Next-Level Planning with Advanced Analytics
Planning is one of the central activities performed by companies across almost every industry. While there are many applications and different types of plans in each field, accurate plans generally support the achievement of goals. Since creating accurate plans is based on combining and analyzing data from different sources, planning is a fundamental property of intelligent behavior. As such, planning creates an ideal use case for Artificial Intelligence technologies and Advanced Analytics, which can support the automation and improvement of planning processes.
Despite the importance of accurate planning, many companies are lacking automated planning processes. Planners, like any other human being, can easily misinterpret information or miss trends in data sets as the human eye cannot spot connections within the data as easily as an algorithm. The planning processes thus tend to be extremely time consuming, resource intensive and inaccurate. Additionally, numerous dependencies exist to the IT department in traditional planning environments. The key to having accurate plans is to leverage the power of Predictive Analytics.
Deloitte’s Next Level Planning Solution can be used across a multitude of industries and for various planning scenarios. However, the edge your company will have by implementing our solution will be illustrated through the one specific use case, namely Sales Planning.
The creation of different kinds of plans for specific time intervals within a year is part of a company’s main business activities. Having a sales plan, for example, is essential to hitting a company’s sales goal and is therefore crucial for corporate success. While the planning process involves allocating resources to achieve the desired business objectives, it also allows to prepare the supply chain for upcoming demand and to manage the sales and marketing teams effectively.
A big risk in regards to inaccurate plans is on the one hand high stock and inventory carrying costs due to gaps between actual and planned sales volumes. On the other hand, inaccurate plans can also prevent companies from selling as much product as demanded by the market.
With the help of “Next-Level Planning” based on Predictive Analytics, Deloitte enables to the reduction of costs, conduct the entire planning process independently from start to finish, remove dependencies and enhance profitability through the following optimizations:
- Lower inventory costs and prevention of an out-of-stock or over-stock situation. The more accurate the planning process, the better the calculation of stock volumes
- Improved estimation of product demand and reduced production costs by not producing more products than needed
- Optimized marketing process by starting targeted promotions for weak regions, stores, customer and products
- Achieved Strategic goals by predicting sales with accuracy and thus having the opportunity to increase profitability and revenue
Integrating prognosis models in business applications and processes will help reduce manual effort, time and human errors by supporting the planners’ decision-making process and data analysis. Additionally, while planners used to rely on the IT department in regards to sales planning, advanced analytics enables departments to conduct planning independently and removes dependencies.
The proposed solution will therefore allow sales planning to become a leaner, simplified and more accelerated process. An increased precision of the planning application achieved through the ingestion of the predictive engine’s outcome will furthermore contribute positively to the company’s bottom lines.
Deloitte’s Next-Level Planning is a holistic solution that offers our clients an integrated, automated and intelligent planning application, from the planning preparation and sales planning (driven by sales predictions) to the reporting.
It is a customizable multi-cloud solution based on latest technologies designed to embed advanced analytics and visualizations into the planning process. The modern reporting tool with a user-friendly application offers various drill-down functionalities and a wide range of visualization options.
At the core of the solution is a Machine Learning & Predictive Engine that is connected to a cloud-based backend system, which in turn stores and integrates relevant data. The engine runs in the background and takes manual data entered by sales planners as well as historical data as inputs. Once the results are displayed, the user has the option to adapt the predicted values and/or compare them, if desired.
The integration of machine learning and prognosis models into the planning process, facilitated by the solution, has the potential to significantly simplify the planning process, to accelerate it and to ensure the company’s future sales are predicted with higher accuracy.
Next to generating more accurate sales plans, Next-Level Planning also provides a more efficient way of reporting relevant key figures. The users can see, for example, how well the plan performed compared to the actual sales volumes. Such information can be used as further input for the next cycle of the planning process.
In addition to the lack of automated planning processes, manual decisions of employees are prevalent in many enterprises. The presented solution belongs to our Decision Process Optimization portfolio, which also makes use of AI and which has a similar potential to improve your business especially in regards to decision making.
Our comprehensive team of functional and technical Planning as well as Advanced Analytics experts provide services with a holistic view on your business processes. We have vast experience in both functional consulting and the implementation of predictive planning solutions and are able to cover the whole process from ideation to improving your individual application, tailored to your needs. Thus, we will support your business with the creation of more accurate plans – utilizing both the right team and tools.
We are teaming up with professionals from strategy and analytics consulting – leveraging our deep insights on Decision Process Optimization or Next-Level Planning. We are happy to provide you with further details and a live demonstration of our solutions for you, free of charge and without any obligations.