Business software giant, SAP, is known worldwide for providing top-notch EPM (Enterprise Performance Management) applications for business. Many SAP customers recognize the value of an enterprise software investment but don’t always implement it to its full advantage – leaving near-term profits and future opportunities on the table.
RAMP Consulting, a SAP Enterprise Performance Management consulting company, believes that the key to smart management of your EPM financial software is identifying the best data points to inform business actions that are driven by a balance between corporate strategy and business unit objectives.
RAMP Consulting’s experience with clients from Fortune 100s to mid-sized companies gives them unique insight into how to effectively customize an EPM financial solution to fit any business. They employ a four-step process that helps clients gain greater enterprise-wide control through maximizing the value of EPM applications.
Gaining control over your EPM financial solution begins with 4 key steps:
- Unveiling answers that provides future direction
- Gathering the right data
- Aligning corporate strategy with business unit objectives
- Adapting systems to rapid change
“Some of our best insights about data management come directly from business units. With customer-facing access, divisional managers provide immediate, real-world response to our products and services – oftentimes faster than we would hear about it if we waited for information to surface in our old legacy corporate reporting chain.”
CFO, Retail Franchise Company
Step Two: What Data Informs Best Performance?
For many well-intentioned businesses that achieve less-than-desired results, the famous saying by legendary baseball manager Yogi Berra, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else”, is probably an appropriate analogy. The key to optimizing an EPM investment centers on smart integrated planning – and it is only achieved with smart information gathering.
Smart data gathering begins with a clear understanding of your financial reporting requirements, allowing your business to follow best practices to meet current financial reporting needs, guarantee compliance fulfillment and create a system that lowers overall audit expenses.
TAKE THE SECOND STEP
For many companies, determining which customers and products create the best value comes from close observation of sales and financial data. Making sure that the right data fields are being captured to best inform CEOs and corporate strategists cannot happen in a vacuum. The importance of channel feedback is critical to the corporate strategy planning cycle. Departmental users have to find the data meaningful to their own unit plans and objectives to really engage the full value of that information.
Most companies that have implemented strong financial reporting solutions recognize the value of greater integration across the organization. They also realize that supplying data, which is both informative and actionable, is critical. At the start of any EPM implementation, an enterprise-wide investigation of the key factors driving business success is essential.
Ask senior and operational executives in corporate, division and unit management to supply a detailed track of data needs – reporting requirements, data that informs daily decisions, or data that might alter current operations.
- Which data points do they reference most often?
- Which data points are critical to answering “of the moment” questions?
- Which data points inform IFRS and other compliance requirements?
- Which data points could reduce auditing costs?
- How many data points from different divisions and business units are valuable to their own operations?
In other blog postings, RAMP Consulting examines all the steps needed to create an effective EPM financial system that informs your present day success and future opportunities. If you want to learn more about those steps, click here. While many of these steps overlap on the metrics they provide, together they define the various components that determine the effectiveness of your financial EPM software solution.
If you want to learn more about the overall importance of smart data gathering for your organization and effective ways to maximize your financial EPM investment, download RAMP Consulting’s latest white paper, Smart Integrated Planning Starts with Smart Information Gathering.