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Designing and Implementing a Best-in-Class IBP Process to Drive Cross-Functional Alignment

Clarkston Consulting recently partnered with a CPG client on a IBP process to drive cross-functional alignment. Read a synopsis of the project below or download the full case study.

Download the IBP Process to Drive Cross-Functional Alignment Case Study

A rapidly growing snack food company underwent a major transformation through its integration with a global food and beverage company. In order to align strategic, operational, and financial goals with its new parent company, this client partnered with Clarkston Consulting to design a new Integrated Business Planning (IBP) process and transition them from its Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) process. The client’s traditional S&OP process revealed limitations. The process was effective in supporting day-to-day operations and tactical short-term execution but lacked strategic, operational, and financial alignment in the longer-time horizon. Problem-solving often occurred in siloes, as each function managed its own forecast and set of conflicting assumptions, preventing alignment to a single plan.  

Understanding that the client would be expected to adopt certain ways of working through the post-merger integration, Clarkston prioritized understanding the strengths and drawbacks of both the client’s former S&OP process and the parent company’s existing IBP process. This ensured the new IBP design retained its strengths while adopting necessary process improvements, reflecting leading industry best practices. To gather this information, Clarkston first assessed existing processes and conducted interviews with key stakeholders. This provided the Clarkston team with a list of pain points that the new IBP process would need to address, as well as a list of requirements to take into design workshops. It also introduced opportunities for quick wins, such as eliminating meetings and strategically repurposing others that would serve a new purpose in the new design 

Clarkston then led a series of design workshops with the client to develop an end-to-end IBP process that included the development of core IBP meetings and a set of supporting feeder meetings. Each workshop resulted in a set of process design components for each IBP meeting, including defined meeting agendas, standardized meeting deck templates, RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) charts, SIPOC (Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, Customers) diagrams, and important technology considerations to enable the end-state design. Additionally, Clarkston helped tease out the more executional elements of their former S&OP process and stood up a formal Sales and Operations Execution (S&OE) process.  

Clarkston then supported the client with the IBP process implementation, developing training materials and engaging with stakeholders through training sessions, Office Hours, and post-go-live support. Clarkston developed a tailored continuous improvement approach, engaging stakeholders at all levels of the organization early in the launch phase to capture and implement refinements to the process.  

By partnering with Clarkston, the client was successful in designing and implementing a leading-edge IBP process, resulting in increased collaboration and ownership across teams who were all working under a single set of assumptions and numbers and enabling alignment to a single business plan. This transition to a more integrated planning approach with industry-leading practices and client-specific insights has positioned the client for sustained growth and operational excellence. 

Download the IBP Process to Drive Cross-Functional Alignment case study, and learn more about our Supply Chain Consulting Services by contacting us below. 

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Contributions by Zach McClughen 

Tags: Case Study, S&OP