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INDUSTRIAL PLANNING AND PERFORMANCE CONTROL

MEDIUM-LONG RANGE PLANNING
Some of the important aspects to be analyzed when preparing a Medium-Long Range Plan are:
definition of the company mission (products, prices, markets, profitability, etc.) and clear identification of the "core business ";
verification of the company assets (human resources, industrial logistics, financial strength, etc.);
study of the marketing mix (products, prices, quantities and gross profits) and definition of the strategies to be adopted (which products in which markets, industrial logistics, necessary resources, etc.);
analysis of the evolution in sectors related to the fields in which the enterprise operates;
unbiased assessment of the product portfolio (actual and projected) indicating the competitive position for each product in each market;
marketing data collection (competition, market share, total available market, etc.) in the market in which the enterprise is active, or wants to become active.

PERFORMANCE CONTROL
When properly installed it makes available to the Top Management the following elements:
flexible budget (with clear indication of the break-even point) and an accounting plan showing the categories of homogeneous groups of expenditures, to facilitate the control of the costs and the gross margin;
monthly situation of costs and revenues (showing the differences from the budget) indicating the profitability of the enterprise (without waiting for the mandatory fiscal reports);
an updated situation of the assets to check, and therefore to manage, the active and passive evolution of the enterprise;
product costs evolution (by product, by production cycle, by activity, etc.) to intervene, when necessary, in due time, on sales department, warehouse management, purchasing office, etc.;
EDP system that reduces the times (and the costs) necessary to elaborate all the necessary information to allow the Top Management to operate with methods similar to those indicated by the "total quality philosophy".

At the threshold of the third millennium, the enterprises must recover the ability to remunerate the production factors: labour and capital. The goal is not only to produce new wealth, but also to assure survival, profitability and development for the years to come; and the future has never been so uncertain as today.

Time to market, flexibility, lean organization, ABM (Activity Based Management), attitude toward change, internationalization, outsourcing, reduction of the circulating capital, excellence in quality, are some managerial techniques that have proved to be valid in the past and that today are considered essential in every firm correctly managed.

Two fundamental prerequisites are necessary to adopt these techniques with profit: an accurate representation of the business situation and a medium-term planning that will drive the business evolution.

From these prerequisites a synthesis can be derived that will drive the enterprise in all the initiatives to be undertaken.

MEDIUM-LONG RANGE PLANNING (LRP or Business Plan)
In extreme synthesis it collects and presents in an explicit manner the knowledge that the enterprise already possesses, paying particular attention to the motivations and the conditionings that will influence the business development in the years to come; it is very often necessary to integrate the internal data with a deep analysis of the status of the market in which the enterprise operates.
The Business Plan or LRP (usually for three years) can be prepared starting from these data, integrated by the analysis of the points of strength and weakness of the enterprise (know-how, technology, managerial resources, commercial coverage, etc.). The LRP must underline the turnover, the cost trends, the forecasted profits, the investments needed in the commercial department, in R&D, etc. identifying all the actions and controls which are necessary to be taken to ensure a correct implementation.

PERFORMANCE CONTROL
Performance Control allows an effective control of the business profitability studying the economic and organizational variables; in practice it consists of a complete set of data locating the points of the business activity that originate the costs and the revenues.
Starting from this information we can identify the causes that determine the differences between the actual and forecasted results (budget) and the corrective interventions must be defined.

These are the necessary elements to prepare economic and financial plans (business plan) necessary to present the enterprise to the banks, to the industrial investors, etc.

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