October 19, 2006

Hackett: World-Class Enterprise Performance Management Drives More Than Twice the Shareholder Return

While Top Performers Use EPM to Drive Higher Stock Prices and Dividends, Many 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 The Hackett Group, a strategic advisory firm and an Answerthink company (NASDAQ: ANSR).

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 that 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 T. 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."

More information on The Hackett Group is available: by phone at (770) 225-7300; by e-mail at info@thehackettgroup.com; or on the Web at www.TheHackettGroup.com.

About The Hackett Group

The Hackett Group (www.TheHackettGroup.com), a strategic advisory firm and an Answerthink company, is a global leader in best practice research, benchmarking and business transformation services that enable world-class performance across selling, general & administrative (SG&A) and supply chain activities. Hackett provides strategic insight, best practice advice and implementation services grounded in performance metrics obtained through 14 years and 3,500 benchmark studies.

Through the acquisition of REL Consultancy Group, the world's largest firm dedicated to generating cash improvement from working capital and operations, The Hackett Group has deepened its advisory capabilities in the area of working capital optimization. For more than 30 years, Hackett-REL Total Working Capital advisors have helped clients in over 60 countries liberate billions of dollars in working capital ($25 billion in the last ten years alone), creating the financial freedom to fund their strategic objectives including acquisitions, product development, debt reduction and share buy-back programs.

Executives use Hackett's unique, empirically-based approach to prioritize initiatives, execute faster, reduce risk and deliver sustainable results. Our clients comprise 97 percent of the Dow Jones Industrials, 77 percent of the Fortune 100 and 50 percent of the FTSE 100.