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Should you wish to move to Integrated Business Planning, here is where to start…

Looking back at the last few years and the surprises bestowed upon us, such as the Suez Canal Crisis, Covid-19, Russian/Ukraine War, the focus has moved towards Integrated Business Planning (IBP) or stated alternatively, planning better to be able to mitigate the unforeseen.

Often companies decide they want to move towards (IBP), and their starting point is to get the best tool in the market.

In short, the answer is No…

For a successful implementation of IBP, you will need to get your house in order as a critical starting point. By throwing another tool at employees, without empowering them, as well as their management, you will most certainly fail in this area. Here is how you should tackle the process:

  1. Perform a detailed, internal analysis at management level to ascertain what you want to achieve and why. Do this at an executive level. Bring in external companies who can realistically analyse what your existing status is.
  2. Educate management teams globally, on what the theory consists of, where the values come from, why you require the reporting and how to interpret the results.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime

- Lao Tzu- Chinese philosopher & founder of Taoism
  1. By laying the foundation, teams have a better understanding of what is required from a tool, which business want implemented, what homework is required (i.e., implementing proper data governance policies, data cleansing, and detailed requirements analysis), and how complex or light they want their implementation to be.
  2. Involve your teams at all levels, in the process, from theoretical training to requirements gathering and tool selection. Do not disregard the workarounds people have already implemented, rather utilise these and enhance them. In this way you overcome the big change management hurdle, much faster.
  3. Continue to monitor your progress. Do not follow the above steps and think life will be good, rather continuously monitor and track your improvement in planning, stock loss reduction and reporting.
  4. Link results to personal and divisional KPI’s, thereby ensuring future buy-in and a vested interest in making your implementation a success.

I trust you found the above pointers useful in your journey to implement a proper IBP process and tool within your organisation.