Why you need to start small
Bill Antoskiewicz, General Mills Account Executive, Capgemini’s Business Services
A client’s trust is earned through a series of small-scale, pilot projects
Asking for someone’s trust can be the ultimate test of a relationship. And yet, when we perform big transformations, that’s exactly what we need from the executive team: their trust. Our engagement with a major US-based food company illustrated the benefit of taking a series of smaller first steps, and proving our success with every one, earning the trust we needed to deliver on a much bigger transformation strategy.
With each pilot project outlined below, our teams introduced standardized, automated processes that led to the reduction of manually handled transactions, helping to maximize the capacity of the teams in place. As the scope of work and the locations entrusted to Capgemini continued to grow, so did the client’s confidence in our methodology and overall capability. The teams provided a superior service to our client’s end-customers, a huge priority for a food company, and today continue finding new ways to deliver even more value to the business.
Capgemini was approached by a major, US-based food company in 2012. This company, who had a massive global footprint and represented a number of well-known and trusted brands, was determined to consolidate their shared services across their numerous locations and divisions, but lacked the infrastructure to do so internally without disrupting their operations. They also recognized the immediate need to augment their language capabilities to better serve their European customers. Having unsuccessfully engaged a small number of other outsourcing providers to cross the language barrier, they were directed towards Capgemini’s Krakow operational center.
The Capgemini team defined the benchmarks of a widereaching transformation that would deliver tangible results. However, this client had a consensus-based culture and a long, proud heritage. They were hesitant to trust a supplier with anything more than a handful of operations. Hence, a series of small, successful pilot projects and detailed, regular reporting proved to be the key steps in earning their trust.
At the beginning of 2012, Capgemini began a small pilot project in Poland to help the European team deliver their accounts payable operations in Europe. This pilot proved to be the beginning of a relationship that would extend across borders and operations. A relationship that has relied on a disciplined transition process and Capgemini’s ability to build up client trust bit by bit. Weekly meetings to benchmark milestones, and a dedicated, on-site transition manager helped to provide structure around the transformation. This proved to the client that the team had the discipline and the drive to help them meet their objectives.
By the second half of 2012, the client had signed a contract extension for the delivery of an enhanced suite of financial services across a further 20 European countries, and for their EMEA, LATAM, North American and Australasian territories.
The success in finance inspired a second pilot project for the client’s procurement division. Capgemini assigned a team from the Bangalore delivery center to assist with procurement activities and to introduce ways of digitizing and automating many of the previous team’s manual activities. As before, the Capgemini team focused on just a handful of activities at first, but these soon multiplied as the bulk of the client’s manual processes were shifted to automation and robotics. The client saw the benefit of having a slightly larger, dedicated resource working strategically to standardize operations across geographies, and harmonize the division with the greater business.
“With the extra capacity available from a slightly larger team, we were able to introduce a couple of new digital solutions that made a big difference,” Bill Antoskiewicz, General Mills Account Executive, Capgemini’s Business Services. The processes that the Capgemini team implemented included the introduction of a virtual help desk to deliver responsive service to their customers. The team also helped to realize the client’s aim of better assigning and automating financial tasks, and establishing quality audit processes, accurate reporting and real-time analytics. This success eventually led to expansion to China with support from our Nanhai center.
Once again, the team’s ability to display clear outcomes from the procurement pilot helped motivate the client to grow their investment in Capgemini. From a small, efficient team at the beginning, the resource dedicated to this client has since tripled in size. The client has entrusted Capgemini with a growing number of responsibilities, including being involved with the important launch of a new location. The Capgemini team has been able to alleviate much of the administrative burden from their more strategic resources.
At the end of 2015, a third pilot project was initiated—this time with the aim of providing scalable Personal Assistants-as-a-Service. A streamlined delivery team from Guatemala was created, providing efficient, reliable personal assistant services to 30 of the client’s executive stakeholders in North America.
“Establishing a team based in Guatemala has made a big difference to the service we can provide to our client,” explains Bill, “It’s not just the time zone compatibility, it’s the strict recruitment criteria that has ensured that we get excellent candidates with the right training and the desire to work in administrative services.”
As a result of this third, successful pilot, the client signed a contract to commission Personal Assistants-as-a-Service from Capgemini. Capgemini now supports this client in seven languages, across three major business functions.
- A shared services team that has tripled in size since commencement
- The establishment of a new delivery team in Guatemala
- $740,000 in savings delivered to date through productivity enhancements