Many companies explore the shared-services concept during financially challenging times, but businesses can realize operational efficiencies, increased productivity, agility and better employee morale in addition to cost savings.
Here's how we plotted our journey at Dun & Bradstreet:
Destination 1. Process is PowerOur transformation started with, "How do we perform better?"
- We asked our finance operations teams across borders what was working and what wasn't.
- We analyzed the current state of the business by understanding our current processes and metrics.
- A fit/gap analysis allowed us to measure how we were doing. We didn't measure ourselves against ourselves; we took the time to perform some industry benchmarking.
Destination 2. Governance is GoodOur approach to governance demonstrated to shareholders, employees and ourselves that we are responsible.
- Global thinking allowed finance teams to gather the right information for each market.
- We leveraged data and technology; it wasn't about pouring $10 million into a completely new solution, but it wasn't about squeezing blood from current systems either.
Destination 3. Revenue is RulerOur key priorities as a finance team were these: managing capital, driving operational efficiency and delivering growth.
- Changing the perception of finance from money manager to growth partner was a key aspect of our journey.
- Using the data and information we have, in addition to our own products, helped us to achieve the momentum we needed to deliver growth.
- We partnered cross-functionally to help our top-line partners in sales to be more effective.