We were asked to work with an industrial company with many manufacturing sites, sales offices, as well as country and regional headquarters across Europe. The challenge was to decentralize the financial organization, and address the lack of global standard processes, the inconsistent use of ERP systems, fragmented and undocumented processes, controllership issues and lack of clear responsibilities. The company had been trying, unsuccessfully, to reduce the cost of its financial functions for several years and there was an absence of reliable performance or even volume data.
A quick initial study focused on current processes, employee numbers, transaction volumes and the existing organizational and IT landscapes.
The next phase was the definition of transferable tasks and a headcount, a high-level definition of future processes using process maps, and understanding of end-to-end processes using a SIPOC tool. Experts in the subject matter identified potential immediate or short-term improvement opportunities.
Additional global standard IT systems were introduced to support scanning, invoice processing automation, reporting, the closing process and tracking of manual journal entries.
Implementation took 4 – 6 months per country. Based on a detailed transition plan, the project was executed with regular internal reviews with team leaders and stakeholders, whilst progress reports were published on a weekly basis. Benefits included more standard and stable processes, greater visibility of performance, clear ownership, and 30 – 40% cost savings.