World-class Enterprise Performance Management Drives Shareholder Return

Top performers use EPM to drive higher dividends, but "typical" executives ignore shareholder value in strategic planning

Atlanta — October 19, 2006 — Executives can more than double their company's equity market returns and drive higher stock price, larger dividends and significantly lower operating profit volatility by improving enterprise performance management (EPM) capabilities, including planning, budgeting, forecasting and reporting, to world-class levels, according to new Book of Numbers research from strategic advisory firm The Hackett Group.

At the same time, Hackett found that typical companies are, to a large extent, "flying blind" due to poor EPM performance. Despite the fact that they spend more than twice as much as world-class companies on planning and performance management processes and operate with more than twice the staff, their planning functions fail to deliver timely, relevant insights into their customers, competitors, market and business environment. Therefore, executives at these firms are less able to align operational activities to support strategic corporate goals.

Hackett's research found that companies with world-class EPM performance generate 2.4 times the three-year equity market returns, including stock price increase and dividends, of typical companies in their industry. In addition, these top companies outperform the equity market returns seen by typical companies in the Dow Jones Industrials.

The research identifies an array of Hackett-Certified Practices companies rely on to achieve world-class EPM performance. World-class EPM organizations focus on fewer budget line items than typical companies and make greater use of online reporting tools. They produce reports faster than typical companies, and company management has much greater confidence in the reliability of forecasting and reporting outputs.

"The bottom line is that when it comes to shareholder value, most companies are talking the talk, but not walking the walk," said Hackett Senior Business Advisor John McMahan. "They are so focused on making their numbers each quarter that they ignore the bigger picture, and aren't looking strategically at their company's performance. This research quantified precisely how much it costs a company and its shareholders to take this short-term approach."

According to Hackett's Chief Research Officer Richard Roth, "Companies with world-class EPM performance understand that it's not about planning to plan, it's about planning to win. They have transformed the planning process from a painful chore into a valuable tool that helps them 'see into the future' and chart a course for success. These companies make better decisions, identify opportunities more quickly, respond faster to changes in their market, and keep their eye focused on the critical issue of building shareholder value."