Integrated Business Planning or IBP is a cyclic planning process that focuses on collaboration of various departments within an organisation. Collaboration can be achieved easily with an online business management solution. The solution / software enables all stakeholders to send and receive the latest business data and share their insights.
Business Management becomes more complex as an organisation grows in terms of the number of employees, products / services offered, regional offices or subsidiaries. It’s not advisable for a growing organisation to manage their processes using only conventional tools like Excel, Access, Word and Powerpoint, etc. The biggest drawback of sharing data using these tools is that it causes a lot of confusion and valuable business data is scattered. Any business, whether small, growing or well established, should focus their efforts on recent developments and the way forward and less questioning the validity of the information.
An online business management solution that includes IBP / S&OP infrastructure helps a business efficiently manage What’s Changed, Demand, Supply, Reconciliation & Plan Approval and all related processes. It also has the following benefits that improve efficiency:
- Effective communication – All important updates and decisions are communicated formally and quickly.
- Cross-functional business planning – Such solutions enable organisations to achieve collaboration between various business functions and departments such as procurement, production, inventory, sales, finance, legal, etc.
- Real-time information sharing – Cross-functional planning and departmental alignment results in real-time information sharing, which helps in avoiding information silos.
- Security of business data – A secure online solution safely uploads business and financial data to a Master Data Repository (MDR) that’s accessible by user rights.
- Gatekeepers to ensure the validity of information – All IBP Coordinators can access the solution but not all the data; confidential information should not be shared with all users. IBP Process Owners act as gatekeepers to ensure the validity of data.
- Accessibility – Online solutions can be accessed from anywhere, anytime and with mobile devices like laptops, tablets and smartphones.
- Meetings, agendas and actions – Meeting minutes, agendas and decisions can be logged, recorded and shared.
- Managing Risks and Opportunities – Anyone can raise a risk or opportunity to attract attention of any potential losses or profitable opportunities, helping everyone to focus and respond to issues in a timely manner.
- Logs for all important activities – Logs are maintained for all updates regarding activities such as Meetings, Actions, Risks, Opportunities, Master Data, Variance Reasons, Locks of financial & brand data and User Management.
- Visibility of “The Plan” – IBP emphasises the creation of a single master plan that includes inputs from all departments and functions. An online solution enhances the visibility of plans and processes at all levels.
A secure online business management solution with IBP / S&OP infrastructure facilitates to reduce corridor conversations and eliminate inefficiencies. Such solutions increase transparency around decisions and processes, helping to identify gaps between the “Top-down business strategy” and the “Most likely bottom-up outcome”; enables collaborative organisational efforts to bridge the gap. The real benefit that such a solution offers is Efficiency, Cross-functional Business Planning and One Version of The Truth.