29 November 2017
To be effective, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) must be progressive and multi-methodology driven. When implemented correctly, it allows for superior business planning and strategy execution, using business intelligence (BI) as a methodology in a portfolio of EPM tools. By evaluating and managing performance, the enterprise is empowered to perform better, reach its operational goals, enhance efficiency, maximise business processes and execute and achieve strategic goals, delivering value creation.
Enter Dynamic EPM (d/EPM) from Infor, which offers modern intelligent business and financial performance management capabilities, driving overall business performance with more agility. According to Woudre Van Zyl, Team Leader BI/EPM Consultants at Softworx, Infor’s Master Partner in Africa; “Dynamic EPM (d/EPM) is something that every business needs. Every finance and planning function will benefit from this planning, consolidation and strategic management software. With Infor d/EPM, for example, finance, budgeting and planning are not only consolidated, but made easily accessible to the rest of the business for decision making.”
When considering budgeting and planning, the painstakingly manual process involves various steps. The budgeting process in organisations is seen as an annual event that requires significant effort over a period that consumes resources and time.
From putting together a budget model, to asking for inputs from other teams, compiling data into spreadsheets, finalising and approving. Infor d/EPM eliminates most of these tedious elements. The budget and planning process should be executed as a business process like purchase-to-pay, invoice-to-cash, and not as a once of annual event. Budgeting, planning and strategy execution should be a day-to-day operational process embedded in the organisational performance management framework. Once a budget is finalised, it is essential to track the actual income and expenditure against the proposed budget.
“The d/EPM system manages this entire process, delivering an automated workflow engine for the budgeting function. With the ability to add attachments, justifications and comments and to view specific projects, dexterous efficacy is achieved,” says Van Zyl. With financial management under control, sales planning and strategy management become the next focus. Offering immense flexibility, d/EPM allows sales teams to submit sales plans, and effortlessly monitor actuals against these plans. This analysis can go as deep as product line – group – services group.
In terms of strategy management, d/EPM draws together a portfolio of modules that integrate to the budgeting, planning tools and strategy plans. Van Zyl believes that one of the greatest benefits of d/EPM is that it is source platform agnostic, meaning it can connect to any source systems, such as Oracle or SAP. It also doesn’t require an enterprise resource planning (ERP) tool to run. Executives are empowered to drive strategic objectives, evaluate performance against set goals, identify where problems lie, and adjust their approach timeously.
“With this information, and the analytics available to the business, forecasts can be revised immediately, within the system,” she adds. The Workforce Planning module provides businesses the capacity to integrate with their human resources (HR) systems. “Workforce Planning is capacity driven. In manufacturing, for example, to increase output by 20 percent, five more employees are required in this role. Based on the business drivers, planning how many people will need to be brought in to achieve these goals is made easy,” confirms Van Zyl. As a standard in the era of digital transformation, d/EPM can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud.
A hybrid offering is being developed. The critical question? Is your strategy talking to your budget? “While businesses often ‘monitor’ their strategy, it requires more than simply comparing actuals to the forecast, measured against the budget,” concludes Van Zyl. “What is the business doing with this information, is it accurate, and how should the strategy, budget and forecast now be adjusted? d/EPM answers these questions.”