Great to attend the recent Akolade 2nd Annual Integrated Business Planning Summit in Sydney. A fantastic mix of content and presentations and many takeaways.  I had many highlights, too many to list here but I thought I would pick some out to provide a flavour of the Summit.

  • Thilo Schindler, Chief Finance Officer at Simplot, spoke about the role and key responsibilities of Finance in Integrated Business Planning. The many facets that a modern finance team needs to have to engage the broader organisation. I liked the embedded virtual Finance team, the structured approach to reinforcing the nuances of the many hats Finance must wear in its interactions. Schindler highlighted you need more than financial integration; which for me sounds like a handoff of data assumptions across a functional divide.
  • Sally Pieterse, General Manager Inventory Transformation at Super Retail Group, provided a key reminder of the fundamentals of the 4 P’s still applied in modern retail; it’s still the art of knowing what to sell, to whom, when, where and at what price. What impressed was the pre-emptive planning for the possibilities of now with the arrival of Amazon to the Australian market on the near horizon; the customer-centric merchandising operating model and the realisation of a Merchandise Super Retail Group Academy to provide education to reinforce behaviours and alignment to Strategy.
  • Matthew Cauchi, National Planning Manager at Frucor, talked about Frucor’s IBP journey with some precision about the impact. I loved the KPI measurement and pyramid presentation of the milestones. It showed that IBP can have a dramatic impact in a relatively short span of execution.
  • The scale of the IBP frameworks at Mondelez International who in 2015 expanded its regional category model from APAC to AMEA, that’s 13 time zones, 30,000 people across 26 countries, 40 factories and a dramatic increase in stakeholders
  • David Song, SBP Director overview of Cummins China with its meteoric growth and financial performance, the pure scale of the operation, orchestrating cross-functional decision making across 30 entities, and now David is focusing on extending the business through innovative supply chain collaboration
  • A great session from Castrol’s Nathan Doak. A fabulous exercise whereby all attendees were challenged to prepare for the arrival of our notional Big Boss by asking ourselves what questions they will have for us! A post it for each and the challenge for each table to accumulate the most. Then a careful cataloguing of all submitted questions boiled them down to 5.
  • Oliver Wight’s Mike Reed great introduction on the evolution of IBP from production planning through to supply chain collaboration. It might have been a historical journey from the pioneers of S&OP/IBP, tracking back to the 70’s, but for me each step pointed to a place on the maturity curve and helped mark out where a business is today, the challenges and indeed where it could go. One of Mike’s key messages is that Integrated Business Planning may have emerged from production planning and S&OP but it fundamentally is not a supply chain process.

And overall I was struck by the cooking pot of pragmatic people, all keen on their businesses, all at the heart of core executive decision making,

What were your highlights?

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