Benchmarks & Case Studies
in a Corporate Centre
The need to transform Corporate Centres into breakthrough units that add value to the business units is a burgeoning priority. This transformation requires agile teams focused on implementing a partnership mindset with the business. This is the only way to deliver exceptional customer experience and transform the services provided by the Corporate Centre into a competitive advantage for the organisation.
A global logistics company that focuses its operations on customs activity management, international land logistics, air and sea transport, express logistics and contract logistics. The services provided integrate with a wide range of transport and logistics services, moving goods between more than 220 countries.
The company’s business model is based on innovative information systems that enable it to provide the latest and most efficient technology perfectly adapted to the needs of each customer and each sector of activity.
All corporate services for all business units and regions are managed on a centralised basis in a Corporate Centre which includes the Human Resources, Information Technology, Purchasing and Assets, Marketing, Customer Service, Financial, Security, and Legal teams.
The expansion of the value proposition of the services provided by the Corporate Centre required the development of processes that were simultaneously agile, effective and efficient. As people are the most important asset of these services, it was essential to carry out a change of processes based on the culture and behavioural transformation of the teams and leaders.
The project team consisting of members of the various departments of the Corporate Centre was essential to ensure the achievement of all the initiatives. The goal of this team was to increase efficiency and reduce the Lead Time of critical processes and generate a wave of sustained cultural transformation among team leaders.
The first step was to thoroughly analyse the core processes and tasks of each team to understand, quantitatively, the Overall People Efficiency of the teams. This productivity indicator allows us to identify the processes with the most opportunities by quantifying the losses in variability (caused by the different performance levels of the team members) and the losses caused by waste (resulting from the time spent on non-value-added tasks).
The main drivers of these efficiency losses were related to paper-based and very bureaucratic processes with several players involved. The lack of communication between the different teams generated long response Lead Times and rework. This Corporate Centre, like others, is characterised by dealing with interdependence between departments to obtain a deliverable. For example, in the monthly closing tasks, the business units, HR and Finance must align to ensure an integrated management approach and the use of relevant indicators.
To solve this challenge, the team leaders were empowered through a model which made them responsible for managing and improving the indicators of each team across 9 departments, 21 teams and over 90 people. The following tools were used: team organisation through metrics, organisation of the workspace, standardisation, and structured problem solving.
The improvement initiatives with the biggest impact on the results achieved were the increase in productivity of the Accounts Payable process (Finance Department) and the increase in the time dedicated to development (Information Systems Department). Both initiatives included the use of digital tools after a rigorous analysis and re-engineering of the processes. The solution supported the disruptive improvements that were made in the end-to-end processes.
As a result of this Transformation process, €715k were obtained in the Profit and Loss Statement over the 17 month period. This was a result of the increased efficiency of processes and the reduction of customer debt.
In addition, the increased efficiency of the processes meant that the teams were able to perform added-value tasks in the same opening time, which led to an increase in the portfolio of services provided to the business units as well as a reduction in delivery Lead Times. The cultural transformation will have a long-term impact on the commitment of the teams to sustain and outperform the earnings achieved, based on the daily analysis of performance indicators and dedication of time to disruptive business improvement.
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