Procurement – Why Should Finance Care?

reduce_costsIt is often the CFO and the finance team who bear the brunt of inconsistent and sometimes ill-considered cost saving initiatives. Now a days costs cutting seem to be climbing higher and higher up the priority list, and not only for struggling companies says Omar Aguilar, principal and enterprise cost management centre of expertise global co-leader at Deloitte Consulting – “growing companies are just as interested in reducing costs as those with declining sales, if not more so”. Resulting in the pressures on CFO and finance teams being greater than ever.

Considering the economic uncertainties in today financial climate, companies are searching everywhere for places to cut costs but are they beginning to run out of places to do so? Or just not looking at all of their options?

According to studies by NelsonHall. ‘Many CFO’s express relatively low levels of satisfaction with the level of control of indirect spend in their organisation’ However it seems many CFOs often overlook indirect spend because it’s not always visible at their level, but department level instead. Is this you?

Read on to discover 6 reasons why you as a CFO should care about procurement and how Invenio’s P2P Solutions can help…

1. Offshoring

It’ not easy to find trained offshore staff who have operated complex solutions such as SAP.
With Invenio’s P2P Solutions this problem is solved immediately as its user friendly interface means offshoring becomes easier for staff involved as less training is required. Which in turn means less spend is involved in making sure these members of staff are up to date and are able to work effectively and efficiently.

2. Enforcing a NO budget NO spend policy

This policy is an inherent feature of Invenio’s P2P Solutions as it stands – already! Not an add-on. Which means once again it saves you time and money, as well as making this policy easier to enforce to your employees.

3. Single view of budgets

With Invenio’s P2P Solutions having a single view of your budgets means you can view your entire spend at one place. With single data source, there are no mismatches or discrepancies in budget vs spend figures. With real-time budget updates, Finance teams have a single version of truth at a click of a button.

4. Accurate and consistent reporting

With Invenio’s P2P Solutions you will never experience a ‘mitch match’ in reports. There will always be a single version of the truth and consistence of data- meaning you can be at ease knowing your reporting is accurate.

5. Empowering employees

As Invenio’s P2P Solutions decentralises the procurement process, it empowers employees to initiate their own purchases and select the right supplier while retaining the control through mandatory approvals. Decentralising procurement and empowering employees is many times more effective since the end user gets to choose the right product that she needs from the right suppliers. However, it will lead to chaos if there are not enough managerial controls. Mandatory workflow approvals in Invenio’s P2P Solutions ensure that compliance and control is never compromised.

6. Compliance

Invenio’s P2P Solutions improves the compliance in procurement process and provides complete audit trail, which not only prevents the chances of fraud but also saves the company money which decreases pressure on the Finance Director.

An article by CFO-insight states that “the CFOs turn procurement into power! Procurement allows CFOs to build business through more than just cost cutting measures” they go onto say:

“One common mistake that companies might make is to view procurement as an entirely separate vessel from the financial heartbeat of the business. ‘A good procurement function should have a cross-functional approach…That means procurement should be seen as a business partner, working with the different parts of the business.”

With the finance team involved in procurement – significant savings can be made in a simple way for your company.

Want to know more?

If this has sparked your interest and you would like to find out more about how Invenio can help your company save time and money, please email or call our SAP Advisory Team on +44 (0)330 440 1800.

Global Rollouts for SAP – The Recipe for Success

You are the CIO of a global organisation which has recently spent a lot of money implementing an SAP solution. You have gone through a long period of intensive work introducing changes in the way your organisation works. Now the immediate task you are faced with is rolling out SAP to all countries. Now you not only have the task of running and supporting the current SAP solution, you now need to plan rollouts in other countries without disrupting the current solution! The three key elements of this are:

  1. Ensure smooth operations of the current SAP solution
  2. Implement continuous improvements in the current solution
  3. Plan and deliver global rollouts

This is a common problem faced by large organisations where IT is becoming a driving force rather than a support function to business. The true realisation of the benefits of investing in SAP are derived once it is deployed across the global footprint. In this blog you will find information on developing and executing successful global rollouts.

The three key objectives of a successful Global rollout strategy are:

  1. Low total cost of ownership
  2. Fast deployment of a solution across countries
  3. Minimum disruption to running solution
Introducing a global template

Successful completion of a SAP implementation within your head office gives you a repository of business processes, interfaces and custom developments. These can be readily adopted by the subsidiary or other locations. This repository can be converted into a template which can be used for delivering a successful rollout.

The first key step in rollout preparation is to build this knowledge from your current solution into a global template. An expert consulting team works to package the current solution into actionable blocks which are to be used in a rollout project. These can be broken down into following:

1. Program Management

2. Solution Management – documented repository of solution components which comprises of

– Global organisation structure – a sample organisation structure which can be adopted by subsidiary companies
– Global master data – key required data
– Global business processes – a core of common processes to be used globally
– Global development objects – these comprise of interfaces, reports and programs which can be used
– Data conversion kit – conversion templates which will be used to upload data

3. Infrastructure requirements

As well as these key considerations, the global template also needs to cover change management, training considerations and security concepts. Once all the aspects are tied in and documented clearly. A global ready template is available to be deployed across all countries.

Blog-global-rollout

 

Rollout – implementation models and decisions

A global template provides us documents and ready repository to accelerate the rollout. The way in which the template is used depends on the complexity of each territory. A pre-study should be done before hand to understand the potential conflicts from the global template and the local requirements or localisations.

Gaps and localisations:
Gaps – these are the differences in the global template, such as business processes, organisation structure and master data.
Localisation – legal and statutory requirements which are required to be implemented.

Program management will need to decide on the extent of the gaps and localisations to be approved. The criteria for approval should be:

  1. Gaps – business benefit it gives to the local subsidiary in terms of value
  2. Localisation – normally all legal and statutory requirements are to be implemented.

localised-gaps

 

The consulting partner provides his expertise in this area by provide in depth analysis of the gaps and localisations and guides the program management in taking an informed decision.

Phasing rollout execution

Rollout execution can be phased out in following ways:

Single country rollout – for countries where the complexity is high in terms of gaps and localisations. If user base is large, a single country rollout is the best approach. This means the design, development, testing and training can be covered properly.

Multi country rollout – countries with a smaller user base, low complexity and geographical proximity can be grouped together a rollout at one time, this gives savings in time and money.

A successful global rollout of SAP solution brings immense material benefits for global organisations in terms of:

  • Providing fast and smooth implementation
  • Cost savings by re-use of solution components
  • Making organisation more responsive to global changes
  • Giving management global view of operations

Invenio are experienced in assisting clients worldwide, to find out more about Global Rollouts with SAP, please feel free to contact us to discuss.

Invenio Receives SAP EMEA Regional Partner Excellence Award 2014

READING, UK – 23 January 2014. Invenio today announced it is the recipient of the SAP® EMEA Regional Partner Excellence Award 2014 in the category “Database and Technology”.

Awards were presented by SAP (NYSE: SAP) to the top-performing SAP partners in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Middle and Eastern Europe (MEE) regions that have made outstanding contributions that impact overall SAP sales and pipeline-generation goals. Invenio received its award during the SAP EMEA-MEE Field Kick-Off Meeting (FKOM) 2014, held Jan. 20-22 in Barcelona.

Partho Bhattacharya, Invenio’s Managing Director commented: “The EMEA Regional Partner Excellence Award for Database & Technology recognises the work Invenio’s SAP HANA Lab is doing to solve customers’ business problem and the skills, commitment and innovations that goes with it. Working with SAP improves our ability to deliver best-in-class technology solutions to our customers via our global technology centres at affordable cost.”

SAP HANA has been a buzzword within the SAP ecosystem. Our approach of hands on deployment of the technology in innovative ways to solve a customer problem and produce measurable business benefits is proving most acceptable to customers before they make significant investment in it. We are pleased to have contributed to SAP and our mutual success in the SAP HANA platform in the EMEA region in 2013 and look forward to a successful 2014 too.

Selected from SAP’s wide-ranging partner base, nominations for the SAP Regional Partner Excellence Awards were based on internal SAP sales data. A steering committee composed of regional and global SAP representatives determined winning partners in each category according to numerous criteria such as sales achievement and performance. Awards were presented in a variety of categories, including overall sales, innovation, technology, services and solution-specific areas.

“SAP congratulates Invenio as the recipient of the SAP EMEA Regional Partner Excellence Award 2014 for Database and Technology,” said Luis Murguia, senior vice president, General Business and Partner Ecosystem, SAP EMEA. “They have excelled in their partnership with SAP, extending the value of SAP applications and services to our joint customers. These awards highlight the benefits of SAP’s partner ecosystem – which allows us to lengthen our reach and drive customer success.”

SAP FKOM is an annual gathering of SAP executives, SAP field employees and partners. It is SAP’s largest yearly sales meeting, intended to drive success during the upcoming year. Colleagues across the region gathered in Barcelona to gain and exchange updated information on SAP’s strategy, sales methodology, best practices, business growth opportunities and product innovations. This year’s SAP EMEA-MEE FKOM hosted more than 5,000 attendees from the region.

# # #

SAP and all SAP logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and in several other countries all over the world.

All other product and service names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective companies.

SAP Forward-looking Statement
Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “predict,” “should” and “will” and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations The factors that could affect SAP’s future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including SAP’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.

To download a copy of the press release please click here.

Media Contact:
Christine Cockerton
+44 (0)330 440 1800
christine.cockerton@invenio-solutions.com

Big Data in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Mankind is generating more data in two days than we did from the dawn of man until 2003 (Eric Schmidt, Google).

The use of Big Data has become a very important tool in helping businesses to outperform competition. In most industries, existing businesses and new entrants will use data-driven strategies to innovate, compete successfully and capture value.

Among the biggest challenges confronting the pharmaceutical industry is bringing a drug to market. This is among the riskiest and most expensive endeavours a pharmaceutical company can undertake. Here are some statistics –

  • Only 10 -12% drugs make it from discovery to commercial launch.
  • Cost per successful drug averages US $4 Billion
  • Average time from discovery to launch is 12 years

Against this backdrop, pharmaceutical business are constantly looking for ways and means of getting new drugs to market quickly, cost-effectively, at reduced risk and ensuring maximum patient benefit. Pharmaceutical businesses are constantly looking at ways to help take more intelligent decisions on which drugs to pursue.

To be able to take these decisions, pharmaceutical businesses needs to access / analyse huge volumes of clinical, market and legal data to help zero in which drug has the best chance of moving from the R & D labs to the consumer.

Areas where big data comes into play are:

Tracking data pertaining to previous clinical trials

There are a number of sources of information pertaining to historical clinical data that provide valuable insight into negative or other effects on trial patient populations.

Commercial viability of a product

A historical analysis of similar products factoring current and future regulatory environments, market conditions and market size helps assess profitability of a potential new drug.

Tracking regulations – globally and in regional markets

Pharmaceutical businesses are global. Any new drug that is launched is almost necessarily for the global market. In this context understanding regulatory frameworks in global markets and their impact on a new endeavour is critical and timely, successful global launch.

Monitoring current clinical trials

Tracking current clinical trials and any insights to be had from such trials helps re-adjust and re-align on-going trials factoring in any new insights that might be available.

Providing personalised treatment

 

pills assortment on white bakcground

Medicines imageDoctors always aim for treatment which will have the highest probability of success. In such cases, knowing the patient’s past history and marrying it with results of clinical trial results for a particular drug could result in the most optimal course of treatment.

Big Data offers the ability to analyse vast quantities of data which is central to making tailored treatment plans the norm. With the in-depth analyses that are made possible through Big Data analytics, pharma companies can match patients to a specific drug or course of treatment that is most likely to work for them. It also enables medical organisations to access information that will help to develop comparative effectiveness models for specific treatment scenarios which can, in turn, enable accelerated development of more cost-effective approaches to the delivery of a wide range of healthcare services.

Drug Safety

Predictable information on the side effects of a certain drug or drug combinations is the outcome of clinical trial reports. However field reports of a drug i.e. after the drug has been released and used by patient groups can be more easily accessible by accessing data from a range of sources- prescription data combined with online forums and patient records.

Applicability of drugs across other conditions

Innovation is not merely about discovering new drugs. It is also about being able to reuse active ingredients to treat other medical conditions. Accessing bio-chemical data on a drug along with patient outcomes and information on side-effects could help the healthcare industry take informed decisions on the wider applicability of a drug.

In each of the quoted instances above, there is a necessity to access tomes of data both internal and external. Internal in the form of clinical trial data, bio-chemical information on a product; external in the form of social media, drug safety data available in the public domain etc. There is also the challenge of sifting through and reacting in real-time to the large volume of chatter on the social web.

Given these humungous data volumes that need to be manipulated, processing times and response times could run into days – even weeks. Clichéd as it sounds, time is money. This is literally so in context of pharmaceutical businesses looking to get meaningful information to enable them take decisions. Decisions to discontinue an R & D initiative, to modify a product recipe, to modify a research initiative to incorporate new clinical findings etc…

SAP’s High Performance Analytic Appliance – SAP HANA – can potentially allow companies to process millions of interactions in real-time to deliver deep, actionable insights. HANA reduces processing times from months, weeks and days to days, hours and seconds. Some of SAP’s partners like Invenio have actually set up HANA labs where they are actually demonstrating the effectiveness of HANA in manipulating terabytes of data in real-time.

Please contact us for more information

So, what is Big Data? And what does it mean for me?

101Big Data is everywhere; and can be found wherever we have the capability to capture any form of data. This can be personal data, online web traffic, social media outputs, purchase transaction histories, to name just a few. This data is captured from many different sources meaning these all individual pieces of information can make a data set that is so large and complex that it becomes almost impossible to manage using ‘traditional’ data processing tools. It also means that the processing power needed to make sense of this information can become incredibly costly and complex to manage.

Clearly each organisation’s maximum capacity for data varies – and so the point at which having a high volume of data becomes a problem also fluctuates. But, as the volume of data increases, the length of time to analyse, predict and to seek trends is greatly increased. So, as well as the cost of additional processing power, the number of people needed to process data increases – and the time taken to extract meaningful information increases in line with the amount of data stored. Below we take a closer look at the key advantages you can realise through deploying a Big Data solution.

Increased and unnecessary headcount

The number of staff it takes to sort, analyse and report on massive data sets can be extensive. You can have a whole team whose function it is to sit and produce the necessary reports on a daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly basis. If an organisation invests in the right tools to address Big Data, these staff can be freed up to concentrate on more useful value-added reporting that is faster and more accurate. This gives you more effective use of your biggest asset, your people! Clearly if you are in human resources and finance, the benefits of improved efficiencies and reduced headcount can be very compelling when considering any Big Data project.

Time

Time is probably one of the biggest factors in the requirement for analysing Big Data; time is precious to every organisation and every person, and so the more time effective we are the better… as they say, time is money! Big Data solutions can help to drastically cut the amount of time personnel are taking to extract information and work with data sets. It means more time can be spent on increasing the number – and the value – of reports. A good Big Data solution will enable you to free up time to improve your productivity and increase reporting, making a much better and streamlined department that can add more value to the organisation.

Expense

Rising costs are a problem for any organisation and so the added expense caused by data capture and analyses should be reduced where possible. All elements have a cost associated with them – whether it is data capture, data storage or the cost of personnel. To collect data and do nothing with it will still cost the organisation – whether this is a loss of the opportunity you have available, missing trends or key insights into your organisation’s performance. Some data has a requirement to be kept for up to 7 years i.e. financial. To just store this information, rather than use it to your advantage, is not making the most of your assets. The way to look at the data is how it can make the most for you, your team and your organisation. To be able to see peaks in sales figures for example, and then pre-empt these with the necessary logistics to fulfil these orders quickly, can actually help save you money and help to grow a loyal customer base.

Keeping ahead of competition/Overperformance

Using a Big Data solution that is accurate, fast and works, can have a massive impact on an organisation. SAP for example found that installing Big Data analytics for their CRM system resulted in a system that was 250 times faster — resulting in 30% cost savings compared to the previous CRM installation. If your organisation is working at these increased speeds and with relevant and accurate data, you will be able to move faster – giving you a distinct advantage over competitors.

How can SAP HANA from Invenio help you?

SAP HANA is SAP’s answer to the Big Data challenge. SAP HANA can transform the speed at which your company operates by enabling real-time insight into every aspect of your business operation as it happens. And by taking advantage of high-speed analyses of all of your data, the second it’s created, you get answers based on information right now.

Invenio are a certified SAP HANA reseller, and can help you to understand how this ground-breaking technology can help you to improve business insight and performance at speeds you never thought possible. For more information contact us.