The Challenges Faced by Many Businesses
Investment analysis is nothing new and should be a straightforward process. The factors involved were covered in Accounting 101: identify the opportunity, provide a clear overview of the situation, gather the necessary financial data, calculate ROI, NPV, estimated payback and so on.
Of course, what is doable when handling only a few investments becomes incredibly complex when dealing with many. Adding more people, more equipment and additional other resources only increases the complications as the overall scale of the task skyrockets
Lack of Standardization
Many executives have hundreds (or even thousands) of business cases to deal with every year. It’s not hard to visualize the intense frustration they experience when dealing with an old system that has outlived its usefulness. How many hours are consumed doing the job the hard way that could be spent far more productively?
Applicants for funding approval are lining up outside the door with new business cases for approval. Without standardization, PowerPoint presentations and spreadsheets will be prepared in whatever manner the author considers suitable.
What assumptions are being used by all the different presenters? Unless you know the underlying logic, it’s impossible to objectively compare one potential investment to another. Finding the required information on all the differently compiled spreadsheets is a nightmare. Key data points will be missing. Lack of standardization makes objective comparisons and review just about impossible.
Too Much Time is Wasted
Going from the first presentation of the idea to the ultimate decision will take much longer than it should. Each business case must go through multiple changes, each greatly extending the time needed. You’ll be forced to sit through endless meetings which, as likely as not, accomplish little to nothing. How long do you think it will take for everyone to sign off on the final version of the spreadsheet?
Without standardization, the wheel is constantly being reinvented. Commitments made to others as the business case proceeds through the process are overlooked and not enforced. That’s not how anyone wants to conduct business.
Finally, the investment is approved, but this doesn’t mean everything proceeds smoothly. Is there a formal procedure in place for follow-up? Frequently, there isn’t.
Without a formal review process, approved business cases can be forgotten, possibly becoming just another file on someone’s laptop. If the laptop owner changes jobs, the data on that business case might never be seen again.
What Our Customers Tell Us They Need
Our customers typically have certain key objectives.
The Inpensa platform provides solutions for these common problems and more.
Our customers want:
- A much easier end-to-end process, resulting in much faster and more objective decision making.
- Standardization – every business case must be based on standard calculations and assumptions.
- Access to business cases restricted to only the business units involved. Open access is a major security risk.
- Dashboards that are easy to use, able to aggregate the data on a business case and provide genuinely useful insights into the investments.
- Cost estimates and the intended business outcomes.
- A scorecard of the benefits.
- A library or data repository for future use.
Configuration and Implementation
Customer satisfaction requires deep familiarity with each customer’s unique challenges.
First, we need to fully understand the customer’s current process and requirements for their configuration. During this phase, the team will examine the current process end-to-end, identifying bottlenecks and other issues.
Since Inpensa solutions are highly configurable, it’s a simple matter to turn on or off features for a particular implementation. This simple on-off capability is extremely useful in meeting the unique requirements that different divisions of the business may have.
From business requirement development to going live varies, but may take about eight weeks. A sprint implementation process may be used to ensure the project stays on-time and on-budget.
The Inpensa Solution
Our customers receive a unified platform with standardized processes for all business cases. We typically receive extremely positive user feedback. Similarities to many Excel spreadsheet functions and capabilities provide a comfortable user experience from the beginning. People find the new system easy to use.
The key benefits of the Inpensa platform include:
- One system to be used by the entire business for all types of business cases
- Role-based access, ensuring data safety and role-based reporting
- On-demand access to preconfigured reports
- A benefits realization scorecard able to aggregate the cumulative benefits of all approved investments
- Easy scenario analysis able to compare alternative investments with a few clicks
- Governance approval standardized and managed within the system
- A library containing all business cases to help drive accountability
Customers appreciate how a simplified step-by-step method of creating business cases saves both money and time. Revisions are easy and trackable, generating an audit trail. Since the decision making process takes far less time and effort, the company is now positioned to react swiftly to new opportunities and challenges.