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Case study

The challenge

When a company makes numerous acquisitions, it also adds multiple systems and business processes that must be integrated with the rest of the organization. Lack of system and process integration increases operating costs and hampers organizational performance. 

A global life sciences company faced a similar problem when it inherited multiple enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and businesses after acquiring five companies in the same number of years. Vendor invoices weren’t processed on time, interrupting the flow of critical supplies. Inefficient collections disrupted the company’s cash flow and slowed the month-end close process, eventually delaying financial reporting. The company reached out to Cognizant for help.

Our approach

Cognizant’s engagement was part of a larger strategic effort to establish an integrated company that would enable scalability and create support efficiencies. 

As part of our initial assessment of the company’s processes and the multiple technologies supporting these processes, we learned that following the conventional approach of consolidating all legacy ERP systems into a single ERP system would take several years and be a significant burden on the client. Instead, Cognizant proposed an orchestrated operating model that synchronizes all ERP instances across countries and business units and manages daily transactions. This plan helped the company implement systems of engagement for key processes, including procurement operations, accounts payable, record to report and travel and expense, enabling seamless transaction processing and optimized period close.

Cognizant redesigned and standardized the company’s key processes. We developed a business outcome framework to drive the optimization of working capital through accelerated past due receivables collection, as well as business performance dashboards that enable managers and other leaders to view key operational metrics. Cognizant also delivered business processes for 22 entities in 10 countries and successfully enhanced the month-end close process. These changes have resulted in efficiency gains, lower operations costs and $45 million in delivered business outcomes.

Integrated company with an orchestrated approach

Cognizant optimized manual processes through digital interventions such as robotic process automation and actively engaged our subject-matter experts in both system integration testing and user acceptance testing to ensure successful testing of possible business outcomes.

50% reduction

in total cost of operations

30% boost

in month-end process

40% gains

in productivity