Quick wins – and long-term transformation

S, Ramakrishnan,
Record-to-Analyze Global Process Owner,
Capgemini’s Business Services

When complexity is multiplied by scale, the challenges can be considerable. That has certainly been the case for a client of ours. This organization is one of the world’s leading fast-moving consumer goods companies. It owns and operates several hundreds of consumer brands, with a portfolio of products covering the beauty, personal care, food, and home care segments.

Addressing inconsistency

Our client was looking for a step change in performance as well as a dramatic reduction in the complexity of its business processes, which were intensive, manual, tedious, time-consuming and prone to error. There were multiple input mechanisms and touch points, and there was no standard way of operating: different regions had different processes and templates.

What’s more, the costs associated with internal control and compliance were high, and there was a significant lack of consistency in the internal control environment.

ESOAR in action

Here, as in so many other cases, Capgemini’s ESOAR methodology provided a logical sequence of steps to achieve desired outcome. This proven methodology introduces standardization across the enterprise and can deliver substantial efficiency results. ESOAR was used as a platform to identify and execute “quick-win” opportunities, in four key steps: ideation, design, build, and implementation. As a start, we gathered data on current practices and assessed the potential for improvement by answering the following questions:

  • What does the existing model look like today, and what are the issues?
  • What are the leading industry best practices today and in the future, and where does the existing model fall short?
  • Armed with this insight, what opportunities exist to eliminate, standardize, optimize, automate, and robotize to reach a future proof best-in-class process?

The design process addressed not just quick wins, but the medium- and long-term business requirements, and the initiatives that might help meet them. We worked in the context of the organization’s current processes and technology, and ensured we could make a business case for change.

The build process addressed quick-win solutions in the first instance, and kicked off the medium- and long-term projects. We considered the implications of the changes we would be introducing, and developed training programs that would help to ease the transition.

The implementation process was based on the ESOAR methodology, and was executed in line with the transformation roadmap we had agreed with our client. It took advantage of Capgemini’s Accelerated Solutions Environment (ASE) to build a collaborative solution with our client’s active participation.

As part of this, we designed a Global Process Model (GPM), and aligned it across the organization’s various entities, including the scope of activities undertaken by retained and other third-party service providers. Governance, risk, and compliance services were centralized from Capgemini.

The transformation projects we delivered included:

  • Transformation of account reconciliation, fixed asset accounting, bank reconciliation, month-end close, and supply chain finance
  • Pilot projects introducing innovative solutions involving chatbots, AI, analytics, blockchain, and data mining to identify deviations in complex processes.
Eliminate

  • Redundant processes (without compromising on controls)
  • Revised reconciliation frequency based on risk-based categorization (high, medium, and low risk)
  • Bank rationalization: reduced number of bank accounts being managed.
ESOAR-Standardize

  • Standardized templates/formats
  • Established Global Process Model/framework across locations
  • Structural initiatives in Inter-company scope: set up IC hub and centralized the activities, process simplification and standardization.
ESOAR-Optimize

  • Optimized SAP HANA T Codes
  • Optimization of workflow – intercompany
  • Auto-certification for sub-ledger recon
  • Auto upload of bank statement
  • Cost optimization through location mix.
ESOAR-Automate

  • Web-based application BMC as work flow across the countries for fixed assets reconciliation
  • Web based tool Trintech for account reconciliation
  • Auto-delivery of bank statement (Swift Cloud interface with ERP)
  • Automated auto-mailer communication
  • Pro-active costing process.
ESOAR-Robotize

  • Perform processing of requests – fixed assets and sundry invoicing
  • Validate (logical validation) the templates – journal
  • Perform reconciliation (preparation & upload)
  • Perform processing of all RM, PM, FG, SFG materials – download MDM from SAP, calculate cost and upload into SAP
  • Compare the similar materials costing (supply chain finance)
  • Reporting.

The outcomes

Our ESOAR methodology has led to a range of business outcomes for our client, including:

  • End-to-end process integration, enhanced visibility, and transparency
  • Standardized operating procedures and “golden rules” established
  • Lower cost of compliance through automated controls
  • 44% effort reduction for account reconciliation, fixed assets, bank reconciliation, and intercompany areas through ESOAR-driven transformation.

S, Ramakrishnan is a result-oriented professional who brings in more than 18 years of experience in F&A including transformation, transition, global service delivery, consulting, integration, and audit compliance.