Case Study: Business Processes Month-End Close Acceleration

How We Restructured Processes to Meet New Demands

Learn how a multinational Electrical Engingeering Company increased productivity and ability to meet new deadlines and requirements by 70%

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Executive Summary

As an industry leader with over 100 years experience, this multinational electrical engineering company was facing a brand-new set of challenges after a recent acquisition. Additional deadlines and requirements needed to be met, and existing processes weren’t allowing for the necessary changes to happen. The client engaged in a 6-week consultation that included a three phase approach dedicated to overhauling processes:

1 Interviews with key players
2 Process map production
3 Proposed solutions for prioritized implementation

Internal operations took the new roadmap and ran with it — allowing them to hit their goals and position themselves as an agile competitor with the scalability and flexibility to support long-term growth.

The Client

A multinational electrical engineering equipment and parts manufacturer who has been operational for over 100 years.

The Challenge

After a recent European acquisition, the U.S. based subsidiary of the business was having trouble harmonizing the month-end closing timetable with that of the new corporate calendar. The entire close process needed to be evaluated — and consequently restructured — so that bottlenecks could be identified and removed in order to meet deadlines.

The Approach and Solution

Taking a three-phase approach, a small team of consultants were placed on site for a 6-week end-to-end consultation. The first phase consisted of a series of interviews with key stakeholders to identify touch points and bottlenecks. In tandem with the interviews, a series of process maps were produced that detailed the roles and responsibilities of every person along the critical path. At the end of the engagement, the client was left with a series of actionable recommendations and solutions for eliminating manual processes, alleviating bottlenecks, and transforming workflows. The recommendations included a prioritized list of changes to be made that included everything from removing task duplication, shifting responsibilities, and updating timelines, to changing the sequence of interfaces and establishing additional reporting. The final recommendations were presented to the senior leadership of both the client and the CFO of the acquiring partner. The changes were welcomed by the management and the staff. The staff particularly appreciated their operational ‘headaches’ being fixed.

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The Results

The changes were implemented over time, which resulted in increased efficiency and productivity across the board. The engagement reduced the month end close from over a 10 day close period to a 3 day close. The client was able to meet the demands of the new corporate calendar — including new deadlines and requirements. The acquiring company’s processes and needs were already well known to our project team. In order to consolidate the results of the newly acquired company, a new set of reports, analyses and communication schedule needed to be created so the acquired company could comply with these demands. There were also some reconciliation requirements adding to the complexity, as the acquired company also needed to comply with IFRS standards.

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