Host Analytics, a vendor offering SaaS based Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Solutions yesterday announced that they are adding Executive Report Manager (EPM) to their suite. For more than a decade they are helping managers make fact based decisions backed by sound financial justifications. Their platform is a collection of decision calculating tools that will offer managers insights on the financial outcomes of their functional decisions. This helps businesses save lots of money and be more effective with their decisions. Yesterday’s announcement adds another much wanted feature to their platform.
Hassles With Financial Reporting
In today’s business setting, finance managers are severely bogged down by their ongoing reporting cycles with very little time spent on enhanced reporting and/or analysis. Their month end closing situations often involves manual cut-and-paste exercise, which introduces the possibility for errors and often requires hours of low-value time from the finance team. There are still many organizations struggling with the data in their excel spreadsheets without any clue about making sense out of all the data. The long hours endured in the process with huge labor costs meant that the businesses are wasting their money with outdated processes and applications. Clearly, there is a need to have better reporting options.
In fact, the 2010 BPM pule survey conducted by Hosting Analytics clearly highlighted the customer demand for a performance management solution with improved management reporting. Any solution should be able to address the reporting issues from a variety of content, input and information coming from different business units and various external sources.
Host Analytics Solution
Host Analytics has developed ERM to manage and automate the reporting process. ERM brings both internal and external data into a sophisticated reporting solution that provides accurate and timely financial information along with the underlying operating metrics critical to the executive team, all delivered in a professional, customizable and highly usable format. Host Analytics ERM improves the monthly closing and reporting process by providing consistent and timely data with the click of a mouse. This not only saves lots of time but also significant costs. Some of the benefits of the platform are
- Rich set of templates that move the reporting process from a manual one to an automated, controlled and repeatable process
- Finance managers get a complete picture of timelines, assigned owners and due dates by task, gaining more control over the reporting process
- Host Analytics ERM provides all the SEC reports (numerical and textual data) including supporting tables and notes, which can then be used to feed the XBRL tagging solution to meet compliance standards
- Integrates seamlessly with the Host Analytics CPM Suite including Host Analytics Consolidator, Host Analytics Budget and Host Analytics Scorecard
Does It Really Help Organizations?
Sometime back, well before this new feature was released, I had a chance to speak to Host Analytics customer, Thule, on how they leverage Host Analytics solutions in their organization. They are a 200+ employee organization specializing in sporting goods. Theirs is a seasonal market and their employees and managers are distributed across US and Canada. They are using Host Analytics for Sales Forecasting, Demand Forecasting, etc.. Before they moved to Host Analytics, they were using excel spreadsheets with a dedicated person handling it. They were not only dependent on the single individual who managed their spreadsheets, they also had to spend lot of time before they could make some sense out of the data. Once they moved over to Host Analytics, everything became seamless and they are saving more than 1 1/2 Million dollars every year. They saw a double digit increase in sales with much less inventory. They are a mid sized company and I asked them if they found resistance from within the organization for this SaaS move. They told me that there was not much resistance but it only involved some learning curve. There was no disruption of their workflow.
Solutions like this matters much for businesses of all sizes and shapes. The enormous cost savings associated with gaining meaningful insights from the vast array of data is so big that more and more companies are relying on such solutions to cut their costs. Being a SaaS makes Host Analytics more attractive for these organizations.