EPM as Early Warning System

November 16, 2010
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I just got this e-mail in my inbox today, it’s from my daughter’s high school principal sent to all the teachers:

“The musical just closed this last weekend (which was a great show), so that is about 50 or 60 students who will now be more fully connected to their studies.  However, today starts the winter sports season tryouts.  That means that a new groups of up to 400 students are taking on something new.  The reason I am sending you this is because this week is “Tryout Week,” so their stress level will be a little elevated.

I just got this e-mail in my inbox today, it’s from my daughter’s high school principal sent to all the teachers:

“The musical just closed this last weekend (which was a great show), so that is about 50 or 60 students who will now be more fully connected to their studies.  However, today starts the winter sports season tryouts.  That means that a new groups of up to 400 students are taking on something new.  The reason I am sending you this is because this week is “Tryout Week,” so their stress level will be a little elevated.

And that was it!  He was giving a heads-up to the staff on what to expect from the performance of some students and to help explain potential changes in usual performance.

If you have adopted the true philosophy of Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), you could use it in the same way – to predict or at least alert stakeholders to potential variances in performance coming up.  For example, EPM can tell your sales management that, based on historical data, economic indicators, and other pertinent factors, that bookings will be off for the remainder of the quarter by 9 to 16% and some suggested mitigation activities could include additional price promotions, exceptional discounting for deals over $50,000, channel incentives, and so on.  Or that SG&A expenses are lower than anticipated, get ready to pull the trigger on some of those discretionary month-end spends like additional advertising.

How are you using EPM as an Early Warning System?