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Planning and forecasting in dynamic markets

The VUCA world (from the military parlance for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) will continue to exist and presents companies with the challenge of having to readjust their corporate planning, budgeting and forecasting tools.

We provide comprehensive support in the optimization of your business planning, budgeting and forecasting concepts. Thus, subplans like LEAN Supply Chain Planning, Advanced Supply Chain Planning und Sales & Operations Planning can be included in the design and implementation.

Planning strategy

In many companies, lengthy planning processes are already leading to results that have to be called into question at the time of their finalization, due to the fact that the general conditions have changed. Defining an effective planning represents a classic instrument for optimizing the detailing to be planned, raising efficiency and thus expediting the process.

However, it is often necessary to trim negotiating rituals and remove iteration loops from the planning process in order to be able to plan quickly in a volatile environment. The increased use of top-down planning processes is a possible option here and also contributes to a more direct link between the corporate strategy and the planning.

“Navigating by sight” – but how?

Since the outbreak of the financial crisis, there have been growing calls for appropriate management approaches in what is a highly volatile environment. The typically annual cycles of strategic planning, multi-year planning and budgeting are unable to satisfy this demand.

One approach is to use the forecast to identify plan-forecast deviations. Identified gaps in the control process should be consistently closed by defining countermeasures. This requires high-quality forecasting that can be achieved through the active management of systemic errors (e.g. “hockey stick effect”) and the realization of a differentiated understanding of the forecast with respect to planning. Further approaches to improving quality involve the use of appropriate trend-, driver- or effect-based forecasting models that can at the same time contribute to further increases in efficiency.

Choosing software for the appropriate planning solution

The implementation of optimized and customized planning concepts often goes hand in hand with the introduction of a new system solution for planning. The relevant IT market offers various products here that can often also cover group consolidation and various reporting requirements in addition to planning. But even if these functionalities are not intended to be used and a pure planning solution is to be selected, there is a wide range of potential selection criteria, including for example:

  • availability of traditional planning functions (distributions, seasonal effects, etc.)
  • possibility of having the planning logics adapted by the department itself
  • online and offline capability of the planning masks
  • flexible simulation capabilities to support management decisions

With a view to the market for planning solutions, we act as consultants independently of the relevant IT products and individually define software selection processes.  We also supply specific market know-how to help you efficiently make the right choice.

Talk to us about how we can help you to master your individual corporate planning challenges.


Stefan Spieler
Head of Finance & Performance Management

Defining an effective planning

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."

Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

For questions and inquiries, please feel free to contact us.

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