5 ways CPM software helps metals companies

Dan Edwards
| 3/6/2023
5 ways CPM software helps metals companies

In today’s day and age, it’s hard to imagine how stressful it would be for a driver to go without a gas gauge clearly displayed on the vehicle’s dashboard – relying instead on manual checks of the gas tank. It’s a risky move that likely would lead to inconvenient delays, a lack of progress, and potentially never reaching the destination.

The benefits of having a dashboard that automatically displays critical information that helps users get where they’re going might seem obvious, but many metals leaders are still manually gathering data and creating reports before they can put that information to work. This can lead to stressful decision-making, delayed progress, and never reaching the destination.

Corporate performance management (CPM) software offers metals leaders an advanced dashboard of critical information and analytics that help translate that data into actionable steps. As metals leaders and employees work toward achieving business goals and objectives within the company, CPM software helps create a clear picture of where they are and how to get to the destination.

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5 things metals leaders can do with CPM software

1. Spend less time gathering data

By the time metals leaders manually collect the data they need and organize it in a useful way, the window for making a critical decision or pivot that helps the company grow often has passed. CPM software helps clear the spreadsheet clutter so metals leaders can quickly access the information they need in order to analyze it against budgets, standards, or prior activity, which enables them to make more strategic decisions faster.

For example, one metals company wanted to save eight weeks in its annual budget cycle, and after implementing a portion of CPM software, it ended up saving 12 weeks. When metals leaders have a goal in mind, they should be spending their time leveraging the information they need to get there – not wasting time gathering it.

2. Share timely reports with the team

For metals managers and team members, the data reporting cycle often takes a backseat to other priorities because the process takes too long. When they have to manually submit their data and then wait to receive the report (if they ever do), it’s too late to do anything with it.

CPM software can cut the lag time by automatically pulling data directly from the system the team enters it into. This information populates the dashboard view for metals leaders so they can analyze the data and provide reports, feedback, and direction in real time.

When everyone on the team has the data they need to make better, more productive decisions, the whole company moves one step closer to its growth goals.

3. View a single source of truth

A metals company can’t move in any direction if its leaders aren’t aligned on data points. For example, if one person doesn’t include freight when calculating margin but another person does, they will come to a board meeting with two different sales numbers.

When CPM software is used to create reports based on a single source of truth, everyone who comes to the table can be on the same page, see the same sets of numbers, and more efficiently discuss the best way to move forward.

4. Improve predictive analysis with AI and ML

A report might show hard data like invoice due dates, but this doesn’t account for behavioral trends from clients. For example, if an invoice is due on the first of the month, but the client typically doesn’t pay for 30 days, this information should be considered when analyzing reports. Tools like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can help identify these types of trends and contribute to a more accurate prediction of what’s to come.

When metals leaders combine AI and ML with CPM software, they are equipped with an even clearer picture of what the future might look like, and they’re able to make better choices that help them navigate their way forward.

5. Conduct a “what-if” analysis

Every decision metals leaders make has repercussions, for better or worse. It can be stressful to take a chance amid uncertainty. But what if there was a way to easily create projections based on various scenarios? With CPM software, metals leaders can enter different information based on moves they are thinking of making, and the dashboard allows them to see how the choices might affect long-term results.

For example, a metals leader considering making a pricing change can create that “what-if” scenario and view data that will help determine if that’s the best course of action long term. With the ability to see potential results from “what-if” scenarios, metals leaders can feel more confident that the decisions they make today will help them into tomorrow.

Getting started with CPM software is easier than you might think

At Crowe, we know implementing a new system can sometimes feel daunting or like it’s not worth the required time or energy, but our team of specialists can help make the process as smooth as possible. We’ve seen metals companies that have implemented just a portion of CPM software and still ended up saving 25% more time than their original goal.

If you have places you want to go or business seems to be taking off, you can’t afford to keep manually checking your gas tank. Let us help you create a dashboard that takes your metals company into the future. Contact us today.

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Dan Edwards
Dan Edwards
Managing Director, Consulting