A recent blog post by Ira Apfel on SAP's Digitalist Magazine discusses how the role of Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) roles are headed toward Integrated Planning (also referred to as Integrated Financial Planning or Integrated Business Planning).
This is post two from Ashutosh Bansal, Founder and CEO of GitaCloud. In this post, he will review Integrated Business Planning and related Decision Analytics as a strategic response to managing complexity and delivering best-in-class business performance in the Pharmaceutical industry.
For most CEOs and executives, the massive investment they’ve made in technologies deployed to help them with complex operational and strategic decisions have been extremely frustrating. The adoption of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system was supposed to provide a single integrated view of your business to help drive decision-making across all functional areas.
In his article in the previous issue of Foresight, Dean Sorensen (2016) argued that while there is increasing complexity in business environments, there has not been enough focus on tying strategy to execution. I am in agreement with him: I think the biggest systems integration challenge facing CEOs is how to seamlessly tie strategic decision making to operational execution (Sales and Operations Planning).
While embedding financials is the bedrock for expanding the value from S&OP, adding robust what-if analysis capabilities can unleash its maximum potential, thus delivering true Integrated Business Planning.
What-if analyses allows users to evaluate alternative strategies, policies, and tactics to maximize their revenue, profit, and working capital performance while delivering on service level commitments and properly considering risk and supply chain constraints. Over the past year, we’ve discussed this topic with current and potential customers and partners. We’ve found companies tend to be fairly clear in articulating their business needs. Surprisingly though, S&OP managers have more difficulty articulating the technology capabilities required to deliver on the business need.
More than ever, supply chain functional or line of business teams have been frustrated by their increasing needs for broader and more-timely business intelligence (BI). The reasons are many and in increasing cases, very valid. But more than ever, teams should now be turning their attention towards leveraging processes and technology anchored in prescriptive analytics.