Call for Change

A history of acquiring smaller companies had left one global medical device manufacturer with highly fragmented finance operations.

Different business units and regional facilities used different processes, technologies and organizational structures to carry out tasks across accounts payables, order management, and reporting processes. The company’s finance leaders found it challenging to manage operations efficiently. They also found it tough to strengthen compliance and ensure the accuracy and integrity of the company’s balance sheet.​

Knowing there was a better way, they set out to establish an intelligent finance operating model.

When tech meets human ingenuity

The team quickly developed a strategy that leveraged SynOps, Accenture’s platform that orchestrates the optimal combination of human + machine talent, driven by data and insights, to create an intelligent finance operating model that delivers higher value services to its business, customers and vendors.

New digital capabilities reduced the number of process steps and hand-offs between functions, strengthened compliance and improved turnaround time and accuracy.

Implementing SAP Ariba transformed the company’s accounts payable services and changed how the company interacted with customers and vendors.

Robotic process automation (RPA) streamlined several vendor onboarding and invoicing processes.

An artificial intelligence (AI) solution was rolled out to manage 40% of helpdesk queries, providing fast and accurate responses to vendors’ questions in both voice and text formats.

Analytics were used to identify the potential loss of revenue from pending orders.

An intelligent order tracker was developed to help find an order, spot a mistake, and prevent the same error from happening again.

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By integrating platforms with digital technologies such as AI and RPA, the team standardized and centralized processes for approximately 250 finance employees. The implementation of process diagnostics, agent performance, workflow, controls and task management assets resulted in better allocation of work. And in just three years, the amount of time finance professionals spent on transactional tasks decreased from 89% to just 17%, while the time spent on strategic initiatives increased from 11% to 37%.

A valuable difference

By using SynOps to accelerate its move to an intelligent finance operating model, the company has achieved greater efficiencies, control and visibility across its global operations. Within two years, the company has also improved its balance sheet integrity, resulting in:

$225M

reduction in intercompany balances

$77M

working capital increase

$12.3M

in savings

Meeting customer needs

By consolidating and standardizing global processes and augmenting them with intelligent technologies and advanced analytics, the company eliminated more than 1,000 hours of manual invoicing-related tasks. These actions prevented 4,000+ critical delivery failures and increased order management efficiency by 40%. On-time payments rose from 57% to 80%, enhancing vendor satisfaction. Order entries, which previously had an 85% accuracy rate, achieved near perfection, improving on-time delivery of 35,000 products across 10 business units.

Thanks to more intelligent finance operations, the company has access to actionable, data-driven insights that have made it more flexible, agile and responsive. With a predictive and proactive finance function, the company is well-poised to navigate operational challenges and threats to business continuity, all while meeting the evolving needs of customers and suppliers.

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