Optimising financial processes

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Look Up, The World Has Changed

It has become a cliché that “Change is the only Constant”, that the pace is relentless and that you ought to ‘stand by your beds’ because it’s getting worse. And these days we blame consumer expectations, artificial intelligence, digital channels, Brexit, Trump or the rise of the Gig Economy.

Whilst change IS the “new normal”, it is important to understand the drivers behind change and how we should deal with it in business, both reactively and proactively.

At our firm we worry about bringing agility to the governance of the organization (how they design and manage dynamic extended finance processes and data, address risk and uncertainty, stay within sound operating practices and policies and enable an adaptable, effective set of IT system components in support), so we think about these things.  Through the very nature of our clients – globally operating, globally competitive and locally deployed – we see the impact of global changes on the people whose job it is to bring stability and adsorb the new rules.

The seismic, market driven changes we are seeing go beyond Presidents and trade relationships, although they all have simultaneous impact.  What we are seeing is organizations fundamentally re-inventing themselves.  The change is existential and driven by macro changes in technology, regulation and environmental awareness, and commoditization and consequent global competition for many traditional products and services. I am sure McKinsey could tell you the detail, they worry about Global Business Strategies, but we can report what we see. To name but three examples;

  • We work with a global FMCG leader that is now actively reinventing itself around a new style of environmentally friendly and healthier product, and moving from its classic B2B business model to a premium B2C player.
  • We are heavily engaged with the world’s leading luxury automotive brand who is investing in the key stepping stones in enabling the driverless car whilst simultaneously removing hydrocarbons from the engine – both of which are reliant on currently marginally-existent road infrastructure.
  • We support a global pharmaceutical firm who is divesting peripheral businesses whilst being cannibalised by commodity competition due to blockbuster patent expiries, as they focus their effort on working capital optimization to fund cures for Cancer.

No-one is going to resolve these audacious plays with a flip chart and a ‘can do’ attitude.  Businesses are being reinvented, entire markets are being won, lost and re-educated and supply chains re-configured with emotionless efficiency.  These three examples above are just the tip of the iceberg. If you don’t know how your business’ existence is being challenged, and the responses being developed and executed, you are not paying attention! The implications across every business are deep.  Keeping the organization functioning will in itself become onerous. Better to be getting fit for that today, because tomorrow we must just look up and the world has changed. Our world.

So what are these organizations doing to respond?:

  • UNDERSTAND the seismic challenges that affect your market, your business and your role
  • OPTIMISE end-to-end business processes and data to drive efficiency, effectiveness and agility
  • READY your organization to be risk aware and proactively managing uncertainty
  • ENSURE that policies, controls and compliance are fit for purpose in today’s environment, and agile
  • ENABLE IT system components that deliver rapid value and support flexibility. Five year programs are yesterday’s news

As always I welcome your comments, criticisms and feedback. Thanks for reading…