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Oliver Wight Blog

The Role of Finance in IBP – Part 4 – The Review Meetings

By Mike Reed, Partner at Oliver Wight Asia Pacific

27 March 2018

Previously, in our four-part blog series investigating The Role of Finance in IBP we have addressed the three fundamental roles of finance in IBP – as a collaborator, enabler and custodian and the importance of finance in an organisation. In addition, we discussed the ‘Five Key IBP questions’ and how finance is integral in providing a response to these questions.

In this final blog, we look at the five major elements to the monthly IBP cycle, otherwise known as ‘The Review Meetings’ (figure 1). I shall be unravelling the role that finance should play in each review highlighting the importance of the financial team’s engagement at each stage, that will ultimately help drive better business results.

Figure 1


The Product Management Review

This review assesses the part of the commercial operations of one’s business, and as such, should include the Commercial Financial Business Partner (FBP) as the representative from the finance team. The FBP will work alongside the Product Planning Manager (the facilitator of the PMR) to develop the company’s product and portfolio plan covering a minimum of 24 months.

Part of the review involves the Commercial FBP providing essential financial support such as net sales value, contribution, return on investment and so on. This support will include communicating clearly the financial implications of any Opportunities and Vulnerabilities that arise which could impact a product development project.  

Throughout the meeting, the finance representative will report on all financial updates raised. In doing so, the finance team can organise all current financial measures and evaluate them accordingly, thereby producing metrics useful for later reviews.

The Demand Review

The Commercial FBP should also support the Demand Review and in preparation map out in detail various steps that are required to make this review successful. This includes capturing financial measures and an analysis behind the numbers, working closely with the demand team to evaluate whether the financial measures line up with the root cause analysis – ultimately, there should not be two conflicting stories.

Modelling and Scenario Planning is also supported by the finance team, who need to understand the implications of scenarios on the financial outcomes. Additionally, finance must sort through Opportunities and Vulnerabilities finding ways to exploit Opportunities and defend Vulnerabilities.


By consolidating all inputs that have been received and critiqued, finance are able to highlight gaps to financial commitments – this year’s budgets, next year’s targets etc. Once these have been identified, finance must support the production of gap-closing recommendations with robust financial information.

The Supply Review

For this review, the Operations or Supply Chain FBP is likely to represent the finance team. Often, where involving multiple manufacturing or more complex supply chains, the Supply Review process is broken down into Supply Point Reviews supported by various FBP team members.

Similar to The Demand Review the Supply Review process needs to be mapped out first with all inputs, outputs, roles and responsibilities. Early in the month the finance team will provide reliable financial measures as part of the overall set of performance measures for supply, with an understanding of root cause analysis.

Finance will also engage in scenario modelling for alternative supply plans, ensuring all financial implications are made clear. Opportunities and Vulnerabilities are then captured and gap to commitments identified with gap closing plans proposed.  Finally, financial projections are developed and analysis is required, essential for decision briefs, dealing with issues such as capacity, shift changes, pre-stocking and alternative sourcing models.

Integrated Reconciliation and Reconciliation Review

Integrated Reconciliation is a continuous monthly process. The Reconciliation Review is led by the IBP Process Leader supported by the facilitators for each of the three core process elements of IBP  - Product Planning Manager, Demand Manager and Supply Chain Planning Manager.  This team ensures issues are captured and moved through the IBP process, supported by the finance team whose role is to make financial implications clear.

In the lead up to the Reconciliation Review, finance pulls together the financial picture for the company ensuring the forecast reflects the metrics and assumptions from each of the three previous reviews. This allows them to bring together ‘Gap to Commitments’ analysis for current and future fiscal years.  Additionally, finance might hold a Finance Review meeting to ensure financial metrics are understood and projections are robust. This is where the FBPs from across the organisation come together, chaired by the CFO.

The CFO may also chair the Reconciliation Review; which aims to identify the decisions required for the Management Business Review, ensuring that alternative plans and recommendations are prepared and ready for consideration. This includes having gap closing recommendations on the table for decision or as a business matures the focus shifts from gap closing to re-planning and re-optimising the business.

Management Business Review

The MBR is the forum of executive decision-making. The focus is on driving the business to meet its goals and closing gaps to commitments, with financial implications being clearly understood. For this review, finance are represented by the CFO – the process owner for the financial appraisal component of the entire IBP process.

The CFO ensures that all financial plans have been properly evaluated, that decision briefs are accurate and that appropriate scenarios have been modelled for key Opportunities and Vulnerabilities. This enables the executive board to make effective gap-closing decisions, so that as the business matures the MBR can drive the organisation to its aspirational targets.

For more information on the role of finance in the IBP, read our latest white paper here.