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A Series Of Unprecedented Events: Third Of Businesses Unprepared For Next Global Crisis

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16 May 2023

New data reveals that despite nearly every global business executing some form of planning transformation attempt since 2020, 90% (Singapore: 96%) report it failing to some degree.  

  • New research reveals that 90% (Singapore: 96%) of businesses who tried to initiate some sort of planning transformation since 2020 failed in some aspect of it
  • 85% (Country: 94%) of decision makers report that planning transformation is being taken more seriously since the recent series of economically disruptive events
  • This leaves a third of businesses (Singapore: 31%; Global: 33%) ‘not ready’ for continued supply chain disruption, a recession, high interest rates, or another pandemic
  • Despite a desire to modernize 98% (Singapore: 98%) of businesses still use spreadsheets (Excel) for planning tasks

New data from the intelligent planning technology Board International, a leading global provider of Intelligent Planning Solutions which help organizations plan smarter, enabling actionable insights and better outcomes, reveals that despite nearly every global business (Singapore: 99%; Global: 97%) executing some form of planning transformation attempt since 2020, 90% (Singapore: 96%) report it failing to some degree.  

Good Intentions Aren’t Enough

Three years on from Covid-19 caused widespread economic and social disruption, the new Board Planning Transformation Benchmark Survey asked 2,450 decision makers across the UK, US, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Australia and Singapore how they are faring in light of a series of economic ‘unprecedented’ events. Just 13% (Singapore: 6% said they were unaffected by events, such as Covid-19, the war in Ukraine and the cost-of-living crisis.

As a result, 85% (Singapore: 94%) of businesses say planning is now taken more seriously across their organization; 76% (Singapore 76%) have seen budgets for planning transformation and planning teams increase; and 94% (Singapore: 100%) are being asked for a more strategic approach to planning by their boards and / or investors. 

The report highlights that 90% (Singapore: 96%) of transformations failed for one reason or another. A lack of technical capability within the organization is cited as the top cause of failed transformations by over a quarter (26%) (Singapore: 35%) of decision makers. Lack of investment in skills (23%) (Singapore: 28%) and scarcity of team resources (22%) (Singapore: 24%) came in close second and third places.

Antiquated Practices Holding Businesses Back

In addition to skills gaps, the data reveals wide usage of inefficient planning practices are preventing progress. When asked what tools they use to plan, nearly all (Singapore:98%; Global: 98%) of the decision makers responded that they do some of their planning on spreadsheets like Excel – a tool built in 1985. And planners are taking on average 27 hours a week to model different scenarios for their business. 

The need for a new approach is made clear when asked how ready decision makers feel to navigate the next ‘globally significant’ event on the horizon. When asked if they felt ready to cope with continued supply chain disruption (Singapore: 31%; Global: 29%), rising interest rates (Singapore 24%; Global: 22%), another pandemic (Singapore 34%; Global: 32%), or a recession (Singapore 37%; Global: 34%), around a third said they were not.

Marco Limena, Board CEO said: “With all the uncertainty that we see in the world, business leaders need to recognize a new reality: the era of continuous disruption is here. Those seven words are meant as a wake-up call for organizations to continuously adapt and find new capabilities and efficiencies to deal with today’s challenging environment. Continuous planning is an imperative, and the good news is that companies that advance their digital capabilities can steer their business at the speed of change and gain a competitive edge.”

About the survey:

2,450 decision-makers across the UK, US, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Australia and Singapore in the financial, supply chain, or retail and merchandise planning functions in businesses with 500+ employees were surveyed online between the 26th of January and the 2nd of February 2023.

Download the Global Planning Survey here.

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