Well we could answer that title immediately in one word “Yes!” and end here but of course that doesn’t really get over the fact that whilst integrated planning is hugely desirable, it is rarely implemented for a couple of key reasons.
It is difficult, bloody difficult in fact. Let’s not beat about the bush here, an integrated solution means integration across two key axis, horizontally across the various lines of business such as finance and production and sales and…and.. on it goes. Secondly it needs to be integrated with the correct source of current and appropriate data and that means many connections into the various modules of ERP so we can proceed with our planning process without all the up-front discussions or even worse post planning discussions. “Have we got the latest sales figures for that product/customer?” “Are you sure that’s the latest headcount for that department?”
Of course the challenges of implementing an integrated planning solution have also meant a long protracted project which comes with inherent risks around loss of momentum, loss of sponsorship, other business issues arise and take priority.
These are typical of the challenges we have seen our customers face over the years and for a lot of clients these hurdles of effort, complexity and cost just raise the risk levels to a point where the project becomes nothing more than a talking point. But what is the upside to getting it right? As an example, over the time we have been working with clients discussing their desires for a solution, we have heard stories of huge potential ROIs, in one case an order of magnitude close to $60 Million, if a more integrated solution across their organisation could reduce days in inventory by just 1 day. Wow! This was a potentially staggering reward (for that client), but of course if the risk to a successful solution being implemented is too great then the wasted implementation dollars on a failed project with no reduction in inventory days then the projects fail to get off the ground.
Integrated Planning for Manufacturing
It is the size of the challenge and the deep experience of itelligence that has meant working tirelessly to find solutions to these challenges of delivering a truly integrated solution in a risk mitigated manner to ensure value is derived through all stages of the project. At this year’s itelligence UK annual conference we showcased an all-encompassing, SAP approved, rapid deployment solution around planning in the manufacturing sector.
Whilst aimed squarely at the manufacturing industries in this initial release there are lots of best practice lessons to be learnt that could be shared across other industries.
The solution delivers more value and less risk through:
- Preconfigured, modular software with leading practice budgeting, planning and consolidation processes as well as predefined links to ERP data tables
- Accelerated user uptake with the comprehensive guides and educational materials
- Deliver the project in record time and on budget with fixed scope and fixed price
- Deliver the project on budget with no surprises
- Retraction of plan data back to ERP
Planning Modules Include:
- Integrated production and sales planning
- Push or Pull Production Planning
- Workforce Planning
- Capital Planning
- Financial Planning
If you were unable to make the event feel free to contact me to arrange a personal meeting to discuss in more detail.