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Author's profile photo Anthony Karge

Enterprise Planning: Not Just for Finance

Enterprise planning involves setting organizational goals and then working to meet these objectives. These goals often seem to be the exclusive domain of the finance department, as they typically involve financial plans and forecasts to track and realize these goals.  While it’s true that finance is at the core of enterprise planning, it’s also true that organizations are far more likely to realize their overall objectives when they connect plans from across the organization.

That’s why planning is not the exclusive domain of finance. It should be done by different lines of business and departments across an organization.  Sales, human resources, project management, and other stakeholders all provide critical functions to the organization, and each of these “plan” within the scope of their function.

Discover more about the power of SAP Analytics Cloud for Planning.

Leading organizations across all industries realize that these individual operational plans cannot be established in a silo. This leads to individual groups pursuing their objectives at the expense of the broader organization. The best organizations understand that in order to reach their overarching goals, planning needs to be a collaborative effort. The interconnectivity between plans across the enterprise is crucial to ensuring overall organization alignment.

If you’re already using or thinking of using SAP Analytics Cloud for Planning just for finance, then you’re not unlocking the full value of what the planning has to offer. Here are just some examples of how organizations use planning beyond the finance department.

 

Sales Planning

Sales departments benefit when leveraging enterprise planning. By using SAP Analytics Cloud for Planning, sales can incorporate the management-level perspective strategic sales plans, while also drilling down into detail on both the individual customer and product level. Overall sales KPIs (sales, revenues, product sales by customer, and more) can be seen in real-time as projections change.

All this planning helps optimize the sales department to better hit their targets and track their progress. However, collaborative planning benefits the organization as a whole. Other stakeholders, such as finance and upper management, get a clear picture of what to expect from the sales department. At the same time, manufacturing and operations can prioritize accordingly based on the current sales and overall strategy. This collaboration ensures that nobody is left in the dark.

 

Planning Capital Expenditures

Capital expenditures, regardless of what department they originate from, need to be effectively planned. That’s because these expenditures have a broad organizational impact, as the investments are typically large and can directly impact profitability. Whether it’s a completely new IT infrastructure, some heavy machinery, or the refurbishment of a factory, it’s critical to understand the full implications of these investments and know which decisions best align with the organization’s goals.

This deep understanding of the costs — or potential costs — of a capital expenditure project is essential to the department overseeing this project. This level of understanding is just as important to the stakeholders, from maintenance to purchasing to everyone else, in other departments. SAP Analytics Cloud for Planning makes it possible to understand what types of investments are necessary within an organization’s goal, while at the same time being able to directly track the final financial impact of capital expenditures. Dashboards give a clear picture of can be shared with these stakeholders at any time.

 

Planning for the Workforce

An organization runs best when different departments – such as human resources and finance – are on the  same page. With planning, HR can see if the current team structure is helping to achieve goals. Is the sales team big enough? Do more people need to be brought in short-term to hit production goals?

Those important questions, along with visualizing the impact on costs, can be seen through planning. Every decision — whether it’s a salary increase, a change in benefits, or an increase in headcount — can be seen instantly through planning. This info can be shared across departments to see the impact each personnel decision makes.

 

Collaborating Through SAP Analytics Cloud

Planning shouldn’t be siloed in the finance department. It works best when all departments are working collaboratively in order to reach those strategic goals. That’s why SAP Analytics Cloud was built to foster this collaboration and create alignment across departments.

You’ll be able to:

  • Create tasks and assign specific items to users.
  • Share comments and provide feedback within different visualizations
  • Go mobile and stay up to date with the mobile app for iOS.

See for yourself and learn more SAP Analytics Cloud for Planning.

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