With the holidays just round the corner, SOLYP3 users from all over Germany gathered on December 5, 2013 in a relaxed atmosphere for our 2nd user convention. The intensive exchange of experiences in the use of the strategic planning software offered all involved parties a chance to share important discoveries and ideas which would help them in their work.
This year, we were especially delighted that our clients were willing to give talks in order to give other users insight into their own strategic planning processes with SOLYP3. Presentations were given by two companies that have just completed their first planning process with SOLYP3:
OSRAM Opto Semiconductors GmbH uses SOLYP3 to compile strategically relevant information in a structured and standardized manner; for the visualization of market intelligence at regular intervals, and for the continuous monitoring of the competition as part of strategic planning. On the output end, the focus is on a competitor dashboard and the visualization of the competitive situation in PowerPoint. Hence, at the push of the button, questionnaires can be transformed into a structured overview of global competitors. After a successful real-world test at their subsidiary, the parent company OSRAM Licht AG has also decided to rely on SOLYP3 for their needs.
Apart from the process of system-based data compilation and evaluation, KWS Saat AG has made the SOLYP3 Scenario Planning module a priority in their strategic planning. Other than a main scenario as the basis for the strategic planning process, an additional relevant alternative scenario is being developed at the enterprise level. Furthermore, the various divisions also have the option of developing their own individual scenarios.
Scenario planning helps to identify possible influencing factors in the business environment early on, enabling them to be taken into account during strategic planning. Scenarios that are defined top-down are enriched with data by the planning unit via questionnaires. For better comparability, multiple scenarios can be exported to PowerPoint at the push of a button, or in the form of automatically generated dashboards.
One of the latest SOLYP3 features we presented at the user convention was the ability to use dashboards for the qualification of specific financial key figures. Strategically relevant hard and soft data can be visualized and validated with the use of SOLYP3 dashboards, and relationships between the financial key figures of selected planning units can be established and evaluated as to their plausibility.
Fig. 1: Plausibility check of planning unit specific and strategic assumptions
Naturally, in addition to the modules, we are constantly improving our strategic planning software, and were able to provide our SOLYP3 users with a forecast of some of the product developments they can expect in the coming year: A new start page for the online documentation to allow users to quickly start using SOLYP3, or a new application modus for the maintenance of core data.
Usability will also be improved on a regular basis. The latest improvement was to the graphical navigation, which conveniently and intuitively guided the user through the visualization of the planning units and individual process steps. Furthermore, a smart assistant will simplify the navigation even further from SOLYP3 core version 6 onwards.
The power button in the versioning, which was introduced following user feedback from the last user convention, shows how important two-way communication is to us.
Thanks to the assistance of our SOLYP3 users from BASF, EPCOS AG, Giesecke & Devrient GmbH, Immonet GmbH, JOB AG, STO AG, and of course the representatives at OSRAM Opto Seminconductors GmbH and KWS Saat AG, this year's user convention was likewise a resounding success, and sparked many an interesting discussion. This was largely due to the diversity of SOLYP3 clients from various industries and differing requirements as to what strategic planning software should be able to do. For example, we were excited to hear people say that the strategy process has gained a greater degree of significance due to SOLYP3.
We thank all participants for their contributions, which made our SOLYP3 user convention as lively and productive as it was. We will definitely be considering all the ideas and suggestions given in order to constantly improve SOLYP3.