In the 1990s, ERP software transformed the operations of larger companies, bringing together disparate systems and processes onto a shared platform. This delivered a single version of the truth for planning and reporting purposes, ensuring consistency between a company’s various operational departments (manufacturing, supply chain, distribution etc.) and between them and other departments like Finance and Sales & Marketing.
However, ERP tools are low-level and complicated beasts, as they must be able to handle all the complexities of a company’s operations. They are not ideally suited to strategic planning and analysis, which needs to take a higher-level overview of an organisation, and to support capabilities like scenario planning.
In recent years, a new breed of software, known as Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) has arisen to fill this gap. Sometimes known as Corporate Performance Management (CPM) or Business Performance Management (BPM), it extends Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) into the heart of an organisation’s operations. Borrowing the concept of an integrated platform from ERP, but operating at a higher level and with more strategic capabilities, it is aimed at an organisation’s management rather than their operations and is typically rather more lightweight and easy to implement than ERP.
We have been developing software that operates in this way for decades, but it appears that EPM is probably the best term to describe the sort of things that our planning and analysis tools do. In a couple of posts on our website about Compas, our cloud-based tool for planning and analysis, we examine what Enterprise Performance management is all about, and whether Compas should be described as an EPM tool. We conclude that Compas meets all the key criteria, and is therefore well-described as an EPM tool – albeit one with a particular focus on addressing difficult or niche planning problems for mid-sized organisations.
If you would like to try it out for yourself, head over to the Compas site, where you will be able to sign up for a demo, or arrange for one that is tailored to your requirements.
Alternatively, this explainer video provides a light-hearted overview of Compas and how it fits into your software landscape.