To grow your company and improve your bottom line you must be able to anticipate and react quickly to changes in the business environment. One of the best tools available to help you and your management team make decisions is a corporate performance management or CPM system.
You want a 360-degree view of the past, present, and future performance of your company. You insist the solution integrates all areas of the business to carry out financial forecasting, produce reports and budgets, and quantify key performance metrics. Therefore, your CPM must gather data from all processes and systems, consolidate and aggregate it, and present comprehensive results to all management levels.
You are convinced a CPM will produce the reports and financial forecasting required to make decisions that will help the company prosper and grow. But for the system to serve its purpose, you must have efficient and reliable ways to collect data from various sources to feed the CPM database. Here is what you need to consider:
Data gathering options for CPM Software
"CPM software provides access to flexible, accurate rolling forecasts."
For accurate reporting, financial forecasting, and budgeting, the CPM software requires data from finance, human resources, marketing, sales, and operations. In most cases that data lives in more than one system--and in some cases, that data is on spreadsheets and even on paper.
To gather and enter all that information into the CPM software you can either do it manually, or through an automated process. Here are the the most common options:
- Manual data entry. With this method, each department has a screen customized for the data they need to enter. The numbers inputted come from the department most familiar with the data and are therefore reliable, but relying on manual data entry always involves the risk of delays and human error.
- Excel/CSV upload. This is a very common method of entering relatively large volumes of information. Excel savvy users download data from a system, and after some sorting, filtering, and aggregation, they create a file that is then uploaded to the CPM. This is a much faster way to enter data but all that massaging of the data could result in critical errors.
- Automated interface. For this option, the IT team creates and automates the connections between the source system and the CPM. This is a good alternative to a manual process because the automation removes the probability of human error. But, as it requires IT resources, this option can be costly.
- Built-in integration with your ERP. Hands down, this is—by far—the best way to feed your CPM system. With this method, the CPM has pre-built connections to the source systems. There is no need to allocate IT resources to build the connections.
- Manual feeds with review/approval workflow. A workflow is a series of automated actions triggered to occur based on other actions or events—or the lack of them. It’s a great option for cases where full integration or automated interfaces are not available. With a well-designed workflow, the risks involved in manual feeds can be mitigated.
It is critical to know how the data will feed to your CPM before you buy it. To obtain the best insights, the most complete picture of the health, and accurate financial forecasts for your company, your CPM should be tied directly into your financial system.
Let the team of CPM experts at RKL work with you when making your selection. They will present you solutions like Adaptive Insights, the CPM suite that integrates your organization. Adaptive Insights will provide you the information you need to make informed decisions on the future direction and profitable growth of your company.