Start with the end in mind
Pathway phase is about understanding the bigger picture, identifying key areas of focus and developing a high level plan of attack.
Strategic analysis provides a view of the current position, desires and organization focus. Benchmarking helps to provide context: analysis of KPIs against industry best performers highlights focus for improvement.
Best practice discussions help the community to understand commonly adopted best practices and what these may look like in your business context.
Once the end state is defined, the investment decision can be quantified in a business case broken down by sub projects
With the end state defined and the business case validated, target activities need to be prioritized and planned…high benefit and low risk activities generally planned first to gain confidence and deliver value early.
Strategy drives targets, targets drive operations
The strategic planning process is the driver of downstream planning processes and activities. Assumptions on movements in the market, key projects and initiatives and internal capabilities and constraints are all key inputs into the strategic plan. In the face of uncertainties many organisations are turning to sophisticated scenario modelling to play out impacts of risks and opportunities and the output of the process is agreed targets that feed into financial and operational planning processes.
Simplicity – Focus – Clarity – Ownership
ais help our customers develop strategic planning processes adopting best practices of top performing companies: plan is built up from base case and initiatives, risks and opportunities are captured and there impacts factored, scenario modelling process used to play out alternative outcomes, KPIs from the agreed strategic plan are fed through to financial and operational plans. Processes are implemented to communicate sideways, downwards and back up again.
Translating strategy into action
Financial and operational planning involves determining business activities throughout all elements of the business supply chain to meet the targets that have been set by senior management. Organisations have a multitude of sub plans in different operational areas that plug into and translate into a finance plan.
ais help our customers adopt best practices in financial and operational planning. Processes are defined to integrate the finance plan with the operational plans leading to a more joined up and better communicated planning process. Accountability and ownership of the plans are controlled while maintaining an efficient process. Scenario analysis techniques are easy to use and risks and opportunities are factored into plans in numbers and words.
Forecasts should be fast and frequent
Companies need to forecast frequently to have an up to date view of performance against targets fed down from strategy. The quicker the forecast, the more often you do it, the more accurate it is and he better you get at doing it.
ais help our customers to define fast and efficient forecasting processes. Adoption of best practice guides us towards a process that is fast, exception based and focused on material and sensitive areas.
A faster close that is accurate says many things
It gets you and your stakeholders the results faster. It says that your internal processes are efficient. Above all it helps you understand how you are performing quicker and therefore allows you to take action if it is required.
ais have worked with many of our clients to help shorten the cycle time for management and statutory consolidation. Best practices guide us towards faster and more controlled closing of ledgers, proactive intercompany management and a more automated and robust financial consolidation process.
Business transparency brings many benefits – the best ones being the unanticipated
When you make the business more transparent you can see to a greater depth why things are happening or not happening as he case may be. Hidden issues become obvious and you are able to uncover the underlying real truth as to why things did not go to plan.
ais work with our customers to make the right information available to the right people at the right time. The information needs to be accurate and consistent – and above all relevant.