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Why your business needs always-on planning

Author: Aidan Depetro, Director – Software Group, Deloitte

One of the harsh realities of our rapidly evolving business landscape is that traditional strategic planning cycles no longer serve organisations like they once did.

Enterprises face pressure to adopt solutions that will allow smarter decision-making in real-time, due to market forces like swift technological advancements, the hyper-connected nature of global economies, and unexpected disruptions like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deloitte Foresight is a cutting-edge platform that empowers businesses to make a paradigm shift to ‘always-on planning’ so they can thrive in the face of constant change.

Overcoming the challenge of strategic planning cycles

In the past, organisations relied on annual or multi-year planning cycles to make critical business decisions. But this approach has become increasingly ineffective – Digital transformation, globalisation and interdependencies between industries has created an environment that rewards proactive enterprises rather than reactive ones.

Digital transformation, globalisation and interdependencies between industries has created an environment that rewards proactive enterprises rather than reactive ones.

Advancements in technology – and the use cases those advances unlock for existing technologies – are accelerating the rate of change expected from businesses. We believe this pace of change calls for a fundamental shift in the way businesses plan.

To stay ahead of the curve, our clients realise they must quickly understand both the short- and long-term implications of decisions, across resources, financials, operations and critical assets. And they need insights that are increasingly granular (e.g. daily, shift, hourly) and mapped to varied time horizons.

The case for planning that’s always on time

When you shift to Always-on planning, you gain an ever-evolving snapshot of both the current state and potential future states of your business, which is critical for business leaders. Businesses can now access “living” models, linked to live data.

Aided by digital twin technology, businesses can even test the impact of future business decisions entirely in the digital realm. This digital “future management” offers digitally tried-and-tested outcomes across business processes, redefining how data-driven planning might look for businesses.

How Deloitte Foresight empowers always-on planning

Solutions like Deloitte Foresight create this ‘living model’ of the business, with constantly updated predictive modelling. Decision-makers can iterate their strategy and operational plans in real-time and proactively adapt to emerging trends and opportunities.

Foresight is a game-changer for businesses that want predictive planning in near real-time and need to understand how strategic decisions could impact their critical, value-driving processes.

It’s a modelling and simulation solution that facilitates proactive, fast decision-making through predictive insights across complex demand, supply and financial levers and numerous resource types.

Foresight offers:

  • Workbench of predictive tools: Leverage machine learning, discrete event simulation, optimisation algorithms and advanced technologies to predict short-term and long-term eventualities.
  • Scenario Builder: Build what-if scenarios to analyse risks or opportunities and evaluate business moves and strategies.
  • Advanced analytics: Create and consume insight-rich visualisations that empower smart decision-making.
  • Forecast Accuracy Tracking: Track the performance of forecasts and prediction algorithms to continuously improve accuracy and adapt to changing conditions.
  • Single source of truth: Generate a single source of truth to integrate business units across workforce, supply chain, operations and assets.
  • Multiple planning horizons: Accommodates various planning horizons, from next day to 20 years from now.
  • Digital Twinning: Model value-producing business flows across your operations, then apply and iterate business responses.
  • Integration: Integrate with multiple data sources and systems, including real-time data feeds for the ultimate business digital twin.

Foresight brings together modelling, simulation and analytics, empowering decision-makers to stay ahead of the curve with timely, data driven decision-making. It brings together siloed data into a single ‘source of truth’ for a holistic view of the business, bridging the gap between different departments and aligning decision-making across the organisation.

Real-world success stories

Foresight has already made a significant impact across industries and helped organisations of all sizes to achieve always-on planning. A state rail operator came to Deloitte facing a variety of difficulties, particularly frequent service cancellations due to resource shortages. This, in turn, was severely affecting their daily operations and customer satisfaction levels. Foresight enabled this customer to create a five-year forecast at a 15-minute granularity of the resources needed to deliver their services. The results were remarkable: cancellations caused by resource shortages dropped from 35% to zero.

For this rail operator, Foresight optimised their resource management and accelerated how they respond to real-time demands, ultimately resulting in greater operational efficiency and significantly improved customer experience.

The railway operator is now using Foresight to optimise how they roster frontline staff to meet service demands while protecting their employee wellbeing with more balanced schedules.

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Why Foresight?

The applications of Foresight are truly vast, with several key benefits no matter your organisation’s size or industry:

  • Flexible: The agnostic platform can adapt to your existing technologies and/or planning ecosystems, integrating multiple data sources and connecting to visualisation tools while streamlining new functionality through low-code development.
  • Always-on: Shift to a proactive mode of operating with the ability to constantly monitor changing conditions, stay ahead of risks and make the most of opportunities.
  • Scalable: Grow your modelling with your organisation, adding new data sources over time and incorporating AI forecasting and simulation.
  • Integrated: Integrated decisioning across functional siloes, aligned at every operational level.
  • Shareable: Intuitive dashboards and interactive reporting allow the right insights to be derived for different audiences.

And, Foresight delivers value in weeks rather than months – meaning an early-stage return on investment.

The bottom line is that always-on planning is not a nice-to-have anymore – it’s a core strategy for businesses that want to thrive in the digital age. In a world where change is constant, Foresight “puts your data to work” for that future clarity, so your organisation can navigate a changing world with confidence.

This is a new degree of visibility and data-driven decision-making – Now, leaders must plan based on the latest insights in real-time, for a competitive edge.