Improving End-to-End Processes
Oscar Vincenti, Business Process Manager at CEMEX USA will be speaking at the Finance Transformation 2010 conference which will be held in Chicago, 28-30 September...
SSON: Oscar, could you tell us about any new and recent developments taking place at your organization?
Oscar Vincenti: We are currently implementing a mechanism for managing the evolution of our end-to-end process model. This mechanism gathers representatives from all the functional areas that participate in this process. Shared Services facilitates the discussion on developments we need to change within each one of the end-to-end processes. We have teams established for the entire cycle, for example, we have a team for the quote to cash process and a team for Procure-to-Pay. Each group discusses and brings their ideas for evolution of the process to the table to analyze their value. The group then prioritizes those projects that add the greatest value to the end-to-end process.
Each team meets every two months. As the Process Management Team within the shared service organization we coordinate and call the meeting, and then we put all the documentation together in order to facilitate it. The improvement ideas for each process are presented and they discuss all the aspects in order to determine what the impact will be on the other areas of the process by implementing a specific improvement. This enables us to assure that we are not negatively affecting other areas when implementing a new initiative. We ensure we optimize the whole process. It is all very interesting, and is something we improved upon and re-instituted in April of this year.
SSON: You will be speaking at the Finance Transformation 2010 conference in Chicago this coming September, could you provide us with some of the key points you will touch upon at the conference?
OV: We will talk about the end-to-end process design as part of the shared service organization value proposition. We will also look at how shared services can provide help with regards to managing the end-to-end processes, not just the internal processes of shared services but those performed by the rest of the organization. A big part of it is to have an integral perspective of all the things needed to deliver value, as well as what doesn’t deliver value. This also relates to how shared services can design those processes to work seamlessly in all areas, it is not just changing workflows. If you want to increase efficiency, you will also need to align the strategy within the organization because this will allow the process to be more streamlined and efficient.
SSON: Oscar, could you tell us a bit more about the Process Management Service approach and what it means for your organization?
OV: We have different levels - it depends on the type of project the company wants to implement. For example; we recently had an acquisition and we started by analyzing the processes by the business needs: based on the expected deliverables by the organization and the stakeholders. Then we created a blue print. The blueprint is the phase where we design the processes based on how we want to deliver the expected output and the levels of service we want to provide. We also make sure we challenge the value add to certain activities and deliverables, which includes all the possible changes in technology. This in reality is an integral view of the processes: we design workflows, interactions and the roles that each person in the organization will need to play in that process as well as setting the business rules in order to get the process to deliver the desired results in the most efficient way.
SSON: At CEMEX what measures or steps have you taken in order to improve the End-to-End processes?
OV: Firstly, we check with the organization if they have any issues with their efficiency, the effectiveness of the process, or if there is a change in the market that leads to new opportunities. Let’s say we require a new product to be delivered to customers - based on that we do a survey or draw a map of what is happening currently in the process, the "as-is", and determine what is not efficient or adding maximum value. If there is a new business opportunity, then we consider the drivers we need in order for that delivery to be accomplished. This is where we start drafting our first designs and is also our first step in recognizing or understanding the business need.
The second step is understanding how the organization or functional areas are participating to deliver that. We then design the role of each area and the role of each person within this area. We also review the business rules and then create documents which outline all the process requirements: the changes to the ERP, or any other system, process maps and policies, until all that is left is the project management for implementing the initiative.
SSON: What would you like to gain or learn from the Finance Transformation 2010 conference?
OV: From a business process perspective, I would love to see what opportunities are out there and what other companies have identified as further opportunities for process improvement which will improve financial results. I’m interested in finding out more about the most common issues other companies have experienced in relation to improving shared services. Basically, I would like to see what other types of initiatives we can take away and promote here at CEMEX to improve our levels of services even more.
SSON: Thanks so much for speaking to us. You can meet Oscar in person at the Finance Transformation 2010 conference in Chicago.