Top 6 pain points of the planning and forecasting process:
In the previous post ‘Pain points of business planning and forecasting’ (http://wp.me/p41J3i-5), we talked about common pain points of a traditional planning and forecasting process.
- Back office driven
- Spreadsheet driven
- Cumbersome and fragmented
- Inconsistent performance
- Risk management is an afterthought
- Long cycle time
How to fix the problem:
In the current market conditions, it is imperative that companies plan and execute efficiently. Although there are many tactics to address the challenges, simplicity and streamlining the process can unlock significant quick wins. To this end, it is imperative any process embody the following characteristics:
- Planning activities require the endorsement of CEO’s office
- The process needs to be streamlined and ideally should be a ‘round-trip’
- All key stakeholders should have the ability to challenge/provide input to key assumptions
- Automated solution
The existing planning and forecasting solutions in the market still follow the traditional back office driven planning process and are very expensive to implement. In current market conditions companies need software that supports iterative planning and fosters organizational alignment. They need a software that can be implemented quickly and makes the planning an ongoing process and not an event.
With over two decades of IT experience with a focus on financial services and a business driven approach, we launched Octopus, a state of the art business planning solution.
Octopus is a unique software solution that has been developed using the latest and greatest technologies and is focused only on business planning, forecasting and monitoring. It is a light weight software that is very adaptable and can be tailored to any budgeting structure of an organization. This software fosters:
- Organizational alignment
- Ruthless efficiency and accuracy
- A sales driven culture
- Iterative planning
Ease of use: Simple and intuitive interface and spreadsheet like look and feel makes it very easy to use.
Ease of deployment: Octopus can be deployed and configured very fast and companies can be onboard within weeks.
Access anywhere: Support for all browsers, tablets and mobile devices.
Flexible workflow: Ability to setup any organization structure (multi company and multi location). Each business unit and stakeholders can participate in the planning process and the solution provides a central control.
Completely integrated: Can be easily integrate with other systems in the enterprise (e.g. policy system, Claims system).
Security: Role based security
Key Octopus Features
Following are some of the key business features of Octopus:
- Complete workflow to facilitate a top down and bottom up approach to financial planning
- An iterative approach to financial planning, to ensure opportunities are properly resourced
- Involves the front line staff in compilation stage thereby reducing cycle time. This also allows business leaders to allocate more time on analysis and communication of targets
- Provides ability to recalibrate the plan by allowing operations to re-forecast as market conditions change
- Provides a comprehensive and flexible dashboard to for all the users to provide both forward looking and backward looking view
- Allows to seek input from all relevant parties in the planning process which significantly enhances buy in
- Helps create a sales driven culture which will help ensure key opportunities are exploited
- Fosters organizational alignment by involving all the key stakeholders
- Comprehensive goal setting and monitoring at all leadership levels culminates in tighter ownership and accountability
- Drill down capability in sales, expenses stimulates broader and deeper discussions vis-a-vis tactical strategies
- Early warning system which allows senior leadership to gain a pulse of emerging risks
- Standardized output includes pro forma MCT enabling CEO, CFO and CRO to discharge regulatory compliance requirements
- Financial statements and trending capability.
- Multi currency support
- Built in data quality and data governance
For more information and requesting a demo please visit the website: http://www.octopussoftware.ca