Intuitively, many of us recognize that the decision window for executives has been shrinking with each passing year. Information dissemination has become real-time and on-demand; however, the challenge for many finance functions is to try and keep pace with all the modern sources of insight and analysis that internal and external stakeholders are receiving.
We can layer on an incremental challenge in many industries where the business environment changes more often and more dramatically than ever before as well. Take for instance commodity prices, which have seen increasing levels of volatility in recent years. Imagine you are a company impacted by the price of natural gas (Figure 1) and consider the implications these price swings can have on your business model. That is but one example of a changing strategic driver. Consumer tastes and demands can shift virtually overnight. Everyday, new technologies and new business models replace old technologies and old business models. The luxury of time is something few executives have anymore when it comes to making decisions.
In a simple sense, inventory optimization is what you get when you strike a balance between having enough inventory to satisfy your customer service standards while stocking as little inventory as possible. Customer service standards involve meeting demand—but not past the point that you have too much. But inventory optimization gets complicated when supply and
To keep a close eye on cash flow, most companies opt for some form of accounting software. By tracking money coming in versus money going out, accounting departments use accounting solutions to spot trends, uncover losses and otherwise make necessary financial decisions and adjustments to not only remain in the black, but to stay open