Media relations inquiries about The Hackett Group should be directed to Gary Baker, Communications Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or 917 796 2391.
How can your working capital needs impact your annual planning and forecasting process -- and how can improving working capital performance can help support your strategic plans in 2012 and beyond. Working capital programs always pique management's interest during times of falling demand and restricted credit markets, but a proactive and focused approach will be required to actively balance the revenue-cash-cost equation and help keep you at the head of the pack as global competition intensifies. Joe Calboreanu from REL Consulting Group explains why working capital should be a key component of all corporate planning programs, and more importantly, why a consistent focus on working capital will be a key differentiator in maintaining your competitive edge. (Access fee required)
The biggest U.S. publicly traded corporations have been stuffing their already bulging balance sheets with increasing amounts of cash, according to new research from REL Consulting, a division of The Hackett Group. By the end of the second quarter of 2011, in fact, 1,000 such companies were holding $850 billion in cash, or 11% more than they had on hand at the end of the second quarter of 2010.
Sarah Clayton (Global Director Strategy & Planning, SSO Network): I am talking to Ted Fernandez, Chairman and CEO of The Hackett Group and SSON partner for the last eight years. Hackett has recently launched a new offering and I wanted to grab the opportunity to catch up with Ted.
In the volatile global economy, employment costs related to recruitment, onboarding, payroll, benefits, taxes and human resources (HR) compliance often overwhelm growing businesses and startups, taking focus away from strategic imperatives like acquiring top talent to drive the business forward. By more efficiently scaling their HR infrastructures, however, these companies can attain competitive advantage.
Who's responsible for the data you need in order to give your organization an accurate snapshot of where it is and how it's performing, as well as actionable insight that will help it achieve its goals? This question, and its answer, are critical in today's increasingly data-rich business environment. The Hackett Group Finance Advisory Principal Tom Willman contributes insights to this article.
The average size of cash balances held by giant U.S. companies in this year's second quarter rose 11% over last year Q2 - creating a hoard totaling $850 billion among the 1,000 largest public companies - new research from REL Consulting says. REL, a division of The Hackett Group, based its tally on filings of those top firms during the first half. Overall, the numbers show that as revenue increased, so too did cash on hand kept by companies. The total was $767 billion for the top-thousand companies in the 2010 Q2. However, debt also rose by 7% quarter-to-quarter, which the authors see as an indication that low-cost borrowing is being employed to boost the amount of cash retained by companies.
Creating a successful SAP project team can be particularly challenging-a single team should blend both technical and business-side employees and often includes outside consultants. The mix of personalities, skill sets and deadlines can be more than the average team can withstand. To pull off a truly successful implementation you need an SAP project Dream Team. Matt McBryan, associate principal at SAP consulting firm Answerthink, a division of The Hackett Group, contributes insights.
It may be getting harder for large organizations to attract top talent, as corporate life has lost some of its appeal due to fears of layoffs, reorganizations and massive bureaucracies. Adding to the challenge is the impact of social networking, which makes it easier for employees and job candidates to connect with new opportunities.
Approaches to shared services are changing. FSN writer Lesley Meall considers factors ranging from cloud computing and smart data capture, through the outsourcing of transaction-centric services and retention of higher value business processes, to the financial incentives offered by some European governments. Hacket t Global IT Advisory Practice Leader Honorio Padron offers his insights.
Offshoring, with its promise of low costs and labour rates, has seen billions of pounds of business transferred to developing economies. But recently, the economics is not so clear cut. The Hackett Group's inflation research is cited, and Hackett Chief Research Officer Michel Janssen is quoted in this piece.
ERP implementations are a significant undertaking for organizations in terms of time and resources. All too often, procurement organizations are not prepared for these large-scale changes -- which can lead to failure... A guest Blog post from Archstone Consulting's Timothy Yoo and Josh Peacher.
All spend is not created equal, largely as a result of the fact that all products and services aren't equal. Companies shell out their investors' hard earned cash buying either goods (raw materials) or services in hopes of converting them into a profitable and salable finished product, but in a world where profit margins are critical, scrutinizing spend is more important than ever... A guest blog post from Archstone Consulting Manager Ketan Patel.
Have you ever had the opportunity to stop, take a deep breath, and ask yourself: "How are we doing as a procurement function?" Many consultants, my current firm included, offer comprehensive benchmarking and opportunity assessments that will provide a very clear picture of just where an organization stands in terms of its peers, corporate goals and industry standards... A guest Blog post from Geoff Peters, Principal at Archstone Consulting.
As the recession eases, European businesses are bouncing back with the biggest working capital improvement for five years. But are these gains sustainable, asks REL's Brian Shanahan.
Another month, another lack of jobs being added to the economy. But what's really astounding is on the financial end, according to the study by CFO Magazine and REL (a division of The Hackett Group). The thousand largest companies in the U.S. sat on a total of $853 billion in cash reserves at the end of 2010, which was a 6 percent jump over 2009, 30 percent more than in 2008, and a whopping 75 percent since 2007.
Europe's companies are improving working capital performance, but there's still much to do, according to new working capital research from REL Consulting.
As they prepare to seize opportunities in their respective industries, companies are straddled with a conundrum -- how to build their infrastructures effectively to assist revenue growth and competitive differentiation, and efficiently scale their human capital needs to these purposes. This Webcast, which features Hackett Chief Research Officer Michel Janssen, explores how organizations are achieving this goal through innovative human resources outsourcing and other solutions, and features best practices not only for reducing the cost, but also for improving the operational effectiveness, of your human resources operations.
So you may have outsourced your IT infrastructure, your application development and maintenance, even some of your finance functions -- but have you considered outsourcing your indirect procurement? Procurement outsourcing is increasingly becoming a priority business strategy for organizations around the world as they react to global market dynamics and execute their business objectives... A guest Blog post from Archstone Principal Maureen Pich� and Director Mark Woessner.
In keeping with what is becoming an Archstone Consulting tradition, I am turning to music to drive home my theme. Forget Rod and Marvin, I'm going to the Gods of Rock 'N Roll themselves, the Rolling Stones, who preach to us that "You can't always get what you want." But more on that later... In 2006, I was helping a client procure 17 TB of tier 1 data storage (a TB is ~1000 GB) to support their call center operations -- at the time this was a generous amount of storage space for a mid-market company and an expensive (~$1M), complicated acquisition. Five years later, I have a NAS device with 6 TB of data storage in my home office that I purchased for under $500 online... A guest Blog post from Archstone Consulting Director Ryan Graham.
In the first two posts on this topic, we covered the current environment and how we got here and discussed key elements of a Procurement technology footprint. These posts outline the myriad of choices, considerations, and pitfalls that Procurement groups face as they consider technology options and navigate the Procurement technology market. The third and final installment in a series of three bylined articles by Archstone's Bob Derocher and Len Prokopets.
In the first entry on the topic of procurement systems and tools, we explored background, current trends, and root causes of technology challenges that Procurement groups face. In this entry, we will consider the state of specific components of the technology footprint -- the building blocks of a procurement system's architecture. The second in a series of three bylined articles by Archstone's Bob Derocher and Len Prokopets.
Through much of the recent global downturn, procurement groups worked with a tailwind of corporate spend mandates, deflationary pricing, and a supply base hungry for business. They were able to meet their goals by focusing on realizing the savings that those advantages enabled. Today, however, procurement groups face a new environment. Inflation has returned and low-hanging fruit has been picked. However, organizations continue to expect Procurement groups to generate improvements in ROI. Procurement groups are reassessing a number of elements of strategy and capability, and technology enablement has re-emerged as a key focus. The first in a series of three bylined articles by Archstone's Bob Derocher and Len Prokopets.
New research finds voluntary separation rates are moving up to pre-recession levels after years of decreases -- with high performers leading the way out the door. How can HR keep its talent from taking off along with the recovery? Hackett's Harry Osle offers his insights on how companies can stem the tide.
Days sales outstanding is not a good metric for measuring collections performance, according to The Credit Research Foundation. REL's Veronica Heald provides insights on how CFOs can get a clearer picture of collections performance by also looking at "best possible DSO".
An analysis of DIO performance by various industrial sectors by Editor Dan Gilmore, using REL's 2011 Working Capital research as its source material.
Editor-in-Chief Dan Gilmore, "For the last several years, I have been doing reporting and analysis based on the annual Working Capital Scorecard that had been published by CFO magazine based on data compiled by REL, a division of the The Hackett Group. My work on this has focused on the inventory part of the working capital equation.
Guest blog from Archstone Consulting's John Yoo.
For months after the Great Recession officially ended in June 2009, the need for cash trumped all else. Today, cash is no longer a problem, as corporate coffers are filled to the brim. But don't be too quick to credit working capital improvement. The 2% decrease in days working capital (DWC) last year qualifies as downright modest, some say, although it is certainly an improvement, given that DWC increased 9.9% the prior year, the worst performance in half a decade. Many CFOs disavow any connection between companies' strong cash positions and an apparent lack of emphasis on working capital. How strong? One thousand of the biggest publicly reporting non financial companies registered an 11.5% jump in revenue last year, according to the 2011 CFO/REL Working Capital Scorecard. (By comparison, revenue dropped by 12.1% in 2009.)
A guest blog post by Archstone Consulting Director Michael Fuller, who offers his insights on Supplier Relationship Management.
The 1,000 largest U.S. corporations outside the finance sector have used low borrowing costs to build up an $853 billion cushion of cash, but they are hoarding the money rather than spending it, according to a new study by REL Consulting, a division of The Hackett Group, and CFO Magazine.
As companies expand globally, many are looking for opportunities to create a global payroll process. To implement global, or any other, best practices, payroll needs to be ready. For some time, payroll migrated to the finance umbrella to ensure appropriate audit and controls. However, as more companies become comfortable with the effectiveness of their audit and control processes, payroll has shifted more toward human resources. A shift toward HR also allows payroll to play its role for any company managing the entire HR hire-to-retire continuum.
A guest blog post by Archstone Consulting Partner Michael Eckstut, discussing how world-class procurement organizations move beyond supplier relationship management.
In the Hackett Group's recent insight on Taming the Inflation Dragon, we find out that the average company is facing a 9% drop in corporate profits this year due to rising prices and other inflationary pressures and that this translates into a 150 Million hit to the bottom line for a typical Global 1000 company with 27.8 Billion in revenue.
If companies are to leverage payroll best practices to the greatest possible extent, some things may need to change internally. For example, for many companies, the ultimate payroll best practice is moving toward 100 percent electronic payment. How close companies get to that goal depends on a number of factors-some internal, some external. The Hackett Group Director of Global Payroll Advisory Programs Felicia Cheek provides insights.
The Hackett Group's Global Director for Time-to-Pay Advisory Felicia Cheek offers her insights, in this bylined article.
Highlights from The Hackett Group's Enterprise Performance Management Key Issus Study for 2011, in a bylined article by Hackett's Senior Enterprise Research Director Erik Dorr.
Two parallel inflationary forces -- rising costs for commodities and lab or -- are threatening to reduce corporate profits by up to 9 percent over the next two years, according to a new report from business advisory firm the Hackett Group.
Unless your Supply Management organization takes it to the next level, your company is facing a 9% drop in corporate profits this year due to rising prices and other inflationary pressure according to a recent Hackett Group study. For a typical Global 1000 company with 27.8 billion in revenue, Hackett's study estimated that commodity and offshore labor inflation will drive a 150 million per year hit to the bottom line.
The Hackett Group, a global strategic business advisory firm, has recently detailed the problems large companies face mitigating commodity cost increases. As noted in a recent research study, most companies tend to take a fragmented, siloed approach to anticipating and mitigating costs, Hackett found.
In this Webcast from SCMR's "Winning in the Global Supply Chain Arena" Virtual Conference, Archstone Principal John Ferguson and REL Associate Principal Michael Rellihan offer insights and practical ideas on how supply chain functional areas like planning, manufacturing, logistics, and fulfillment can be optimized to improve cash flow and bottom-line profitability on a global scale. (Free registration required.)
A guest post from Kurt Albertson, Associate Principle, Procurement Advisory, The Hackett Group. While The Hackett Group research shows that the economic recession did not severely dampen executive enthusiasm for supplier diversity programs (unlike broader sustainability initiatives), most companies continue to be misaligned in their stated objectives and how they measure the performance of their supplier diversity efforts. Most rely on overly simplistic measures to evaluate the progress of supplier diversity programs, and never truly assess whether programs are meeting corporate objectives.
The journey toward payroll best practices can be a daunting one. Managing the process is key. A good approach is to break down the elements of the payroll process in order to focus and direct efforts more effectively rather than trying to address everything at once. This process begins by making sure the services provided and the model for delivering those services will help the organization achieve its strategic objectives for the organization as a whole and payroll specifically.
As companies recover from the global recession, many are considering the opportunities in growth markets such as Brazil, Russia, India, China, Mexico, and Korea. As part of this, companies should understand the potential impact of growth in these markets on receivables, payables, inventory, and other net working capital elements, and how they can manage processes to adjust to this change. A bylined article by REL's Daniel Windaus.
Blogger Michael Lamoureux writes, "Now that the importance of talent to a Supply Management organization's success is well understood, an organization needs to know how to get started on its talent management journey. Based on the collective insights on talent management brought to you by SI over the years, which includes some great insights from the recent Hackett Group Best Practices conference, some key starting points are..."
Coverage in French. The need for working capital decreased by 2.7 days of sales in 2010, according to a new study by REL Consulting.
Bylined side-by-side insights from The Hackett Group's Global Time-to-Pay Advisor Leader Felicia Cheek and Manager Sam Kung, who focuses on globalization and outsourcing projects.
How can HR departments justify their talent management programs in hard business times? Hackett's Harry Osle contributes insights.
Archstone Consulting, a division of The Hackett Group, has been named one of the top 20 world's best outsourcing advisors by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals. This piece appeared as a special advertising section.
Executives in ever y organization at least pay lip service to the idea that people are their most important resource. And certainly CFOs know how expensive turnover in general can be. When that turnover includes strong performing and promising employees, the overall cost to the organization is usually far greater than the salary multiples used in most turnover calculations. But how many executives put their money where their mouth is when it comes to identifying and nurturing strong talent throughout the organization? According to The Hackett Group's 2011 Book of Numbers, there is a big difference between companies that are adequate when it comes to talent management and companies that manage their talent at the highest levels.
This report, based on REL findings, looks in depth at the source-to-settle (S2S) cycle and in particular the management of the payment process. If this process is managed poorly it can tie up significant amounts of money.
Blogger Michael Lamoureux writes, "Despite talking to Hackett personnel for years, including the one and only Pierre Mitchell, it was the first time I made The Hackett Best Practices Conference. It was interesting, to say the least. Until I have a chance to collect our thoughts and publish a more detailed analysis, here are a few takeaways..."
There is no 'right time', any more than there is a one size fits all solution to any other complex conundrum. This article includes extended insights from Hackett's Tony Chauhan.
Blogger Michael Lamoureux writes, "At The Hackett Best Practices Conference, Hackett's Chris Brennan and Sean Kracklauer hit the attendees hard and heavy with Hackett Research focused on the key enablers of global growth. A key part of the presentation was focused on the myths and realities of the three key enablers of global growth and blasting through the ill-conceived perceptions that must be abolished before companies can achieve world class performance. Here are the three big myths for each area..."
From REL Principal Gavin Swindell: Here's a contrarian view on the apparently hot topic of cash forecasting amongst the CFO's agenda. The Hackett Group recently published a survey of CFOs, and 70 percent rated cash flow forecasting as their top priority to be worked upon in 2011. Now, maybe I am being a little simplistic, but I find this strange.
Political risk in the Middle East, the tsunami in Japan, poorer than expected growth figures in the UK and elsewhere: modelling business risk in 2011 seems to become harder with each passing week. This white paper details results from an Accountancy Age survey into credit and supply chain risk which demonstrates that, while payment and supply patterns seem to be generally more secure than the during the dog days of 2008, businesses still need to be on alert when it comes to credit and supply chain risk. REL's Brian Shanahan offers his insights.
A bylined article by The Hackett Group Global Time-to-Pay Advisor Leader Felicia Cheek.
Finance leaders are determined to get their budgeting and forecasting processes in good shape this year. And they're ready to shell out actual money for the technology they'll need to get results. Those are two findings that leaped out at me from a new study by The Hackett Group.
New York state is facing another devastating budget cycle and continued economic problems, and legislators are looking for solutions to create jobs, raise revenue and prevent deeper budget cuts to New York's schools and health care system - without raising taxes. One solution in the mix is a proposal allowing New Yorkers to buy wine in grocery stores that currently sell beer. The common-sense proposal would save people money through increased competition and make it easier for people to pick up wine with their groceries. Archstone Consulting conducted a study which found that selling wine in grocery stores would raise $346 million in year one through franchise fees for grocery stores and by year five raise $71.1 million annually through sales taxes on additional consumption and existing license fees - with no new taxes.
Bylined article in French by REL's Adil Lahlou. In 2008, the world plunged into an unprecedented financial crisis. In even the healthiest sectors, cash began to dwindle. Cash on hand between 2007 and 2008 fell at least 10% in all but two sectors. Total cash on hand, including short-term borrowings, fell 16% from 14.7% for PCs and peripherals, and from 2.6% to 1.9% for multi-utilities. Cash, the lifeblood of every business, became a precious commodity.
Landmark research reveals new insights into the real business value of integrated business applications, including cost reductions, data visibility and net income increases. The Hackett Group's Chief Research Officer Michel Janssen and Global HR Practice Leader Harry Osle both contributed significantly to this research effort.
In his Blog, CIOUpdate Managing Editor Allen Bernard Writes, "I had an opportunity to talk with Richard Pople, the Hackett Group's new IT Transformation Leader, recently about their Key Issues 2011 Study: IT Organizations Develop New Capabilities on a Global Scale to Become a "Business Process Integrator" and, basically, what he is saying (and world markets are bearing out) is in 2011 the Fortune 1000 and their cousins that do business around the world will need to stop thinking like the multi-nationals they are today and begin thinking like "global" companies."
Ann All spoke with Rich Pople, Global IT Advisory Practice leader for The Hackett Group, which just published its 2011 Key Issues Study, which finds IT organizations struggling to meet growing business demands even though IT budgets are flat. Two of the most critical requirements for IT organizations: the development or streamlining of capabilities that can support the search for new revenue streams in high-growth markets like India and China, and the globalization of IT operations to raise productivity and manage costs.
Corporate IT departments are increasing their spending on hardware and cloud services, but not on new hiring in this weak economy. These trends are all revealed in government data, recent studies from The Hackett Group and others, as well as earnings reports. Cloud-based services, in particular, are expected to see spectacular market growth this year.
Backers of allowing wine sales in grocery stores in New York State are once again promoting the idea as a source of new jobs and revenues, but the governor's proposed budget does not include the measure. New Yorkers for Economic Growth and Open Markets released a study Thursday contending that wine sales in grocery stores would result in recurring annual revenues of $71 million by the fifth year, generated by licensing fees and existing excise taxes.
In this detailed analyst insight, REL's Michael Rellihan explains how demand-based replenishment can help food and beverage companies significantly stabilize plant operations by establishing fixed production cycles using customer demand instead of a forecast-based ("push") scheduling method.
In this detailed analyst insight, REL's Michael Rellihan explains how product line structure and feature-value analysis can deliver cost savings for consumer products companies, as part of a broader, comprehensive framework supported by quantitative and qualitative tools.
CIOs are turning to end to end outsourcing for cost savings, but t hat's not its only benefit. It also gives CIOs access to new ideas and strategies that can help shape the overall direction of their companies. Hackett Global IT Practice Leader Honorio Padrón contributes his insights to this article.
Benchmarking is a simple and powerful concept, but it is something of a "black art" to practise. Many organisations that want to reduce the cost of their operations simply select an arbitrary round number, such as 5% or 10%, without knowing whether this will still leave them lagging behind their competitors or damage their customer service. But enlightened organisations have, for many years, benchmarked themselves to provide meaningful targets for their planning process. Free registration required.
Offshoring is thought to be a major culprit for millions of professional and service-sector job losses in the U.S. and Europe, and new research says it is only going to increase.
Nothing shows Eastman Chemical's focus and solid ground game better than its participation in benchmarking, a tool for developing best practices and continuous improvement. "It shows you how you are doing compared to other well-run companies," CFO Curt Espeland says. "It lets you go to management and develop a road map for improvements. And it helps us prioritize." This article details how Eastman achieved world-class performance in Finance, with the help of The Hackett Group and its benchmarking expertise.
Having a cash culture in the finance function is useless unless front-line staff understand its importance - and how they affect it. Here are eight ways to get the message across.
The agenda of any executive meeting usually addresses the same topic, whether directly or indirectly: how to expand the company's customer base and keep existing customers satisfied and coming back. At luggage and travel products maker Tumi, Inc., when management meetings concentrated on the company's bulging inventories and poor customer fill rates, everyone looked to the IT organization for answers. And when the discussion turned to accelerating the company's European expansion, again the group looked to IT for a solution.
Media relations inquiries about The Hackett Group should be directed to Gary Baker, Communications Director at email@example.com or 917 796 2391.