Ready, Go, Reset – Strategic Planning in 2020
Contributed by Kristen McAlister and Bill Franch
It is now May and looking back, March seemed so long ago. It does seem as though a year has
passed by in as little as 2 months.
Looking back to last year, many of us spent the better part of the fourth quarter doing strategic
planning. Little did we know a few months later, most of it would go out the window. It is like
watching a gust of wind come just as you finish editing a printed version of a book. That stunned
look of, “I can’t believe that just happened.”
We have had a rare opportunity to experience a year’s view within a period of a few months.
One way to look at it is a good weight loss example. If I were to lose 50 pounds over a year’s
period of time, anyone seeing me on a daily basis would likely not notice for quite some time
that I am losing weight. However, if I lose 50 pounds in two months it would be very clear and
most would notice. I have seen the same thing happen in business.
A business’s weaknesses have become more glaring while the strengths have really sparkled.
With the clarity in mind, there is no doubt a number of changes needs to be made as a result of
both external and internal factors.
Look at the next 30, 60, 90 days as the opportunity to hit the “reset” button on your business. A
lot can be reviewed as part of a reset. Our panel of experts executive have identified the top ten
areas to review, taking into account the current crisis.
Hitting the Reset Button
- Org Chart – what does your organization structure need to look like in the next 3 and 12 months
- 30, 60, 90 day planning and new KPIs.
- Systems (link to systems article)
- Operational Plan
- Human Capital – Leadership team, Employees
- Customer Alignment
- Customer and Vendor Contracts – renegotiating terms and fees
- Vendor Diversification/review
The Coronavirus supply chain disruptions have translated into heavy reforecast activity.
A critical element to rely on during changing times often lies in the content, or detail of the data
a business has at hand. Hopefully, the content will power the ability to reforecast with the
intelligence and rationale required to be accurate during this chaotic time. The S&OP (Sales
and Operations Procedures) process, if done properly, will contain these elements to drive
informed decisions. The S&OP process should minimally include
- Product line forecast and sales Plan, aggregated into meaningful summaries
- Expect to update this plan frequently, utilizing Best Practices
- Revise monthly on this restart of the economy
- Prepare supply chain actions to support this Plan
- Cash planning
- Service inventory status
- Strategic account focus
- Time to perform product rationalization
- Get your team on board, involving them in these details
There is of course much more that can be done at this time, but this is a start. It seems no one is expecting the restart of the economy to be smooth, so it is best to prepare several scenarios with different supply, market, and regional variables in play.