Integrated business planning for CFOs: where do you begin?

Dec 11, 2018
  • finance
  • operations
  • automotive
  • SAP

As a CFO, you are more in the spotlight than ever. Besides getting the books right and running a sound finance operation, you are expected to help develop corporate strategy and ensure that the business performs to the max. Integrated business planning (IBP) can help. By providing you with a holistic view of planning, IBP helps CFOs drive value for the business. But where do you begin?

One specific question

IBP is not a big-bang project. It’s easy to start small and gradually evolve towards fully-fledged IBP. “Companies often come to us with a very concrete question or demand,” explains Evelien Vanhooren. “Their finance or S&OP teams have specific challenges, like difficulties balancing capacity, for example. Sometimes they are looking for a particular type of report or want to better understand the why behind certain results. That’s when they realize they need a more end-to-end view of the business to find answers.”

Three-wave transformation

“We start every project by assessing the maturity of the customer’s existing planning process as well as their planning needs,” Evelien continues. “Based on that assessment, we then help them define a roadmap towards integrated business planning. The three-wave transformation model that we have designed to help companies move towards value-added finance serves as a guideline in that exercise:

  • In wave 1, which focuses on efficiency, we help CFOs understand how they can optimize operational aspects of the process, like budgeting and cost center planning. Here, finance and S&OP still work as two completely separate entities. Finance, however, is in the driver’s seat: the finance team identifies the data they need from each department and determines how to integrate it to optimize budgeting and planning.
  • Wave 2 takes finance one step further, exploring ways to increase the effectiveness of the planning process. This step implies introducing rolling forecasts and benchmarking to make sure the plan and budget remain relevant and up to date to meet rapidly changing demand in today’s volatile markets. In this wave, stakeholders escape their siloes; finance and the business increasingly team up.
  • Wave 3 focuses on creating true value for the business during the planning process. In this wave, we harness technology like SAP Integrated Business Planning or SAP Analytics Cloud to enable the real-time reporting of strategic, financial and S&OP planning. Here, all divisions and stakeholders work closely together.

Customers can choose how they want delaware to support them on their journeys to fully-fledged IBP. By combining our knowledge of IT with a deep understanding of finance, we can always deliver the expertise they need – whether that is to optimize operational processes or to implement SAP-integrated business planning. “More than that, we can call in the help of colleagues who are experts in supply chain or HR processes. Their input is also very valuable in streamlining and optimizing planning and budgeting processes, as these touch every aspect of the business,” Evelien concludes.

Want us to help you build a business case for IBP? Curious how IBP can deliver results in your organization? Contact one of our experts today.