Presented by Planful

If there have been any remaining doubts that fashionable companies must have agility of their DNA, the economic fallout from the COVID-19 disaster ought to erase them. For some companies, the virus and ensuing lockdown orders aimed toward containing the unfold diminished demand nearly in a single day. For others, demand elevated, however damaged provide chains made fulfilling orders troublesome. In all instances, consequential enterprise choices needed to be made — and shortly.

Even as some elements of the enterprise world attempt to return to a semblance of pre-pandemic normalcy, change can occur shortly, and the flexibility to evaluate a spread of potential eventualities shortly to take care of enterprise continuity or aggressive benefit is important.

In each case, an agile response to evolving situations requires companies to ditch legacy instruments like spreadsheets and modernize the again workplace with smarter planning options. Business leaders want FP&A professionals to function cross-functional, strategic leaders to all the group, fostering and enabling the business-wide collaboration that empowers agile and impactful decision-making, and FP&A groups require an built-in, collaborative planning course of — throughout the enterprise — to ship.

Moving from static to steady planning

As the pandemic disrupted provide chains, upended projections, and made sound, speedy decision-making much more pressing, FP&A groups raced to replace knowledge, put collectively what-if evaluation and current numerous eventualities to the C-suite and the board. But many discovered that work was hampered by static planning strategies, with knowledge residing in siloed spreadsheets and plans disconnected throughout the group. Static planning means essential knowledge doesn’t get factored into choices. In a world the place the cadence of enterprise has accelerated to the purpose the place quarters really feel like months, months really feel like weeks, and weeks really feel like days — that’s a giant downside.

Every enterprise unit creates plans and executes choices based mostly on monetary knowledge, so all plans are related to FP&A groups. Sales creates quotas, forecasts, and compensation plans. Marketing plans their campaigns and promotional spend and screens outcomes towards these plans. Operations develops provide chain and demand success plans. The management group directs useful resource distribution and screens efficiency. All of those actions are interdependent, and with finance main the cost and guaranteeing the info is correct, clever, and user-friendly, companies are capable of seize siloed, institutional planning processes and supply the group with the data wanted to succeed in a long-term FP&A imaginative and prescient.

Continuous Planning is the important thing — it permits corporations to give attention to compressing cycle instances and facilitating quicker collaboration with elevated course of and knowledge connectivity, all through each nook of the group. For instance, Planful buyer Planar Systems, a multinational digital show producer, is ready to create advert hoc studies on demand, in addition to revenue and loss statements, steadiness sheets, KPI summaries, spending summaries, and an entire forecast vs. actuals on a weekly and month-to-month foundation. With Planful’s steady planning capabilities, Planar is ready to make assured, data-driven choices extra often, which improves enterprise agility. Faster, smarter, and higher-frequency decision-making supplies high-impact worth to their enterprise.

FP&A groups perceive these stakes and are on the lookout for methods to enhance velocity and collaboration, for their very own division and for enterprise models throughout the group. But the method of implementing a know-how framework that makes all of it doable was once measured in months, and generally years. What if there was a technique to take the friction out of the planning answer implementation course of, so corporations may rise up to hurry shortly and begin seeing a return on funding in only a matter of weeks?

Planful buyer SmartyPants, a fast-growing vitamin firm, was up and operating in round 20 days. With quick time to worth, SmartyPants’ FP&A group was capable of instantly shut their quarter finish, effectively put together for an upcoming board assembly, and create new forecasts for gross sales, promoting, and different areas of the enterprise with full enterprise continuity.

How steady planning permits organizational agility

Business by no means stops — not even throughout a chronic pause within the economic system for public well being causes. That means planning ought to be steady too. Continuous Planning permits organizational agility, placing FP&A groups within the driver’s seat and bringing extra folks from throughout the group into the planning course of to raise the group’s monetary IQ extra broadly. To convey each enterprise unit into the Continuous Planning course of, corporations want a platform that gives tailor-made fashions for a variety of planning use instances — one that may be personalized throughout features, processes, and roles. The reality is that the majority corporations are already conducting Continuous Planning in some capability, however they aren’t doing it effectively and subsequently are usually not reaping the advantages.

Nature’s Sunshine has been utilizing Planful to run tons of of eventualities to shortly consider and perceive their choices to uncover insights that can assist information their decision-making shifting ahead. They have the flexibility to anticipate and reply effectively to the endless calls for of enterprise, which is changing into exceedingly essential in unsure instances.

Continuous Planning will be the cornerstone of a brand new, fashionable strategy to planning and decision-making, enabling finance groups to create capability in the best areas to allow nimble operations. This planning framework offers finance leaders the ability to hurry up planning and decision-making cycles, whereas automating core processes, growing choice frequency, accelerating insights, and shortening the time it takes to show insights into motion.

Modern planning capabilities are the finance group’s secret weapon

The means to conduct what-if eventualities and make insightful choices shortly to drive assured planning and decision-making cycles has at all times been vital, however the COVID-19 scenario underscores the worth of that functionality in new methods. The financial fallout additionally supplies a chance for finance leaders to provide their group an edge, whereas modernizing the again workplace: a Continuous Planning answer that gives quicker, extra collaborative planning cycles throughout all areas of the enterprise.

With Continuous Planning, corporations can enhance collaboration and workflows all through their organizations. Finance can construct rolling forecasts and conduct advert hoc analyses utilizing correct, present knowledge. That ends in higher strategic planning and quick, frequent decision-making at each stage. In these unsure instances, corporations must make smarter choices — now. And with quicker implementation choices that ship high-impact ROI and speedy time to worth, now could be the time for Continuous Planning.

Grant Halloran is Chief Executive Officer of Planful.

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