Building a solution to quickly streamline Capex process
Case Study A: Building a solution to quickly streamline Capex process
Bespoke workflow-management Application drove an 80 percent productivity improvement in a retail business Capex process.
A multi-location retail business was experiencing a surge in Capex requests at its various locations. As it struggled to ensure that corporate policies were being followed, it was deluged with emails and phone calls and inordinate delays in getting approvals. Also, there was no way of determining whether actual spend was greater than what was approved. The client had hired another vendor whose solution had failed after several months of development and they were looking for a quick solution from us.
Our team identified several process improvements to improve transaction velocity and transparency. Most importantly, we replaced the existing email and phone based Capex approval process with an internet based, workflow management solution. The solution forced users to complete all paperwork before submitting it for approval. All approvals were directed to the authorized person based on a complex set of rules - eliminating needless follow up with the wrong persons.
Using an agile approach, we rapidly implemented a prototype within 10 days and a working system within 6 weeks. The solution was able to scale up to over 120 locations and over 100 transactions per month within 10 weeks. Integration with accounting software ensured that management was able to track actual spend, compare it to budgets in real time and have much stronger control over the entire Capex process than in the past.
Our holistic solution to the problem combined process changes with rapid automation solution to maximize the value capture. We helped the client build and pilot the new system with approximately 140 staff across more than 120 sites. The solution strengthened corporate control over Capex spend, increased productivity by over 80 percent while drastically reducing email and phone communication. Our agile approach towards building the software mitigated the risk and cost of our solution.
Accelerating Monthly Financial Close
Case study B: Reduced time taken for monthly financial close by more than 2 days
Automating major reconciliations accelerated the monthly financial close by more than 50 percent
A rapidly growing, mid-market company was experiencing inordinate delays in closing monthly financials. Quite often, close would happen more than 30 days after the calendar month end. While the entire process was loosely managed, one important weakness was that reconciliations were done manually and would only start after the month had ended. This delayed discovery of incomplete or inaccurate financial accounting, investigation and correction. As a result of delays, management and investor reporting was always late and error prone. The CFO and Controller's reputations were at stake.
In the first phase, we took over responsibility for several important and time consuming reconciliations. We changed the process so that reconciliations started during a calendar month instead of waiting for the month to end. This accelerated the discovery of accounting issues which were previously discovered only after month end. It also gave the team enough time to investigate the root causes of errors and fix these. We then rapidly automated the reconciliation process to replace Excel and human effort. Our automated solution took only 3 weeks to prototype and 3 months to scale up. The solution was capable of reconciling over 1 million transactions per month (over 96% of total transactions) automatically, within minutes.
The automated solution reduced the time and effort required for reconciliations by over 90%. It was also instrumental in reducing the time taken for monthly close by over 50% (20 days).
Timely Management Reporting
Case study C: providing Management timely management Report to run their business
Integrating data from multiple system and automating management reporting to provide client's management the real time data that they needed to run their business overall productivity of the process improved over 55 percent. "At Risk" receivables declined by around 10% due to timely data and better management.
A rapidly growing, mid-market company was unable to get all of the management information it required. While some of the reports it was seeking were monthly reports the others were daily reports based on real time data. The client's legacy system's reporting capability was unable to meet these requirements. In addition, the company was using different systems for various functions and there was no data warehousing solution in place to integrate the data. As a result, all reporting was prepared manually in Excel resulting in delays and errors.
First, we took time to understand the exact nature of management's information requirements and defined the reports it was looking for. We then created the database infrastructure to gather data from the company's various systems in real time. We also built the algorithms to create each of the reports requested by management. Using Microsoft's SQL Server Reporting Service, we automated the production of over 50 critical management reports. We also built custom dashboards to help management monitor critical business variables in real time.
Management finally had access to the reports it was seeking
Identified and eliminated sales which weren't complaint with sales policy. Previously, such non-compliant sales were nearly 10% of total sales and were not being reported.
The business was able to identify risky receivables early and take action on them sooner. "At risk" receivables declined from around 11% to 4% in a year.
Sales Calls Audit
Case study D: Monitoring sales calls to enhance customer experience and lead management
Monitoring and evaluating recorded sales calls results in dramatic improvement in customer experience. Within 6 months "great" calls jumped from 24 to 84 percent of all call. The percentage of "poor" calls dropped from 44% to 4% conversion of leads into sales jumped from 11% to 16%.
A rapidly growing multi-location consumer business, highly dependent on phone based sales skills of its 500 odd frontline sales force, was unsure how well its sales force was performing. There was no data to track whether these leads were being closed into sales events efficiently.
Together with the client, we jointly developed a scoring sheet to track adherence to the company's standard pitch as well as the quality of consumer experience through the sales process. Daily feedback about call quality was provided to sales leadership so that remedial training could happen quickly. All "hot" leads were also reported.
We integrated technology into the process to make it very efficient.
- Robotic software was used to download calls and enter leads into the CRM system
- A web based platform was developed to track the calls and call scores
- Dashboards empowered Sales leadership to monitor call quality, lead generation and sales
- Drill-down reporting was available to sales leadership to track individuals sales personnel that were exceptional and those that required training
Within 6 months, the percentage of calls scoring high enough to be termed "great" went from just 24% of all calls to 84% underpinned by real time feedback and great coaching and training. Thorough tracking of "hot" sales leads led to quicker follow up calls and the conversion of leads into sales events jumped 24% within 7 months.