Integrated Business Planning (IBP) brings together many supply chain planning areas for unified, end-to-end solutions that enable holistic planning, cross-department impact analysis, collaboration, and transparency. IBP meaning and associated definitions can cause confusion, especially in a buzzword-filled area like supply chain. Following are several terms to know:
Gartner defines integrated business planning (IBP) as the process that considers the long-term planning horizon. It is supported by S&OP (tactical time horizon) and S&OE (short-term horizon). IBP technology consists of a set of technologies that provide a closed-loop performance management environment to support the strategic alignment, supply chain modeling, long-term demand sensing and trade-off capabilities that are required for long-term planning.
- Service-based optimization: As great as this sounds, it is simply a new take on multi-echelon inventory optimization (MEIO). This makes the software seem applicable across different types of business, but the underlying functionalities are the same.
- Machine learning/Artificial Intelligence: One of the most talked about phrases out there, as it is applied to every tech-related topic on the market. But how easy is it to grasp, when a majority of customers (even SAP customers) can’t get univariate forecasting to work?
- Collaboration: A phrase as old as time, yet many of today’s applications are not truly collaborative nor even integrated. Plug-ins and additional modules requiring connectors are offered by most software vendors, but when put to the test, a majority increase the complexity of the task at hand.
- DDMRP (Demand-Driven Material Requirements Planning): What a mouthful! DDMRP has been around for a long time but is coming back in style. Let’s just say it did not have much success when it was first introduced and it is not deserving of much attention now.
IBP meaning, definitions, and trends initially excite customers until questions start focusing on the real-life applications and business value. Analysts and supply chain leaders quickly realize that successful products don’t have all this fluff around them. True innovation and technology come from research and development based on feedback from customers. Updates should come only when necessary to enhance the customer’s experience with the product.
Vanguard Software was developed to ensure the highest forecast accuracy while also being user-friendly. No need for complex integrations and plugins as you can customize your interface. Yes our platform does leverage many advanced technologies including machine learning, Monte Carlo simulation and prescriptive analytics; we are not a black box. We help end users leverage these techniques without being experts in them. While buzzwords may fade, Vanguard does not as we continue to provide customers with one of the best forecasting and optimization solutions on the market. Learn more about Vanguard IBP by requesting a demo here.