Whetting Your Firm’s FP&A Appetite

This podcast originally appeared on CFO Thought Leader.

Jack Sweeny, host and creator of CFO Thought Leader, sat down with Paul Willson, CFO of Compeat, to discuss his career journey and what lead him into the restaurant sector. In the podcast, Paul discusses his passion for finance and the importance of using data to measure your business.

The finance department has moved beyond being the “keepers of the books” and play a much bigger operational role now. The increased availability of data provides those in a financial role to not only know the company’s numbers – but to understand what is causing it – so that they can make the business more efficient.

You can listen to the full podcast here or read on to get a glimpse of Paul’s insights that were shared.

CFO TL: Do restaurants adopt technology a little more slowly or is the technology curve different from some of the other industries you’ve been involved with?

Willson: There is really a wide spectrum here in the restaurant business. You think of a one- or two-unit restaurant that was started up by a founder then expanded to a second location and small and is not very sophisticated when it comes to technology and then you have restaurants that have 50-70 locations that are much more integrated in their back office and much more technically sophisticated.

CFO TL: You mention net promoter scores. We are finding that non-financial metrics are becoming a bigger part of the mix. Do any come to mind for you?

Willson: Certainly churn is a big one in the SAAS business that you are always watching. Then you get into sales because it’s not always the bookings. It’s what are the predictors? What are some of the leading indicators? You look at pipeline, pipeline coverage, sales productivity. You go back to the Customer Service organization and look at utilization. And then you go back to time to value. How long does it take us to implement the product and have the customer seeing the value?  Those are the things that we are always trying to monitor to be sure that we are in a good spot with.

CFO TL: What makes the restaurant sector different as far as being a customer?

Willson: It’s a group of people that are in the service industry and we are looking to help them out. 80% of our employees have worked in that sector. We hire people who have worked in the restaurant industry so that we can bring that service mentality into our company. I think that’s the interesting part about serving this industry, they care about providing a great experience to their customers and that is what we try to help them do through our products. We automate the back-office stuff to make their lives are easier so that they can focus on their customers.

Listen to more podcasts:

Podcast: Restaurant Unstoppable on Compeat Restaurant Management Software

Podcast: Serving Up the Good Stuff!

Podcast: Getting a Fresh Set of Eyes on Your Business

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