How Dun & Bradstreet’s Finance Department Modernized Its Credit Operations
The CFO’s primary mandate is value creation, which requires the finance team to play a hands-on role in developing the company strategy, optimizing resource allocation, and driving profitable growth — all while managing risk in an increasingly complex world. To do this effectively, finance teams need to find ways to free up time on more routinized, yet critical, foundational activities, such as reporting and controls.
We have found through our own research that, while finance leaders see promise in modern tools such as automation, machine learning, and analytics to drive efficiency and growth, most aren’t sufficiently leveraging them. Increasing business complexity, budget pressure, short-term goals, and challenges in managing data all play a role in inhibiting teams from using these tools to the fullest.
At Dun & Bradstreet, we are faced with the same challenges as many other companies: trying to do more with less and scaling in real time. To address this, we have embraced continuous agile process redesign as a key operating principle to ensure that we improve our operations as we run the business.
One area we chose to focus on and modernize as part of this transformation was our credit operations. As part of this effort, we embraced data, automation, and integration to guide us to a more efficient and customer-centric credit operation. We used our own analytics and tools to reimagine a credit process that not only helped us be better partners to our customers and our sales and marketing teams, but also improved our efficiency dramatically.
As a result of this transformation, we ended up reducing our workflow in credit by up to 50% in many cases. This allowed us to focus on more customer-facing initiatives and dedicate time to opportunities and risks instead of manual decisions. We’re still evolving internally, but I’m excited by the progress we’ve been able to make in becoming more customer-centric, using tools like automation.
The video below highlights how we went about this transformation at Dun & Bradstreet. I hope other finance leaders will be inspired to find new ways to leverage data and technology to modernize their organizations as well.