Are Businesses Prepared for the Next Global Crisis?

Are Businesses Prepared for the Next Global Crisis?

After multiple interest rate hikes and global crisis in a short period of time, it’s difficult for businesses to keep up and adapt. But how difficult?

New data from the intelligent planning technology Board International reveals that, despite nearly every global business executing some form of planning transformation attempt since 2020, 90% report it failing to some degree.   

Board’s Global Planning Survey 2023 Results

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. 

Three years on from Covid-19, which caused widespread economic and social disruption, the new Board Planning Transformation Benchmark Survey asked how they are faring in light of a series of economic ‘unprecedented’ events.

Just 13% (UK: 12%) said they were unaffected by events, such as Covid-19, the war in Ukraine and the cost-of-living crisis. As a result, 85% (UK: 78%) of businesses say planning is now taken more seriously across their organisation; 76% (UK: 65%) have seen budgets for planning transformation and planning teams increase; and 94% (UK: 90%) are being asked for a more strategic approach to planning by their boards and / or investors.  

The report highlights that 90% (UK: 91%) of transformations failed for one reason or another. A lack of technical capability within the organisation is cited as the top cause of failed transformations by over a quarter (Global: 26%; UK: 22%) of decision makers. Lack of investment in skills (Global: 23%; UK: 22%) and scarcity of team resources (Global: 22%; UK: 24%) came in close second and third places. 

Why Have Planning Transformations for Global Crisis Failed?

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 (Global: 98%; UK: 97%) of the decision makers responded that they do some of their planning on spreadsheets like Excel – a tool built in 1985. Plus, planners are taking on average 27 hours (UK: 25 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 (Global: 29%; UK: 31%), rising interest rates (Global: 22%; UK: 22%), another pandemic (Global: 32%; UK: 35%), or a recession (Global: 34%; UK: 29%), around a third said they were not. 

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