Operational reporting consists of dashboards that enable managers to make trade-offs, anticipate changes in circumstances, and respond to business-line-specific issues. This exchange of information between the business line and the finance function is essential to allow the organization to respond to its environment in a proactive and flexible manner.
The challenge for Controlling is to make reporting 'Lean': highlighting information that is critical to operational performance management, while simplifying and eliminating anything that does not create added value.
A 'Lean' reporting tool must allow operational management to answer the following questions:
- What happened during the month or quarter?
- Why and how did it happen?
- What is happening now?
- What is likely or certain to happen?
- What should we do to stop it happening again?
It is often hard to find clear answers to simple questions.
Characteristics of Lean Reporting:
- The operational and financial data used must answer the business line’s questions
- The causal connections of the data used must be identified and integrated. Without this inclusion, the data cannot be exploited in advance
- The data retained must have an impact on operational performance
- The dashboard must be easy to populate. Control must spend time analyzing data, rather than producing it; the added value of the function depends on it
How can Argon Consulting help you?
- Mapping of existing reporting/circumstances
- Analysis of the gap between existing production and business needs
- Rationalization of reporting: elimination or creation of reports (creation of new functional specifications), potential synergies between functions, etc.
- Possible industrialization, using tools such as Business Intelligence (BI)