Third of big businesses unprepared for next global crisis

Board asked 2,450 decision makers working at major companies across the globe how they are faring in light of a series of 'unprecedented’ economic events

Around a third of big businesses consider themselves unprepared to handle a global crisis, according to new research from Board International

The software developer, which provides intelligent technology to help organisations with their planning processes, found 34% were not ready to cope with a recession and 32% would struggle in the event of another pandemic

A similar proportion admitted they were not prepared for supply chain disruption (29%), while more than one in five (22%) did not have the necessary systems in place to handle rising interest rates (22%). 

Marco Limena, CEO of Board, said: “With all the uncertainty that we see in the world, business leaders need to recognise a new reality: the era of continuous disruption is here. Those seven words are meant as a wake-up call for organisations to continuously adapt and find new capabilities and efficiencies to deal with today’s challenging environment. 

Marco Limena, CEO of Board International. Picture: Business Wire

“Continuous planning is an imperative, and the good news is that companies that advance their digital capabilities can steer their business at the speed of change and gain a competitive edge.”

In producing its Global Planning Survey 2023, Board asked 2,454 decision makers across the UK, the US, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Australia and Singapore how they are faring in light of a series of ‘unprecedented’ economic events. All worked in finance planning, supply chain planning and merchandise planning functions in businesses with more than 500 employees. 

Companies seeing planning transformation failings

Board International’s study revealed the extent to which companies have tried to adapt their planning processes over the past few years – with limited success. While almost all (97%) of those surveyed reported executing some form of planning transformation attempt since 2020, the vast majority (90%) reported it failing to some degree. 

A lack of technical capability within the organisation was cited by decision makers as the top cause of failed transformations (26%), followed by a lack of investment in skills (23%) and scarcity of team resources (22%). 

Following the pandemic, the outbreak of war in Ukraine and the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, planning is inevitably clearly being taken more seriously across big organisations. A significant proportion (85%) of decision makers said this was the case at their own businesses, while more than three-quarters (76%) have seen budgets for planning transformation and planning teams increase.

A huge 94% of respondents revealed they were being asked for a more strategic approach to planning by their boards or investors.   

Unsurprisingly, just 13% of those surveyed said they had been unaffected by the aforementioned globally significant events of the past few years. 

Antiquated practices holding businesses back

In addition to shedding light on skills gaps, Board’s data demonstrated that wide usage of inefficient planning practices was preventing meaningful progress.

When asked what tools they use to plan, nearly all (98%) decision makers admitted they do some of their planning on spreadsheets like Excel – a programme first built in 1985.

Planners are taking on average 27 hours per week to model different scenarios for their businesses. 

Read the full report: Global Planning Survey 2023


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