Transitioning to Integrated Business Planning

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By Timothy Welch MD Demand Solutions.

To drive change in the supply chain planning realm, it's best to know exactly what Integrated Business Planning (IBP) is and how it differs from Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP).

IBP can help your company maintain profitable growth, though it depends on your S&OP processes, what financial and human resources you have available and how you envisage your organisation using IBP. Transitioning to Integrated Business Planning will require bold, resolute leadership — especially if you work for a billion-dollar company that still runs on spreadsheets.

Stakeholders, who have developed, and carefully guarded their spreadsheets, may need more convincing but to move your company forward, this is the only way. Surround yourself with allies who have the patience and diplomacy to champion new ways of doing business and answer tough questions from sceptics along the way. You may find it helpful to focus on these four stages of IBP implementation as laid out by George Palmatier and Colleen Crum in an Oliver Wight whitepaper.

Improved communications

If you have information living in silos, "forecasts" being generated in spreadsheets and critical decisions being made over email, then job number one is to move these processes onto collaboration platforms that all stakeholders can easily use. Consider implementing social tools that allow your teams — inside and outside the organisation — to communicate in real time from any device.

Problem solving

Once stakeholders have access to the information needed, they can clearly identify the most urgent business challenges and address them faster than before.

Problem prevention

"The management team begins focusing further out in the planning horizon. Anticipated problems are identified; decisions are made to preclude the problems from occurring." Palmatier and Crum.

Strategic and tactical decision-making

Having addressed and prevented the company's short-term problems, now focus on reaching high-level objectives. This is where the entire supply chain begins to work together to take advantage of business opportunities that benefit the bottom line of all stakeholders.
We at Demand Solutions have helped many companies transition from siloed processes to collaboration — and even to IBP.

Read more about the journey to integrated business planning -

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