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Planning season: something to no longer dread

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For many people, this is the most wonderful time of the year—whether it’s because the holidays excite you or simply the ability to start fresh in a new year. But for many business executives, managers, and analysts, it can also be an extremely stressful, deadline-driven time of the year—aka planning season.

Whether you’re going through planning season now, recovering from it, or dreading it in the coming months, you can sympathize with those suffering through the long hours, high-pressure expectations, and clunky, manual spreadsheet maneuvering.

Without modern cloud-based tools, planning season can be miserable. The excessive numbers crunching, coupled with the hope that business objectives won’t shift as you start gathering data from countless disjointed systems and consolidating it into a massive spreadsheet—the word “stressful” is an understatement.

Around the globe, many department leaders (whether in sales, marketing, production, etc.) are working on developing a comprehensive account of spend against plan, impact on P&L, and influence on the business. Once this activity is documented, they must justify spend and forecast expectations for the year ahead against business objectives. At the same time, finance and HR are working with these teams to gather the complete financial and human capital plan for the business.

Doing all of this planning and forecasting in spreadsheets not only requires a lot of drudgery, but results are also most likely inaccurate and misaligned. When it comes to developing each department’s plan and budget, and connecting these plans with those from other business units (e.g., think marketing alignment with sales), spreadsheets make it an extremely manual and practically unachievable process. It is crazy to think that each department plans in silos due to the limitation of a tool, particularly when all departments are working towards achieving the same business objectives.

Make this the last planning season where you’re trapped by the limited capabilities of spreadsheets. Forget about corrupted spreadsheet models and unexplained errors. And, for once, sleep well during planning season by knowing that you won’t become a spreadsheet horror story.

With a solution like Anaplan, your company can gain real-time insight into each business unit’s performance against the overall plan while identifying opportunities to take action or course correct when business priorities shift. Enable the business to evaluate different scenarios and proactively respond to change, all while measuring the impact on the budget, resources, and revenue forecast.

Empower yourself or your team to become a more valued business partner. With Anaplan, all that wasted time spent checking and rechecking, consolidating and re-consolidating spreadsheets, can be redirected towards analyzing business performance. In the new year, commit to confidently leading business discussions based on the insight and real-time analysis you are able to gather—by ditching the spreadsheets and investing in a true enterprise planning platform.

Find out how to never endure a planning season like this again. Start the new year ahead-by leaving the spreadsheets behind.

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