Planning and optimizing controlling processes

by | Oct 18, 2023

The dawn of the digital controlling era

In the rapidly digitized and globally networked corporate world, controlling processes form the backbone – both in day-to-day implementation and in strategic alignment.

They are considered important pillars in corporate management and are indispensable for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of companies.

Controlling is more than just collecting and processing data or creating key figures and reports. It is primarily about the interpretation of these data and metrics, which enable the controller to support and guide management in their decision-making.

The planning and optimization of controlling processes is the core topic in order to ensure an efficient process and to achieve the company’s goals. Companies are faced with the challenge of constantly adapting their processes to new requirements and technologies. Digital tools and software enable efficient, fast and accurate reporting, but they are only as good as the planning and implementation of the processes behind them.

Process management and the associated optimization of controlling processes are therefore indispensable. They make it possible to structure the complex processes and tasks in controlling, to make them more efficient, and ultimately to increase the company’s success.

In this article, we will take an in-depth look at the topic of “Planning and Optimizing Controlling Processes” and provide valuable tips and advice on how to master this task. The role of controlling in the corporate context, how processes can be planned and optimized, and the challenges that need to be overcome are discussed.

I. Basics of controlling processes

A. Definition and objective

Controlling processes are structured procedures in the corporate context that serve to measure, manage and optimize the company’s performance.

The planning of these processes and their continuous optimization are important tasks that are of great significance in the context of controlling.

B. Role of the controller and management

The role of the controller in the company is complex. He is not only responsible for collecting and preparing data and key figures, but also plays an important role in management. With the help of structured controlling processes, the controller is able to support and guide decision-making processes. Management, on the other hand, is responsible for making decisions based on the information and analyses provided and for controlling their implementation.

C. Core components

The core components of controlling processes basically comprise the areas: Reporting, Planning, Analysis and Controlling. Reporting provides a quick overview of the company’s performance and serves as a basis for planning and analysis. Planning includes the definition of goals and objectives, while analysis includes the review of goal achievement and identification of improvement potential. Finally, control is used to monitor the implementation of the defined measures.

Technologies and software play an increasingly important role in controlling processes. They enable the fast and effective processing of large amounts of data and provide valuable insights for management. However, this is not just about the technology itself, but above all about the efficient design and optimization of the associated processes.

II. planning of controlling processes

A. Requirements identification

The planning of controlling processes begins with the identification of requirements. This involves identifying and understanding the specific needs and requirements of the business. This includes understanding the company’s strategic and operational goals, current processes and structures, and the availability and quality of existing data. Only when the requirements are clearly defined can an efficient and effective controlling process be implemented.

B. Selection of suitable software and technologies

The identification of requirements is followed by the selection of suitable software and technologies. These play a crucial role in controlling processes, as they enable the collection, preparation and analysis of data. Depending on the specific needs and goals of the business, choosing the right software and technology can have a significant impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of processes.

C. Determination of key figures

The key figures are a central component of the controlling processes. They enable the performance of the company to be measured and controlled. Therefore, it is important that they are determined as part of the planning process. The key performance indicators should be selected in such a way that they reflect the relevant aspects of the company’s success and are tailored to the specific context of the company.

III. optimization of controlling processes

A. Analysis of existing processes

The optimization of controlling processes begins with a comprehensive analysis of the existing processes. This involves creating an accurate picture of the current situation in order to identify strengths, weaknesses and potential for improvement. The analysis covers all relevant aspects from data acquisition and data processing to data interpretation and use. Only on the basis of this thorough analysis can targeted optimization measures be developed.

B. Implementation of improvements

The analysis is followed by the implementation of improvements. The previously identified requirements and potentials play a central role here. Improvements can be made at various levels: They can relate to the technologies and software used to carry out the controlling processes, to the processes themselves, or to the way in which the data is used and interpreted.

C. Increasing efficiency and effectiveness

The end point of optimizing controlling processes is to increase efficiency and effectiveness. Optimal processes enable more efficient and effective execution of controlling tasks, which ultimately leads to better performance of the entire company. This can both reduce costs and improve the quality of the results. Particularly in a corporate environment that is becoming increasingly complex and dynamic, the constant optimization of controlling processes is an indispensable necessity.

IV. Challenges and approaches to solutions

A. Cost-benefit analysis

One of the biggest challenges in planning and optimizing controlling processes is the cost-benefit trade-off. Implementing new technologies and redesigning processes incurs costs. However, more efficient and effective processes can also lead to cost savings, for example by reducing poor decisions or improving business performance. Therefore, it is important to conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis when planning and optimizing processes.

B. Digitization and process management

Digitization and process management represent further key challenges. Choosing the right technologies and software for controlling processes can have a significant impact on efficiency and effectiveness. However, these technologies must also be used correctly and the processes adapted accordingly. Good process planning and control is therefore crucial for the success of controlling processes.

C. Involvement of employees

Another important aspect is the involvement of employees. They are the ones who ultimately have to implement the processes. Therefore, they should be involved in the planning and optimization of processes. By involving employees, their experience and knowledge can be used to develop workable and effective solutions. At the same time, this can also promote understanding and acceptance of the new processes and technologies.

V. Case studies from practice

The theory of planning and optimizing controlling processes is multi-layered and complex, but what does it look like in practice? In the following, two case studies are presented that show how companies have successfully planned and optimized controlling processes.

Example 1: In a medium-sized, internationally operating production company, an initiative was launched to revise controlling processes in order to reduce costs and increase quality and efficiency in production. The focus was on reporting and the use of key figures. Based on the findings from the analysis, it was decided to introduce advanced data analytics software that captured real-time data from production and converted it into meaningful reports and metrics. These measures enabled the internationally operating company to reduce production costs by 15% and increase production output by 20%. Decision making was collaborative to achieve the desired results.

Example 2: A medium-sized company had problems with data quality and use in the controlling processes. An analysis showed that the existing data was not being used effectively and that many potentials were not being exploited. To address this issue, a targeted optimization strategy was implemented. First, all relevant data sources from different departments of the company were brought together and stored in a central database. This measure significantly improved the consistency and availability of the data. The introduction of new business intelligence tools and data analysis platforms has enabled management to better visualize and analyze data, facilitating informed decision-making. The results were positive: the efficiency of the company’s processes improved, costs were reduced, and profitability increased. The targeted optimization of data processes led to better overall management decision-making and strengthened the company’s competitiveness.

These examples show that the planning and optimization of controlling processes should always be tailored to the specific requirements and goals of the company in question. With the right planning, analysis and implementation, significant improvements can be achieved, ultimately contributing to more efficient and successful controlling. The selection of the right technologies and software, a thorough analysis and optimization of processes, and the involvement of employees play a decisive role.

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Conclusion

The planning, optimization and adaptation of controlling processes is an essential task in every company. As the preceding considerations and practical examples show, significant improvements in efficiency and effectiveness can be achieved through careful analysis of current processes and requirements, selection of suitable technologies and software, and well-planned implementation.

Digitization offers new opportunities and potential that must be recognized and exploited. Nevertheless, it is equally important to involve employees in the planning and execution of the processes. They are ultimately the ones who implement the processes and significantly influence their success.

Finally, it is important to emphasize that planning and optimizing controlling processes is not a one-time process, but an ongoing task. Time and again, existing processes need to be scrutinized, potential for improvement identified and improvements implemented.

In view of the complexity and dynamics of today’s business world, the importance of an efficient and effective design of controlling processes cannot be overstated. Therefore, companies should consider the continuous updating and optimization of their controlling processes as a central task and invest resources accordingly.

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