Planning systems compliment ERP systems

An ERP system is great for managing transactions and master data and ensuring integrity of business operations.

It also summarises the data into a Financial view for the organisation so that they know if they’ve made a profit or loss for any given period.

In planning we start with the business strategy of the business and translate the strategy into financial and operational terms that need to be cascaded to all levels of the business: For example:

  1. All departments must have budgets as a starting point.
  2. All reps need targets by customer and product in  Volume, Value and Margins.
  3. The technical department has a maintenance plan to balance the spend and uptime.
  4. The HR department needs an aligned people plan explaining the future costs of people and the capacity they have or need to deliver on the business plan
  5. IT needs to translate the plan into hard, software and services to ensure that the IT capability is in place to meet the demands of the business
  6. etc

Planning is a continuous process and needs to be done using historical data from the ERP system as well as knowledge about the future.
This knowledge lives in people’s heads. Organisations need a process to collect and consolidate that knowledge so that plans can be re-calibrated into the future. This ensures that the organisation continuously balances the supply and demand – the point where profit is maximised.

A Planning system leverages the ERP system’s data  and sometimes feedback the latest plans back into the ERP system so that everyone stays aligned.