What Is Business System Planning?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 October 2019
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Business system planning is a strategy that calls for evaluating and structuring a platform for the processing of information throughout a business operation. The goal of this type of approach to the strategic management of a company is to make sure that all operations within the company structure make the most efficient use of information relevant to their areas of responsibility, and that communication between different levels of the business are operating at maximum efficiency. While a specific approach to business system planning was created by International Business Machines during the latter decades of the 20th century, variations on that process have since been developed and adapted to fit newer business models.

Over the years, the use of business system planning has provided a number of benefits to businesses of all sizes. One of the key benefits has to do with the ability to create a balanced view of what is and is not working with the current structure of a business, especially the technology that provides the foundation for that structure. By prompting the objective assessment of the system at all levels, this approach can often aid in identifying what is operating at optimal levels that meet the needs of the company, what is not operating at optimal levels but could be adapted or enhanced in order to meet those needs, and what aspects of the technology and the operation need to be removed or replaced in order to strengthen the company infrastructure.


Employing the general concepts of business system planning makes it much easier for owners and managers to identify when and how money should be spent to adapt the overall operation to the changing circumstances within the marketplace. This affects not only matters like the internal operation but ultimately the product line offered by the business, the way that customers are approached and supported by the business, and deciding when changes will be in the best interests of the company.

A company does not have to operate hundreds of locations and have a substantial employee base in order to benefit from the use of business system planning. Even a small business with one central location and a limited staff can take the general principles and apply them to the management of a product line, the internal workings of the business, and even to the task of becoming more visible to potential customers. There are a number of consultants today who work with companies of all sizes and types to help establish the basic framework for business system planning, training key people in how to make the most of the process, and even aid in the launching of the initiative. While there may be some expense on the front end, the benefits derived from this type of systematic approach will usually offset those expenses in a short period of time.


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