The difference between visionary corporate performance management and mere management often boils down to just one thing: having the right tools for the job.
True vision is founded in reality. To create such a vision and carry it through, you need to know what’s going on in every aspect of your business… you need quality information.
The bigger your business is, the more difficult it is to find that information, and to know that what you’re getting is accurate. Implementing a quality ERP system can help, but often the information it provides is hard to understand for anyone who is not a financial wizard. Other managers end up creating their own systems to try to make sense of it all, usually on their own carefully crafted spreadsheets.
I know we have been giving spreadsheets a bit of a beating lately, but the reality is that they can be dangerous to your business and leave you guessing on so many levels - Which version is the most recent? Which version is the “most” accurate? How many formulas across how many spreadsheets does that one corrupted cell influence? How do you manage your business at all, let alone with a sense of purpose or vision, when the best you have to work with is your “best guess”?
The answer lies in a central system where all your information can be stored — the ERP I hear you cry… But no, you need a specialised corporate performance management system; incorporating budgeting, planning, forecasting, analytics and comprehensive reporting, all pulling on your central store of information; forming a bridge between your ERP system and the rest of your business.
Your CPM software needs to make your financial information easily available and easily understood by non-financial managers. When you know that your information is accurate, real-time and easy to communicate, your course becomes clear. Quality information helps you to set goals for your corporation and to make your expectations clear. It also helps you to make the best decisions for your business’s future.
Equipping yourself with the right information tools is the first step to taking charge of the direction your business is headed, and making the leap from idealistic to visionary corporate performance management.