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If you are reading this article, you may either be researching a vendor for a budgeting tool or have inherited a corporate performance management (CPM) software from your accounting department. No matter what situation you are in, I have encouraging words for you: The right CPM solution will save time and money. A key benefit of a CPM software is the ability to automate your processes. First, you will need to figure out how to improve your organization’s budget planning process.

Clean the Data

You may have had a similar process before adopting a CPM tool, but having a budgeting and business planning processes is critical. A CPM solution gives your company the exact data to make informed decisions. The data must be communicated in a timely manner. This allows companies to make decisions in response to actual accounting data compared with anticipated results during the budgeting period. This data must be clear for the decision makers. This can be ensured with the use of dashboards and a data warehouse.

 

One of our prior articles, Corporate Performance Management in the Future: How to Upgrade Reporting, Budgeting, Dashboards, and Data Warehouse Processes, discusses how executives put CPM platform projects as a high priority because they know that a well-planned and executed CPM implementation functions like an “exoskeleton for the business, surrounding every decision-maker with supportive technology to help them make smart and speedy decisions.” However, a well-versed CPM user knows that reports and forecasts are only as good as the data that drives them.

 

Companies will be leaders in their industries because they have successfully implemented a powerful CPM platform that enables their employees to make smart decisions. These companies have already started cleaning up their data. It can take years, which defines how successful their CPM solution will be because many companies have “dirty data” everywhere. This is mainly caused by the errors that inevitably come with manual data entry and gathering data from multiple sources.

Don’t Judge a Book by the Cover

Save time and money by automating manual processes. In this digital world, it’s surprising that companies still enter in their data manually.  Did you know that CPM software companies offer more than simple planning and reporting? The nature of CPM is constant evolving. For instance, planning has always been linked to annual budgeting. Instead of preparing only an annual budget, organizations are beginning to plan more frequently by developing monthly rolling forecasts. In other words, many organizations want to plan at a more detailed level than just the general ledger.

Therefore, when planning becomes more detailed, CPM functions as an operational analytical application. Companies use this as a foundation for planning at a higher and detailed level for budgeting and forecasting. In conclusion, a CPM tool facilitates a smooth, more efficient budgeting process across your entire organization. Learn how a cloud CPM solution like BI360 can help your business improve your organization’s internal processes here.

Do the Research

Feel free to look at software reviews and even compare corporate performance management tools on G2 Crowd to see which product is the best corporate performance management software for you and your company. CPM helps your business align financial and operational data to drive performance and better foster the health of your company. CPM helps with executing your organizational strategies. Keep in mind that strategies, goals, analysis and planning are a part of the CPM process. Selecting the best CPM software solution is a process that requires a great deal of research. If you are struggling to find a CPM tool that fills in all of the blanks, Solver has a team of professionals that can get your company started.

 

Solver enables world-class decisions with BI360, a leading web-based CPM suite made up of budgeting, reporting, dashboards, and data warehousing, delivered through a web portal. Solver is reinventing CPM with its next generation solution. BI360 empowers business users with modern features including innovative use of Excel in the model design process. If you’re interested in learning more, our team is excited to hear about your organizational needs and goals.

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Congratulations! You’ve already made the hard decision. You’ve done your research on software vendors, you’ve notified your IT and finance departments, and the decision makers have signed the contract. Let’s talk about the many stages you and your team will experience as your company prepares for a software implementation project. We’ve talked about the technical tips and tricks in former blog posts and you can find all the articles here including budgeting and forecasting implementation, but in this blog article, I want to cover the impact of change and how to prepare you and your team with your reactions to change.

 

How a person performs actions and experiences feelings in response to a software implementation matters. We’ve been told that “work is work,” and we can’t let our emotions get in the way especially in the professional realm, but how can we not? We all have emotions and change is hard. If you are in the middle of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation or preparing for one, this article is for you. I will cover eight general emotions of change and tips on handling each stage that comes your way. This is adapted from “Eight Emoticons of an ERP Implementation” in the BCUG/NAVUG H1 2019 issue, written by Kelli J. Miller, Director of IT at Crown Battery.

 

Stage One: Excitement

At the beginning of software implementation, most people who are involved as well as company executives are excited and amped up for this opportunity. Whether the new ERP system will make the employees’ lives easier, business will become more efficient, sales will increase, or an ineffective software system gets replaced, the company focuses its thoughts around a positive outcome. The energy is fresh, and the employees who are involved typically have time set aside to work on the project. Users provide all the information needed, and implementers eagerly accomplish their tasks. During the excitement stage, it is a good idea to ask your team what makes them excited about this project. This exercise is important because they will want to refer back to this thought and emotion when the going gets tough.

Stage Two: Optimism

The project and software demonstrations have kicked off. As the ERP team demonstrates the ERP software, details and processes are developed. Your colleagues have realized they made some assumptions and may not have asked enough questions, but at the same time, users see the software and begin to understand the details. Questions are re-addressed and everything looks like it’s been covered. At this stage, those involved remain optimistic. Keep in mind that it is totally normal for new details to emerge during the implementing process. Remain confident in the decision your company has made and the implementation team’s skills.

Stage Three: Doubt

The software demonstrations are complete and all users are beginning to understand one thing. Every department depends on another department to get their job accomplished. How many of us experience that on a weekly basis? You may notice everyone in the company is talking about their concerns regarding the project. Integration is hard work. It is only natural to question if the amount of the work is worth the benefits of the implementation project. This doubting stage is a reminder that questions are good. Only when business processes and the software are questioned are we able to make good changes, and only when we make chances, we can make improvements.

Stage Four: Uncertainty

The ERP software has been configured, and the testing has begun. Your team uses the software for the first time, and the change feels VERY real. Tasks that used to be a walk in the park are no longer easy. You may find yourself asking questions such as “I created the item, but how do I find it?” “How do I get my manager to approve this purchase order?” You’ll find some colleagues asking for help and others are determined to figure it out on their own.

Overall, your team is no longer confident that they can overcome the challenges to make the project successful. Hence, this is the uncertainty stage. When your team feels unsure, this is a time to remind them of the issues the old system caused them, and to take advantage of the support and resources the ERP team offers. This will give your colleagues the confidence of overcoming their challenges.

Stage Five: Frustration

Your team experience some success when testing the software, but there are also some issues that need to be addressed. In addition, the team prioritizes the project that the demands of their day-to-day tasks and responsibilities are piling up. Frustration sets in during this phase. It is extremely important to have the team express their frustration, but not sit in it. Once your team expresses their frustration, help them with prioritization and refocus them on project tasks.

Stage Six: Overwhelmed

A big part of the project is complete, and the team just needs to power through to get the job done. Your team may be overwhelmed because there are still some issues that need to be resolved. This is the appropriate time to encourage the team to complete one task at a time. The big picture seems overwhelming, but when you move forward one step at a time, it doesn’t seem as bad.

Stage Seven: Nervousness

The launch of the system approaches, nervousness sets in, and your team has successfully tested every aspect of the ERP software. In this stage, it is important to ensure that every item on the issues list has been resolved, and the ERP project team is available to support your team the actual day the software launches. Reinforce the team’s successes and encourage each other!

Stage Eight: Relief

Your company works out all issues and finally makes the transition. They abandon the old way of doing business and embrace the new software. They find confidence in their daily tasks and realize they are saving time with the new way of doing business. This is the relief stage. When the team moves into this stage, continue to compliment the team, acknowledge their hard work, and reward them with a time off or a bonus!

Leaders in your organization should be commended for their hard work. Charles R. Swindoll quoted “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” That could not be any truer in any software implementation. Successful projects acknowledge these stages and continue moving toward the end goal.

 

That is to say, these stages not only apply to ERP implementation specifically, but they also apply software implementation in general. If you are looking for a corporate performance management solution that connects to your ERP or are looking for software implementation knowledge, you can find more information in the articles here. You can also compare software such as corporate performance management tools on G2 Crowd to see which product is the best corporate performance management software for you and your company.

Solver enables world-class decisions with BI360, a leading web-based CPM suite made up of budgeting, reporting, dashboards, and data warehousing, delivered through a web portal. Solver is reinventing CPM with its next generation solution. BI360 empowers business users with modern features including innovative use of Excel in the model design process. If you’re interested in learning more, our team is excited to hear about your organizational needs and goals.

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It’s overwhelming to find the best software for your organizational needs. This is why we have created a guide for companies that are looking for a corporate performance management (CPM) solution. In this article, we will cover the essentials in selecting the top CPM solution for your company. These essentials include having organizational goals, defining the scope of the tool, finding the right deployment option, leveraging software reviews, and identifying the key benefits of a CPM tool.

Let’s get down to the basics. If you’re already familiar with CPM and the features it typically offers, feel free to skip to the next paragraph. Gartner defines CPM as “an umbrella term that describes the methodologies, metrics, processes and systems used to monitor and manage the business performance of an enterprise.” It has been used mainly for accounting and profitability purposes. According to G2 Crowd, the key benefits of CPM are to “improve productivity, increase revenues, and sustain the growth of the company.” CPM may be the best solution for your company if you’re looking to reduce costs or remodel your company budget. It can also help to improve your financial planning processes or to upgrade your organizational strategy. CPM software isn’t a one-dimensional product. The software usually features budgeting, planning, dashboards, data analysis, forecasting, and custom reporting modules to name a few.

 

Organizational Goals & Solution Scope

 

Let’s talk about goals. Employees who are involved in the budgeting and planning process should know the company’s strategy and goals prior to planning. Imagine your company’s goals on a map. The destination is the organization’s purpose and mission, and the cities you need to hit to get to your destination are your organizational goals. These can also be broken down to departmental goals as well. Read more about corporate and departmental goals in our article, “How to Build a Corporate Performance Management Solution.” Some of these goals may not change over time, but it should be reviewed annually to ensure they remain true.

 

Your set of goals will help define the correct scope of the new tool. As an example, if the goals that you have set require weekly or monthly monitoring (most do), you should consider a CPM tool that has the ability to produce dashboards and reports that will help you track those at the push of a button. The main takeaway here is to accurately define the scope of the tool: what are looking to accomplish with your CPM tool? Which goals will be tracked? The answers will help keep you on track in the buying process, and make it a worthy investment.

 

Deployment Options: Cloud vs. Private Host (On-premise)

 

Decide if an on-premise or cloud CPM platform is better for your company. The Cloud business is growing rapidly. Eventually, all companies will host all of their data in the cloud without exception. In the meantime, if your team is split between the two, there are vendors that offer both options. This allows you and your team some flexibility, but always keep your sights set on the future of technology and find one that will get you there easily.

In terms of software maintenance, Cloud solutions are easier to maintain. When you go the on-premise route, any system requirements are the customer’s responsibility. Your IT team is the gatekeeper of your software. If all your data sources are already in the Cloud, it may be smarter to also have your CPM in the Cloud. It will be more cost-effective and easier to integrate and upgrade. Access to a product hosted in the Cloud is via the internet so security risks are inherently present, but Cloud computing services such as Azure spend billions of dollars every year to keep your data safe.

Focus on your current setup and how the CPM tool will sit on top of the other data sources that make up your company’s unique data structure, but also look ahead and think of which tool will be able to navigate your current and future plans. After all, you will be implementing and adopting a tool that will encapsulate all of your data and impact decision-making across the entire organization for years to come. You will want this tool to scale with your business.

 

B2B Product Review Sites

 

Another factor to consider in your buying process is a product review site. Software review sites reveal customer reviews for the products you are evaluating. They also share grids based on size of business, services, and ratings. This makes it easy to learn about the product from the customer’s perspective. For example, G2 Crowd shares a grid that ranks leading CPM solutions based on customer review data.

 

Top Customer Reviews Site for CPM Products

 

Capterra: 660,000+

G2 Crowd: 610,000+

Software Advice: 500,000+

 

What’s the takeaway? CPM helps your business align financial and operational data to drive performance improvements and better foster the health of your company. CPM helps with executing your organizational strategies. Keep in mind that strategies, goals, analysis and planning are a part of the CPM process. Selecting the best CPM software solution is a process that requires a great deal of research. If you are struggling to find a CPM tool that fills in all of the blanks, Solver has a team of experienced professionals that can get your company started.

Solver enables world-class decisions with BI360, leading web-based CPM suite made up of budgeting, reporting, dashboards, and data warehousing, delivered through a web portal. Solver is reinventing CPM with its next generation solution. BI360 empowers business users with modern features including innovative use of Excel in the model design process. If you’re interested in learning more, our team is excited to hear about your organizational needs and goals