Ah, the last week of every third month, the scent of mild dread in the air! Like all things calendrical, the quarter’s end is inevitable, as is the timesink that is the Quarterly Business Review, but is the chaotic frenzy to meet your numbers without going too high or too low inevitable, too?
In a word, no, because your ticket out of the quarterly mess is actually ridiculously simple and comes down to two words that make up one beautiful tool the finance team uses all the time: revenue planning. Wall Street expectations to the left of you, shareholders to the right, there you are, (hopefully) stuck in the middle again!
The CFO’s Dilemma
Revenue planning looks at the supply chain from the CFO’s perspective, and it’s probably easiest to visualize it through a scarily familiar scenario. Picture it, March 28th, you’re scrambling to meet Wall Street’s quarter-end estimate, and your head of sales says she’s thisclose to wrapping up a big deal. It’s been in the works for a while, and it’ll probably close tomorrow–preliminary papers have been signed, promises have been made–but that means it’ll be three weeks until you reconcile that revenue upon delivery. Bummer!
Hold on, though–what if the CFO could look across a revenue planning dashboard that predicted which deals would be closing and when, reconciling sales data with financial and supply chain data? And what if the CFO could then get the head of the supply chain up to speed, aligning business functions that better meet financial projections and KPIs, shortening the lead time in terms of delivery, and realizing that cash money weeks earlier? Just like that, you’ve moved from gut to brain!
CODE QBR ALERT
The quarter-end scramble is, in fact, quite often triggered and mitigated by gut calls, but the ability to consolidate and orchestrate the data at your fingertips is a big differentiator that can help you make those calls in a much more logical way that’s less dependent on (a specific person’s) gut.
ketteQ’s Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) techniques analyze gaps in actual versus target KPIs across different segments of the business, then our predictive analytics and automated alerts identify potential issues. If you want to talk about how our revenue planning tools can eliminate those scary quarterly surprises, book some time with our CEO, Cy Smith.