When most businesses seek to improve their business accounting strategies and maximize their bottom lines, they often focus on straightforward calculations involving sales numbers. If you plan to move X units at a price of Y dollars, you can easily compute your expected revenue and plan your budget from there.
But simply doing the math might not be the best way to comprehensively plan your business. You may want to look beyond just the sales numbers – it’s often beneficial to zoom out and examine your operations from top to bottom.
The importance of predicting trends in supply and demand
According to the article “Sales & Operations Planning: More than forecasting” on BusinessExcellence.com, effective sales and operations planning is a process that includes predicting trends in supply and demand in order to optimize your strategy for asset management.
It requires a business-wide scope – yes, you’re poring over your sales figures, but you’re also assessing your efforts in marketing, manufacturing, engineering, finance and procurement. All of these areas cost money, and they all ultimately impact ROI.
“The best results will be achieved when system calculations can be combined effectively with human insight,” the author writes. “Think about a system that can combine input from sales and marketing professionals with output from a forecasting engine. The data tells a lot, but it’s also important to fine tune it with intelligence from the people working closest to the market.”
Acute insight and strong leadership help keep everyone on the same page
Operations planning is a matter of balancing “goods out” and “revenues in,” but it also incorporates much more. The articles explains that sales and operations managers are not always automatically aligned; therefore, it’s important to have strong leadership in place to help everyone make long-term plans on the same page.
Planning for your business’ operations is an ongoing process – it’s much more complex than simply hammering out a budget each year. Rather, it takes continued vigilance to get it right – and it’s always worthwhile to have a good budgeting and planning system in place to help you figure out the details.