Carlson Explains Adaptive Insights Easy to read Dashboard

Manufacturing KPIs


Jotham-Lane, Director

A question that invariably arises when I’m implementing manufacturing budgeting and planning software with clients is – which metrics should we be tracking? I could list any number of perfectly valid metrics, but at that point, I steer the discussion to priorities and strategy. In my experience, key performance indicators (KPIs) are an excellent means for ensuring that budgets align with strategy. Specifically, what are the factors necessary for them to improve competitiveness over both the shorter and longer term? Where should they be focusing their time, effort and investment? For example, a company may wish to prioritize cost efficiency, safety, compliance, quality, or delivery.

The discussion about KPIs can get overwhelming as it can often be varied based on the industry as a whole or the company in particular. There are several financial as well as non-financial metrics that can and should be closely managed. For the purposes of this post, let’s focus on some of the financial KPIs that can be applied broadly across manufacturing. Not surprisingly, they involve measurements around units. Here is my shortlist of must-have KPIs:

Cost volume profit analysis: Also known as CVP, this analysis goes beyond break-even analysis, which is essential in its own right. CVP is particularly valuable for ascertaining short-term goals in profitability as production is planned or projected to scale. It does have limitations as it assumes there won’t be changes to fixed and variable cost. It also assumes that all units will be sold, which as we all know doesn’t always happen. However, it does provide guidance for aligning production with profit targets.

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Carlson Launches Manufacturing CPM Solution


Carlson Manufacturing CPM, powered by Adaptive Insights, is a ready-to-implement Cloud solution that gives manufacturers the ability to align budgets with strategy, standardize and optimize finance practices, improve collaboration, and plan for long-term success.

My experience with the team at Carlson Management Consulting has been one of collaboration and productivity. Our team looks forward to further enhancing the value add benefits of Adaptive Insights with the partnership of Carlson Management Consulting”.

Duraid Jwayyed, Corporate Controller, Vice President, ATC Corporation

Carlson Manufacturing CPM offers the following benefits:

  • Consolidates financial data while maintaining a view of individual plants
  • Generates analyzable revenue forecasts at the part or product number level
  • Creates driver-based cost of sales from bill of materials schedules
  • Reduces implementation cost by up to 50%
  • Minimizes client implementation staffing
  • Enables phased rollout through modular design
  • Includes Carlson Productivity Suite with pre-defined manufacturing reports

Carlson Manufacturing CPM is pre-built in Adaptive Insights, the #1 Cloud-based corporate performance management software, and addresses the financial planning and reporting challenges specific to manufacturing.  Integrated modules provide a holistic view of the organization while empowering individual plants, departments and budget stakeholders.  Carlson Manufacturing CPM is tailored to fit your unique needs while reducing the time, cost and effort of implementation.  Carlson Premium Support ensures that you will get the most out of your investment.

For more information, download our Manufacturing CPM brochure or contact us for a demo.

Chris Pinto - Director - Carlson Management Consulting

Keys to a Successful Adaptive Insights Implementation


Chris Pinto, Director

As an award-winning Adaptive Insights Platinum Partner with almost 150 corporate performance management (CPM) solution implementations in place, we are often asked about the key steps that ensure successful projects.

Carlson was particularly instrumental in guiding us through implementation, providing expert and timely knowledge at all stages of the process.

Jeff Dubois, Budget Director
Babson College

Indeed, we have gained the reputation as being the “go to” firm for the most complex implementations so we’ve accrued quite a bit of knowledge and experience in that area.

While many organizations have differing priorities, here is a short list of project objectives that we’ve developed with our customers to ensure they derive maximum benefits from, and adoption of, their solutions:

  • Eliminate the use of error-prone spreadsheets where possible
  • Standardize and optimize finance practices across the organization
  • Ensure that budgets are aligned with strategy
  • Streamline data flow through application integration
  • Empower budget stakeholders and other constituents in the process
  • Identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for driver-based budgeting
  • Implement rolling forecasts and other finance best practices
  • Enable self-service reporting

Once the overarching objectives have been defined, we then move into the implementation phase.  Our process comprises the following detailed stages:


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Interview with Becky Blackler, Executive Director of the CFO RoundTable

Carlson-at-CFO-RoundTable-243-160I recently attended a CFO RoundTable event at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. I had heard positive reviews about the organization so when Ethan Carlson, CEO of Carlson Management Consulting, asked me to take his place due to a business trip abroad, I jumped at the chance. I was very impressed with the well-attended event. The keynote presentation was provided by Bob Bixby of the Concord Coalition, who spoke in a sobering yet often humorous manner about the growing debt crisis in the country. I also had the opportunity to meet Becky Blackler, the Executive Director of the CFO RoundTable, and followed up with her to learn more about the organization that she directs.

David: Hi Becky, can you tell us about the history and mission of the CFO RoundTable?

Becky: The CFO RoundTable was founded in the Boston area by Jack McCullough in 2006. Jack had been the CFO of a technology start up and was dissatisfied with the networking and education opportunities for CFOs in the area. Most events were focused on big companies and were heavily attended by service providers. He decided to establish the CFO RoundTable based on a simple model: use people’s time wisely, minimize the number of sponsors, and create quality content based on the needs and suggestions of members. The model has clearly worked as it has gone from 20 members meeting informally to four operating chapters with over 400 members. Each chapter has a steering committee comprising CFOs or senior executives that design the content. The committee asks members what topics they want to cover and then creates the program based on their feedback.

Since launching new chapters in different cities, what we’ve found is that no two programs are the same. For example, a popular program of ours is “The Habits of Highly Effective CFOs,” which we’ve produced in Boston, New York and Philadelphia. While the speaker profiles are generally the same, the areas in which our CFOs like to focus the discussion are very different, which leads to a more robust discussion on the role of the CFO and best practices to improve.

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Carlson at Adaptive Roadshow for Finance Best Practices

Let’s Meet Up: CMC’s October Events

Carlson at Adaptive Roadshow for Finance Best PracticesWe are back on the road with two exciting events this month. First, we are the featured partner at the Adaptive Insights seminar in Cincinnati, Ohio on October 14th. This free seminar will show finance professionals how financially successful organizations are revolutionizing their FP&A and consolidation processes to ultimately free up time, resources and money. If you are in the Cincinnati area and would like registration details, please click here.

We are also the featured partner at the Adaptive Insights seminar in Atlanta, Georgia on October 21st. This seminar is designed specifically for manufacturing finance leaders.  Attendees will learn how to automate and optimize FP&A processes. For more information and to register, please click here.

Please note that attendees can earn 2 CPE credits by participating in one of these events.  Kevin O’Brien, who heads our Central Region practice, will be our representative at both events. He can be contacted at

Coming fast on the heels of the recent NACUBO Planning and Budgeting Forum in Denver, we will be hosting a webinar on October 23rd  at 1pm EDT to showcase our Higher Education CPM solution, which is pre-built in Adaptive Insights. We will demonstrate how this ready-to-implement solution:

  • Addresses the full range of higher education planning and reporting requirements
  • Incorporates modeling and forecasting best practices
  • Reduces implementation cost by up to 50%
  • Minimizes client implementation staffing
  • Enables phased rollout through modular design
  • Includes Carlson Productivity Suite with pre-defined higher education reports

To register for the webinar, please click here. We hope you can join us!

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