Planning and Forecasting isn’t Just Financial


In order to determine and detail your organisation’s long and short term goals, planning and forecasting is a must. As the saying goes “fail to plan… then plan to fail”.

This post analyses the process of business planning and forecasting, and how implementing software – that’s generally used for financial planning – can successfully be implemented for non-financial planning too, such as managing your workforce, synchronising your organisation, and anticipating the future of your business.

A study published in 2010 gathering research on the business growth of 11,046 companies, found that planning improved business performance. Another study found that planning can help companies grow 30% faster. This is why more and more businesses are using planning methods such as business forecasting to devise the direction of their business.

How to Organise your Business Better

With the help of processes such as; Strategic Workforce Planning, Sales and Operations Planning, and Sales and Marketing Planning you can organise your business more efficiently, and combined with financial planning, you can carry out a fully enterprise wide planning processes that covers all aspects of your business.

By implementing and leveraging the benefits of specialist software to manage and organise your business, you’ll find planning the future of your business that much easier, and whilst many tend to implement software to manage just the financial side of their business, you’ll find implementing planning software for non-financial matters to be just as effective.

The Non-Financial Planning and Forecasting Processes that you should be including in your Enterprise Wide Planning Processes:

Strategic Workforce Planning

Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP) is the analytic forecasting and planning process that connects and directs management activities to ensure an organisation has the right people in the right place at the right time (and at the right price).

It sounds like a fairly standard and simple workforce plan, but you’d be surprised at many businesses’ ability, or lack of ability, to plan for long-term workforce.

The benefits of completing a Strategic Workforce Plan include generating insights to help make business decisions, providing a deeper understanding of workforce dynamics, enabling organisations to manage human capital more efficiently and enabling HR to become a valued contributor to high-level business strategy decisions.

Sales and Operations Planning

The Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) is an integrated business management process through which the leadership team continually achieves focus and synchronisation among all functions of the organisation. It’s a vital synchronisation tool that brings executives from all major operational departments together to determine how best to manage company resources. The main perk of this process is to determine how best to apply the company’s resources.

The S&OP includes functions such as a sales plan, production plan, inventory plan, customer lead time plan, new product development plan, strategic initiative plan and resulting financial plan. If completed to a high standard, the S&OP process enables effective management.

Sales and Marketing Planning

Sales planning and marketing strategies are a crucial part of your business plan. Tasks such as market research, new business development, product development, advertising and PR are all important functions within your sales and marketing planning.

Marketing is the process by which a business decides what services and products to market, to whom, when and how, and then does it, while sales are more the transactions between the business and its customers, whereby services or products are provided in return for payment.

In order to plan your sales and marketing effectively, you’ll need a strategy in place that considers why and how the plan you intend to implement will work.

Oracle’s Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service – The Enterprise Wide SaaS Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting Solution

Oracle’s Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS), a first-rate planning and budgeting application, providing a fast and efficient functionality across many lines of businesses. It isn’t just for financial planning – its enterprise wide.

With PBCS you can link strategic plans (Sales, Operations, Workforce and Financials) to detailed financial statements planning, compensation workforce planning, capital asset planning and project financial planning, as well as detailed non-financial planning processes such as Sales and Marketing planning and operational plans.

One of the biggest benefits of Oracle’s PBCS is that unlike in the past, where IT had to be involved in the process of implementing software to solve business requirements, PBCS can be purchased without the need of IT – it’s a ‘Software as a Services’ (SaaS) delivered solution, where the business has complete control over the software on a subscription basis. Time to value can be days.

Sometimes things don’t go to plan, but by planning ahead and forecasting, you can ensure you have your business’ best interests at heart.

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