Initial supply chain shocks in the first months of the pandemic were unnerving. They were, however, also relatively predictable as material and transportation shortages made sense given the collective crisis. Vendors and customers found ways to work together to address and adapt to shortages.
Complexities and second-order impacts are spreading to new parts of the economy (accelerated in part due to the Russia-Ukraine War, inflation, new shifts in consumer behaviors, emerging technologies, etc.). Predicting revenues and costs will be even more difficult in the months ahead. Potentially more challenging to predict and address will be changed to working capital. Impacts on cash are not only influenced by supply chain conditions, but also by rising interest rates, changing commercial terms, and payment stability of commercial partners.
In these turbulent waters, leadership needs to understand what their financial models are telling them to better navigate their businesses to create and/or preserve value. Finance and FP&A teams need to revisit methodologies to better quantify and qualify both results and forecasts. A few techniques should immediately help. Backward-looking forecast accuracy scoring helps set confidence levels and can flag the need for better forecast approaches. Value driver analysis helps prioritize those business levers that will drive the most impact. And automated reporting shifts effort from data collection and reporting to critical analysis and insight generation.
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