Agile Planning and Forecasting for NetSuite ERP Users

Author: Malcolm Brock


Last week I discussed how unexpected major events introduce even more turmoil into our already unpredictable lives and that in this environment when it comes to agile planning and forecasting ‘seconds count’. In response to this I wrote about the benefits of mobile access to plans and forecasts and the ability to not only review plans and forecasts but to be able to approve or reject them. By connecting specialist mobile applications to your planning and forecasting system, notifications can be instantly seen, revised plans reviewed, and approvals, or not, sent.  With seconds counting in this disrupted world this can take hours and even days out of any planning or forecasting cycle!

When we look at the end-to-end planning and forecasting process there are other areas where, experience shows, considerable time can be lost through delays and inefficient processes. One of the most common areas where this occurs is the collection of actual data from transactional systems and, where required, the movement of plan and forecast data back to these transactional systems. Very often these processes are undertaken by extracting data to spreadsheets, manually manipulating the data in spreadsheets and then updating the target system using these spreadsheets. Anyone doing this, I’m sure, will know the problems:

  • no confidence in the consistency of the process
  • the introduction of errors
  • the time it takes

For organisations that use NetSuite Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) for their transactional systems there is a solution that addresses all of these problems without resorting to customised software or complex ‘Extract, Transfer and Load’ (ETL) solutions that require constant IT involvement to make them work.

For organisations using, or contemplating using, Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service the integration with transactional systems is designed to be set-up and operated by business users. This integration solves the problems listed above by delivering a consistent process that is transparent and only requires manual intervention to deal with changes to the structure of data where this is different since the last data transfer. For NetSuite ERP users it goes even further, unlike many other solutions, there is a specific NetSuite ERP ‘interface’, developed by Brovanture, that is already configured to extract data in the format and structure required directly from the data held in within the NetSuite ERP system and it also provides full drill-through capability.

This solution saves time when setting up the integration and then every time data is transferred. But, beyond this it saves the considerable time so often lost detecting and then correcting the errors that occur with more manual integration processes. Where ‘seconds count’ this has to be one of the ways forward to improve the agility of planning and forecasting.  If you would like to find out more about how this could help your organisation please call us on 01483 685450.