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Articles

EPM Platforms: FP&A Success in Simplicity

  • By Philip Peck
  • Published: 1/30/2020

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Over the last several years, the FP&A community has seen tremendous advances in the capabilities delivered from world-class enterprise performance management (EPM) platforms.

These digitally enabled, cloud-based solutions offer a host of advantages to FP&A professionals, including advanced modeling and planning capabilities, systematized data management and integration, real-time reporting and analysis, and streamlined business processes. They also foster collaboration across the organization, and free up time for FP&A practitioners to focus on value-added business partnering activities.

While modern EPM solutions offer transformative benefits, most organizations are still beholden to and encumbered by their highly fragmented, disconnected labyrinth of Excel spreadsheets. FP&A teams typically spend the lion’s share of their time collecting data, manipulating disparate models and files, reconciling data, fixing broken spreadsheet links and circular references, consolidating hundreds of inconsistent inputs, and re-running the process as key business assumptions change. Planning and reporting is manually intensive, lacks transparency and visibility to the underlying assumptions, is highly people dependent, and does not provide the key information need to optimize resource allocation and overall business performance. 

Despite the challenges, some leading organizations have embraced the digital age and implemented cloud-based EPM solutions to transform their planning, reporting and analytic capabilities. At our FinNext session, “Success in Simplicity: Establishing the Foundation for Planning & Analytics at Nucor”, Jon Levy, head of FP&A for Nucor, and I will share his organization’s multi-phase journey for deploying a robust EPM platform across the enterprise. Simplicity, scalability and optimal end-user adoption were the foundational pillars that guided their efforts.

Nucor’s solution provided critical visibility to business drivers, created alignment and better accountability for results, supported optimized allocations of scarce resources in its highly capital-intensive business, and provided the basis for end-to-end integrated business planning. In this session, we will also share lessons learned throughout Nucor’s journey, including the critical role of change management and business readiness activities.

Philip Peck is vice president, finance transformation for Peloton Group. Don’t miss “Success in Simplicity: Establishing the Foundation for Planning & Analytics at Nucor” at FinNext 2020. Register for FinNext here.

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