Eliminating waste in the AP process
The client was a large company with a well established Shared Service Center. They had been through a large and demanding ERP change recently. Contrary to popular belief the new ERP was not state of the art in terms of AP processing efficiency. So they had had to employee more resources in the AP department after the new ERP.
We were engaged to find out what the in-efficiencies consisted of and propose a pre-study to top management to correct the situation. Toghether with the clients AP staff we dived into the details and found the sources of the in-efficiencies. Many of them were due to weak preparational work for the ERP implementation where the technical people had not understood the requirements. Some were due to the new ERP not being tailored to the customer to the same extent as the legacy solution had been. A third reason was that they had not had time to analyze the best way to work before the new ERP was started up.
The outcome of the engagement was that the client decided to commission the pre-study that we had proposed. One of the goals of the pre-study was to identify a potential third-party solution for the AP process unless the activities performed to eliminate the wasteful activities that were being performed due to the weak technical solutions developed as part of the implementation.
The most challenging part was to estimate the amount of wasteful activities very early after the go-live for the ERP as the organization has not yet learned the ERP and the efficient ways of working typically only shows up over time.