A pharmaceutical company had completed three large acquisitions, diversifying its product lines and increasing its revenue. The CFO needed to integrate finance operations and create a scalable model for future growth, while realizing near-term cost savings. Several factors amplified that challenge. The acquisitions were all distinct lines of business serving different markets and geographies. The newly expanded company was now dealing with inconsistent finance processes, technology, and policies, compounded by five different ERP systems and 35 ancillary systems. And then there was the issue of diverse corporate cultures resistant to change. Ultimate success depended on a unified approach from key stakeholders across the entities.
Approach: Think + Do
We began by partnering with executives and their reports to create, refine, and ultimately win buy-in for a shared services strategy. We were then able to launch a collaborative effort to design and successfully implement a Shared Services Center. We led process re-engineering, optimized technology, and executed change management. We provided management and oversight of Process, HR, Technology, Facilities, and Compliance work streams to drive key components such as infrastructure setup, organization structure, resource retention, communications strategy, and performance management. We provided training methodology and materials. We supported the executive sponsor with planning, financial analysis, and communications, effectively demonstrating success to the Board and executive leadership.
We successfully consolidated and standardized accounts payable and accounts receivable processes across the organization with minimal impact to customers. Not only did the company realize its targeted savings, but we were able to build the foundation and framework for consolidating additional finance processes and establishing a culture of continuous improvement. In the end we delivered a highly visible success story to our executive sponsors by establishing the Shared Services Center as a credible and proven partner to all entities.