How to Choose Performance Management Software
Performance management software is a software system that you use to keep track of how your company is doing. This type of application replaces relying on printed or static reports or even trying to use a manual performance management system using spreadsheets. The system automatically takes in new actual and results from your corporate databases and compares them to budgets, targets, goals and/or forecasts. So charts, diagrams and graphs are plotted automatically and are free from discrepancies, guaranteeing ultimate accuracy. Also, since the process is completely automated, your daily, weekly, or monthly analysis of your corporate performance becomes much faster and the time savings leads to higher productivity.
Performance management software is mainly aimed at medium to large organizations that have to watch the performance of various lines of business and departmental functions. This might include, but is not limited to inventory tracking, sales performance, geographical tracking of results and a lot of other business metrics that keep the business operating optimally. The main goal is to provide a simple way for business managers and executives to keep track of how the unit is faring at any given time. So there are various functions to be investigated while you go about evaluating performance management software.
The first thing to do is not to get confused by the acronyms. You will see acronyms like Corporate Performance Management (CMP), Business Performance Management (BPM) or Strategic Performance Management (SPM). In truth, they are one and the same, and at the most they are only slightly varied. All of them aim to give you the necessary tools to track your company. So when you are looking for a performance management solution, look for the features that you would want the software to have. These can include everything that you have been doing manually so far and a lot of it depends on the kind of company that you run.
For companies selling products, you are analyzing how much of each product is stored in inventory and what are the in-stock and turnover rates of specific products and the comparison to each other. Companies also need to keep sales performance data for many different time periods (e.i. daily, weekly, monthly, or annually). For multi-national corporations, every aspect of business comes into play, including manufacturing efficiency, market mechanics, individual performance tracking and other metrics. The application that you purchase should allow you to track any type of data, such as these, rather than being dedicated only to one functional area. This also means the application needs to access many disparate data sources in one interface. The application should be flexible enough to allow comparisons of any historical and current data, to slice and dice by various drivers, and include visualization features to permit the identification of patterns or trends in the data.
Flexibility for date selection and date grouping are other features that should be supported in the software that you are evaluating. This means that the software should have to ability to easily expand and contract the timeline of any displayed data that is date based. For example, take daily and monthly sales numbers. By looking at a larger time frame you will be easily able to locate patterns, such as seasonal ones, if any exist. There should also be Geo-tagging features, whereby large companies with a national and/or global presence can keep track of their performances by area.