Last month's column (, began a critical look at the benefits of implementing business performance management (BPM) systems –­ both the lofty, strategic objectives that vendors advertise and the concrete payoffs that users can measure. In this issue, we give examples of companies where BPM delivered greater profits, better decision making, actionable information and greater accountability and ownership.

Companies often seek to involve more employees in the planning process, but without turning budgeting into their full-time job. If budgeting and planning draw on knowledge sprinkled throughout the company, you can avoid a top-down, forecast-by-decree situation. In theory, that's good because it tends to join strategic goals with reality. Here's an example. Winn-Dixie, a major retailing chain, has approximately 120,000 employees and 1,100 stores located mainly in 12 southeastern states. Barry McMenamy, financial analyst, represented the finance department during Winn-Dixie's implementation of a BPM system beginning in late 2002.

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