Benchmarking is a popular way for companies to measure their performance, and technology is expediting the practice. For example, the Hackett Group now offers a dashboard that automatically pulls data out of a company’s ERP system to track processes that a company is working to improve.
The tool, the Hackett Performance Exchange, addresses one of the basic challenges of benchmarking, “the level of time and effort it takes to get the information,” said Jeffrey Rosengard, a principal and global finance advisory practice leader at Hackett, a Miami-based strategic advisory and operations improvement consulting firm.
However, Dennis Gannon, an executive advisor at CEB, an Arlington, Va.-based advisory company, said that benchmarking treasury processes isn’t likely to be expedited by technology because of all the judgment that’s involved. “You have to find good comparisons, peers that are like you in the right way, similar challenges and processes,” Gannon said. “The technological evolution, it’s just inherently more difficult to apply to something that’s more talent-based and influence-based.”
Rosengard linked the corporate interest in an easier benchmarking process with the results of Hackett’s recently released finance benchmarking survey, which showed finance teams remain under pressure to become more productive.