You have emphasized the value of contingency or what-if scenario planning. How well do companies use it?

We find limited use of in-depth contingency planning that enables executives and managers to understand both the operational and financial consequences of specific choices they make or the impacts of external conditions such as changes in a competitor’s strategy or in the economy. Contingency planning usually is limited to a financially focused set of plans including a base case, a conservative case and an upside or optimistic case. Only 23 percent of people doing demand planning, for example, said they can explore all relevant scenarios to quantify and understand the implications of various assumptions. Simplistic scenario planning was fine when there was no practical alternative, but today’s software can make it much easier to understand how certain events will affect operations and the bottom line.