Over the past decade or so, numerous planning and analytics solutions have come out in an effort to catch up with the complex business environment. Most solutions compete around speed, scalability, visualisation capabilities, scenario modelling and excel integration. Our recent Global CIO survey revealed that analytics is still considered ‘very important’ or ‘critical’ for driving innovation and decision-making across the business.
Traditionally, planning tools have been aimed at the department of Finance. Budgeting and forecasting needs, P&Ls, balance sheets and cash flows have been the bread and butter of planning and reporting solutions. However, this only scratches the surface of what can be achieved in the world of business planning. We are in an era when a truly successful planning practice is not solely based upon financial-focused analytics, but also includes customer, sales performance and workforce analytics.
Planning and analytics for the entire business
Although Finance is usually the right strategic area to begin implementing any planning solution, it should just serve as a starting point. A truly successful planning solution should incorporate your operational planning, giving you a more accurate and all-encompassing view of your business.
Apart from Finance, almost all business functions can benefit from agile planning processes and data analytics with payroll, sales and asset management at the top of the list.
Payroll analytics to decrease manual work
Payroll planning can be a very complex and frequently it’s a manual task for modern organisations. HR employees responsible for payroll face multiple components that influence the complexity of the payroll process, such as NI adjustments, complex bonus schemes, salary increases and benefits. Taking into consideration ongoing government changes, regulatory updates and HR related modifications, payroll can prove to be a stressful and time-consuming process.
The most effective way to evolve a historically manual process and increase the speed and accuracy of payroll planning is through data. By taking advantage of analytics, you can create timely, reliable payroll plans to put employee and business insight into action. You can benefit from faster processes and a uniform view of the data and simplify analytical processes, that HR employees might not be able to execute.
Accurate sales forecasting with planning analytics
Sales is another department of an organisation that can greatly benefit from planning analytics. For most organisations, sales planning and forecasting is their life-blood – as it directs the efforts of each department and helps define the overall strategy. Therefore, it is crucial to set realistic and accurate targets based on existing data.
With agile planning and analytics, businesses today can forecast sales volumes and adjust cost and price centrally to see the bottom line impact of the Sales department. More than in any other part of the organisation, this is the ideal area to take advantage of seasonality forecasting, what if scenario modelling and phasing. This will result in successfully steering sales activities, maintaining margins and delivering value, both to the client and the business.
Asset Management simplified through planning analytics
Often the biggest hurdle that companies face when managing their assets is the volume of data that needs to be collected, analysed and maintained. Increasing cost pressure, complex structures in supply chains and rising risks due to complex procurement mechanisms are just part of the challenge for modern businesses.
Effective and flexible networking of data is crucial in order to make fast and accurate decisions. With advanced planning and analytics, organisations can apply profiles to the assets to plan for depreciation and asset control.
At Logicalis, we have a holistic approach to planning analytics, moving beyond finance and helping you take data-driven decisions for the entire business.
Talk to our team of experts and discover how to make start your planning journey.