The importance of roadmap planning in manufacturing & distribution

What is roadmap planning? Why is it so important?

Simply put, a roadmap is an organization’s foundational planning stage for growth and change. It's the process in which a business or organization defines its future goals, assesses its current state, and creates a path forward.

At brij, we follow a four-pronged roadmap methodology developed with more than 35 years of industry experience; discover, review, sequence, and guide.


1. Discover initiatives to improve the use of your system

We identify initiatives using brij tools, system tools and user interviews. Initiatives are data, education, process or technical enhancements used to improve the use of one’s systems. It’s helpful to have an idea of your short-term and long-term business goals to better identify larger opportunities for improvement.

2. Review suggestions

Once we identify opportunities for initiatives, we meet to clarify, categorize and update suggested initiatives to better suit your end goals. Our consultants stay mindful of growth, decline, milestones, resource allocation, etc., to keep you agile and better prepared to adapt to market shifts.

3. Define the sequence

This is not a unique concept, most organizations need to set a sequence to grow. The difference comes in the quality of planning and the strategic planning process. A poorly planned sequence leads to delays, confusion, and can negatively impact overall performance. brij works closely with company leaders to set sequence prioritization while providing online deliverables that summarize roadmap content.

4. Guide the process

With suggestions and sequence in place, brij creates an executive-level business case presentation summarizing all findings. We meet with your company’s leadership to confirm the path forward. Once all parties are aligned, it’s time to get started! Throughout your transformation, brij continuously supports ongoing efforts through the brij flex tickets engagement.

Most companies only develop a high-level technology roadmap once every 5-10 years. Maybe even longer. Meanwhile, systems like JD Edwards, Hyperion, and Oracle Cloud EPM are constantly evolving. It begs the question, is this the time for DIY? Or is partnering with a business process improvement team that specializes in optimization the better choice to help with product planning or project management?

Achieve your Goals with Roadmap Planning

Simply put, by defining goals, understanding current landscapes, and creating an informed, agile plan to achieve those goals, organizations have a better chance to succeed. A common mistake is to define your goals and blindly march toward them without a plan. This approach often takes longer to show results [if any] and it’s easy for teams to lose focus causing the whole project to fall off the rails.

Some common reasons for pursuing digital transformation or automation include:

  • Meeting customer demand faster with an optimized supply chain
  • Eliminating time-wasting ‘spreadsheet gymnastics’
  • Simplifying multi-step business processes for better outputs
  • Increasing revenue through better forecasting
  • Improve the fundamental user experience for your team

Biggest Roadblocks

I’ve never heard a CEO say, “man, I just have too much time to get my work done. I don’t have enough work or meetings to keep me busy. What am I going to do with all this free time?” The biggest obstacle to any change with EPM systems will always be time; time and team participation. Often those on the ground are trying to catch up on backlogs and don’t have time to develop a new product vision. It’s challenging to coordinate everyone’s schedules and juggle planning for the future without dropping the ball on day-to-day operations.

Take the opportunity to step back with unbiased eyes to truly understand your “as-is.” Insight into your current state is invaluable. A true understanding of where you are and how you got there gives your roadmap an edge. Through understanding your “as-is",” you can easily see what’s needed to achieve your optimal “to-be.” They say hindsight is 20-20, use that vision to see the path forward.

For both JDE and Hyperion / Cloud EPM users, the biggest obstacles are twofold; first, you may not have knowledge of the full capability of your system. This is very understandable - the software is constantly evolving and updating. Keeping track of new software developments is a full-time job (and you already HAVE a full-time job). The second obstacle you may face is the tendency to focus on resolving individual pain points as they arise. This reactionary approach opts to treat the symptoms instead of the disease which can prevent you from developing long-term solutions.

Different systems - Different processes

At brij, we offer solutions based on your industry and individual needs.
For Hyperion or Cloud EPM Users brij specializes in collaborative planning, faster global period close, and actionable data visualization. This helps increase efficiency and accuracy by maximizing the potential of your hyperion or Cloud EPM system.

For JD Edwards Users the end goal of obtaining the most value of your JDE system is the same, but the path to get there will differ. For example:

  • Manufacturing & distribution companies may leverage barcode scanning, manufacturing execution system integration and IoT devices to automate processes.
  • Service based companies may leverage online customer experience tech that’s integrated into their JDE system to provide a more effective & responsive service experience for their customers.

Make it easier with brij

As an impartial third party, brij has the ability to see the bigger picture without bias. The brij team are JD Edwards, Hyperion and EPM Cloud industry experts who can help evaluate your pain points as part of a process to identify the root cause. From there, we recommend initiatives that enable you to use the software you have to solve your recurring problems in the long-term.

If your company has needs in which EPM can help, then a brij partner can help guide the process. The specifics of your roadmap could include more efficient and accurate:

  • Financial close
  • Planning, Budgeting, and Forecasting
  • Account Reconciliation
  • Reporting (including quarterly and annual reports)
  • Financial Data Management
  • Tax Management

For example, in manufacturing and distribution industries, primary roadmap challenges include anticipating supply, demand, and supply chain constraints. These factors rely on external variables and market shifts. So, smart planning helps companies deploy capital optimally to better meet customer needs.

Trying to set goals, assess your current state, and plan a roadmap is time-consuming. When you add in running day-to-day business operations, the final challenge is, of course, implementing or changing processes. It helps to have a dedicated team focused on overseeing implementation to prevent the changes from impacting overall productivity.