Managing Data During Growth And Change

Midstream Business, October 2015
Dr. Werner Hopf   The problems of Big Data are difficult enough to overcome on a daily basis— but many midstream organizations that underwent a merger, acquisition or divestiture during the modern big data boom actually found these headaches multiplied. What's a chief information officer to do? Here are three missteps to avoid when considering a corporate transformation.
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Managing Data During Growth And Change

Midstream Business, October 2015

Dr. Werner Hopf
 
The problems of Big Data are difficult enough to overcome on a daily basis— but many midstream organizations that underwent a merger, acquisition or divestiture during the modern big data boom actually found these headaches multiplied. What’s a chief information officer to do? Here are three missteps to avoid when considering a corporate transformation.

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Pepco Holdings: Optimizing Accounts Payable Processes

Pepco Holdings Inc. (PHI) is one of the largest energy delivery companies in the mid-Atlantic region wanted to centralize its accounts payable processing to increase efficiencies and lower processing costs. The company had grown gradually through acquisition, and as a result, was receiving, reviewing, approving and processing invoices at more than 20 locations in four states and five jurisdictions. The accounts payable processes were disjointed and very manual, which increased the company’s cost of paying invoices and made it difficult to stay in compliance with the highly regulated industry’s stringent data retention requirements.

Solution
As part of PHI’s Invoice Improvement Project (IIP), the company implemented Dolphin’s Process Tracking System for Accounts Payable (PTS-AP) solution with the Supplier Portal by Taulia, for the following key capabilities:

  • Advanced imaging and digitization of invoices
  • SAP-enabled workflow solutions to automatically post or route invoices based on the company’s multi-tiered corporate approval policy
  • Centralized, efficient storage of invoice images for easy access
  • Self-service portal access for self-service invoicing and online inquiries
  • Real-time analytics and reporting on invoice processing metrics for productivity, cash flow, and status tracking.

The solution was rolled out across all three of PHI’s utility companies, Delmarva Power & Light, Atlantic City Electric, and Pepco, in a comprehensive process-driven initiative unlike any other accounts payable project in the utility industry.

Results

The company was able to achieve over $3 million in savings for 2014 – an incredible return on investment. Mary Gabriel, Manager of Accounts Payable and Sarbanes-Oxley stated “Enhanced controls, increased transparency and shortened cycle times are a direct result of the process-centric innovation the solution provides”. Key results include:

  • Reduce the average invoice processing time from 30 days to less than 10
  • Automated the processing of low-dollar, high-volume invoices
  • Improved reporting and compliance with regulatory requirements
  • Reduced document storage fees by 39% for savings of more than $100,000 each year
  • Increase transparency with their suppliers and strengthening their relationships
  • Captured nearly $2 million in discounts in by offering early payments to their suppliers through the intuitive supplier platform

In June 2015, the company received the Supply Chain Excellence award from Southeastern Electric Exchange for its innovative Accounts Payable project.

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Managing Data through Corporate Transformations

DataInformed, August 2015
Dr. Werner Hopf

Pick up the business section of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, or USA Today and what do you see? It’s hard to go more than a day without spotting a news item about a company merger, acquisition, or business unit divestiture. All three are typically viewed as favorable strategies for achieving growth and improved profitability, but in today’s age of big data, executives have a lot more to worry about than final regulatory approval.

Managing the transfer of intellectual property (IP), where much of the value of a deal may be derived, has always been a concern. Now, with the ubiquity of big data and the rise in cloud computing, this concern is greater than ever. Each business transaction carries its own challenges and requirements to meet the desired outcome, but there are important steps that can be taken for mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures that will help to ensure that the big data changing hands does not turn in to a big problem.

Read more of the article on DataInformed.com

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