Integrated business execution (IBE) spans the end-to-end value chain of a business and connects strategic objectives to the short- and medium-term operational decisions. This connection builds a more robust cross-functional network across the organization that demands collaboration, demand planning, and more profitable relationships across vendors and suppliers.
IBE fully aligns with growth and innovation metrics at its most optimal level and turns the sales and operations teams into strategic business partners. Successful IBE truly connects operational decisions with forward-looking financial performance and real-time business realities across the value chain. Although this is crucial for a business, many have been slow to adopt it into their processes.
Why Companies Have Been Slow to Adopt IBE
Many businesses still have conflicting goals in place amongst their various business segments. Each evolves at a different pace and has multiple technologies, making it even more challenging to create connectivity.
Traditional methods of doing business within each business segment are also a barrier for IBE. Adaptability is critical to moving ahead to a more streamlined process. A company needs to be open to change and exploring new ways to become more efficient. Inflexible tools like spreadsheets don’t allow for a cross-functional collaborative planning process. Spreadsheets also don’t provide forward-looking analysis and forecasting, which is another critical component of IBE. Spreadsheets may work for specific situations, but they do not allow an organization to work towards a common goal while also aligning strategic goals.
Current Technology Hinders IBE Adoption
Legacy software solutions typically don’t allow for integrations. Providers built them without considering future partnerships with other platforms for streamlined communication, thus creating data silos that hinder growth, speed to market, and profitability. Because of this, it becomes nearly impossible for business units to understand and integrate other teams’ goals into their current workflow.
How Does IBE Work?
The outcome of the IBE is a proper business plan, taking into account each business segment. For example, does the cash flow statement also take into account the operational plan? If not, the operational plan puts cash flow at risk if there are unfavorable margins to the business across the product mix. This integrated business plan helps companies rapidly shift to adjust to unforeseen circumstances.