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Six Mistakes Companies Are Making Today And How You Can Avoid Them
Six Mistakes Companies Are Making Today And How You Can Avoid Them
Six Mistakes Companies Are Making Today And How You Can Avoid Them
Six Mistakes Companies Are Making Today And How You Can Avoid Them
Six Mistakes Companies Are Making Today And How You Can Avoid Them
Six Mistakes Companies Are Making Today And How You Can Avoid Them
Six Mistakes Companies Are Making Today And How You Can Avoid Them
Six Mistakes Companies Are Making Today And How You Can Avoid Them
Six Mistakes Companies Are Making Today And How You Can Avoid Them
Six Mistakes Companies Are Making Today And How You Can Avoid Them
Six Mistakes Companies Are Making Today And How You Can Avoid Them
Six Mistakes Companies Are Making Today And How You Can Avoid Them
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Six Mistakes Companies Are Making Today And How You Can Avoid Them

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"Look for additional opportunities to use business intelligence to uncover value and drive …

"Look for additional opportunities to use business intelligence to uncover value and drive
improvements. Consider advanced planning tools that can help close the gap between
strategy and execution. Expand the use of sophisticated what-if analyses to model the
operational and financial impact of multiple scenarios on revenue, costs, and cash flow."

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  • 1. SAP Thought Leadership Business intelligence Six MiStakeS CoMpanieS are Making today And How You CAn Avoid THem
  • 2. Look for additional opportunities to use business intelligence to uncover value and drive improvements. Consider advanced planning tools that can help close the gap between strategy and execution. expand the use of sophisticated what-if analyses to model the operational and financial impact of multiple scenarios on revenue, costs, and cash flow.
  • 3. Content 4 Executive Summary 5 Is Your Company Making the Same Mistakes? 5 mistake 1: Taking existing Customers for Granted 5 mistake 2: Failing to Capitalize on market opportunities 6 mistake 3: Allowing operational inefficiencies to Persist 6 mistake 4: Letting Problems Go undiagnosed and uncorrected 7 mistake 5: driving the wrong Behavior in the organization 8 mistake 6: Failing to offer Transparency for Stakeholders 8 Conclusion 9 Business Intelligence Self-Assessment
  • 4. exeCutive SuMMary oPPorTuniTieS For BuSineSS inTeLLiGenCe when the economy slows, many businesses react by retrenching and cutting costs in order to weather the downturn. while such cost reduction is important, companies often overlook equally critical strategic decisions – opportunities to use valuable business information to strengthen product and service offerings and emerge ahead of the competition. “The reality is that you can derive added the business, especially critical in an value from your existing information,” uncertain economy. According to explains don Tapscott, an internationally Gartner, “The economic crisis will reveal renowned author and authority on the which enterprises have the information strategic value and impact of informa- and tools to support management tion technology. “once you can have decisions and which do not.”2 sensible discussions about your data, you can leverage it to make better This paper highlights common mistakes decisions and achieve sustainability companies make in a down economy and higher profits.”1 and discusses how organizations can use business intelligence to avoid them. organizations need technology that use the self-assessment questionnaire can unlock the value of information. at the end of this paper to determine information can drive new insights to the level of business intelligence help transform and significantly improve opportunity across your organization. 1. don Tapscott and dr. Steve elmore, managing enterprise information: Architecting for Survival and Positioning for Success in Tough Times, pg. 2 (nGenera Corporation, march 2009). 2. Kurt Schlegel, mark A. Beyer, Bill Hostmann, rita L. Sallam, Bill Gassman, nigel rayner, neil mcmurchy, neil Chandler, matthew w. Cain, Predicts 2009: Business intelligence and Performance management will deliver Greater Business value, pg. 4 (Gartner inc., december 18, 2008). 4 SAP Thought Leadership – Six mistakes Companies Are making Today
  • 5. iS your CoMpany Making the SaMe MiStakeS? TAKe THe Time To Find ouT Mistake 1: Taking Existing customer trends. what can you do with the right combination of initiatives to Customers for Granted business intelligence tools like these? maximize your returns. As an example, for each major customer when demand slows, the last thing you or customer segment, you can analyze But if you’re hampered by difficult-to-use want to do is to take your customer multiple scenarios to find an approach analytic tools that limit your ability to base for granted by assuming existing that builds on existing relationships and perform in-depth market analysis, your customers will remain loyal through tough increases your share of each customer’s company may be slow to recognize or economic times. instead, customers wallet. You might decide to extend credit react to opportunities. in fact, according may be faced with their own financial or develop creative payment plans for to a recent Gartner report, “Through difficulties or could be lured away by your most important customers. or 2012, more than 35% of the top 5,000 incentives from the competition. Staying analyze customer satisfaction scores global companies will fail to make in tune with the needs of your customers to identify areas where improvement insightful decisions about significant and reacting appropriately can help is needed, such as product quality or changes in their business and markets shore up loyalty and maintain sales. customer service – ensuring that profit- due to underinvestment in their informa- able customers stay happy and loyal. tion infrastructure and business user You need a simple and effective way tools.”4 don’t let this happen to you. to identify top customers based on Mistake 2: Failing to Capitalize on profitability, size, or potential. But if Market Opportunities To inform the right decisions, you need customer and sales data is located in simple, intuitive ad hoc reporting and multiple software applications, it could even with limited investment funds, you analysis. A business intelligence solution be difficult to access the information and still have to make fact-based decisions should support interactive exploration build an overall picture needed for valu- about short- and long-term opportunities across multiple dimensions of your able insight into customer behaviors. to grow top-line revenues – whether business and let you create queries According to a recent survey of Cios and you’re trying to expand into new markets using business-friendly language. iT managers conducted by information or extend a successful product line. what-if analysis allows you to model Age, business intelligence tools can help. many great brands were launched dur- the operational and financial impact of most of the 350 respondents believe ing recessionary times and yet able to multiple scenarios on revenue, costs, business intelligence could significantly capitalize on unique market opportunities. and cash flow – to understand the results improve marketing analytics – that is, To invest in and seize market opportu- of each market opportunity before you how you evaluate campaign, product, nities with confidence, you need a act on it. Layer on risk assessment to and customer performance. Additionally, solution that helps you see trends and determine the range of potential out- respondents feel business intelligence variances, analyze scenarios, and select comes for each opportunity and add is particularly well suited for robust profitability analysis, helping you identify the most profitable customers and A complete business intelligence solution supports the entire product lines.3 range of enterprise reporting – periodic, highly detailed You can use data integration and reports that give insight into overall business performance cleansing tools to bring together infor- and provide increased reporting transparency for all stake- mation from disparate sources. dash- boards and visualization tools help make holders. The result is increased trust and stronger collabo- data accessible, providing visibility into ration at all levels, inside and outside the business. 3. “intelligent response,” research Analysis 344, information Age research report, January 16, 2009. 4. Kurt Schlegel, mark A. Beyer, Bill Hostmann, rita L. Sallam, Bill Gassman, nigel rayner, neil mcmurchy, neil Chandler, matthew w. Cain, Predicts 2009: Business intelligence and Performance management will deliver Greater Business value, pg. 3 (Gartner inc., december 18, 2008). SAP Thought Leadership – Six mistakes Companies Are making Today 5
  • 6. as they grew from uS$30 million to a billion in revenue, typically exceeded organizations need technology that can unlock the 10% earnings-before-interest-and- value of information. information can drive new insights depreciation (eBiTdA) margin. Take a lesson from the highest-growth com- to help transform and significantly improve the business, panies: sell value to maximize gross especially critical in an uncertain economy. margins, contain expenses to deliver a cash flow–positive business, and reinvest to fuel growth.6 economic analysis to select and priori- immediate feedback on administrative Mistake 4: Letting Problems Go tize promising scenarios. The result? waste and unnecessary overtime. use Undiagnosed and Uncorrected You have the hard facts to back up the analytics to monitor manufacturing investment decisions that drive sales, defects, maintenance costs, and inven- in today’s business environment, an cash flow, and operational efficiency. tory levels; then track progress to organization needs to address all minimize rework and rationalize SKus. outstanding issues – but you must first Mistake 3: Allowing Operational identify and prioritize existing problems, Inefficiencies to Persist According to david Thomson, author then focus your time and energy on the of the best-selling book Blueprint to most crucial. no organization wants to To keep the cost of delivering goods a Billion: 7 essentials to Achieve expo- wait until a product is drastically behind and services in line, you must continu- nential Growth, you may need to perform schedule or a department significantly ally find ways to reduce waste and a competitive analysis to determine over budget before taking action. How- eliminate inefficiencies. if operational how your gross margins compare to ever, if you manually track project or wastefulness persists, you can lose industry averages. “if you find that program status, you risk not only wast- control of your cost structures – and your product costs are too high, you’ll ing time and money on an ineffective that puts pressure on your gross mar- need the ability to further investigate approach but also delaying your ability gins. economic woes and restricted costs throughout the supply chain and to identify and then correct problems. cash flows are forcing companies to seek areas to optimize systems and As Thomson notes, “Leaders of expo- analyze cost structures by delving processes,” notes Thomson.5 nential growth companies utilize a sys- deeper into the information already tematic approach to problem solving.” at their fingertips. Because of this, even if your gross margins are better than during down market cycles, these analysts point to a rising interest in average, expenses may be high. For companies identified and eliminated business intelligence software. example, Thomson found that leading problems and then worked to optimize companies carefully manage expenses their business. For example, these An integrated business intelligence in sales and marketing and r & d to companies found ways to streamline solution that generates timely and deliver a consistent cash flow–positive processes, reduce headcount in selec- accurate data puts you in a position business across all types of market tive areas, and invest in systems and to identify – and quickly address – cycles. The best-run public companies iT infrastructure to improve customer inefficiencies. dashboards can deliver that generated the highest market values, management or market intelligence.7 5. david Thomson, Blueprint to a Billion: 7 essentials to Achieve exponential Growth (John wiley & Sons inc. 2006). 6. ibid. 7. ibid. 6 SAP Thought Leadership – Six mistakes Companies Are making Today
  • 7. By generating timely and accurate data about your business, business intelli- gence solutions help identify issues that fall outside the norm – and signal poten- tial problems. For example, if your days sales outstanding (dSo) is increasing, business intelligence can help pinpoint whether the cause is a pervasive quality problem, a one-time delivery issue, or an administrative glitch such as a wrong address on an invoice. once the root cause of a problem has been identified, you can take corrective action. Business intelligence solutions can help monitor and track results and alert you if prob- lems recur – such as a process, product, or action falling outside acceptable ranges. Mistake 5: Driving the Wrong the corporate level. integrated and that you use every day – help you com- Behavior in the Organization transparent software solutions make it municate metrics, track progress, and more likely that employees will trust the reward success. dashboards give if your corporate goals aren’t clearly data and understand how daily actions immediate performance feedback; you defined, communicated, and measured, affect business goals. But companies get the information you need to take you’re missing out on an opportunity to often find their strategic initiatives dis- quick and decisive actions to correct encourage beneficial behaviors. You connected from daily operational goals, behaviors, rather than having to wait for may improve performance in one leaving employees confused about indi- quarterly reports to decipher trends. department or division at the expense vidual priorities. By clearly assigning visualization tools help your employees of overall company performance. Gartner accountability for goals and timelines, and you focus quickly on high-impact suggests that organizations “show how you can communicate explicit perfor- issues – such as improving customer performance management efforts will mance expectations throughout the service or reducing product defects. benefit the enterprise if metrics and company and develop incentives that Your entire team can see where data reporting align to corporate goals.8 drive needed cultural and behavioral comes from and how results are calcu- changes. lated, and can interact with reports – You need a solution that supports instilling confidence in the numbers and greater alignment, accountability, and For example, dashboards – integrated encouraging individual and collaborative performance at both the individual and with software, such as microsoft office, 8. Kurt Schlegel, mark A. Beyer, Bill Hostmann, rita L. Sallam, Bill Gassman, nigel rayner, neil mcmurchy, neil Chandler, matthew w. Cain, Predicts 2009: Business intelligence and Performance management, pg. 4 (Gartner inc., december 18, 2008). SAP Thought Leadership – Six mistakes Companies Are making Today 7
  • 8. actions that benefit the company. information to detect changes, make and with external stakeholders such as Mistake 6: Failing to Offer timely decisions, and communicate customers, suppliers, partners, and Transparency for Stakeholders those changes in strategies. Simply investors. A complete business intelli- put, external stakeholders need confi- gence solution supports the entire range The global economic crisis is leading dence in the soundness of your business of enterprise reporting – periodic, highly business stakeholders and governments strategy and the accuracy of your finan- detailed reports that give insight into to demand greater transparency into cial records. Ask yourself: Could my overall business performance and pro- company finances, operations, decisions, enterprise supply my management team vide increased reporting transparency for and core performance metrics. However, with information regarding a major all stakeholders. The result is increased many organizations find that overly business or market change without a trust and stronger collaboration at all complex reporting hampers their ability painful, stop-everything project? Can levels, inside and outside the business. to demonstrate compliance or fiscal my company anticipate which customers health. According to Gartner analyst will cut back their business and then Conclusion Bill Hostmann, “most organizations adjust its approach to minimize loss? find they do not have the information, These kinds of decisions require a wide Tough economic conditions require processes, and tools needed by their range of internal and external information companies to go beyond slashing costs. managers to make informed, responsive and analysis to support rapid risk analy- “now is the time to build efficient, decisions. Too many enterprises under- sis and contingency planning. high-performance organizations based invest in their information infrastructure on a coherent foundation of information,” and business users tools.”9 Business intelligence solutions make it concludes Tapscott. “organizations easy to share critical business informa- must take a global view of critical infor- investors demand that you use complete tion across internal business functions mation if they wish to move from just reacting to economic challenges and instead position themselves for future To inform the right decisions, you need simple, intuitive competitive advantage.”10 ad hoc reporting and analysis. A business intelligence Are you making the most of your busi- solution should support interactive exploration across ness information? use this quick self- assessment to determine whether a multiple dimensions of your business and let you create business intelligence solution can queries using business-friendly language. improve your organization’s decision making and, ultimately, its performance. 9. Kurt Schlegel, mark A. Beyer, Bill Hostmann, rita L. Sallam, Bill Gassman, nigel rayner, neil mcmurchy, neil Chandler, matthew w. Cain, Predicts 2009: Business intelligence and Performance management, pg. 4 (Gartner inc., december 18, 2008). 10. don Tapscott and dr. Steve elmore, managing enterprise information: Architecting for Survival and Positioning for Success in Tough Times, pg. 1 (nGenera Corporation, march 2009). 8 SAP Thought Leadership – Six mistakes Companies Are making Today
  • 9. BuSineSS intelligenCe Self-aSSeSSMent imProve Your orGAnizATion’S deCiSion mAKinG And PerFormAnCe 1. How quickly can your organization 3. Your company’s overtime has 5. Customer satisfaction scores have identify top customers based on size, increased by 17% in the last month. dropped – specific to your call center. profitability, and potential for growth? How quickly and easily can your Your COO wants to review the metrics A we can access this information at organization pinpoint the cause and in place for call center reps. Can this any time for any customer. we can address the problem? information be readily provided? easily produce a list of top customers A my company can identify affected A Yes; we have a dashboard that tracks across multiple criteria – for example, employees and departments imme- call center employee activity, including by region or product line. diately and go to work solving the length on call, call resolution, and B we can pull customer information problem within a few days. other metrics. into a spreadsheet and analyze it B we can gather information, but it B A summary of key metrics is posted across basic dimensions. would take a while to compile and in a common area where each C even basic customer information is sort the data. employee can see it; however, we hard to access – and even harder to C we wouldn’t know where to begin. don’t track metrics on an individual analyze. or departmental basis. 4. Days sales outstanding has C unfortunately, we have yet to define 2. A senior marketing manager comes increased by five days in the last and implement metrics in this area. to your CEO with a proposal to two months. Can your organization introduce a new product line. How determine the root cause? 6. Investors want to see the ROI of does your organization determine A Yes; within a few days my company your three largest investments from whether the plan is feasible? could analyze operational and admin- last year. How quickly can your A we would run a scenario analysis istrative components that might be organization give them an accurate and project costs, revenues, risks, contributing to the increase. response? and return outcomes across a range B maybe; we could gather information A in about four hours we could provide of economic assumptions. from separate applications for cus- a complete report with clear, attrac- B we would analyze the proposal, but tomer, financial, and operational data, tive visuals that would make it easy it would take some effort to pull but it would require some effort to for investors to compare projects on together the needed data and perform analyze the data and identify root several levels. the appropriate analysis. causes. B each project has its own spreadsheet; C we are more apt to move forward C doubtful; this would be a difficult within a few days we could create a based on gut instinct. undertaking for my company. comparison report. C one of our financial analysts would have to go through our financials line Layer on risk assessment to determine the range of by line to pull out the pertinent infor- mation and create a spreadsheet to potential outcomes for each opportunity and add calculate roi for each investment. economic analysis to select and prioritize promising Add up your score: scenarios. The result? You have the hard facts to back 0 points for each “A” answer up the investment decisions that drive sales, cash flow, 1 point for each “B” answer 2 points for each “C” answer and operational efficiency. SAP Thought Leadership – Six mistakes Companies Are making Today 9
  • 10. Rank your organization: 0–3: Information is a strategic asset. Your organization is using busi- ness intelligence to optimize decision making in key areas. Look for additional opportunities to use business intelligence to uncover value and drive improve- ments. Consider advanced planning tools that can help close the gap between strategy and execution. expand the use of sophisticated what-if analyses to model the operational and financial impact of multiple scenarios on revenue, costs, and cash flow. 4–8: Take it further. Apply business intelligence in more areas to address untapped opportunities to improve decision making and performance. Seek out opportunities to use analytics and visualization tools to develop clear insights into specific areas of your business. using these SAP® Businessobjects™ business To learn more about SAP insights, inform the right decisions intelligence solutions help simplify Businessobjects business intelligence to drive operational efficiencies the way businesses use information, solutions, visit www.sap.com or grow revenues. allowing users to access, format, /solutions/sapbusinessobjects. analyze, navigate, and share informa- 9–12: Information-challenged. Your tion across the organization. organization could experience significant top-line growth and The solutions enable enterprise bottom-line benefits from using reporting, query and analysis, data business intelligence. Begin with visualization, data integration, and solutions designed to integrate data management. As a result, orga- and cleanse data. use this single nizations gain better business insight source of accurate data to create – improving decision making and enterprise reports and fuel ad enterprise performance. hoc reporting and analysis. 10 SAP Thought Leadership – Six mistakes Companies Are making Today
  • 11. 50 095 419 (09/05) ©2009 by SAP AG. All rights reserved. SAP, r/3, SAP netweaver, duet, Partneredge, Bydesign, SAP Business Bydesign, and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and other countries. Business objects and the Business objects logo, Businessobjects, Crystal reports, Crystal decisions, web intelligence, Xcelsius, and other Business objects products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Business objects S.A. in the united States and in other countries. Business objects is an SAP company. All other product and service names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective companies. data contained in this document serves informational purposes only. national product specifications may vary. These materials are subject to change without notice. These materials are provided by SAP AG and its affiliated companies (“SAP Group”) for informational purposes only, without representation or warranty of any kind, and SAP Group shall not be liable for errors or omissions with respect to the materials. The only warranties for SAP Group products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services, if any. nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. www.sap.com /contactsap

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