With Modern EPM, Integrated Business Planning Is Now a Reality!

Organizations are interconnected ecosystems; each area of the business has an impact on every other. However, many businesses become siloed and neglect these inter-organizational relationships. Some even inadvertently erect barriers between key processes such as the financial budget and sales and operational planning (S&OP).


Such barriers hinder accessibility and transparency of data across the organization, blurring the financial impact of departmental interdependencies and ultimately obstructing any plan to maximize profitability.


What is integrated business planning? 


Integrated business planning (IBP) removes the barriers between finance and other operational units in order to provide new insights based on a comprehensive business view. Historically, IBP has been difficult to implement due to all the moving parts of a business, but modern enterprise management solutions (EPM) now provide the tools to facilitate this integration – putting IBP into realistic reach.


IBP moves beyond traditional sales and operational planning, primarily focused on balancing supply and demand, by factoring the financial cost of achieving strategic objectives. The combination of volumetric data from the operational side of the business with financial data yields a comprehensive, profit-driven planning approach that improves visibility into all aspects of the business and allows for powerful multi-scenario analysis for long-term strategic success. Integration between these processes engages executives managing high-level decision-making with business line owners managing day-to-day responsibilities, building better alignment across the business. IBP also creates a platform for a single source of data, thereby eliminating the data redundancies and inconsistencies typically created with disparate source systems.

integrated business planning

How can sales and operations planning be integrated?


An integrated business planning platform provides many benefits, including:


  • Insights based on real-time data to quickly implement informed strategic decisions and resource allocations.
  • Accurate revenue forecasts vetted by sales and marketing teams and backed by supply capacity.
  • Improved human resource management for effective hiring and onboarding to increase business value per capita.
  • Balanced financial, sales, and operational planning to maximize profitability and operational cash flow.
  • Insights into financial and operational risks such as available working capital, supplier capacities, or staffing headcounts associated with strategic decisions.
  • Scenario modeling to analyze financial impact of what-if scenarios driven off factors such as inventory parameters, constrained demand, or pricing updates.


Without a modern EPM solution, IBP can be very difficult to implement, especially for large or complex organizations. IBP requires significantly more collaboration between finance and other operational areas such as sales, marketing, logistics, supply chain, and human resources. Each of these areas has different planning requirements and consumes data at different levels of granularity.


For instance, while finance departments may do some detailed analysis on particular transactions such as invoices, they primarily report and plan on a highly aggregated level. They also require complex modeling in their planning to capture cost allocation, calculate capital expenditure, and translate revenue and expenses to balance sheet and cash flow impacts. On the other hand, operational departments are often planning on a day-to-day basis and working primarily with very granular data. They work with detailed plans such as production plant allocation, material requirements plans, and routing efficiency plans.


The differences between finance and operations become even greater with organizational complexity, business growth, expansion of product lines and target markets, and rapidly changing operational constraints.


However, a modern enterprise performance solution can address and resolve the issues standing in the way of IBP. For instance, CCH Tagetik provides an out-of the-box solution for workflow and process control, complex modeling capabilities, sales and operations management tools, and integration with other operational planning applications. Once implemented, finance teams can answer important questions such as these:


  • Where will our cash or working capital be in six months if we increase marketing efforts to boost sales? Do we need to start planning financing activities to meet those targets?
  • When should we increase employee hiring to meet production demand? Moreover, does the increased capacity to meet sales demand justify the additional personnel costs?

EPM solutions natively act as a single source of data. CCH Tagetik is designed to host high-level financial data and large volumes of detailed operational data without affecting the performance for end-users. CCH Tagetik also provides automated ETL integrations and built-in validations to ensure correct, consistent, up-to-date data. Additionally, the solution includes process management for improved collaboration between different departments during the planning process and automated report distributions to update key stakeholders.


Integrated business planning takes financial planning and sales and operational planning to the next level – long term strategic planning. If you’re not already on the path toward IBP, now might be a good time to consider implementing it into your own organization.

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