With sky-high consumer expectations and a difficult economic environment to contend with, retailers must have robust planning and forecasting processes.
This was highlighted by the spectacular collapse of Conviviality. At the beginning of 2018, the business was one of the darlings of the City. A few months later, it entered into administration.
Ensuring planning and forecasting processes are carried out using modern finance practices could be the difference between success and failure.
It is therefore surprising to note that, according to research compiled by Oracle, 70% of companies still use spreadsheets throughout their planning and forecasting processes.
Everyone is familiar with spreadsheets; they are a quick and easy tool that can be used for many types of analysis.
Ensuring planning and forecasting processes are carried out using modern finance practices could be the difference between success and failure
However, with vast amounts of data being used to plan and forecast, using spreadsheets is not sustainable. Over time they become cumbersome to maintain and difficult to adjust.
Effective time management
Perhaps the biggest flaw in the reliance on spreadsheets is the amount of time spent maintaining them, leaving only a fraction of time for detailed analytical work.
According to Oracle research, 62% of organisations stated that their employees who uses spreadsheets felt “buried in basic duties with little time for more analytic work”.
Many organisations are now looking to modernise these processes in order to improve accuracy and efficiency.
Investing in your planning and forecasting systems is a proven method to reduce time spent creating management reports and planning.
Heather Metcalfe, group chief financial officer at Baxters Food Group, highlights these points, saying: “Investing in our planning and forecasting process has allowed us to gain better quality information coming in and always a reduction in our working capital.”
To find out how you can improve these processes, visit Oracle’s Enterprise Performance Management site.