5 Ways to Drive Meaningful Process Improvements in Your Finance Department

2017-02-06_brian_5_process_improvement_goals SAPinsider, January 2017 Setting goals for the finance team — such as improving efficiency and reducing costs — helps drive process improvements across the organization, but it is important to review these goals regularly to ensure they continue to serve the overall strategy of the business. Evolving best practices and new technologies can make it necessary to revisit outdated processes and shift the focus on value. In his latest article, Brian Shannon discusses five ways that companies can drive meaningful process improvements in their finance departments.

  1. Improve Speed and Accuracy of Information Capture
  2. Use Intelligent Automation
  3. Focus on User-Centered Design
  4. Move to the Cloud Where it Makes Sense
  5. Value is More Important that Cost
Read Brian's article to find out how to organizations can ensure that they are using current best practices and new technology to drive meaningful process improvements that deliver benefits throughout the finance department and beyond. Download_PDF

5 Ways to Drive Meaningful Process Improvements in Your Finance Department

2017-02-06_brian_5_process_improvement_goals SAPinsider, January 2017

Setting goals for the finance team — such as improving efficiency and reducing costs — helps drive process improvements across the organization, but it is important to review these goals regularly to ensure they continue to serve the overall strategy of the business. Evolving best practices and new technologies can make it necessary to revisit outdated processes and shift the focus on value. In his latest article, Brian Shannon discusses five ways that companies can drive meaningful process improvements in their finance departments.

  1. Improve Speed and Accuracy of Information Capture
  2. Use Intelligent Automation
  3. Focus on User-Centered Design
  4. Move to the Cloud Where it Makes Sense
  5. Value is More Important that Cost

Read Brian’s article to find out how to organizations can ensure that they are using current best practices and new technology to drive meaningful process improvements that deliver benefits throughout the finance department and beyond.

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Five Ways to Maximize the Value of Shared Services Centers

5-waysTo streamline operations and improve service levels many organizations are considering establishing shared services centers. Near-cash processes, such as Accounts Payable
and Accounts Receivable, are very mature, transactional in nature, and have a vast repository of industry-independent best practices; therefore, these processes are often the first ones that are moved into a shared services environment.
While there are many benefits of moving to a shared services model, there are five key points to consider that will maximize the value of the shared services center to the organization. Download Five Ways to Maximize the Value of Shared Services Centers.

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Winning the Order to Cash Race

Cutting costs is a surefire way to improve the bottom line, but visionary Global Business Services leaders do more by controlling costs, cash, and risk. During this session we’ll discuss how to identify opportunities for process improvements across the entire Order-to-Cash mega-process. We’ll discuss how to prioritize improvements based on corporate strategic goals for cost containment, risk management and cash flow optimization. We’ll also help you build a business case to overcome common hurdles such as:

  • Executive and organizational “buy in”
  • Harmonization of improvement across your ERP systems
  • Engaging your stakeholders
  • Calculating ROI

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Automating Accounts Receivable Maximizes Cash Flow Minimizes Risk

Wards Auto, March 25, 2016

Brian Shannon

The automotive industry is built on innovation and speed, externally by the continuous advent of new vehicles and internally through improved data and process solutions.

The industry currently is experiencing a shift in the order-to-cash process, steadily moving toward automation of these important business transactions. This shift is minimizing paper’s impact in accounts receivable, allowing organizations to automate each part of the order-to-cash process from upstream sales orders to delivery documents, payments and rebates downstream…

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Optimize SAP Processes to Enable Innovation in Your Business

Dolphin’s SAP-certified solutions for Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Sales and Distribution, and Finance and Administration ensure that you get the innovative capabilities you need. Dolphin solutions let your business adapt quickly to new requirements and continue to benefit from running the world’s leading enterprise applications – SAP.
 

 

SAP AR Lockbox: Take Control of Exception Processing

Learn how to gain visibility and automate exception handling, lower DSO, improve cash flow, and increase customer satisfaction.

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Winning the Global Order to Cash Process Transformation Race

The Order-to-Cash process is at the heart of your business. And yet, this process is often surprisingly disjointed, inefficient and difficult to track. In theory, order-to-cash is a single “mega” process that moves an order through the organization from sales through delivery, billing and finally to payment processing. In reality, however, order-to-cash touches many different departments which are either unable or unwilling to work together.

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Cobra Electronics Turns Up the Volume on Accounts Receivable

Sandy Maxey, Senior Director of Treasury Operations at Cobra Electronics, shares how Cobra overcame their challenges in collections by implementing an accounts receivable solution that provided instant visibility to critical sales and delivery documents, and streamlined their collection process.

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Bill Payment is Changing – Are You Ready to Transform Your Accounts Receivable Processes?

Download this webcast to hear how Accounts Receivable organizations using SAP® are managing their receivables by implementing solutions that automate capture of remittance data and provide instant visibility to critical sales, delivery, invoicing and payment documents. Learn how to….

  • Streamline discrepancy management processes
  • Increase visibility to payment documents – the remittance image is actually attached to the clearing document
  • Accelerate routing of exceptions with automated tracking and reminders
  • Integrate with SAP’s Financial Supply Chain Management solutions
  • Gain 360 degree visibility to all images in the Sales Document Flow, including critical signed proofs of delivery
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SAP® Accounts Receivable and Cash Application Management

SAPARManaging Documents Throughout the Accounts Receivable Process

The Order-to-Cash process is at the heart of your business. And yet, it is often surprisingly inefficient and difficult to track. Even the smallest error can make the process inefficient, quickly draining available capital and resources. Automating order-to-cash processes and linking documents improves cash availability by decreasing the number of touch points at each step of the cycle, speeding your receipt of revenue and boosting productivity.

The Order-to-Cash process touches key performance areas: sales order management, order fulfillment, billing, credit management, cash collection and cash application. Dolphin can help you streamline this process. Managing the Order-to-Cash process more effectively ensures that orders get delivered on time and payments are collected quickly. Moreover, it ensures that you recognize revenue in compliance with company policy, accounting standards and regulatory requirements. In many ways, how you handle the Order-to-Cash process is the most important aspect of a company’s relationship with its customers. Now, make it the most important part of your business process management plan by turning to Dolphin for help.

 

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Top 10 Reasons Why Using the SAP Business Workflow Engine is the Sensible Choice for Your SAP Business Process

Top10ReasonsSAP is the best-in-class ERP system. That’s why you chose it. That’s why your organization made a significant investment of time and resources to implement it as your system of record. Despite this, many organizations look to implement solutions that use other workflow engines when they want to improve their business processes.

Dolphin takes an SAP-centric approach to business process optimization. Our solutions incorporate pre-built workflows that are based on line of business (i.e., Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Order Management and Human Resources) and SAP system best practices. By leveraging the power of the SAP Business Workflow engine, we can provide our customers with solutions that are fast, flexible and cost-effective.

We’ve compiled the Top 10 reasons we’ve heard from SAP customers why using the SAP Business Workflow engine is not only a sensible solution, it is the BEST solution for organizations running SAP systems.

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SAP Workflow and Document Imaging

SAPWorkflowFor organizations running SAP, using manual, paper-based processes reduces the benefits and business value gained from an SAP system implementation.

Dolphin’s imaging and business workflow solutions improve an organization’s return on investment in SAP by transforming manual, document-centric processes into fully automated and integrated business processes tailored to the organization’s specific business needs.

Our solutions expertly integrate SAP standard technology with leading SAP add on solutions from Dolphin and other software providers, to provide customers with automated and streamlined processes that improve efficiency, reduce errors, and improve transparency.

 

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An Integrated Approach to Cash Flow Management

Optimizing the Order-to-Cash Process: Managing Documents Throughout the Process

The cash flow management landscape is experiencing a seismic shift. Related business processes have often been overlooked as a catalyst for improved working capital and business performance; however, for companies using robust SAP® applications for corporate finance functions, it is not enough to update single aspects of these critical processes. Managing the end-to-end flow of cash through the enterprise in today’s fast paced business environment requires a comprehensive and integrated solution approach.
This White Paper discusses powerful opportunities throughout your SAP Order-to-Cash process and how to achieve an optimized process.

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A Simplified Approach to Global Process Management: How to Maximize the Value of In-House or Outsourced Shared Services Centers

Increasingly, organizations are moving Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable and other core business functions to in-house or outsourced shared services centers. While CFOs are looking to reduce costs and increase efficiency, the reality is that many organizations struggle with how to ensure that shared services centers deliver maximum value to the organization. Too often, the move to a shared service center can result in a loss of control and transparency for critical business processes and once in place, it can be difficult to change processes to align with the organization’s strategic goals or adapt to rapidly changing local requirements.

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State of Supply Chain Management

SupplychainManagerChallenges2014SAPinsider conducted a survey on priorities for Supply Chain managers in 2014. They found a majority of organizations (53%) are looking to optimize processes. This infographic illustrates these concerns and other issues facing Supply Chain managers today.

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Dolphin Improves Business Performance for SAP Systems

dolphinBPIDolphin helps companies manage data and processes to improve business performance. Our process solutions improve the efficiency of solutions to improve productivity and reduce costs.  Our data solutions enable comprehensive management and disposition of information across its lifecycle to mitigate risk and reduce the total cost of ownership of SAP systems.

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Cobra Electronics Improves Time to Payment With Easy Access to Sales Orders

Cobra Electronics, a leading global designer and marketer of communication and navigation products, found that customer billing questions were impacting the company’s time to payment. Resolving billing questions often took multiple calls and the staff had to search for and assemble sales order related documents from many areas.  This problem was even greater when large customers had billing questions, as delayed payments on large orders significantly impacted the company’s cash flow.

At the time, the company would manually key in all order information, hand write the SAP document number on each order, the copy the order, file it and then send it to be scanned and indexed in SAP applications.

The company wanted to automate this process to reduce the manual, time consuming parts of the order entry process and reduce the time required to respond to billing questions. The goal was to be able to answer questions in a single call. To do this the company would need to be able to:

  • Search for and instantly access all sales order related documents – bills of lading, credit memos, sales orders – regardless of where they resided in SAP.
  • Access customer-related non-SAP documents that are covered under Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) policies.

The new solution would replace the existing, homegrown imaging system with a solution that would be capable of managing all customer order related documents and flexible enough to scale to meet the needs of other business process areas.

Solution
Dolphin implemented a solution that included Dolphin Process Tracking System for Accounts Receivable, Dolphin Document Navigator and Output and Dolphin Cloud Archive Service. The solution, would enable every sales representative (SR) to have a complete 360 degree view of all sales order related documents by enabling:

  • Intelligent scanning of sales orders
  • Linking of scanned images and bar codes to SAP transactions
  • Searching for customer-related documents across all of SAP
  • Ability to select and assemble all customer-related documents in a single PDF
  • Ability to print, fax or email selected documents

With this information close at hand, sales staff can easily engage customers in a real-time discussion and answer inquiries or resolve disputes on the spot.

Results
The solution was implemented in 37 days using very few IT resources. Thus far the company has significantly improved time to payment. Other benefits include:

  • Reduced time to resolve customer billing inquiries from 3 days to minutes
  • Faster payment and reduced Days Sales Outstanding (DSO)
  • 50% reduction in time to resolve collection issues
  • Instant access to customer-related documents from SAP and non-SAP systems
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Faster audit response time
  • Improved compliance with secure document retention

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Launchpad Demo

The PTS Launchpad provides users with a graphical dashboard that acts as a centralized reporting hub for reporting on Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Sales and Distribution and Finance and Administration processes in SAP systems. Users can monitor business processes from start to finish with the vast library of reports and key performance indicators that are available out-of-the-box with the Dolphin Process Tracking System. The Launchpad enables users to view any Dolphin, SAP, or custom report; group reports by categories; and save personalized report variants so they always have access to the information they need.
 

 

Differentiating Good from Great. Transform Key Financial Processes to Gain Competitive Advantage and Drive Results

SAPinsider, Jan/Feb/March 2015

Strong financial leadership means more than cost-cutting and performance management. Customers and vendors are looking for reasons to do business with your company — they are differentiating the good companies from the great. To find out where your organization falls on the spectrum, start with this question: Are your finance processes optimized for internal and external business drivers?

Successful finance organizations distinguish themselves in many ways, but the most strategic and successful start by improving service levels and transforming the business to adapt to changing market conditions. Let’s look at three ways companies can adopt a relentless approach to business transformation that drives results.

To read the full article click here

Rethinking Business Processes to Boost Margins

Food Manufacturing, August 2014
Brian Shannon

Many food manufacturers struggle to keep profits high amid thinning margins and must continuously seek new and innovative ways to reduce costs. Companies across the spectrum of food manufacturing, whether it be a purveyor of customized ingredients for the food and beverage industry, a leading spice manufacturer, or a multi-national food and beverage company, have all found a recipe for success and profitability by optimizing their near-cash processes.

Follow the Money
Near-cash processes, such as Accounts Payable (AP) and Accounts Receivable (AR), are responsible for moving cash through the enterprise and provide a very direct way to control the flow of cash and drive greater profitability. While many manufacturers are quick to introduce modern manufacturing techniques and advanced distribution systems in a bid to stay competitive, they often overlook the fact that near-cash processes require innovation too. Unlike other changes in manufacturing that can be very resource intensive, simple improvements to near-cash processes can make an immediate impact on the bottom line.

Align Process Changes with Corporate Objectives
Successful process optimization projects starts by aligning any process changes with current corporate objectives. If reducing costs is a corporate goal, it is important to find ways to leverage existing infrastructure investments and build simple, sustainable processes. Making optimal use of your human resources is also important. When processes are truly optimized, human resources provide the skills and critical thinking that is needed to support continuous process improvement and larger organizational goals.

To read the full article on Food Manufacturing click here.

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5 Ways to Energize Your SAP Back Office

SAPinsider, April/May/June 2014
Brian Shannon

Are your back-office processes cumbersome, error-prone, and lacking in corporate-wide visibility?

Perhaps the fundamental issue is that you refer to them as “back office,” affixing what could be considered a derogatory label to a staff of valuable contributors. Using such seemingly unimportant labels, you are also likely neglecting a potential area for improvement that could help your operation significantly reduce cost infrastructures, improve cash flows, and mitigate the risks inherent in such processes.

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Gain a Competitive Edge by Optimizing Your Core Supply Chain Processes

SAPinsider Special Report, January 2014.
Brian Shannon

Improving customer service and responsiveness, particularly related to exception processing, while reducing costs is one of the biggest supply chain challenges that SAP customers will face in the coming year. Companies need to get a handle on business processes and data within their supply chains.

This undertaking can be overwhelming. Companies need real-time visibility so they can adapt their processes to changing economic and commercial environments, ensuring they have the right information at their fingertips to make informed decisions. It is also critical that solutions intended to enhance the supply chain integrate with existing SAP systems and applications, so they improve overall business performance instead of hinder it.

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Why SAP Customers Choose Dolphin

Senior executives discuss the company’s singular focus on delivering solutions to SAP customers — data lifecycle management and archiving and business process optimization. They mention many of the benefits customers have indicated are realized by working with Dolphin.

 

 

SAP Business Process Improvement

Brian Shannon, Principal Finance Consultant at Dolphin, discusses Dolphin’s approach to improve business processes within the SAP environment. He talks about listening and delivering transparency and visibility, efficiency and control for improved cash flows.
 

 

Treasury & Cash Management: Payables And Receivables: In the Driver’s Seat

Global Finance Magazine, September, 2013

Companies taking a best-practice approach to AP and AR management are seeing big cost savings and much-improved cycle times. But revamping processes is no mean feat. Like other former back-office financial processes, accounts payable and accounts receivable have come to t he fore in recent years to t ake a place of prominence within t he broader scope of supply chain and working capital management. That’s because accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR} are critical parts of the bigger financial picture, when it comes to understanding and improving working capital and improving relationships with suppliers.

Click here to read the full article on Global Finance Magazine.

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Find Your Missing Link: An Integrated Approach to Business Performance Improvement

SAPinsider, July/August/September 2013
Brian Shannon

Many CIOs find their businesses drowning in data, yet starved for insight. As companies struggle to tackle the challenges associated with conquering big data, it becomes even more critical to create and implement a clear business performance improvement strategy for handling both the data that fuels the business and the processes that run it. Although operating at this level of systemic synergy may seem like a daunting and expensive proposition, the end result is well worth the efforts, and will actually allow for big savings.

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Effectively Leading Change in the Finance Organization

Business Finance, May 2012

Change is constant, and it’s critical that financial organizations adapt to meet the needs of current economic conditions. This article will discuss how to become a catalyst for change by reinventing key processes within your finance organization, including accounts payable, accounts receivable and general ledger activities. It will demonstrate how optimizing back office functions like accounts payable and accounts receivable can deliver real value to an organization, and provide insight into how to effectively drive this change.

Click here to read the full article on Business Finance Magazine.

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