A billion dollar global company wanted to embed a continuous improvement culture

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The business

We worked with a multi-billion turnover global company. Their annual indirect expenditure across hundreds of sites was several billion Euros. They processed several hundred thousand purchase orders and supplier's invoices annually received from many thousands of active vendors.

Their needs

Our client wanted to embed a continuous improvement culture within its strategic sourcing and business service functions. The main aims were to reduce operational costs and improve the speed, quality, effectiveness and efficiency of purchase order and payment processes.

How we helped

The client wanted a rapid rollout of improvement projects with staff being taught on the job, as they had limited time to attend formal training workshops. 
Improvement activities encompassed vendor setup and master data creation through to the payment of invoices. The first step was to conduct a business diagnostic in these areas, involving relevant process experts. Management then approved the recommended prioritised and scoped projects.
Awareness workshops were held for the appointed project leaders so that they had a good awareness of management expectations and the methodology and main continuous improvement techniques to be applied.
We supported rapid and effective project completion using a series of bi-weekly site visits, where we reviewed project progress and next steps with project team. Team leaders were taught the relevant tools and techniques required for the immediate forthcoming work element, and how best to approach the varying tasks. This approach proved to be very successful in enabling rapid multiple project completions, direct tool application and increased learning for the trainees. Upon successful project completion the appointed team leaders were certified by Paloma to Yellow Belt level.
The initial seventeen projects were completed using this process. A number of the project leaders volunteered to progress through further improvement projects and acquired Green and Black Belt accreditation.

Projects included:

• Reduction of non-compliant invoices
• Improve the vendor selection process
• Increase first time yield of purchase order creation
• Reduce upload time of material pricelists
• Reduce the percentage of vendor clarifications
• Reduce the percentage of sent back invoices
• Reduce supplier contract creation cycle time
• Reduce new contract request rework

Benefits achieved

Many thousands of hours of back office resource time have been freed up as a result of the 100% success rate of the strategically selected projects. The sense of empowerment created in the organisation has led to additional projects being undertaken without formal pressure from management.


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