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Easy to Use Financial Tools for Effective Decision Making. Paul M. Dooley President Optimal Connections, LLC P: (949) 305-3544 E: pmdooley@optimalconnections.com W: www.optimalconnections.com. Typical Decision Challenges You May be Facing.

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easy to use financial tools for effective decision making

Easy to Use Financial Tools for Effective Decision Making

Paul M. Dooley


Optimal Connections, LLC

P: (949) 305-3544

E: pmdooley@optimalconnections.com

W: www.optimalconnections.com

typical decision challenges you may be facing
Typical Decision Challenges You May be Facing
  • Should I remain with the status quo, or implement a new Service Management System (SMS)?
  • If I implement a new SMS, which one should I choose?
  • Is it worthwhile for me to implementa Knowledge Management System?
  • Should I invest in Remote Access Tool A, B ..or C?
  • Is it wise for me to consolidate our multiple help desks to a centralized Service Desk, or should we remain decentralized?
  • Decision Making Challenges
  • How to Use Financial Tools to Help:
    • Cost/Benefit Analysis (CBA)
    • Return on Investment (ROI)
    • Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
  • 7 Steps in Applying the Tools
  • Valuable Resources
  • Summary
someone once said
Someone Once Said …

“Success in life often depends on the choices we make.”

How do you make the right choice?

Take advantage of best practices and available financial tools that can help you make better quality decisions

how do i know which course of action to take
How Do I Know Which Course of Action to Take?
  • Let’s see, I could …
    • Guess
    • Pick one, based on the ‘good old boy’ network
    • Focus on the ‘coolest’ technology
    • Pick the one that’s cheapest (up front)
    • Choose the one that’s got the most ‘features’
    • Base my decision on what my management thinks (what – consider the users?)
why not a more business like course of action
Why Not A More Business Like Course of Action
  • Follow a best-practice selection process
  • Use a combination of financial tools to improve the quality of your decision
    • Do the benefits really justify the cost?
    • How long will it take to recover our investment?
    • It the investment really worth it?
    • What is the true total cost over the life of the asset?
  • These tools are not new – they have been used for decades by organizations of all kinds
  • Applying them to IT Services is simply good business practice
what s in it for you
What’s In It For You?
  • Demonstrate a ‘business approach’
  • Minimize risk and costs through informed, higher quality decisions
  • Increased credibility with management
  • Build stronger Business Cases for proposals
  • A more strategic approach, aligning with business goals
  • Help ensure successful business outcomesfor customers, through improved service provisioning
  • Be a good steward of investments in IT services
tools to improve the quality of your decision making
Tools to Improve the Quality of Your Decision Making
  • The three tools we will focus on are:
    • Cost/Benefit Analysis (CBA): Weighing costs vs. benefits, and calculating payback
    • Return on Investment (ROI): is it worth the investment?
    • Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) – what is the total cost of ownership over time?

Using these tools in concert will help you make better quality decisions and build stronger business cases for proposals!

cost benefit analysis cba overview
Cost/Benefit Analysis (CBA)Overview
  • Technique for deciding whether or not a change is worthwhile
  • Add up the value of the benefits of a course of action, subtracts associated costs, and come up with an advised decision
    • Costs: one-time, and on-going
    • Benefits: usually realized over time
  • A time factor is built by considerationof a “pay back period”
  • Key: assign a financial value to both tangible and intangible benefits
    • Placing a financial value on intangibles needs to be justifiable
how to do a cost benefit analysis cba steps
How to Do a Cost/Benefit Analysis (CBA): Steps
  • Establish a common unit of valuation ($)
  • Identify all of the tangible costs
    • Hardware, software, training, documentation, maintenance support, consulting, opportunity costs
  • Total all of the costs
  • Identify all of the benefits
    • Tangible benefits (where it is easy to quantify the savings)
    • Intangible benefits (assign values based on estimates, justifiable assumptions)
  • Total the value of benefits in year 1 and beyond
  • Determine payback time: divide [costs] / [benefits]
cost benefit analysis cba consider a scenario
Cost/Benefit Analysis (CBA) Consider aScenario
  • A support center manager is deciding whether to implement a new computer-based incident management system.
  • His help desk is in start up mode, withmostly new support associates.
  • He is aware that with a more automated incident tracking system he will be able to handle calls more effectively and efficiently, with a higherlevel of quality and faster delivery.
cost benefit analysis cba estimating costs scenario
Cost/Benefit Analysis (CBA) Estimating Costs - Scenario
  • New help desk computer equipment: $36,200
    • 10 network PCs with software @ $2,450 ea.: $24,500
    • 1 server @ $3,500
    • 3 printers @ $1,200 each: $3,600
    • Cabling & Installation @ $4,600
    • On-going maintenance costsafter 1st yr: $3,930/yr
  • Software:$15,000
    • IMS Software, 10 user license @ $15,000 (includes 1st year support)
    • On-going support (Silver): $2,700/yr
  • Staff training costs: $14,800
    • Customer Service Skills - 10 people @ $400 each: $4,000
    • Incident Mgt. System - 12 people @ $900 each: $10,800
cost benefit analysis cba estimating costs
Cost/Benefit Analysis (CBA) Estimating Costs
  • Other implementation costs: $48,000
    • Lost time: 40 man days @ $200 / day
    • Lost productivity through disruption: estimate: $20,000
    • Lost sales through service inefficiency during first months: estimate: $20,000
  • Total costs (1st year): $114,000
  • But what are the benefits, and thevalue of these?
  • And what’s the payback time?
cost benefit analysis cba estimating benefits
Cost/Benefit Analysis (CBA) Estimating Benefits
  • Estimate the Value of Tangible Benefits:
    • Handle more work with same staff – savings: $40,000/yr
    • Improved uptime through prevention - estimate: $20,000/yr
    • Improved efficiency and reliability of call handling - estimate: $50,000/yr
    • Improved service and retention - estimate: $30,000/yr
    • Improved accuracy of information - estimate: $10,000/yr
    • More ability to support sales effort: $30,000/yr
  • Do the Same with Intangible Benefits:
    • Higher employee morale = higher productivity
  • Total Benefits: $180,000/year
  • Payback time: $114,000 / $180,000 = 0.63 of a year = approx. 8 months!
cost benefit analysis cba key point payback time
Cost/Benefit Analysis (CBA) Key Point: Payback Time
  • Payback time is often known as the breakeven point
    • Time it takes to recover the cost (sooner the better!)
  • Found graphically by plotting costs and income on a graph of output quantity against $.
    • Break even occurs at the point the two lines cross.
  • Bottom line: Although the estimates of the benefits given by the new system are quite subjective, the IT Director is very likely to approve the proposal, given the short payback time.
cost benefit analysis cba key point time value of
Cost/Benefit Analysis (CBA) Key Point: Time Value of $
  • For longer payback times, the “time value” of money should be factored in!
    • A dollar 5 years from now is not worth the same as it is today!
    • A dollar available now can be invested and earn interest for five years and would be worth more than a dollar in five years
  • When the dollar value of benefits at some time in the future is multiplied by the discounted value of one dollar at that time in the future, the result is the discounted present value of that benefit of the project.
  • The same thing applies to costs – future costs have to be brought back to their ‘net present value’
  • Net Present Value: sum of the presentvalue of the benefits less the present value of the costs
cost benefit analysis cba summary
Cost/Benefit Analysis (CBA) Summary
  • Cost/Benefit Analysis is a powerful, widely used and relatively easy tool to use
  • Doing it well: include all the costs and all the benefits, and quantify them!
  • Where costs or benefits are realized over time, work out the payback period
  • Include time value of money
  • Including intangible items within the analysis requires you estimate a value for these; supply justifiable valuations for these items.
return on investment roi overview
Return on Investment (ROI)Overview
  • Purpose: compare the costs of a project (investment), with the value of its results
    • Am I getting my expected return?
    • Evaluate one investment vs. another
  • ROI is expressed as a percentage
    • Example: a 25% annual ROI means that a$100 investment would return $25 in one year
  • A basic equation for calculating the ROI:

ROI = [(Payback - Investment)/Investment)]*100

    • Investment relates to the amount of resources put in ($, time)
    • Payback is the amount of money earned from your investment
return on investment roi considerations
Return on Investment (ROI)Considerations
  • Managers often underestimate the amount of investment required
    • Hence ROI calculations can be skewed
  • Common mistake: not factoring in employee time required to implement
    • Resources includes money, as well as human resources or “time”. Don’t under value time!
  • Another mistake: not factoring in the “cost of capital” – a $ today is not worth the same as it will be tomorrow!
    • Present Value (PV) of future costs and benefits needs to be calculated, using your organizations “cost of capital”
    • Net Present Value (NPV) is PV of Benefits – PV of Costs
how to calculate return on investment roi steps
How to Calculate Return on Investment (ROI): Steps
  • Determine the total amount ofinvestmentrequired
    • Resources – financial, people (time), etc.
  • Calculate the amount of return
    • Savings, revenue & productivity growth
  • If calculating over time,calculate the Present Value of future costs and returns by your organization’s discounted cost of capital
  • Calculate the ROI by dividing the return by the investment, and multiply by 100 to express as a percentage
calculating return on investment roi scenario
Calculating Return on Investment (ROI): Scenario
  • What’s the 1st yr ROI on our scenario? Givens …
    • Total Costs = $114,000
    • Total Benefits: $180,000/year
    • Calculating ROI for 1st year only (since rapid payback)
  • Applying our ROI formula for the 1st year yields:
    • ROI = [(Payback -Investment)/Investment)]*100
    • ROI = [(180,000 - $114,000) / $114,000 ] * 100
    • ROI = ($66,000 / $114,000) * 100
    • ROI = .578 * 100 =57.8%
  • CBA showed payback time: $114,000 / $180,000 = 0.63 of a year = approx. 8 months
return on investment roi key points
Return on Investment (ROI) Key Points
  • ROI can be expressed for different time periods: be sure to stipulate your time period!
  • Use a spreadsheet tool to automate the process, ensure accuracy, and compare alternatives
  • Remember – one option is always to ‘do nothing’. Ensure you calculate this ROI!
  • Be thorough: include all factors …
    • All investments required (people, time, money, etc.)
    • ‘Opportunity costs’ – people not able to do their regular job due to being involved
    • All returns (savings realized, revenue enhancements, increased productivity, employee and customer satisfaction)
total cost of ownership tco overview
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO): Overview
  • Definition: all costs of owning and operating an asset over its expected useful life.
  • TCO ensures that you account for all associated costs over a given time period when you are considering a decision, or assessing one option vs. another
  • Benefits:
    • Accounts for not only the initial investment, but all the other costs associated with further use of the asset.
    • Factors in ‘useful life’ of assets, usually 3, 5 or 7 years
    • Ensures a comprehensive analysis of long term effects and helps account for hidden costs
    • Enables a total cost comparison of one option vs. another
total cost of ownership tco overview1
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO): Overview
  • Challenges:
    • Does NOT consider benefitsof various options
    • Does not factor in the ROI (or value) of one option vs. another – only total costs over time
    • Does not provide insight into the timing of costs:

Product A, which may have a lower acquisition cost and high on-going maintenance costs, is likely to be less attractive than

Product B, which may have a higher acquisition cost, but lower ongoing maintenance costs;

Yet both may have a similar TCO over the period analyzed!

total cost of ownership tco overview2
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO): Overview
  • Other challenges:
    • Only a general formula: calculate the total costs of ownership over the life of the asset
    • No help for how to value “intangible assets”
    • Does not provide any insight to relative risk of options
  • Companies that rely solely on TCO end up following a strategy that minimizes expenditure rather than maximizes return!
  • Why this tool needs to be combined with CBA and ROI for quality investment decisions!
how to calculate total cost of ownership steps
Employ a spreadsheet toolthat meets your needs

Gather ALL relevant costs

All types: hardware, software, installation, conversion…

Initial costs and on-goingcosts over the life of the asset

Note: useful life must be the same for comparisons!

Which costs should you use? Depends on what the asset is and where it will be used

Costs for most IT investments are usually broken down into ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ costs

How to Calculate Total Cost of Ownership: Steps
how to calculate total cost of ownership steps1
How to Calculate Total Cost of Ownership: Steps
  • Compile Direct Costs: chargeable directly to project
    • Hardware & Software – capital expenditures for various HW & SW
    • Management Support – time required, maintenance contracts, professional services or outsourcing
    • Technical Support - support staff time, training time and costs, travel, support contracts
    • Implementation – customization, integration), testing
    • Communication Costs – LAN, WAN, leased lines
  • .. And Indirect Costs: not tied directly
    • End user - training, informal support outside recognized IT support channels, local self-support
    • Downtime - lost productivity due to planned and unplanned network, system, and application unavailability
how to calculate total cost of ownership steps2
How to Calculate Total Cost of Ownership: Steps
  • Fill in all the data
    • Direct costs
    • Indirect costs
    • First year and re-curing costs over the useful life of the asset (example – 3 years).
  • Use the tool to calculate the Total Cost of Ownership over the useful life of the asset
  • Optionally, compare the TCO of this option with that of another option, and the TCO of the ‘status quo’
  • Determine which option has the lowest TCO

Here is what our sample nets out to (next slide)….


3 Year Life-cycle, with upfront and recurring costs

Sample Tool: TCO Calculator, from Info-Tech Research Group

tco calculation applying to our scenario
TCO Calculation: Applying to our Scenario
  • How does TCO relate to CBA and ROI?
  • TCO shows long term costs, not cost vs. benefits, or ROI
  • To arrive at a quality decision, we need apply all three tools and account for the time value of money:
    • Assume a 5% required rate of return
    • CBA payback: $114,000 / $180,000 = approx 8 months
    • Costs of $129,860over 3 yrs discounted to Present Value = $123,676
    • Benefits of $540,000 over 3 yrs discounted to Present Value = $514,287
    • ROI: 57.8% for 1st year, however 3 years ROI is much greater:
      • NPV of 3 yr Benefits vs. Costs: $514,287 - $123,676 = $390,611
      • $390,611 / $123,676 = 3.158 * 100 = 315% ROI over 3 yrs!
  • Bottom line: rapid payback of initial investment, and high ROI over the life of the asset, with acceptable TCO. GO for it!
applying the tools a best practice selection process
Applying the Tools: a Best Practice Selection Process
  • Step 1: Form a team, project and do a needs analysis
  • Step 2: Prepare a Requirements Definition
  • Step 3: Go through a diligent selection process to evaluate proposals
  • Step 4: Arrive at ‘short list’ of suppliers
  • Step 5: Apply the financial tools we discussed to build a business case for the best decision
  • Step 6: Make the decision and negotiate
  • Step 7:Implement and track your results
step 1 form a team and do a needs analysis
Step 1: Form a Team and Do a Needs Analysis
  • Form a cross-functional team
  • Appoint a project lead, and develop a project plan with milestones, resources and time frames
  • Conduct kick off meeting to define and prioritize needs
  • Set expectations, and communicate!
  • Do a Needs Analysis: allows you to analyze the situation to see whether the technology is truly needed immediately. May include…
    • Surveys, interviews and observations to gather detailed input
    • Reviews of past metrics – performance,customer, employee
  • Establish a baseline (KPIs) for later comparison
  • Consider best practices for the area, as well as industry analysts

Source: HDI SCM

step 2 prepare a requirements definition
Step 2: Prepare a Requirements Definition
  • Document all requirements for the proposed system or tool
    • Background
    • Customer end-user requirements
    • Current support processes
    • Desired features and functions
    • Other: usability, scalability, portability, or compliance
  • Categorize requirements, and list priorities(must have, nice to have, optional/plus)
  • Weight requirements, use numbers to quantify
  • Factor in optional additional information:
    • Special requirements from key stakeholders
    • Available budget allowances
    • Anticipated volume of transactions for scalability
    • Number and type of support staff required

Source: HDI SCM

step 3 conduct a diligent selection process
Step 3: Conduct a Diligent Selection Process
  • Identify vendors/suppliers who potentially can meet your needs
  • Send a RFP out to target suppliers, gather responses
  • Use a checklist to process responses
  • Considerations during the process:
    • Investigate quality of vendor technical support
    • Review demonstrations by selected vendors
    • If you opt for a ‘trial’, for testing consider:
      • Conformance testing to requirements
      • Load testing
      • End-user testing
  • Communications – notify stakeholders in advance of changes in the works, and keep them informed!

Source: HDI SCM

step 4 arrive at the short list of suppliers
Step 4: Arrive at the Short List of Suppliers
  • Schedule interviews for the short list of vendors
  • Considerations:
    • Use a ‘script’ to guide the interviews
    • Include your team in the demonstrations
    • Determine if you can get trial or pilot use
  • Visit vendor customer sites, explore servicequality, check on industry reputation
  • Also check the company – depending on the investment, sometimes the company you are dealing with is also an important consideration!
  • Based on the proposals returned in answer to your Requirements Documents, which products/service providers most closely fulfill your needs?
step 5 apply the financial tools in combination
Step 5: Apply the Financial Tools in Combination
  • Apply the Financials Tools to this short list of solutions:
    • Cost/Benefit Analysis (CBA)
    • Return on Investment (ROI)
    • Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
  • Considerations:
    • Net tangible and intangibles to a common financial metric (usually $)
    • Account for the time value of money
    • Which provides the best cost to benefits ratio?
    • Which provides the best return for the money?
    • Which provides the lowest total cost of ownershipover the life of the investment?
    • Bottom line: which is the best decision?
step 6 document the business case for the decision
Step 6: Document the Business Case for the Decision
  • All three tools should be used together to help assess which action is best to take!
  • Document your Business Case based on the result of the selection process, and the output of the financial tools …
    • Include exec summary, goals & objectives, supporting evidence: CBA, ROI and TCO of alternatives,with recommendations
    • Review with your management and gain their support
  • Negotiate with preferred vendor to arrive at final feature set, with pricing and delivery terms
step 7 implement the decision and track results
Step 7:Implement the Decision and Track Results
  • Key: follow best-practice project mgt. practices
    • Qualified project lead
    • Committed, cross-functional team
    • Solid project plan with milestones, assigned and budgeted resources, and time frames
    • Communicate effectively: across the team, and to affected stakeholders
  • Prioritize early, easy wins!
  • Drive the project, accomplish the milestones, and report on the benefits
  • Compare the results to your baseline(s), and report results.
  • Celebrate success with your team!
summary using the financial tools together help you
Summary: Using the Financial Tools Together Help You…
  • Use a ‘business approach’ to decision making
  • Minimize risk and costs through informed, higher quality decision making
  • Increase credibility with management
  • Build stronger Business Cases for proposals to management, increases chances for approval
  • Align with business goals, and support the vision and mission of the business
  • Ensure successful business outcomes for customers, through effective and efficient service provisioning
  • Be a good steward of investments in IT services
valuable resources to take advantage of
Valuable Resources to Take Advantage Of!
  • Handout: CBA Template
  • Calculating Cost/Benefit
    • Mind Tools CBA Tool: www.mindtools.com
  • Calculating ROI
    • Guidelines: www.silberperformance.com
    • Tips: eHow.com
    • Online Tutorial - ZDnet.com: http://news.zdnet.com/2422-13569_22-153325.html
    • ROI Calculator: www.solutionmatrix.com
  • Calculating TCO
    • Info-Tech Free TCO & ROI Calculator: www.infotech.com
Happy Decision Making!

.. Any questions?

Thank you for attending this session. Please fill out a session evaluation form.

Paul M. Dooley


Optimal Connections, LLC

P: (949) 305-3544

E: pmdooley@optimalconnections.com

W: www.optimalconnections.com