Panasonic Automotive: Integrated Planning for the Future of Mobility

By and Marc Becker | 3 minute read | January 21, 2021

Many industries are going through a period of change. New technologies and growing competitive pressures require an efficiency-driven revision of internal processes and enhanced governance with a unified system of financial planning, management and controls. The automotive industry as well as the supplier industry, which must always be cost-efficient, is also affected by this upheaval. On the road to the mobility of the future, integrated planning is the key to success. Because those who do not plan effectively leave the success of their company to chance.

Suppliers must deliver on efficiency

Panasonic Automotive Systems Europe GmbH offers systems and technologies that make mobility more comfortable, environmentally friendly and safe. From multimedia systems to solutions for eco-friendly power trains, Panasonic’s advanced technologies and expertise extend the possibilities for future vehicle development.

Products and solutions for next generation cars:

  • Infotainment systems: Car infotainment and navigation systems, audio systems, ETC (Electric Toll Collection) units, AV and rear seat entertainment systems, speaker systems
  • Displays: HUD, Digital Cluster
  • Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS): detection systems, night vision systems, keyless entry systems, rear view cameras
  • Solutions for electric driving and hybrid cars

Panasonic Automotive has decided to combat the challenges of its product planning process with integrated technical support from IBM. The current software solution did not allow the projects to be planned and analyzed in the most effective way. Large parts of the planning were manual and thus prone to errors. In addition, the existing software solution was decentralized so that different projects and their individual planning assumptions were compiled in separate areas. Consistent coordination between the departments was therefore very time consuming.

One central database for project planning and project costing

To meet the requirements and challenges mentioned above, Panasonic implemented IBM Planning Analytics  powered by TM1. This integrated planning solution allowed users to access planning, reporting and administration functions via the web. In addition, the solution allows the embedding of SAP-based actual data to ensure an automatic comparison between plan assumption and actuals.

The input data of the planning such as sales assumptions, material costs or R&D expenses can be displayed in different currencies. Entered planning data are aggregated automatically and in real time by the stored calculation engine to assist with profit and loss reporting. To report on results, monthly SAP actual values are loaded to update the plan values, so that users can execute a plan/actual analysis as well as a rolling forecast. An option has been implemented to work with different scenarios and to freeze reported scenarios. The planning application has a long-term planning horizon, as the product development and production planning include project durations of 8 to 15 years.

Panasonic Automotive is now able to plan and consolidate its projects faster, more accurately and in a deeper level of detail. Planning is now based on a more consistent and reliable basis:

  • One consistent planning process
  • One database (“single point of truth”)
  • Trusted planning values / less errors
  • Comprehensible results
  • Monthly rolling forecast
  • Reliable and consistent master data
  • Web based planning
  • Transparency of results through access by top management to all plan/actual data

Ensuring competitiveness with IBM Planning Analytics with Watson

Many industries are affected by the disruption caused by new technologies. The competitive advantage of individual companies who recognize the strategic importance of this disruption earlier, will be more difficult to catch up with in the future. IBM Planning Analytics with Watson offers a solution that allows projects to be planned faster, more effectively and in a deeper level of detail. As a result of these predictive and planning capabilities, companies will gain additional value. With a central database, decentralized practices can be dissolved, and companies can remain competitive in the future despite the speed of change.

Learn more about IBM Planning Analytics with Watson.