GUEST: Grant Halloran, CEO, Planful
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Regarding Performance Management Being an Enabler
Grant Halloran: Finance has often been seen as a gatekeeper or they have the keys to the kingdom. At the end of the day, they can restrict or unconstrained spending and all those sorts of things. The analogy I used or the comparison I used was when I asked the audience, is managing people in a company, in an organization, a HR function, and of course no one would say, it is. It’s management, it’s part of what we do as a company. It’s a corporate wide capability, and great companies spend huge amounts of time and effort trying to make that a awesome capability in the business. HR is there as an enabler, as a service provider to provide programs and training and learning development and recruit the right people and all those sorts of things. So they’re more doing strategic programs, but the actual managing and leading of people is a company-wide process.
So, the encouragement I was giving the finance audience that we have here is think about that in a similar way. Financial performance management, how do you drive peak financial performance in a company is something that you need to think about as being an enabler of. All of the folks that control the budgets, control, revenue, responsibility, whether it’s in CapEx, many whatever it is, those people need their IQ elevated around finances. And so that’s what we’re seeing actually the best companies doing is they’re actually seeing these processes as company-wide and they want to enable and improve the financial IQ of their business people that they partner with.
Concerning the Uncertain Economy
Halloran: As it pertains to our software category, the uncertainty, it doesn’t really matter. If you go back every year for the last 30 years, there were always wars that came along. Wars aren’t usually preannounced, they happen, there’s supply chain disruptions.Read More
We’ve gone through all sorts of… That is really the reality of running a business today. The exogenous factors are so prominent and so unpredictable that you just have to navigate a business in that uncertainty is a general rule, regardless. I think it’ll be the same in five years, 10 years, maybe different factors, but they’re all things you can’t predict and control. So, the amount of demand that we have in our space I think is dramatically increased.
I think coming out of the pandemic, there was an amplification of the need because the frequency at which they needed to do scenario modeling and understand the what ifs and what’s going to happen to our liquidity, what will happen to our supply chain if this happens, what if those stores have to close, what’s going to happen? That really heightened for a lot of finance teams that they didn’t have resilient systems that enable that to happen. So this type of economy actually seems to be lending itself to increasing demand for us.
And then the broader thing that’s happening is the office of CFO or back office technology areas are actually being modernized at a pretty dramatic pace.
Regarding Planful’s acquisition of Plannuh and whether we can expect similar “Tuck In” Acquisitions:
Halloran: Yes, I think so there are opportunities in IT sales, operational areas, manufacturers-
CFOTL: So it would be sales planning, it would be sales, manufacturing-
Halloran: It could be some specific type. So it’s interesting. Within our platform, there are a lot of sales use cases done. So, we have a dynamic modeling engine that enables you to build a lot of skew level sales planning, for instance. Doing sensitivity analysis around detailed granular sales data, that is already happening in the system. A lot of our customers do their IT, CapEx and OPEX planning and variance analysis inside the system as well.
I think the thread that needs to run through it is the level of how complex the data model is. Like, how different is the data model from the corporate finance data models and obviously marketing, it is the dimensionality in which you plan and account for your spend in marketing is very different to the way the finance team thinks about it. Workforce, you need to do it at the individual level. Finance cares about the roll ups, right? So, that then leads to different experiences and different features and functions that those specific departmental teams need.
I think supply chain to some extent, we have sales and operations planning being done inside our system, so there may be opportunities for us to explore where we may tuck in some other acquisitions in those sorts of areas, if not necessarily a plan of ours, but it’s definitely a possibility.