Increase Profits with Integrated Business Planning
When looking for ways to reduce operational overhead and maximize a company’s financial value, Integrated Business Planning is among the most impactful actions you can take. Integrated Business Planning requires that you examine the functional areas of your organization and identify how you can improve performance by integrating process and technology across two or more functional areas of the organization. It sounds complicated, but once you identify your company’s opportunities for improvements, the results are significant. Benefits a company can experience following Integrated Business Planning include improvements in cash flow, increased profit margins, improved response time, and reduced operational overhead. In fact, after completing the process of software and process integration, companies have increased their profit margins by as much as 21%. And the concept of Integrated Business Planning is applicable across every industry, from manufacturing and distribution to retail and services.
The Challenge of Inefficiency in Business Silos
Most organizations have functional areas that include
- Marketing & Sales
- Engineering or Design
- Purchasing & Supply Chain
- Manufacturing or Assembly
- Warehouses, Shipping & Receiving
- Accounting & Finance
- Human Resources
When these functional areas operate as business silos, significant inefficiency exists. Usually the business silos form when technology is purchased to satisfy an individual department’s needs. The organization neglects to consider how processes flow across the entire enterprise. Or, by not obtaining input and cooperation among all relevant departments as business software is selected, system capabilities are not in place to provide enterprise-wide management. In addition to not having an enterprise-wide business system in place, little to no integration exists between business systems.
The results of operating with disparate systems and business silos are
- Communication breakdown between departments. Without a method for prompting the next step in a business process, employees rely on manual communication techniques like email, paper forms and conversations. Unfortunately, human error is natural and the reality is that important emails periodically get overlooked and sticky-notes from conversations become lost. The next step in your business process is then unnecessarily delayed.
- Longer cycle times. Fulfilling customer orders takes longer than it could due to the disjointed way your business operates. There is not a clear, seamless, streamlined and repetitive path from order to fulfillment that allows for speedy delivery. Companies that do not have enterprise software to streamline their business take twice as long to fulfill orders.
- Dissatisfied customers. With internal communication problems and slower cycle times, the end result is always going to be unhappy customers. Among problems you are dealing with are lower customer retention, negative reviews, and excessive time spent resolving customer issues.
Choosing to Integrate: 5 Important Considerations
As you begin an Integrated Business Planning process, there are a number of opportunities you should keep in mind. By keeping the following opportunities in mind, you will be able to obtain the greatest return on your investments in new technologies and process development:
- Midsize and large organizations need Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) that serves as the backbone of your business. Choose an ERP with flexible web APIs that allow for easier integration. Learn about Trek Cloud ERP
- Software integrations prevent data re-entry and save valuable time. Establish connections between your ERP, CRM, Point of Sale (POS), web stores, Business Intelligence (BI) tools, and other software.
- Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) allows you to automate the flow of data and forms between you and your trading partners, whether that’s your vendors, resellers or other business partners. Standard documents like purchase orders and invoices can be automated in this way. See article, 10 Ways EDI Improves Your Bottom Line
- A smaller division of a larger organization may do better with its own ERP that’s integrated with the “mothership”. In this way, the smaller division can achieve greater efficiency for managing its unique processes. Learn more about Two Tier ERP
- You can fulfill reporting requirements by integrating your ERP with the external agencies you must report to.
Guidance for Integrated Business Planning
If you need guidance in managing an Integrated Business Planning process, be sure to obtain the services of a qualified consultant who understands both your industry and the relevant technical solutions that can improve your profitability. Trek Global’s team of business consultants has worked across all the major industries and has deep expertise with enterprise system architecture and software integrations. Among the services and solutions we offer are
- Integrated Business Planning consulting services
- Software integrations
- EDI document creation
- Highly integratable business software, including ERP, CRM and POS solutions
- eCommerce webstores
- Custom development to meet your needs
Ready to advance your business and achieve greater profitability? Contact us today to learn more.