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CLIENT CASE STUDY


Arrow electronics: Integrated financial system

Accenture helps Arrow Electronics create a global financial system as a platform for high performance.

Overview

Accenture implements an integrated global Oracle financial system for Arrow Electronics, helping advance the company on the road to high performance.

Arrow Electronics is a global provider of products, services and solutions to industrial and commercial users of electronic components and enterprise computing solutions. Headquartered in Melville, New York, Arrow serves as a supply channel partner for approximately 700 suppliers and 140,000 original equipment manufacturers, contract manufacturers and commercial customers through a global network of more than 300 locations in 50 countries and territories.

Opportunity

As a leading distributor of electronic components around the globe, Arrow is an integral part of its customers’ supply chains. For such a company, a single, integrated financial system plays a key role in smoothly integrating with the business processes of its partners as well as in reducing costs.

A period of rapid expansion during which Arrow acquired several companies had complicated the distributor’s financial landscape. It became imperative for Arrow to create an integrated, agile financial platform that would enable it to operate more efficiently and provide management with improved financial information.

To improve performance, Arrow wanted to create a global financial system. With Accenture’s help, it decided to standardize on Oracle Financials, and also to implement Oracle Advanced Procurement, both part of Oracle E-Business Suite.

The number of Arrow’s global business partners, both suppliers and customers, meant that this would be a very complex implementation. Accordingly, Arrow asked Accenture to extend its involvement beyond software selection to lead the implementation project, working with the existing implementation partners and Oracle to ensure that Arrow’s stated requirements were met.

Solution

Accenture created a project team of professionals with the Oracle and business process skills to lead this complex project in each major geographic region—North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. The composite team implemented a single instance of Oracle Financials across multiple organizations within Arrow. Components from the Oracle E-Business Suite included Purchasing and Trade Management. In addition, the Oracle Internet Expenses module was implemented in North America, which proved to be cheaper to run than the former, largely manual, claims expense procedures.

The two-year global implementation presented many challenges. The project had to support multiple languages, a move from mainframes to the UNIX operating system, and a team drawn from multiple organizations. Accenture used several of its proven methodologies and toolsets, including the Accenture Oracle Delivery Management Toolkit and Accenture Performance Assessment Toolkit, to manage the process. In addition, Accenture relied on its work flow and security templates.

These resources represent the fruit of Accenture’s extensive global experience in similar implementations and can help to reduce implementation time and certain risks associated with this type of project by ensuring that proven practices are followed.

Results

Excellence in financial operations is another cornerstone of high performance, according to Accenture’s High Performance Business research. Arrow believes its global financial system has not only made Arrow more efficient but, thanks to the architecture created with Accenture’s help, gave it the financial capability to power future growth.

Despite the complexity of the project, Accenture helped bring it in on time and on budget. The implementation was quickly judged to meet Arrow’s stated requirements, creating a single, integrated financial platform whose benefits were immediately apparent and will advance the company’s journey on the road toward high performance. Among the benefits are:

  • Visibility across the global financial systems.

  • Standardized financial processes that make management easier and also help reduce costs.

  • The integrated Oracle-based financial platform will simplify future software upgrades, particularly as Oracle’s vision for a next-generation common computing platform comes into play with Oracle Fusion.

  • Perhaps most important of all, this project provides Arrow with a solution architecture that is scalable. In this way, the new financial system not only supports better business today, but also future growth.

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