Integrated business planning could be essential to streamline your business operations


As customer expectations evolve beyond the Covid-19 pandemic, it has become evident that most businesses need to re-evaluate how they plan and manage their operations.

However, according to a recent report from IDC – Why Integrated Business Planning is the Linchpin – the majority (63%) of retailers do not see innovation as a priority. Another 27% are digitally determined and focus on innovation, while the remaining 10% are already digitally mature and reaping the rewards.

Maintaining outdated legacy systems and disparate processes can no longer be considered ‘good enough’ by business leaders who were already struggling before the pandemic struck. With an even more competitive environment looming in 2021, now is the time to better integrate operations into a smoother and more visible model.

The key to this is known as integrated business planning (IBP), according to Fabio Lovesio, industrial solutions manager at Board International, a decision-making platform provider.

“IBP is not a simple change in technology, but a paradigm shift,” Lovesio said.

“A company’s culture must change as more reliable data will be available for analysis and action. More people can be involved in decision making through effective workflow-based interactions, with exploration of alternative plans becoming the norm. “

This “ideal state,” as Lovesio calls it, doesn’t come easily – it requires discipline and a perception of the business as a whole, rather than as a bunch of disjointed departments with a few dotted lines connecting their actions.

However, this method of business planning can offer two key benefits: ending data silos and increasing the speed of prototyping and exploring new ideas with the ability to simulate all relevant data at once.

“Typically, information that would prove to be very useful in decision-making remains locked into multiple spreadsheets and stand-alone planning and analysis solutions that cannot communicate effectively,” Lovesio said.

“As a result, leaders have limited visibility into critical performance data and the relationship between it, making it difficult to identify trends or quickly and accurately simulate the broader impact of their plans – which leads to rely on “intuition” and historical experience when making decisions. “

Two industries that would benefit greatly are fashion retail and manufacturing. Multichannel fashion retailers need to be able to react quickly to trends and external changes – any indecision can lead to loss of market share.

For example, sportswear brand Puma used Board’s decision-making platform to better understand its supply chain and respond better to seasonal trends, after its executives noticed that it was struggling to forecast. accurately and did not have real-time data.

“For us, this difficult trip was not a simple project. Rather, it was a program, a new path to an end-to-end budgeting, planning and forecasting process, ”said Puma’s head of program portfolio management and business processes.

“With Board, we have dramatically increased the accuracy and speed of our forecasts, and are now able to constantly balance supply and demand… [It’s given] us a clear competitive advantage.

Manufacturers, on the other hand, can benefit from a more unique view of their often complex supply chain. Being able to see what a delay means for the entire network is essential for diagnosing the extent of the problem and mitigating its effects.

But, as retail moves towards an omnichannel model and customers increasingly want online and physical operations to be more integrated, being able to track inventory levels on a retailer’s network. , as well as anticipating upcoming shipments and deliveries, can be incredibly helpful across the industry.

Download the “IDC Retail Digital Transformation – Why Integrated Business Planning is the linchpin” white paper from the Board International website to learn more about the benefits of integrated business planning and analytics in retail.

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