Integrated Business Planning for Agribusiness


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Is there anything more critical to the global economy than its food supply? Agribusiness companies bear the signicant responsibility of feeding the world in the midst of incredible volatility. While facing the universal challenges of a sluggish global economy and increasing competition, agribusiness companies encounter incredible risk from climate instability, natural disasters, and growing global markets. This creates a greater need for control as they deal with issues such as:

- Short product life cycles
- Variable seasons by crop and geography
- Genetically modified seeds
- Limited suppliers
- Regulatory policies
- Organic foods

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Integrated Business Planning for Agribusiness

  1. 1. INTEGRATED BUSINESS PLANNING FOR AGRIBUSINESS DATA SHEETSteelwedge Integrated Business Planningfor AgribusinessPage 1 of 3 | © 2013 Steelwedge Software, Inc. All rights reserved. – – 925.460.1700Is there anything more critical to the global economy than its food supply?Agribusiness companies bear the significant responsibility of feeding the world in themidst of incredible volatility. While facing the universal challenges of a sluggish globaleconomy and increasing competition, agribusiness companies encounter incredible riskfrom climate instability, natural disasters, and growing global markets. This creates agreater need for control as they deal with issues such as:These uncertainties require agribusiness companies to more frequently review and adjustsupply plans, demand forecasts, and inventory positions. At the same time, they mustimplement approaches that reduce costs without sacrificing quality and customersatisfaction. To remain successful, you must eliminate siloed processes that restrict yourability to closely collaborate with suppliers and quickly respond to demand fluctuations.Leading information technology research and advisory company, Gartner, summarized in arecent report:Short product life cycles:Existing chemical solutions ultimately can become ineffective to pests and diseases thatgrow resistant to them.Variable seasons by crop and geography:Growing seasons vary by both crop and growing region. Many countries have multipleseasons per year.Genetically modified seeds:As the use of genetically modified seeds grows, the demand for pesticides and fertilizerscould be reduced. These seeds are designed to resist infestation and generate higheryields with less fertilizer.Limited suppliers:A small number of companies maintain the capacity to produce many fertilizer andpesticide chemicals. This concentrated production network may encourage customersto find replacement products.Regulatory policies:Approval of biotech hybrid seeds vary by country, complicating both supply and marketside planning variables. And, evolving agrichemical technologies complicate supply anddemand variables.Organic foods:Organic foods, which restrict the use of pesticides in the production, continue to grow inpopularity. As a result, demand for agricultural chemicals could drop proportionally.”“ Market volatility in the chemical industry drives more frequent review andoperating adjustments than a monthly S&OP cycle can support. Leading chemicalcompanies are synchronizing supply planning and scheduling to enable agiletranslation of volatile demand into a profitable response.Gartner, “The Role of Planning and Scheduling in a Demand-DrivenChemical Supply Chain Response,” September 2012
  2. 2. Page 2 of 3 | © 2013 Steelwedge Software, Inc. All rights reserved. – – 925.460.1700Role of Integrated Business Planning in AgriculturalBiotechnology ManufacturingFor the Sales Team:Enable collaborative forecasting for sales reps and sales managementAlign crop plan commitments to current year sales planPower plans at any level of detailIntegrate with sales pipeline from CRM to support opportunity managementProvide annual operating plan (AOP) visibility as part of S&OP processView cross-functional demand plans (sales, marketing, product management, etc.)Access reporting and analytics capabilities including through a mobile platformFor the Product Management Team:Develop product bundle forecasts to drive mix forecasting for complex chemical productsForecast using regional requirements to develop products that merge seed characteristics withcrop protection for better resultsProvide extended functionality that will support Fixed Bill of Material (BOM), Planning BOMs or“derived attach” rates for strategic products based on actual history or pipelineRobust control of planning granularity with intuitive, slider-based data selectionFor the Planning Team:Drive company-specific planning processes with One-Click Planning™ alert-driven workflowProvide planning process visibility and progress reportingDrive assigned or exception-based review policiesIntegrate with ERP, SCM, CRM and financial systems that widely differ in their taxonomy orgranularityEstablish role-specific planning views, automatic semantic resolution, parent analysis anduser-driven catalogsLeverage deep domain expertise embedded in reporting and analytics capabilities,including mobileThe right planning creates an integrated current and future year(s) volume program planbased on top-down financial budget considerations, global capacity, material restrictionsand customer demand.Using an integrated technology that provides insight into multiple data sources, you can:Steelwedge Advantages for AgribusinessWith deep industry expertise and a tool set configurable to the specific requirements of theindustry, Steelwedge offers unique benefits to agribusiness companies. The agribusinessindustry is global and requires the ability to manage big data in the integrated businessplanning process. Steelwedge is uniquely positioned to scale to big data levels across globalbusiness units and distribution channels with a large number of products. Steelwedgeprovides these role-based capabilities for agribusiness companies:Manage a global financial budget tied to sales numbers, revenues and operational forecastsMaintain high-level, global visibility into external demand requirementsAnticipate internal and external supply constraints and react to long lead times forchemicalsOptimize inventory levels and maximize customer service levelsAssess actual sales and redistribute remaining inventory according to changing demandAllocate capacity and raw materials across multiple suppliers based on overall capacityutilization and profitsIntroduce new products based on the ebb and flow of weather, seasonality, and crop yearINTEGRATED BUSINESS PLANNING FOR AGRIBUSINESS DATA SHEET
  3. 3. Steelwedge Software, Inc.Steelwedge integrated sales, operations and finance planning solutions provide the "shock absorbers" to recognize, recalibrate and respond in a volatile environment.Business agility starts with Steelwedge for a clear line of sight from plan to performance to profit. For additional information, please email us: 3 of 3 | © 2013 Steelwedge Software, Inc. All rights reserved. – – 925.460.1700Best Practice Spotlight: Global Agribusiness LeaderSee data in new ways, including across both seeds and crops, as well as separatelyExtract data from the system in real timeMaintain a flexible calendar that enables agility across the ebb and flow of seasonality,weather and crop yearRedistribute unsold inventory to meet changing demandKeep up with currency conversions in international businessIn recent years, there has been an increase in the hybridization of crops to make themgenetically resistant to threats such as drought, insects, and fungus. This trend served as agrowth driver for a global leader in pest management and biotechnology products, whichlooked to create better yield management for its end customer base of farmers growingcrops for food consumption and livestock grain feed.With the need to plan seed production a full year in advance of the growing season, thisagribusiness manufacturer looked to Steelwedge to help it implement S&OP technology thatwould enable it to understand what demand would look like in 12 and 24 months. Inaddition, they required in-depth supply planning for active ingredients. By implementing theSteelwedge integrated S&OP platform to replace dozens of spreadsheets and a legacysystem that didn’t let it plan with the detail or timeliness necessary, the agribusiness leadercan now:Steelwedge maintains the customer’s S&OP process in the cloud to ensure scalability, andoffers specialized integration tools that allow rapid integration with its ERP and othersystems, enabling the agribusiness company to have a tighter focus on increasingprofitability and service levels.INTEGRATED BUSINESS PLANNING FOR AGRIBUSINESS DATA SHEETFor the Executive Team:Consolidate supply, demand and finance views into one comprehensive modelEnable more detailed planning assumptions via relationship attributes(e.g., customer-specific pricing, source-specific costing)Leverage mobile reporting, which provides information at the finger tips that is highlysynchronized with the planning data (planning analytics)