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Almost one in every two business leaders say that ineffective business processes impair their ability to plan, forecast, and budget.i Planning processes can take upwards of a month, and by the time plans are built, they are based on outdated data with little connection to current business conditions. Because of time and information constraints surrounding existing planning processes, companies struggle to maintain the agility necessary to take advantage of opportunities and mitigate risks.

When business moves so quickly, how can manufacturers be sure they are making the right decisions? Imagine a world where intelligent, agile, and collaborative business planning empowers manufacturers to make profitable decisions in real-time. Isaac, Melinda, and Jake live in this world and work at Company AI. Let’s look at how the three of them leverage a premier AI planning platform to automatically analyze real-time data and deliver insights where they’re most needed, enabling manufacturing agility and driving profitability.

Recognize and automatically propagate new opportunities across the organization  

Man gets a text

Isaac, a sales lead at Company AI, sees an email from one of his accounts while walking into his office one morning. The customer wants to know if Company AI can fulfill an order, as another manufacturer can’t meet demand going into a busy holiday season. Isaac knows this is a golden opportunity but only if his company’s production line can increase supply without dramatically raising costs.

Isaac opens his Integrated Business Planning solution from his phone and quickly makes a note that the opportunity is there if his company can manage the costs of increasing supply. As soon as Isaac creates the notification, the system recognizes key words and alerts the relevant departments.

Match supply and demand to ensure production stays profitable 

woman on computer infographic

In production, Melinda receives the notification. As a demand planner in the production department, it’s Melinda’s job to make sure the production upsurge won’t have a negative impact on the company’s current baseline plan. After seeing Isaac’s note, she creates a new what-if scenario to see what would happen if the company doubled production.

Once she’s entered the necessary information, Melinda saves her new what-if scenario and the system automatically alerts Jake—the appropriate supply planner. He sees the new what-if scenario and immediately runs a supply/demand match algorithm that shows how Isaac’s new sales opportunity would affect the supply chain. The algorithm models material, capacity, lead-time constraints, and costs across the entire supply chain. It then gives him clear predictions of the added supply’s total costs and the gross profit of the opportunity.

In this case, it’s clear that this is a good opportunity—the upsurge in production will cost Jake’s supply chain an additional $900k, but the company stands to make around $7m. Jake responds to Isaac’s original note that it would be profitable to move on the opportunity.

Move quickly to take advantage of profitable opportunities 

Manufacturing dashboard on desktop

It’s now late morning, and Isaac is thinking about where to grab lunch when he gets an alert from Jake. Isaac sees that both Melinda and Jake have run the numbers, and he now has the approval of both production and supply chain to move forward with the production increase. He opens the email he received earlier that morning and confidently responds to his customer that his company is happy to fill the shortage.

An integrated business planning solution to help your business 

In the above example, Isaac, Melinda, and Jake were able to quickly recognize an opportunity, predict its effect on supply and demand, and determine profitability through their Integrated Business Planning solution. For companies that want to make the most of their opportunities, the benefits of an intelligent, agile, and collaborative planning solution are obvious.

o9 Solutions, Built on Microsoft Cloud technology, offers a powerful integrated planning solution built on a premier end-to-end planning platform. This solution enables companies to increase operational agility, intelligence, and collaboration and expand planning functionalities even further as business needs grow. To find out more about the o9 Solution, check out the solution on Microsoft AppSource