
- “4Cast tools for budget development & execution are better than anything we have had.”
- “As the CFO of a large facility it was difficult to allocate and control FTEE prior to implementing 4Cast.”
- “4Cast gives us the ability to easily develop a consolidated financial plan that transfers budget ownership to the Service Level and increases the Business Acumen of all Leaders in the organization.”
- “With the emergence of the Mission Act, the Make-Buy analysis tools (in 4Cast) will be key in future strategic decisions.”
- “The 4Cast solution has allowed us to map our resources against our strategic plan and utilize the budget process to prioritize our spending.”
- “I find the solution valuable not only for decision support, but to communicate to staff and our stakeholders transparently on how we spend taxpayer money.”
- “This tool (4Cast) is what is needed to determine where we are ineffective and to manage to a plan – VA has no comparison to offer close to this solution!”
- “VA doesn’t have anything similar in its software portfolio and this is a key missing ingredient.”
Which Stations are already using 4Cast?
Since 2016, 25 Stations from across 5 VISNs have licensed 4Cast with thousands of VA employees working within the system.
For a specific list of references and current VA customers, please contact us.
What types of planning does 4Cast support?
We most commonly describe 4Cast as a Business Planning tool.
Business Planning is an integrated planning approach. It utilizes top-down and bottom-up methods to help VAMCs link aspects of strategy, operations, and budget each year. Business Planning:
- Builds on strategic planning
- Defines operational tactics
- Ties in budgeting
- Connects all three together in a meaningful way
Think of it this way:
- Your Station’s Strategic Goals are loaded into 4Cast.
- Your Service Chiefs use 4Cast to build annual plans and budget requests that align back to the Strategic Goals.
- 4Cast allows you to review all plans and requests together.
- You can compare requests with what is projected as affordable and establish Service-level budget targets.
- From there 4Cast helps you and Service Chiefs track execution throughout each Fiscal Year.
If your Station prefers a more simple “Budget Call” approach to annual planning and budgeting, 4Cast can be configured to meet your needs.
Take a few moments to compare Budget Calls to Business Planning and consider which is best for your Medical Center (click to read more).
Now that you’ve got the basics of 4Cast covered, you’re ready to check out 4Cast’s key planning features and capabilities.