CPM tool selection: how to create the perfect fit
Your organization needs a new CPM system to realize your ambitions for the coming years. But you might not know where to start. Many companies start by asking their current supplier for a demo. To select the right solution for a modern and future-proof reporting landscape, take a step back first. And prepare the CPM tool selection by creating the perfect fit by looking at the following aspects.
#1 Strategic fit: support for the business case
In your preparation document, define your business cases, main goals, and scope for the next 5 years. For example: if you plan on growing by acquisitions, you should already anticipate on complex integrations in your CPM tool selection. Select a system that offers you enough functionality to support the growth and enables additional reporting demands and nice-to-haves.
Many CPM tools only cover the basic needs but do not allow further growth. If that does not meet your requirements, shift your focus to more mature applications and a different type of supplier.
#2 Process fit: support for the reporting processes
Defining the process types involved and your preferred way of working leads to a shortlist of suppliers for further research.
Firstly, define which processes should be included: simple financial processes, budgets, and consolidation? Or also additional reporting, like tax, ESG and/or capex? Once you have defined your reporting processes, choose whether you want an all-in-one system, ‘best of breed’ for every single process, or a seamless integration with a specific system. Another important question is which organisational levels should be covered by the system.
#3 User fit: usability and user requirement
In general, the users and their specific usability needs follow from the process fit. A good way to create the proper user fit is to define user stories: who am I? What kind of information do I need? And how will I use the new CPM tool? For example:
“I am the financial controller of a listed company. My work consists of tasks that come back every day, month, quarter, half year, or year. To make my work easier, the new CPM tool should facilitate recurring workflows while eliminating recurring manual tasks.”
“I am the business controller of a private company. To provide accurate strategic information to the board, I need analyses that drill down to product or regional level. To make my work easier, the new CPM system should offer independent reports and dashboards.”
After having defined the user groups per company, and the requirements for every user group, ask suppliers to show how they will support all these different users.
#4 Data fit: support for different data categories
Data categories, volumes and requirements are related to the process fit. Every process requires specific data. Do you also want to include non—financial data? And to which extent and amount of detail? Data level, data types and required data analyses also have a major impact on your data fit. For example: do you only want to analyse the total distance your trucks drive each month or also distinguish ‘empty kilometres’?
#5 Technical fit: architecture and integration requirements
For this fit, many companies start looking for a supplier who offers a seamless integration with their current system. An integration which can be realised without too many problems, is certified and applicable within the current IT architecture. When this is clear, the supplier should be asked how it cooperates with other ERP systems, business warehouses, etc. IT-requirements usually concern the preferred IT architecture, type of solution (like SaaS, on-premise, dedicated or shared hosting), preferred suppliers, hardware investments, certifications, and security management.
#6 Vendor fit: vendor research, methods, and culture
During vendor research, we investigate the legal aspects, like where their headquarters are located (and which national law applies), their financial data, product roadmap, non-disclosure and service level agreements, and culture. The perfect vendor fit is primarily a cultural fit. For example, when your working language is Dutch, it is not very convenient if the support desk only speaks English. And do they even provide support in your country? Another important feature to investigate is a vendor’s business approach. Some companies do not like the American, sales-driven way of doing business whereas others prefer this approach. This could be a deal-breaker in some cases.
#7 Price fit: value meets budget
A thorough analysis of the pricing model can prevent unpleasant surprises. To create the right price fit, investigate the following aspects:
- Users: number of users, user roles, and price per user and role. Same price per user or scaled pricing?
- Licence scope and scalability: are all modules included in the licence or do additional processes require additional modules (and thus additional costs)?
- Support package: is support included in the licence, and to what extent? Which support packages are available and what do they cost?
- Implementation: which activities are included in the implementation costs? Training for users and/or administrators? Custom module development? Support?
Talk to the CPM Advisory expert
Cpmview offers unique CPM solutions for financial planning, financial consolidation, reporting, and analysis tailored to the specific needs of fast-growing or mid-market organizations. No company is the same, so every organisation has its own requirements. Our CPM experts have a lot of experience in helping companies define the proper fits for your CPM tool selection. Guide the process, ask the critical questions and act in your interest, that is what we do. Thus, helping you gain the right insights, improve the quality of the CPM solution selected, and last but not least save you time and money.