OpenSymmetry and Anaplan recently hosted a webinar on the five best practices for integrated planning and unstoppable business performance. The overall premise of the webinar was to share the decisive business technology trends in 2015 and how best in class companies are driving unstoppable performance through integrated planning. With an integrated planning model, organizations need dynamic and integrating planning across all lines of business, the ability to build out a predictable revenue model, collaboration beyond just email communication, alignment with growth opportunities, and adaptability to changing market conditions.
According to the OpenSymmetry Sales Performance and Technology Survey,1 80.8% of companies use Excel as their technology of choice as it relates to planning, forecasting, and modeling and this percentage has relatively stayed the same over the past four years. While technology is often sought after, there is typically a barrier to invest. However, those that do investment can experience 13.1% YOY growth in total company revenue according to Beyond the Quota from the Aberdeen Group.2 Based on feedback during the webinar, 22.3% of attendees report that the biggest hindrance for upgrading and/or switching systems is funding. How are organizations able to create that business case and essentially prove the return on the investment is measurable and achievable? How can the decisions makers see the value and vision the solution will bring to the organization?
The first point of action for creating a business case is being able to understand your current state and building a playbook for your future state. How can you go from where you are today to achieve your future vision? And what are the interim steps to achieve short-term and long-term results? Very often, operations professionals get stuck in a transaction mode versus being strategic. On a scale of 1 to 5 with strategic being 5, it is not uncommon for organizations to be stuck at a 1.5 or 2, with the challenges stemming from their people, processes, and/or technology.3 Understanding where your obstacles and pain(s) exist, and learning how to remove them, whether that is changing your people, processes or technology, opens the opportunity for you to move to the thriving future state where your definition of success is achievable.
The perfect examples are with multiple customer success stories across financial, operations, and sales where organizations have built out a future vision of success. For example, one leading financial services organization was able find ways to connect their data and build out different scenarios to plan for the future, while a major computer manufacturer was able to align their sales goals with corporate objectives to drive the right sales behaviors. Extending this story even further, within our own organization, we have achieved rapid growth as a global organization, and while we are cruising along nicely with year-over-year growth, we quickly realized the same need as many of our own clients, to have an integrated and dynamic planning solution across the organization. We needed actionable insight and visibility into the different paths that we could take in to achieve our goals.
How did we solve this challenge? As a company that does planning with our own clients, it only made sense to create our own roadmap and future state playbook to see how we could achieve our goals. We identified our gaps and developed strategies on how to mitigate them. Layering with our existing cloud solutions, we laid a foundation to show quickness and ROI with both short and long-term milestones, as well as phased roll out approval. The second phase was to align finance and sales budgeting, integrating with two more systems and across all business lines. Imagine sales and finance with one vision of the numbers. Picture that. The third phase integrated planning across sales, finance, and human resources.
In our case, Anaplan provided the solutions that we needed to make that jump–having a clear line of sight into our forecasts, enabling us to understand and see where we wanted to go and how to get there. Our desire to have a clear line of sight, collection of data, collaboration between departments, analytics, and transparency also helped drive this decision. The results? Within weeks, we were able to consolidate all of our financial reporting from four different sources across regions, as well as the ability to build out “what-if” scenarios in the matter of a few clicks. Simplicity at its finest. In the end, we are able to have that integrated planning and predictable model that we knew we needed in order for us to each our own definition of success.
How can your organization see similar results? Find partners that truly understand your pains and can help you move up that maturity curve. The fact that Anaplan integrates with all major enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions across sales, finance, and HR makes it easier for you to have everything in one place. That flexibility combined with OpenSymmetry being a trusted leader and global advisor for Sales, HR, and Finance can help you map your way to success means that you can reach your definition of success and real rapid results.
It’s one thing to understand you have a problem or need, it is an advantage to be able to execute a solution and achieve predictable results.
Interested in learning more? Watch the 5 Keys to Unstoppable Business Performance Webinar Recording. Let us know what challenges your face as it relates to integrated planning in the comment section below.
- “2013 Sales Performance and Technology Survey” Published 2013. Accessed April 4, 2015. http://pages.opensymmetry.com/WC2013SalesPerformanceTechnologyResults_WC-YYYY-Web-Content_LP-Registration.html
- Aberdeen Group. “Beyond the Quota: Best-in-class Deployments of Sales Performance Management” Published January 1, 2014. Accessed April 4, 2015. http://www.aberdeen.com/research/8787/ra-sales-performance-management/content.aspx
- “How does your organization stack up on the SPM maturity curve?” Published 2014. Accessed April 4, 2015. http://pages.opensymmetry.com/WC2014SPMAssessmentDataSheet_WC-YYYY-Web-Content_LP-Registration.html