Plans, budgets, and forecasts can be some of the most valuable contributions that finance makes to the business. Ideally, they help organizations know what’s coming down the road and remain agile enough to respond to uncertainty and to keep the business moving forward. The goal of these processes is to produce planning, budgeting, and forecasting that help provide guidance and decision-making support for the business. The key consideration is not necessarily how much organizations are spending on the process, but instead whether organizations are making better decisions. When FP&A plays a strong business partnering role and is in frequent conversations with the business, the challenges, opportunities, and pain points of plans, budgets, and forecasts become visible quickly.
A digital business cannot be successful without the processes to manage data and gain insightful analytics form it. Some processes can be automated via business rules, while others require manual input. Whatever the approach, it’s important that data management processes are as simple, automated, and designed according to standards specific to the organization. Data life-cycle processes are critical to decision makers because they are a key component of any outcome-driven business strategy. The volume of data and enterprise landscape complexity are growing, and poor data processes often lead to poor data quality and unfounded decision making. Business can create a successful outcome-driven enterprise data strategy that is unmatched by combining a data life-cycle process with the right tools and technologies that provides actionable and real-time business insight.
As organizations continue to put greater emphasis on facts-based decision making, ensuring relevant measures and timely access to data becomes increasingly important. Often organizations will pinpoint a handful of key performance indicators (KPIs) to gauge the organization’s operational performance. The reporting structure for these KPIs is critical in allowing decision makers to the pulse of their business by identifying performance issues and drill-down to identify opportunities for improvement. Best-practice manufacturing organizations understand that consistently tracking operational and financial KPIs that are directly related to productivity and productivity are key in gaining actionable and accurate insights into their business.
Today’s digital innovations represent a major evolution in cost management strategies, providing companies with the opportunity to gain a much deeper understanding of their business’s prime value levers, which they can use to fundamentally and sustainably change their cost structures, seize opportunities, and grow profitably. Businesses that are successful with their cost and revenue strategies all have three things in common. First, these companies are employing digital technologies to enable “next-generation” cost management. The second factor is a strategic, rather than tactical, view of costs across the organization that enables decision makers to answer questions like, “where should I be cutting my costs?” or “What will happen if…?”. Finally, these organizations have established effective and transformative cost management programs enterprise wide. As a result, they can provide faster and deeper data-driven insight on what’s driving value and what are the cost drivers.
Many businesses have found that their existing business processes have simply outlived the intended reason for which they were initially designed. Once business leaders realize the way they are doing business is not effective or profitable, they seek ways to improve and optimize their existing processes. This search for workflow optimization is prompted by a very real need to improve productivity and operational efficiency – a need that is evident across all business segments and vertical industries. Most can easily identify areas where improved efficiency is needed, but without a clear understanding of the problem, there is a general reluctance to simply throw time, money, and resources at a solution. The key is to implement a tool that can help the business clearly identify the issue and potential solutions.