So far, organizations have been successful with a static, segmented approach to planning. Departments would transmit predetermined templates to finance every month or quarter to be consolidated into a corporate plan, and then focus on running individual roadmaps.
But today's enterprises are facing great turmoil, and that accelerates the pace of decision-making. To keep up, the finance team collects and analyzes financial and operational data from different departments. This quicker rate of change served as a wake-up call for companies that did not have a planning strategy that permitted flexible and ongoing cooperation.
Financial firms must review all internal financial and operational data as well as gain information from other sources, such as customer views, economic situations, and customer preferences, in order to be successful. Incorporating multiple data sources enables more accurate planning and forecasting, ultimately helping organizations make better decisions.
Important processes for data-driven, company-wide planning:
1. Strategic Planning:
Before the finance department or other departments can effectively plan, leaders need to understand where the company's journey is heading. Strategic planning should set goals for the next two to five years, and all plans for the entire organization should be built on those.
Goals have to consist of motion plans that deliver the company in a manner to develop and realize what fulfillment seems like. The strategic plan aims to include milestones to assist in setting a path and outlining fulfillment and consists of applicable KPIs to evaluate performance — a demand for data-pushed planning.
2. Scenario Planning:
Scenario planning exercises combine predictions, costs, and estimates to give a picture of important business drivers and the expected good and bad effects of things that might happen in the future.
Finance teams can use scenario planning to explore the real and possible outcomes of different economies or investments and use this information to inform decisions that affect all areas of the business. To be successful here, the finance and operations teams need to work together to build the model.
3. Use of external data sources:
Both scenarios and strategic planning require informed, future-proof insights. Many uncontrollable factors affect your business, including seasonality, weather, local unemployment, web analytics, consumer or producer prices, and deadlines. The data will help you understand how.
4. Consistent client feedback:
customer feedback needs to play an important role not only in communicating sales and marketing efforts but also in the planning of the entire enterprise. Knowing what is happening with your largest or most profitable account will constantly improve your financial and operational models.
Financial leaders should work with their customer response teams to hold regular customer meetings. The purpose of these discussions can help customers see what opportunities and challenges they see in their business, how they affect their business, and how they streamline their efforts. By regularly including customer feedback in your planning process, you can avoid many unpleasant surprises and consider them to contribute to your success.
5. Technology for integrated planning:
The most successful businesses in enterprise-wide planning use technology to disassemble silos. Well-integrated planning software drives accurate and connected planning across the enterprise, identifies patterns in financial and operational data to predict the most likely outcomes, and provides powerful dashboards and forecasting capabilities. This improves business visibility and insight.
How Can NetSuite Assist You in Creating Company-Wide Plans?
Although enterprise-wide planning does not happen overnight, firms may take real steps toward achieving their strategic goals by investing in these five critical processes. It will be difficult, but the result will be a big competitive advantage. The visibility gained helps organizations identify and mitigate risks and respond to changing market conditions and customer demands.
Many companies extend NetSuite’s planning and budgeting solutions beyond the treasury department, working towards goals that complement financial planning, such as planning personnel and requirements. NetSuite Planning and Budgeting allows you to quickly build long-term predictive models with built-in scenario planning capabilities and the collaboration and control needed to better manage the entire planning process with a single end-to-end solution and provides visibility.
To learn more about NetSuite, connect with Jobin and Jismi.