Plan to Adapt
Finance executives have come to value contingency planning and adaptability in the face of uncertainty, whether it is caused by a worldwide crisis or simply the variance of day-today business. The level of adaptability in an organization determines its agility when responding to out-of-the-ordinary circumstances, and the finance department’s ability to execute rapid planning, forecasting and budgeting cycles is a major factor in an organization remaining successful under almost any circumstance. Technology— software, especially—is the essential element that enables organizations to execute these rapid planning and budgeting cycles.
Anticipate Change with Contingency Planning
Contingency (or scenario) planning is the process of dealing with an uncertain future by anticipating a range of scenarios and determining how best to respond to them. It is a management process that poses “what-if” questions to find the best plan for dealing with a particular situation. These are questions such as, “What if the economy grows by three percent next year?” Or “What if our competitor cuts its price by four percent?” Or “What if there is a disruption to our supply chain?” Deciding how best to operate in individual scenarios requires evaluating and managing resource trade-offs. Executives need the ability to clearly see the outcome of choosing option A, B or C, including the impact of each on sales, on-time deliveries, operating margin, customer satisfaction, and the balance sheet and cash flow, to name a few.