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Industry best practices drive better forecast accuracy with SAP planning solutions

It’s been quite a while since I have written a blog and now decided to build an industry focused blog series, as increasingly the planning solutions and needs are very vertical based due to the dynamic  business models that needs adoption to the industry.

I constantly get these questions from CFOs and FP & A Directors that I meet

  • I am very interested to know what peers in my industry are doing, locally and globally around planning
  • My focus is being a trusted and strategic advisor to business. Let me know what you know how my peers do planning
  • What are some of the underlying  business drivers /assumptions that some of my industry peers use to drive their forecast, is it a pure vanilla trending or do they go outside in to factor specific drivers
  • What’s been the experience on variances, how good has been the forecast accuracy

As you see none of the above is a technology related question, though I meet them as a representative of SAP. But these are questions that help me engage with the CFOs and his team very well, as I have a wealth of knowledge that comes from the experience of SAP’s vast best practice industry experience and global reach, including some of the excellent expertise SAP’s extended partner ecosystem has. To share some simple stats, when you take Consumer Products industry, we have 400 top companies in the world who have structured their planning process using our solutions, and I would say many of them do it very differently. This variation is what there is lot of curiosity among CFOs to know how others run their planning and forecasting, as the single most challenge they have is to be able to forecast their business for next 6 months to one year.

One of the approaches SAP and our partners have taken when we work with our customers is to drive the planning, forecasting and analytics discussions, on key business drivers surround different departments affecting planning and how all of this can be eventually brought into an integrated business planning framework. The below chart is something we use, worked out by Analytics thought leader Tom Davenport:

In this blog series I plan to cover some of the top industry best practices that we have heard around our customer experience in planning and forecasting process.

The focus of this blog series is going to be around top 10 industries out of 24 industries that we have focus on:

Consumer Products



Public Sector

Oil & Gas

High Tech



Health Science


Look for updates to the above industry links for blogs to learn about industry best practices.

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