Back in 500 BC, the philosopher Heraclitus came up with the phrase “The only thing that is constant is change”. He also said “No man ever steps in the same river twice”. In more modern times, the issue is that change happens at a faster rate. The Prime Minister of Canada – Justin Trudeau – said in 2018 “The pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again”.
Businesses that manage supply chains have to be able to adapt to the changing political, economic, social and technology landscape all the time. Companies used to be able to put together a strategy as part of a once a year exercise. Some still put together an annual budget. To cope with all this change globally, companies need to put together a different business operating model, which allows them to continuously update plans in a controlled manner in the light of changing economic circumstances. Companies need to develop new products, respond to changing customers’ requirements, know if they have the supply capacity and understand the financial implications of the decisions they need to make all the time. They need to have a controlled set of meetings and processes to support the decision-making process. We call this Integrated Business Planning (IBP), which is a business model that many companies are seeking to implement and get right. Traditional business practices like sandbagging the budget to appear good in the eyes of the CEO, overstating the capacity to produce, and chronic short-termism focused on the year-end need to be junked. In their place comes long-termism, honesty, and realism. It is a culture change.
What needs to change are the systems, processes (ways of working) and culture of organizations to migrate to “Integrated Business Planning”. Systems should enable one database with one set of numbers, devoid of spreadsheets. Processes need to be common across the globe, supporting one way of working. The right measures should condition the culture/behavior to drive trust, honesty, and realism.
Companies who want to implement IBP in the past have concentrated on implementing systems first, and then implementing processes and culture later, or they have put in new processes, changed culture, and then suddenly found they need to change their systems. Delos and QAD DynaSys have come together to enable companies to save time and money by doing all this in parallel – and called it Quickstart IBP. Instead of taking 12 months it might be done in 6-9 months saving the cost of the change.
Change will always happen. The river is always flowing. But if you want to get in control, then implement Integrated Business Planning. If you want to do it quickly, then follow the proven approach of “Quickstart IBP”.
To learn more about Quickstart IBP and how Integrated Business Planning can help marry your supply chain to overall company goals, don’t miss our upcoming webinar Why Integrated Business Planning? Along with my QAD DynaSys colleagues, I will discuss the value of Integrated Business Planning and considerations for getting it going speedily and seamlessly.