What is integrated business planning (and why do you need it)?
You may have heard about integrated business planning and the IBP software that can help your business and supply chain to move towards this next phase of digitisation. But what is it and why do you need it?
What is integrated business planning?
Largely driven by the digital revolution, integrated business planning is the creation of one holistic plan which connects all moving parts of your supply chain, optimising your business functions, delivering cost and resource efficiencies and ultimately meeting growth goals.
In other words, integrated business planning does two things:
1. It harmonises your strategic plans, operational plans, sales plans, manufacturing plans and much more to create just one, integrated business plan where all of these moving parts work seamlessly together
2. It automatically balances these variables against the practical constraints of your supply chain, such as funding, the availability of resources, raw materials and seasonal trends predictions
Why do you need it?
Like many digitised processes, the emphasis here is on efficiency and profitability. Integrated business planning is tried and tested and is cited as more a necessary evolution of the supply chain, rather than a fancy extra. Let’s outline a few key benefits:
• Accurate forecasting and complete visibility: Integrated business planning software enables you to analyse and apply data from many accurate sources to give complete visibility over things like supply chain projections, financial plans and overarching strategy. Knowledge is power in business and this level of forecasting and visibility facilitates accurate decision making.
• Accountability through a harmonised approach: With all stakeholders agreeing to a single plan, the focus is on achieving business goals as a whole unit, rather than taking a siloed approach and reducing overall effectiveness in exchange for team-specific wins. All teams understand their role in achieving the bigger picture and how their role affects others throughout the business and wider supply chain.
• The future of supply chain efficiency is integrated: Like many elements of digitisation for industry, the switch from standard to integrated business planning – and the subsequent use of IBP software – is a necessary evolution and those unwilling to embrace its many benefits risk losing out to more future-focussed competitors.
Undoubtedly, the next question to answer is ‘how do you succeed in implementing integrated business planning?’ Make no mistake, this is no overnight change and it requires buy-in from top to bottom. However, with such undeniable benefits for the taking, throughout the supply chain and for customers too, there really is no reason not to begin your evolution towards integrated business planning today.
For more advice on integrated business planning and information on cloud-based supply chain management and demand planning software from Demand Solutions Europe, click here. Or why not connect with our sales and marketing director, Alex Young on LinkedIn?