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Integrated Business Planning, or IBP for short, is a strategic management process that connects various organizational departments to align business operations with financial goals. How? By integrating business functions – such as Sales, Marketing, Finance, Supply Chain and Operations – to create a holistic view of the company’s performance and future direction. This blog post offers a comprehensive guide to discuss what precisely IBP entails and how Finance can drive business results and collaboration within the organization via a robust and comprehensive IBP process.

What Is IBP?

While the business world and Finance have always had shared language and acronyms, some new (and reimagined) acronyms may now be flooding your feed.  One such topic you may be hearing a lot about lately is Integrated Business Planning (IBP).  Yet the concept of IBP isn’t new. In fact, it’s related to Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP), a concept that’s been around awhile.

Still, IBP may seem overwhelming in the context of all the different acronyms related to financial and operational planning floating around lately.  For example, IBP, S&OP, eXtended Planning and Analysis (xP&A) and others are just a few acronyms muddying the waters.  But this comprehensive guide to all things IBP aims to help demystify the process.

So what, exactly, is IBP?

IBP ultimately aims to unify business strategy with planning, budgeting and forecasting activity for all business lines and functions – providing one version of the numbers.  In turn, a trusted, common view of the numbers provides a robust baseline for agile decision-making.  That common view also keeps all teams collectively trying to achieve the same corporate objectives while staying focused on specific KPIs. In other words, the different teams maintain their independence while working in unison to achieve corporate success by leveraging the same trusted and governed data.

The bottom line?  IBP is about aligning strategy intent, unifying planning processes and bringing the organization together.

How IBP Works

The IBP process is a framework to address the C-suite needs and help implement the business strategy and manage uncertainty to improve decision-making.  So what’s the secret sauce of IBP to make all of that happen?  A collaboration between the different teams under a single view of the numbers that must unequivocally be tied to financial performance.  That’s how the C-suite gets value from IBP. Consequently, Finance plays a central role in the IBP process.

IBP typically focuses on horizons of 24-60 months, as opposed to the short term.  That focus equates to Integrated Tactical Planning or Sales and Operations Planning and Execution.  Since the process must be fully integrated, it removes the departmental silos.  Plus, the IBP process must adapt to the organizational construct of every business (IBP isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of process).

A typical IBP process involves several stages:

  1. Data Collection and Analysis:  Gathering relevant data (e.g., sales forecasts, production capacities, inventory levels and financial projections) from different departments.
  2. Demand Planning:  Predicting future demand based on historical data, market trends, customer feedback and sales forecasts.
  3. Supply Planning:  Determining the resources and capabilities (e.g., materials, production capacity and distribution channels) needed to meet the forecasted demand.
  4. Financial Planning:  Developing financial plans and budgets aligned with the demand and supply forecasts, considering factors such as revenue targets, cost structures and investment requirements.
  5. Scenario Planning:  Creating alternative scenarios to assess how different strategies, market conditions or external factors impact business outcomes.
  6. Management Business Review:  Collaborating across departments to make informed decisions on resource allocation, investments, pricing strategies and operational adjustments.
  7. Execution and Monitoring:  Implementing the plans, tracking performance against targets, and continuously monitoring key metrics to identify deviations and take corrective actions.

The most efficient way to foster this collaboration is through a unified solution and data model that caters to the needs of the various agents involved on each review.  In fact, Figure 1 shows how one solution gathering all the capabilities in the greyed area under a unified data model is the most efficient approach to IBP.

Figure 1: A Unified Data Model for IBP

Core Elements and Stages of the IBP Process

The IBP process includes the following core elements:

  1. Governance Structure:  Establishing a cross-functional team with representatives from key departments to oversee the IBP process, define roles and responsibilities, and ensure alignment with organizational goals.
  2. Data Integration:  Integrating data from different systems and sources to create a single source of truth for decision-making, using technologies such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, Corporate Performance Management (CPM) tools, business intelligence (BI) tools and data analytics platforms.
  3. Collaborative Planning:  Encouraging collaboration and communication between departments to share insights, align objectives and develop consensus-based plans that support overall business objectives.
  4. Continuous Improvement:  Implementing feedback loops, performance reviews and process refinements to enhance the effectiveness and agility of the IBP process over time.

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Want to learn how you can maximize the benefits of your IBP process and get leadership on board with the plan?  Check out our eBook Unifying Integrated Business Planning Across Finance and Supply Chain.  You’ll learn how to unify IBP across Finance and Supply Chain teams and read about use cases as proof points.  Plus, you’ll gain an understanding of the unique capabilities OneStream’s Intelligent Finance Platform brings to unify Finance and Supply Chain planning activities.

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In recent years, Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) providers have seen a relative explosion in the number of AI software solutions.  AI software for FP&A is gaining importance because it significantly enhances the efficiency and accuracy of financial analysis.  In fact, the best AI software solutions for FP&A enable organizations to quickly analyze vast amounts of financial data, identify patterns and generate insights.

AI helps automate routine tasks, freeing up Finance professionals to focus on the more strategic aspects of financial planning.  Overall, the integration of AI in FP&A contributes to resource optimization, efficiency, agility and better-informed decision-making.

In this blog post, we examine the Top 5 AI software solutions for FP&A in 2024 using our own interpretation of their relative offerings.  We only include software that meets the following non-negotiable qualifications:

What Is AI Software for FP&A?

AI software for FP&A enables Finance teams to move beyond historical reporting and embrace machine learning (ML)-backed predictive analytics.  By analyzing historical data patterns, AI algorithms can more accurately forecast future trends.  Those trends then help organizations make more informed financial decisions.  For example, AI can analyze customer behavior, purchase history and market trends to predict the ideal price point for each product or service.  This personalized approach maximizes both revenue and customer satisfaction, paving the way for sustainable growth.

As FP&A teams continue to embrace AI, adopting a sensible approach to ML – one that balances automation with transparency and human insight – has become increasingly important.  After all, effective planning is critical for businesses to remain competitive and adapt to changing market conditions.

Common features across AI software solutions for FP&A include the following capabilities:

By leveraging these features and others, organizations can transform the FP&A function, plan with confidence, gain insights and forecast more accurately.

This comparative analysis explores the features and functionalities of 5 leading AI software solutions for FP&A:  OneStream, Planful, Board, Workday Adaptive and Wolters Kluwer CCH Tagetik.

The Best AI Software for FP&A

1. OneStream

OneStream is how finance teams can stop wrangling data and start making more of an impact on the business. It’s the only enterprise finance platform that unifies all your financial and operational data, embeds AI for better decisions and productivity, and lets you keep adding capabilities without adding technical debt.



2. Planful

Founded in 2001, Planful is a private company supported by private equity firm Vector Capital.  The Planful platform aims to streamline diverse business processes, such as planning, budgeting, consolidations, reporting and analytics.  Used globally, this platform acts as a tool for Finance, Accounting, and Business users to improve their planning, reporting and closing processes.  Planful’s ultimate stated aim with its AI software for FP&A tool is to accelerate process cycles, boost productivity and enhance overall accuracy.



3. Board

Board was founded in 1994 in Chiasso, Switzerland, and has headquarters in both Boston and London.  While the overall product is marketed as integrated business intelligence reporting and analytics with enterprise scalability, Board markets its planning solution as Intelligent Planning for FP&A teams.  Board is a private company with customers worldwide, the highest percentage in Europe.



4. Workday Adaptive

Workday is a leading provider of enterprise cloud applications for Finance and Human Resources. Founded in 2005, Workday delivers financial management, human capital management and analytics applications.  Workday Adaptive Planning originates from the acquisition of Adaptive Insights in 2018. Marketed as enterprise planning software, the Workday solution helps Finance create budgets and forecasts with more speed, flexibility, collaboration and accuracy.



5. Wolters Kluwer CCH Tagetik

Wolters Kluwer is a global entity specializing in professional data, application solutions and services.  The company targets sectors such as healthcare; taxation and accounting; corporate and financial compliance; legal and regulation; and corporate performance and ESG.  Originally developed in 2005 to deliver trusted, comprehensive and scalable CPM solutions globally, CCH Tagetik was acquired by Wolters Kluwer in 2017.




Choosing the right AI software for FP&A is essential for organizations seeking to move away from unreliable, inadequate EPM applications and/or spreadsheets and instead evolve to a modern AI-driven EPM solution.

Each of the Top 5 solutions featured in this blog post offers unique features and benefits, catering to the diverse needs of organizations across industries.  Ultimately, however, if you’re looking to streamline your key Finance processes and significantly increase confidence in your reporting, OneStream is the best AI software for FP&A to handle all your needs, no matter how complex.

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To learn more about how organizations are managing the complexity in their financial planning and analysis by using AI, check out our whitepaper titled “Revolutionize Your Planning with Sensible ML.”  And if you’re ready to take the leap from spreadsheets or legacy EPM solutions and start your Finance Transformation with OneStream, let’s chat!

Download the White Paper

Finance professionals working for manufacturing organizations must optimize workforce planning. Why? Effective planning is vital to staying competitive and driving organizational growth. As a former supply chain Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) analyst in manufacturing, I’ve witnessed firsthand the transformative power of effective workforce planning. This blog post delves into the 5 key elements manufacturers must consider to streamline operations, boost productivity and achieve sustainable success.

My last blog post sought to define workforce planning and discuss the importance and relevance of robust strategic workforce planning for those working in a manufacturing environment.  To summarize, strategic workforce planning “combines financial acumen with human resource strategies to ensure the workforce aligns with the overall organizational business objectives.”  Now you know what workforce planning entails and why it matters.  But what are the 5 key elements of good workforce planning?

While many factors influence workforce planning, the following 5 elements are important considerations if you’re a manufacturing professional looking to develop a resilient workforce.

5 Essential Elements in Workforce Planning

1. Demand Forecasting:  Anticipating Tomorrow’s Needs

How accurately can you predict future demand for your products?

For manufacturers, demand forecasting lies at the heart of workforce planning.  Manufacturers can precisely forecast demand by leveraging historical data, market trends and predictive analytics – ensuring the right workforce is in place at the right time.  With advanced financial software, manufacturers are empowered to analyze vast datasets and generate actionable insights.  Those insights then enable proactive decision-making and minimize the risk of under or overstaffing.

2. Skills Assessment:  Matching Talent to Tasks

Do you have the right people with the right skills in place for each job?

A comprehensive skills assessment is essential for aligning workforce capabilities with operational requirements.  By identifying skill gaps/training needs to match talent to tasks, manufacturers can optimize resource allocation, enhance employee satisfaction and drive operational efficiency.  Manufacturers can use robust workforce management tools to conduct real-time skill assessments, empowering HR professionals to make data-driven decisions and cultivate a highly skilled workforce.

3. Capacity Planning:  Balancing Supply and Demand

Are your production facilities operating at optimal capacity?

Capacity planning is crucial for optimizing production efficiency and meeting customer demand.  By analyzing production schedules, equipment utilization and workforce availability, manufacturers can identify bottlenecks, streamline workflows and maximize output.  Advanced financial software integrates capacity planning modules, enabling manufacturers to visualize real-time production capacity, optimize resource allocation and capitalize on growth opportunities.

4. Scenario Modeling:  Preparing for the Unexpected

How resilient is your workforce in the face of unforeseen challenges?

Scenario modeling enables manufacturers to simulate various workforce scenarios and evaluate their impact on operations.  By considering factors such as market volatility, supply chain disruptions and regulatory changes, manufacturers can proactively mitigate risks and devise contingency plans.  Robust financial software leverages sophisticated modeling algorithms to empower manufacturers to assess their workforce resilience, identify vulnerabilities and implement strategies to enhance business continuity.

5. Performance Analytics:  Driving Continuous Improvement

Are you measuring the effectiveness of your workforce planning strategies?

Manufacturers use performance analytics to gain valuable insights into workforce productivity, efficiency and ROI.  By tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) (e.g., labor costs, throughput and employee turnover), manufacturers can identify areas for improvement, optimize resource allocation and drive continuous innovation.  Integrated dashboards and customizable reports then enable manufacturers to monitor real-time performance metrics, facilitating data-driven decision-making and fostering a culture of accountability and excellence.

The Role of Software in Strategic Workforce Planning

Good software enables strategic workforce planning, but great software unleashes it.  But how?  To start, good software drives collaboration, brings data together in one single place to inspire confidence in the numbers and drives adoption and ease of use of the technology.  Users can thus break free of the challenges of manually validating values in spreadsheets with many interlinked tabs.  Also gone are the days of no drill-back to the source data, no visibility into what changed when and limited ability to address version control issues.

In other words, a good Corporate Performance Management (CPM) software platform should unburden users from the usual suspects that impede effective and efficient financial planning processes.  Those impediments can include buggy software, crashing and poor visibility into underlying data.

Here are a few technical enablers for good workforce planning:

More Effective Collaboration:

Improve Forecast Accuracy:

Enable Better Auditability:


In sum, effective workforce planning is essential for manufacturers seeking to thrive in today’s competitive landscape.  Manufacturers can unlock efficiency, drive growth and achieve sustainable success by embracing demand forecasting, skills assessment, capacity planning, scenario modeling and performance analytics.  When using robust CPM software, Finance teams in manufacturing environments will have the tools and insights needed to optimize workforce planning and transform operations.

Are you ready to take your workforce planning to the next level?  Let’s embark on this journey together.

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To learn more about best practices for manufacturing Finance teams, check out our solution brief titled “3 Steps to Driving Agility for Manufacturing Organizations.”

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What is Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A)?  At its core, FP&A is a holistic approach to strategic financial management.  The approach includes planning, budgeting, forecasting and analysis to secure a company’s health and growth trajectory.  FP&A combines financial data, operational data and market insights to provide a systematic view of the company’s current and future financial health. 

FP&A requires a deep understanding of the operational dynamics of the business, relevant industry trends and the broader economic landscape.  Serving as the architects of financial strategy, FP&A professionals craft detailed plans aligned with the company’s long-term goals and objectives.  How?  By providing a bridge between the raw data of day-to-day business operations and the strategic insights needed by senior management to make pivotal decisions. 

The FP&A team typically reports to the CFO.  In turn, the CFO seeks to better understand the current state of the company’s financial position and predict future revenue, expenses, profits and cash flows through data.  CFOs therefore often invest in dedicated FP&A software to aid in FP&A analysis. 

Why is FP&A so important? What does process entail, and how does it work in action? Keep reading to find out (and to check out some of our industry examples). 

The Strategic Importance of FP&A 

FP&A’s strategic importance cannot be overstated.  In today’s volatile and competitive business environment, the ability to plan effectively, anticipate future financial challenges and navigate strategic decisions with confidence is critical.  FP&A provides the foundation for this capability; it offers a comprehensive and forward-looking view of the company’s financial health.  Ultimately, FP&A enables businesses to be proactive rather than reactive, positioning them for sustainable growth and success. 

What Is the FP&A Process? 

FP&A aims to answer important financial business questions.  Below are just some of the key questions FP&A teams seek to answer throughout the process: 

To address these complicated, organization-defining questions, FP&A uses 5 core steps to create comprehensive financial plans and analyses. Typically, these steps come after the long-range planning (LRP) and the annual operating plan (AOP) process.  

1. Strategic Planning

The journey of FP&A begins with strategic planning, through which the overarching organizational goals and ambitions are set.  As a crucial first step, this stage defines the direction and scope of all subsequent financial planning and analysis efforts.  Strategic planning thus involves high-level collaboration with various departments to ensure the financial strategy aligns with operational capabilities and market realities. 

2. Budgeting and Forecasting

Central to FP&A is the dual process of budgeting and forecasting.  Budgeting involves tactically allocating resources based on the strategic plan to set financial targets for revenues, expenses and capital expenditures.  Acting as a financial blueprint, budgeting guides spending and investment decisions over a specific period.  Forecasting, on the other hand, extends the vision further into the future using historical data, market analysis and economic indicators to predict financial outcomes.  Providing a dynamic view of the company’s financial trajectory, forecasting allows for adjustments in strategy in response to changing market conditions or internal factors. 

    3. Financial Modeling and Analysis

    Financial modeling is another cornerstone of FP&A, providing a framework for analyzing the financial implications of various strategic decisions and scenarios.  Through models, FP&A professionals can simulate the impact of different strategies, market conditions and operational changes on the company’s financial performance.  This analysis supports risk assessment and thus helps companies mitigate potential financial setbacks and capitalize on opportunities. 

    4. Variance Analysis and Performance Measurement

    An essential aspect of FP&A is the ongoing analysis of the company’s financial performance against organizational plans and forecasts.  Through identifying discrepancies between actual results and budgeted or forecasted figures, variance analysis offers insights into why these discrepancies occurred.  This continuous evaluation process helps companies refine financial strategies, optimize performance and achieve strategic goals more effectively. 

      5. Reporting and Decision Support

      FP&A culminates in the synthesis and presentation of financial insights to senior management and stakeholders.  This stage involves the preparation of detailed reports, dashboards and presentations that highlight key financial metrics, trends and analysis.  By providing a concise view of the company’s financial status and outlook, this step supports strategic decision-making and ensures all stakeholders are aligned with the financial objectives. 

      Examples of Financial Planning & Analysis in Action 

      To illustrate the real-world application and importance of FP&A, let’s explore a few examples across different industries: 


      What is Financial Planning & Analysis?  As the post above establishes, FP&A is an indispensable business partner and function that helps organizations navigate uncertainty, capitalize on opportunities and mitigate risks.  FP&A combines strategic insight with financial acumen, giving FP&A professionals a way to empower companies to make informed decisions and drive sustainable growth.  As businesses continue to operate in increasingly complex and volatile environments, the role of FP&A will only grow in importance. 

      Learn More 

      Looking to get started with FP&A? Check out our ebook called “Budgeting, Planning and Forecasting.” No form fill required!  

      Download the eBook

      If there is one thing any business analyst can forecast is this: sustained uncertainty. And organizations can’t do much to change this. What organizations can do though, is to prepare to deal with market variability by addressing the business challenges internal organizations may have: disconnected and lengthy planning processes, an insane amount of time collating data, siloed decision-making, lack of forecasting accuracy, poor sight into operational assumptions and what is driving margin. That’s what Integrated Business Planning is aiming for.

      What is Integrated Business Planning (IBP)?

      Integrated Business Planning aims to unify business strategy with planning, budgeting and forecasting activity for all business lines and functions – providing one version of the numbers. A trusted, common view of the numbers provides a robust baseline for agile decision-making and keeps all teams together, collectively trying to achieve the same corporate objectives while staying focused on specific KPIs. In other words, the different teams maintain their independence while working in unison to achieve corporate success by leveraging the same trusted and governed data.

      The bottom line is that IBP is about aligning strategy intent, unifying planning processes and bringing the organization together.

      IBP Process: How Does it Work

      The Integrated Business Planning process is a framework to address the C-suite needs and help them implement the business strategy and manage uncertainty to improve decision-making. The secret sauce of IBP is a collaboration between the different teams under a single view of the numbers that must unequivocally be tied to financial performance, that’s how the C-suite gets value from it. Consequently, finance plays a central role within IBP.

      IBP typically focuses on 24- 60 months horizons, as opposed to short term: that’s Integrated Tactical Planning or Sales and Operations Planning and Execution. The process must be fully integrated, so it should remove the departmental silos and it must adapt to the organizational construct of every business (it is not a one size fits all type of process).

      Figure 1 outlines the five core elements of the IBP cycle with its responsibilities:

      Integrated business planning from portfolio review to management business review

      The most efficient way to foster this collaboration is by having a unified solution and data model that caters the needs of the various agents involved on each review.  Figure 2 shows how one solution gathering all the capabilities in the greyed area under a unified data model is the most efficient approach to IBP.

      Integrated Business Planning Business Strategy, from reporting and analytics to execution

      IBP Business Benefits

      The benefits an organization can expect from an IBP implementation are diverse. In the big picture, IBP can certainly improve financial and business performance. Figure 3 outlines some of the most remarkable KPI improvements.

      Integrated business planning KPIs

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      Want to learn how you can maximize the benefits of your IBP process and get your CEO onboard, read our blog on the 5 Considerations to Help Your CEO Trust the IBP Process.

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      Integrated Business Planning (IBP) is arguably the most comprehensive framework to manage planning across an organization.

      Ultimately, IBP is the evolution of Sales & Operations Planning, which is a process deeply rooted into sales and supply chain operations. Many organizations therefore manage IBP from within Operations and avoid or disregard Finance participation. But that shouldn’t be the way. Why not? Well, IBP is not an operational process. When done right, IBP is a process to help the C-suite – particularly CEOs – to deploy strategy and make faster and better decisions. And because CEOs speak the financial language, IBP should be a Finance-led process.

      With the above in mind, many organizations unsurprisingly fail to get the right level of sponsorship, and their IBP initiatives fail to deliver what they should. CEOs aren’t interested in partial or biased views of a plan. Instead, they expect IBP to help them compose a neutral view that drives business performance effectively. And that’s a succinct reason that CEOs will trust and support IBP.

      How, then, can you get your CEO to trust the IBP process? This blog will dive into 5 considerations to help your CEO trust IBP.

      5 Considerations to Help Your CEO Trust the IBP Process

      Much has been written about the lack of executive support for IBP, but not much has been written about how an IBP initiative can win your CEO’s heart and mind. The following considerations can help:

      1. Anchor IBP to Finance metrics for P&L, Cashflow, and Return on Invested Capital. Finance metrics (e.g., EBIT or ROIC) make the IBP process effective. Therefore, organizations with mature IBP processes use key Finance metrics because they are the best value indicators and CEOs understand those metrics.
      2. Focus on the right time horizons. IBP is primarily a strategic planning process used to address long-term horizons (3-5 years). At the same time, it should also serve as a connector to the short-term plans and initiatives (1-2 years). Calibrating to the right time horizons is therefore a fantastic opportunity to connect IBP with the C-suite.
      3. Make it all-inclusive. IBP can include the Finance, Product, Demand, Supply and Support functions. Traditionally, S&OP connects Supply Chain with the Demand Generation and Sales teams. IBP expands to Finance and Product, but what about other functions that – for example – require workforce or CapEx planning? There’s no better presentation card than an all-inclusive IBP discipline to represent the holistic planning view of the organization that the CEO leads.
      4. Make IBP auditable and accountable. One of the main purposes of IBP is to foster collaboration and accountability. Thus, orchestrating and synchronizing becomes critical, and accountability must be well-defined at every step of the process. At the same time, data, numbers and assumptions must be auditable and traceable all the way up to financial statements and results. This capability will raise the CEO’s confidence in the numbers, insights and recommendations from the IBP team.
      5. Balance granularity versus insight. By focusing on the daily operational details, organizations can miss the bigger picture and fail to provide the appropriate insights for the leadership team. Given that, is it necessary to drill down to the part-number level? Does IBP really require daily information?

      From Integrated Business Planning to Improved Business Performance

      If you’ve reached this point in the post, you might be thinking that the five considerations above make sense. They aren’t trivial, however. In fact, they can be hard to achieve. How, then, do you get there?

      IBP is ultimately about deploying the company strategy through structured and cohesive planning across the organization. And the considerations outlined in this post are difficult to achieve without the proper technology solution.

      Often, technology during IBP implementations focuses only on reporting and visualization capabilities, disregarding other key capabilities. For instance, the capabilities below might be disregarded:

      When the technology covers all these aspects, Integrated Business Planning becomes the right framework to improve business performance.

      And unequivocally, modern EPM solutions are the best choice to bring all these capabilities together and establish an IBP process that serves a purpose for the CEO and C-suite.

      OneStream Platform provides a unified data model to drive collaboration and cohesiveness in IBP

      All Things Considered…

      IBP done right is ultimately a Finance-driven process. And OneStream’s Finance Platform is the only market solution capable of providing every single mission-critical process for Finance. Need proof? Look no further than Autoliv, a world-leading supplier in safety systems. Autoliv used OneStream and its unified data model approach to transform financial and operational planning to respond to market changes and make faster decisions.

      In other words, the unified data model, data management and quality, financial intelligence, automation and analytical AI services in OneStream make it uniquely positioned to win your CEO’s heart and mind.

      Learn More

      Want to learn how you can maximize the benefits of your IBP process and get your CEO onboard, read our article on how to unify IBP and maximize the benefits.

      Read the Article

      Research shows that Finance and Supply Chain teams thrive and increase the contribution to business performance when they collaborate. Such collaboration is one of the key objectives of Integrated Business Planning (IBP).

      Is not a secret that the collaboration between Finance and Supply Chain teams has been a long standing issue due to the disconnected application setups used to run the business and the inevitable by-product of the division of labor: siloed organizations. Yet despite the many efforts to strengthen the partnership between these teams, some persuasive issues must still be addressed. Some opportunities to boost that collaboration exist through sharing the same objectives under a unified data model.

      Collaboration Challenges between Finance and Supply Chain Teams

      All too often, in integrated business planning implementations, the collaboration between Finance and Supply Chain teams is difficult due to the following challenges:

      1. Data inconsistency. When planning, the Finance and Supply Chain functions don’t speak the same language. Supply Chain requires data volume and granularity, whereas Finance needs balance-level financial amounts.
      2. Low demand forecasting accuracy. Ideally, demand would serve as the best baseline for planning across the enterprise. Yet producing accurate demand forecasts is onerous for many organizations amid uncertain market conditions.
      3. Lack of common visibility. Getting a common view is arduous when KPIs, data and systems are not aligned or linked properly.
      4. Moving trend toward service and project-driven supply chains. Bundled product and service offerings add complexity to planning and analysis.

      Solving for these challenges calls for an EPM platform with one data model capable of blending supply chain and financial data. Such a platform is essential to boost collaboration between Finance and Supply Chain teams and drive efficiency improvements within integrated business planning.

      5 Use Cases for Collaboration Between Finance and Supply Chain

      Unifying integrated business planning with an EPM platform and one data model encourages partnership between Finance and Supply Chain teams. It also unlocks value to both teams and brings novel approaches to planning. To demonstrate that value, we’ve made available a guide for you to discover 5 integrated business planning use cases and the benefits applicable when Finance and Supply Chain teams collaborate under one EPM solution (see Figure 1).

      5 Integrated Business Planning use cases with one EPM platform
      Figure 1 – Proven use cases when an EPM solution is used to enable a seamless data model between Finance and Supply Chain.

      The use cases shown in Figure 1 are just a small selection of what’s possible when Integrated Business Planning is unified with an EPM solution that fosters collaboration between Finance and Supply Chain teams.

      Discover the Benefits

      Are you ready to raise your integrated business planning practice? Discover the benefits of applying these use cases and having one platform with one data model.

      Download the Guide

      As modern Finance leaders navigate the turbulent global landscape, the path ahead for Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) gets clearer every day. A pivotal shift is occurring, emphasizing the need to unify connected planning to foster alignment between Strategy, Finance and Operations. Not too long ago, however, the ambitious vision of integrating financial and operational planning into a seamless ecosystem faced setbacks due to technological limitations. The rapid advancements in planning processes outpaced the supporting technology – a predicament many businesses might recognize.

      But here’s the truth:  organizations now stand at a crossroads – embrace unified connected planning or risk incurring hidden costs.

      Despite technological advances and increased data accessibility, Finance is still struggling to synthesize all planning across the enterprise into one cohesive and ongoing process. In fact, according to a 2023 report from the American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC), only 26% of CFOs surveyed say their respective company’s approach to annual budgeting is valuable. Plus, even the CFOs themselves admit that improvements are needed

      Today’s Finance leaders must maintain board, investor and stakeholder confidence while providing actionable insight to line-of-business managers. To do so, CFOs and Finance managers must, now more than ever, deliver fast, accurate and valuable financial and operational information that can be trusted.

      Finance leaders can now leverage modern technology to rid themselves of legacy systems and processes while embracing future trends prevalent in today’s market.

      Key Trends Shaping Modern FP&A

      Spurred by technological advances, the speed of analytical disruption in organizations is already perpetually fast – and only getting faster. As Finance groups prepare for the transformation ahead, 3 key trends are reshaping the future of how organizations will generate value from reporting and analytics initiatives: 

      Key Trend #1:  The Rise of eXtended Planning & Analysis (xP&A)

      As Finance teams respond to a rapidly changing business environment, FP&A is extending its reach to include and collaborate with Sales, Marketing, Supply Chain, Talent Management and IT to accelerate enterprise agility. This unifying framework – known as eXtended Planning and Analysis (xP&A) – enables continuous collaboration and performance management by using a single, composable platform and architecture. 

      Key Trend #2:  More Targeted Analytics

      Financial analysts and decision-makers are drowning in complex data. To better process that data, organizations are increasingly enhancing traditional dashboards with dynamic data-driven insights powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). The resulting dynamic data stories generate insights as narratives, highlighting the most meaningful changes in the business for each user – with root causes, predictions and prescriptions for the roles and contexts. In turn, the enhanced data-driven insights reduce the risk that financial and operational analyses will be misinterpreted.

      Key Trend #3:  AI-Enabled FP&A

      The way Finance teams manage the data behind dashboards and visualizations is changing.  How?  Finance can use modern technologies to deploy a host of new models and tools to provide actionable financial and operational data that drive effective decision-making. More specifically, technologies such as ML and AI are leveraged to automate various tasks required during the analytics process – and to discover, visualize and narrate important findings in vast data sets. AI and ML ultimately enable Finance to reduce the time it takes to perform the day-to-day input- and output-focused activities that consume analysts’ time – without requiring the full-time support of data scientists.  (See Figure #1)

      Figure #1: OneStream’s Sensible ML

      As organizations navigate the ever-evolving landscape, staying ahead of the curve is paramount to success. While the adoption of modern technologies and embracing key trends can bolster an organization’s financial agility, there comes a crucial juncture when scaling connected planning becomes imperative. Recognizing the signs that indicate the right time for this strategic move can make all the difference in propelling a company towards its goals and sustaining growth.

      5 Signs It’s Time to Scale Connected Planning

      The continuous sophistication of organizations makes it challenging to harness technology to bolster Finance. When those challenges are coupled with the pressures of volatile revenue streams, Finance leaders are tasked with managing growth, optimizing emerging technologies, addressing globalization demands, evolving target operating models and empowering mobile employees. These leaders must also explore innovative avenues to boost productivity, optimize costs and maximize the value of relationships.

      If your organization is evaluating whether it’s ready for Finance Transformation, here are 5 key signs it’s time to scale connected planning.

      Sign #1 Increasing Complexity and Data Volume

      One clear indicator that it’s time to scale your connected planning efforts is when your organization experiences a significant increase in complexity and data volume. As the business grows, you’ll likely encounter more intricate planning challenges that cannot be effectively addressed with traditional planning methods. Instead, scaling your connected planning capabilities will allow you to leverage advanced analytics and data integration to handle complex planning scenarios, accommodate large data sets and gain deeper insights into business operations.

      Sign #2  Lack of Coordination and Collaboration

      Disconnected FP&A planning processes often result in silos, leading to a lack of coordination and collaboration between different departments. If you notice your teams are struggling to work together, duplicate efforts or encounter difficulties aligning plans, those signs are a clear indication you need to scale your connected planning efforts. By implementing an integrated planning solution, you can break down departmental barriers, encourage cross-functional collaboration and ensure everyone is working toward a shared set of goals.

      Sign #3  Inefficient Planning Cycles

      Are planning cycles taking longer than necessary, causing delays in decision-making and hampering your ability to respond swiftly to market changes? If so, those signals are telling you the time is now to scale your connected planning efforts.  Automating and streamlining your planning processes through connected planning will reduce manual work, eliminate redundant tasks and significantly speed up your planning cycles. In turn, this increased efficiency allows you to make informed decisions faster and stay ahead of the competition.

      Sign #4  Inaccurate Forecasts and Poor Performance

      If your FP&A organization is consistently struggling with inaccurate forecasts or failing to meet performance targets, your planning processes may be falling short. (See Figure #2) Scaling connected planning can help you improve forecast accuracy by leveraging real-time data and advanced forecasting models. With access to up-to-date information and robust predictive capabilities, you can make more reliable projections, identify potential risks and opportunities, and take proactive measures to achieve better performance outcomes.

      Figure #2: Modeling Toolkit Chaos
      Sign #5  Limited Scalability and Adaptability

      As your business expands and evolves, you need planning processes that can scale and adapt accordingly. Traditional FP&A planning methods often lack the flexibility to accommodate growth or respond effectively to market shifts. scaling connected planning enables you to handle increased demand, seamlessly integrate new business units or acquisitions, and adjust your plans to align with evolving market dynamics. Scaling therefore provides the scalability and adaptability needed to support your organization’s long-term growth strategy.


      Connected planning is a powerful approach that can revolutionize how your organization manages its planning processes. Recognizing the signs that it’s time to scale your connected planning efforts is crucial for staying competitive in today’s fast-paced business environment. And by addressing increasing complexity, fostering collaboration, improving efficiency, enhancing forecast accuracy and enabling scalability, you can unlock the full potential of connected planning and propel your organization toward greater success. Embrace the opportunity to scale connected planning, and watch your business thrive in the face of changing landscapes.

      Learn More

      To learn more about how organizations are scaling connected planning, click here to read our whitepaper on the topic. And if you’re ready to take the leap from spreadsheets or legacy CPM solutions and start your Finance Transformation, let’s chat!

      Download the White Paper

      Strategic workforce planning is crucial for business leaders today. Why? Because the labor market is facing unparalleled forces of change: demographic upheaval, talent scarcity, evolving employee preferences when choosing an employer, and the ubiquitous and growing presence of artificial intelligence.

      Running strategic workforce planning together with Finance in one unified solution is a best practice that ensures people plans align with strategic and financial objectives.

      In fact, unifying workforce planning with both strategic and financial planning sets up organizations to thrive under unsettled market dynamics.

      Before effectively implementing strategic workforce planning, an organization needs to understand what it entails, why it’s so unique, and how Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) adds value to such planning. But where to start?

      What Is Strategic Workforce Planning

      Strategic workforce planning is a long-term planning approach to hiring the right people (not just about a set of skills and expertise) at the right time (to match the business needs) and in the right place. This effort should also be fully aligned to the strategic goals of the organization. A strategic workforce planning model is pictured in Figure 1.

      Coponets of Strategic Workforce Planning

      Why Planning for People Is So Unique

      In simple terms, an organization needs to manage the following 3 factors to meet strategic objectives:

      Cash is like the “wild card” in that it grants access to people and assets.

      Assets are somewhat certain. For example, an organization can classify an “office building” by a set of common characteristics within any office building (e.g., square meters, location, open spaces, power, and HVAC equipment, etc.). And that’s it — the requirements when searching for an office space somewhat match easily with the characteristics of available space.

      However, people can’t be tagged in a similar way. For example, an individual may prefer higher compensation versus better work-life balance. And at a later stage in life, that same individual may prefer the opposite. Some people also value the work environment and team spirit more than others. In essence, every person is a unique individual, so planning for people requires certain solid patterns to do it right. An employer may have well-defined requirements for a job type, but each candidate will respond differently to the compensation and benefits package available.

      This uniqueness makes planning and managing the workforce a difficult job for recruiters and HR departments. In addition, day-to-day operations and challenges may divert the attention of HR leaders, who could then lose sight of the strategic goals of the company. Here’s where an EPM solution for people planning can help.

      Finance Teams Enables Better People Planning

      Finance teams can connect business strategy with HR planning. Why? Well, besides looking after the financial health of the company, Finance teams support leadership in shaping the strategy. They also have access to the best technology for strategic planning. Modern EPM solutions combine planning, consolidation and reporting capabilities all in a single solution.  This includes a unified  data model hosted in one platform that can also manage strategic workforce planning under the xP&A construct (Figure 2).

      OneStream's xP&A model gathers multiple planning solutions unified with core financial processes. Strategic Workforce Planning can be aligned with strategy, performance and finance.
      Figure 2: xP&A model in OneStream

      6 Ways EPM Helps With Strategic Workforce Planning

      HR leaders should therefore partner with Finance teams when building the strategic workforce plan and use the same technology. Below are 6 ways a unified EPM solution can support strategic workforce planning:

      1. Aligns strategic planning with financial and workforce planning. All headcount and cost details live in one data model and are linked to the company’s strategic plan.
      2. Combines modeling capabilities. The plan is informed by modeling capabilities that use workforce data as drivers (salary, benefits, payroll, etc.) and links them with the financial model, including CapEx & cash forecasting, and along with strategic intent.
      3. Brings clarity in planning, budgeting and forecasting. HR leaders can generate positive impact on financial KPIs from modeling changes (new positions, promos, transfers, etc.) and perform driver-based changes (compensation, benefits by geography, etc.) in a matter of minutes.
      4. Facilitates agile decision-making. When the manpower budget and the total financial budget are unified, decisions are based on complete and always-available information. For example, to determine headcount needs, the fully burdened labor rates – which are composed of data from HR and disparate expense accounts – are applied to sales budgets and production capacity. When all this information is available within the same solution, leaders can plan and react quickly to unexpected events.
      5. Empowers HR leaders to align people plans with financial goals. HR leaders can better manage hire to retire processes and always know the financial impact. For example, overhead calculations (e.g., compensation and bonus) are automated by the system.
      6. Applies financial intelligence to workforce planning. The system can handle multi-currency and credit/debits automatically or perform mixed allocations (people, capital) and link them to cash flow planning, which saves analysts a ton of time.
      OneStream's People Planning Solution for Strategic Workforce Planning
      Figure 3: OneStream’s People Planning Solution

      Drawing It All Together

      Today, strategic workforce planning is crucial amid uncertain market conditions. Yet strategic workforce planning shouldn’t be done alone. Why? Because it must lean on Finance teams to connect with strategy. Otherwise, organizations are left with just workforce planning, without the “strategic” piece.

      An extensible EPM solution supports people planning and the financial model under the same data model– bringing significant advantages and business benefits to the table.

      Bunge – a global leader in agribusiness, food and ingredients – uses the OneStream Intelligent Finance Platform to align people planning with strategy and performance. Want to hear more about how Bunge manages that alignment? Watch the webinar recording:

      Download the Webinar

      Changing rooted behaviors is one of the hardest jobs for leaders. And what about trying to bring innovative technologies and novel approaches to accomplishing tasks tied to those rooted behaviors? Well, that’s a lot like pulling teeth. But those changes pay off, for they position the organization to reach higher levels of value.

      This blog post introduces machine learning for demand planning by looking at how car safety relates to demand planning, and exploring the obstacles organizations might experience with adoption and how to overcome them.

      How Car Safety Relates to Demand Planning

      When thinking about car safety, most people likely picture one or more of the images below:

      Volvo first comes to mind first. And indeed, Volvo pushed for standardizing the 3-point seatbelt in the car industry, so the company can proudly take credit for saving millions of lives [1] since the 1970s. But adoption didn’t come easily. Why not? Well, it’s simple. Safety belts meant a radical change in people’s habits with a difficult trade off: losing comfort for safety in the supposed event of an unlikely accident [2]. Using safety belts meant a behavioral paradigm shift for drivers and passengers alike that even today faces resistance from some motorists. And to make true change possible across the industry, Volvo had to open up the patent for safety belts to competitors to accelerate adoption.

      Similarly, just like drivers and passengers with the introduction of the seat belt, demand planners are going through a behavioral paradigm shift with the introduction of machine learning (ML). Why? Because old habits die hard! Let’s dive into it.

      Demand planning work is usually a manual activity grounded in a low-accuracy system-generated baseline. To get the accuracy right, several external and internal source inputs enrich and adjust this baseline multiple times. Spreadsheet wrangling, reconciliation and error are thus inevitable fallouts of this approach. Yet many planners prefer it. Why? Because they feel comfortable with it. That also means they refrain from learning new technologies and methods despite – as is the case with ML – the game-changing benefits.  Using machine learning for demand planning drastically improves accuracy and exponentially increases the number of forecasts run.

      Fortunately, not every organization is resistant to changing the status quo. Some companies are trailblazing the adoption of machine learning to improve forecasting accuracy in demand planning. One such company is Autoliv, a tier-1 automotive supplier of safety components for major carmakers in the world.

      Better Demand Planning Fuels Profitability

      Supplier relationships in the automotive industry are based on a pull system that gives car manufacturers strong leverage on pricing. Consequently, margins can be razor thin for suppliers, and the risk of falling into loss is high. This axiom is valid in other industries as well, including in transportation, retail, wholesale, consumer products, and more.

      While margins can be improved in many ways, a robust approach is needed to better understand and plan demand effectively. Why? Because an organization that appreciates the business drivers that shape future demand can better draw sales projections. Additionally, the organization can better adjust inventory levels, avoiding stock outs and breaches of service levels.

      Autoliv offers a good real-world example of putting this robust approach in action. How? The company successfully embarked on a transformation journey to have a single view of profitability across Sales, the Value Chain and Finance. Autoliv also knows that – in the automotive industry – understanding demand is key to protecting and growing profit margins. Accordingly, the company is exploring the use of Sensible Machine Learning to improve demand planning. You can read the Autoliv case study here.

      Dodging Obstacles Along the Way

      Many organizations are using artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML) in the business in one way or another. One of the most used approaches is to build a data lake and apply ML algorithms. However, this approach does not always work well for planning use cases. When dealing with ML for demand planning, organizations may encounter the following challenges that hinder adoption:

      1. High complexity, low generalization. Many purpose-built applications in the market are complex. They often require additional programming skills and the transfer of sensitive data outside the module. Conversely, in-house applications are highly customized to only serve a specific use case. As a result, when business conditions change (and they change a lot!), in-house applications must be re-programmed.
      2. Lack of talent, lack of focus. Data scientists have one of the most sought-after skill set in the job market, in any industry. So they’re not only expensive profiles, but also ones that are hard to find and retain. Often, resident data scientists work on a wide variety of use cases. The problem with such positions is that the data scientists lack the business context needed to build solutions, without tedious interaction with functional roles.
      3. The black-box effect. Demand planners often perceive ML planning solutions as a black box. Planners get the results from the algorithm but know little about how the solution handles the data – perceiving lack of transparency that ultimately diminishes trust in the results.

      Not to mention, resistance to change can be high, and only 13% of standard ML projects make it into production. What’s the point of producing an ML forecast that no one uses? [3] Luckily, there is a way to deal with the obstacles along the way.

      Keeping the Eyes on the Road

      Having the expected benefits clear from the start is key when considering machine learning for demand planning. Does it need to underline new patterns? Should it address variability? Can it produce a high volume of forecasts at speed? The ultimate litmus test is that the solution delivers more forecasting accuracy and that planners are trusting it.

      Many organizations hold a vast amount of data, but it is pocketed in different systems and databases. When a lot of effort goes into preparing the data for the ML engine, organizations may lose sight on what’s important. A solution that can ingest volume and disparate datasets is therefore key for demand planning use cases. For that reason, the following key attributes must be considered when looking for an ML solution for demand planning:

      Beyond considering the necessity of the above attributes, organizations must also stay focused on the business outcomes they expect.

      It Is Not the Destination But the Journey

      When an organization has clarity on business outcomes, ML and other technologies become an enabler to accomplishing those outcomes. This clarity on goals helps organizations decide between costly and lengthy home-built ML solutions and market-leading planning solutions with built-in ML services. The latter will help better break old habits, enable enterprise-wide adoption and accelerate the time to value.

      Learn More

      Ready to find out how to break away from old habits on demand planning?

      Discover OneStream’s Sensible ML for Demand Planning, the only solution that helps demand planners and finance teams embrace machine learning with trust and full transparency into the data and results.

      Download the Solution

      [1] CDC Road Traffic Injuries and Deaths—A Global Problem
      [2] Read Volvo’s amazing story here
      [3] VentureBeat. Why do 87% of data science projects never make it into production?

      Demand planning is mission critical for any organization because – when done well – projects the business growth potential by anticipating the expected demand to supply. That allows for optimizing inventories and rising customer satisfaction with better service. Traditionally, demand planning sits within Sales or Supply Chain organizations, supporting the S&OP process. But since it plays a key role in the core financial processes, forward-looking Finance leaders should be finding ways to unify demand planning with Finance.

      With that in mind, this blog spells out the intersections between Finance and demand planning and describes the technology available to unify demand planning with financial processes.

      Understanding Demand Planning

      Demand planning is the first step within the demand management process (see Figure 1).

      Demand Planning as part of Demand Management
      Figure 1. Demand Forecasting and Planning as Part of the Demand Management Process

      At its core, demand management represents an effort intended to match market needs with available resources. The demand management process often starts with a forecast analysis. That forecast is then enriched with inputs from Marketing, Sales, Product Development, Business Strategy and – of course – Finance to shape the demand plan. Customer orders (real demand) need to be managed and prioritized, that’s when the rubber hits the road. Finally, demand management is part of the S&OP or IBP process, an ongoing and collaborative process that ultimately helps the organization achieve better results and become more resilient.

      The Value of Demand Planning for Finance

      In many organizations, the relationship between the Office of Finance and demand planners is unrelated. But it shouldn’t be. Demand planners should get from Finance teams the top-down plans, financial objectives and budget figures to determine the aspiration and constraints. And – at the same time – demand forecasts can be of exceptional benefit for Finance teams.

      In many ways, demand management directly or indirectly impacts the core financial processes. So why shouldn’t Finance teams benefit from using demand forecasts and plans as inputs? Those inputs can be used by Finance in many ways:

      Organizations that combine financial and demand planning can unlock the value laid out through the scenarios above (and others!). Rather than planning by siloes, organizations can take a systemic perspective to overall planning – to see the forest through the trees, so to speak.

      A Unified Platform for Better xP&A

      Unifying demand planning with Finance is one of the many advantages an xP&A solution brings.

      According to Gartner, “by 2024, 70% of new financial planning and analysis projects will become extended planning and analysis (xP&A) projects, extending their scope beyond the finance domain into other areas of enterprise planning and analysis.” [1]

      The Office of Finance can now benefit from new technologies that leverage financial and operational data with machine learning to realize the benefits outlined above. However, not every technology solution is the right fit to support a xP&A structure. Below are factors that Finance should consider when looking for a suitable technology:

      Figure 2. OneStream Sensible Machine Learning Solution


      Finance leaders must consider demand planning as a powerful tool for driving better results. Why? Because it provides an independent view of the market. Only a single platform with a unified data model and machine learning capabilities can deliver the xP&A requirements to unify demand planning with Finance.

      A good example of what’s possible is how Autoliv – a worldwide leader in car safety system – redesigned its core processes to unify consolidation, financial and operational planning to address market uncertainty. Autoliv now leverages machine learning in demand forecasting to increase granularity, reduce forecasting cycles (daily) and bring the cost down– something otherwise not possible without the use of artificial intelligence.

      Learn more about how Autoliv leverages Sensible Machine Learning to improve financial and business results:

      Download the Case Study

      [1] Gartner Research 2020 Strategic Roadmap for Cloud Financial Planning and Analysis Solutions

      In the previous blog post of this series, we covered why leaning on a truly single platform with an extensible data model is the most effective way to unify business strategy with planning activities across the enterprise.  The prior post also laid out the framework of a unified integrated business planning (IBP) model and identified the hidden costs for organizations that implement IBP built on fragmented tools and spreadsheets.

      This final post of the series shows the benefits from an IBP journey and then digs even deeper. Why?  To show how an organization can maximize those benefits when the IBP implementation is underpinned by a single platform with an extensible data model.

      Benefits of Unifying “Connected” Business Planning

      The benefits an organization can expect from an IBP implementation are diverse. In the big picture, IBP can certainly improve financial and business performance. Figure 1 outlines some of the most remarkable KPI improvements.

      Figure 1:  Benefits of Implementing the IBP Process.

      The range of improvement organizations claim through those benefits can be substantial, too.  According to McKinsey & Company, “The average mature IBP practitioner realizes 1 or 2 additional percentage points in EBIT.  Service levels are 5 to 20 percentage points higher. Freight costs and capital intensity are 10 to 15 percent lower – and customer delivery penalties and missed sales are 40 to 50 percent lower.  IBP technology and process discipline can also make planners 10 to 20 percent more productive.”  McKinsey & Company also emphasizes the importance of keeping P&L owners involved in the IBP process.

      Equally important to those benefits is the technology used.  What’s the advantage of choosing the right technology to support the IBP process?

      Simply put, the choice of technology is pivotal for achieving the highest percentile of the benefit ranges. Yet many organizations undervalue the role technology plays in achieving better results.  Instead, those organizations live with sub-optimal IT architectures populated with point solutions, weak integration flows and uncontrollable spreadsheet usage. Those pitfalls only further emphasize why organizations aspiring for excellence should opt for a truly unified platform that covers the breadth of an IBP process.

      Going for one platform with the right data integration model not only provides higher business benefits but also results in lower IT costs, frictionless collaboration among teams, more speed in decision-making, enhanced resilience to any changing condition (e.g., market disruptions, growth by acquisition) and less risk.

      Maximizing the Value of IBP with One Platform

      When one unified platform caters to the needs of integrated business planning, organizations can aspire to get the highest return of value from the IBP process. Having one platform that unifies business strategy with all planning activities, consolidation and reporting provides unmatched levels of performance. And this advantage is exactly what organizations get when choosing to support their IBP journey with OneStream’s Intelligent Finance Platform (see Figure 2).

      Figure 2:  OneStream’s Unified Platform Capabilities

      OneStream’s Value Realization Report validates the platform advantage. The report details the benefits that adopters of OneStream’s Intelligent Finance Platform achieve across the different domains that pertain to corporate performance management: data management, close & consolidation, account reconciliations, reporting, and planning & budgeting.  According to the report, OneStream simultaneously generated value in four different areas:

      1. Technical Debt (i.e.,difference between current state cost and future state costs.) One platform drastically reduces or eliminates certain technical costs. Those costs include administrator costs, hardware and data center costs, upgrade costs, data warehousing, third-party software to complement or enhance the applications (e.g., machine learning engines, inter-company eliminators, currency converters, etc.), disaster recovery costs and more.   
      2. Effectiveness. Being more effective or making better decisions faster is possible by simply having information readily available at the right time and with the right level of detail. The use of one platform and one data model increases effectiveness significantly. Why? The need for continually copying, moving and reconciling data among different point solutions is eliminated.
      3. Risk Mitigation. OneStream helps avoid costly mistakes caused by manual step errors and the lack of traceability and auditability. The full advantage comes by having full, direct integration with systems such as GL/ERP and other source systems.
      4. Efficiency. According to OneStream’s Value Realization Report, Planning and Budgeting takes less time for OneStream customers.  A customer that moved from a rudimentary Excel®based system to their first budgeting tool saw a revolutionary improvement of 95%. Customers who moved from another budgeting tool that was relatively sophisticated saw between a 10% and 25% improvement in the time they spent on budgeting after implementing OneStream.”  On average, OneStream users see efficiency improvements of 42%.

      Data management is massively improved as well.  According to the report, “Customers improved their data management processes, delivering results between 98% improvement when moving from a complex system with several disparate systems and 10% when upgrading from a system that is already fully integrated but needs to take advantage of more fluid flow of data and information.” This improved efficiency ties directly back to the financial and business performance KPIs introduced earlier in this blog post (see Figure 1) – i.e., significant productivity gains, better use of cash, net working capital, better EBIT, revenue and market growth, better service levels and improved DSO, DPO and DIO.


      This blog series highlights why current market conditions require new approaches to integrated business planning and why many organizations struggle to implement IBP due to three main challenges: lack of leadership support, organizational resistance and underestimating the technology needs. 

      These challenges aren’t insurmountable, however, thanks to advanced technology solutions that truly unify business strategy with planning. And when organizations aspire only to excellence, one platform with a single extensible data model is the key to successful IBP implementations. 

      OneStream’s Intelligent Finance Platform delivers in that regard. Its data-first approach to integrated business planning unifies the views of strategy, planning and performance – increasing the speed of decision-making and improving business performance.

      Learn More

      Discover OneStream’s Intelligent Finance Platform advantage here, and download the Value Realization Report

      Download the Value Realization Report

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