Today, corporations have lofty expectations of their finance teams. Gone are the days of justifying projects based on cost reduction only; today finance leaders are being asked to reduce costs, improve processes, and partner with their business unit colleagues to drive revenue growth. Whether you are in the biopharma industry, like Parexel, or in the retail industry like Newell Rubbermaid, “Driving Value Creation at the Top Line” was a theme heard consistently in our discussions at the 11th Annual Finance Transformation Forum in Dallas, Texas in September. Over and over we hear that to create value, CFO’s and VP’s need to:
- Connect disparate processes
- Improve data quality
- Align with the business units so you know how to help drive top line growth
- Create long-term, sustainable change
- Renew its focus on service excellence
- Stay outwardly focused, benchmark, and understand what other people are doing
There was plenty of discussion around outsourcing low-value activities to BPO’s so finance teams can move up the value chain and look at process improvement, data analysis, and service excellence. Finance leaders also need to keep their eyes on their surrounding world, benchmarking, and adopting best-of-breed technology solutions like cloud automation, robotics, and cognitive intelligence.
Banter about BPO outsourcing concluded with a common agreement that a successful BPO relationship begins with the proper due diligence and excellent knowledge transfer. For these reasons, companies must standardize and simplify before outsourcing. “When you hear companies say, ‘we tried outsourcing and it was a mess’ you can bet it was because they did not standardize and complete a knowledge transfer” stated Thomas Fisher, Global Practice Leader of IBM’s Finance Center. With proper knowledge transfer, the management task becomes simple – measuring and monitoring agreed upon SLA’s.
View the complete Finance Transformation Conference Brief.