Bard develops innovative medical devices that meet the needs of healthcare professionals and patients. As a global leader in the medical device industry, Bard is committed to enhancing the lives of people around the world.
Following a review of operational efficiency within sales and finance, the senior management team at Bard identified the need to improve fundamental business processes in three key areas with the following goals:
- Develop and implement an inter-company Invoice Management System
- Achieve operational efficiency in Pan-EMEA Account Reconciliation
- Streamline Consignment Management to improve customer experience and stakeholder operations
Inter-Company Invoice Management Process
Bard operates in various regions across EMEA with a daily requirement to raise inter-company invoices at multiple sources. With the absence of a centralised invoice management system, invoices were being raised, monitored and managed at regional level resulting in a lack of understanding at board level for intercompany charging.
Velocity IT responded to the need and developed an inter-company system to suit the scale and operation of Bard’s Pan-EMEA operation and enable the effective process of inter-company invoicing between entities.
- The automated process orchestrated all the activities that were required to efficiently process intercompany invoices on a monthly basis in a timely fashion
- The finance divisions for each of the entities have been presented with a centralised workflow system that manages the complex process across Europe
- The performance of the process has key metrics to measure and manage through the provision of sophisticated reporting tools
- Ease of access for cross-region divisional heads and senior management teams to quickly gauge the status and volume of each months’ intercompany invoices.
- Clear visibility of cross-region activity allows for a fully auditable and efficient output
The Velocity solution is a seamless, process-driven application that now allows Bard companies to raise inter-company invoices quickly, securely and in a way that can easily be tracked and processed.
Pan-EMEA accounts reconciliations and associated SOX compliancy reports were extremely time-consuming to complete every month. The nature of the manual processes meant that multiple individuals were responsible for completing tasks that utilised a mixture of emails, spreadsheets and manual processes. An over-arching, challenging sign-off protocol which included various financial stakeholders added an additional layer of complexity to late arriving transactions that needed to be retrospectively approved during the month-end period. The key driver for this development derived from the need to improve the process in order to meet strict US F.D.A Compliancy ruling for accounting submissions – which carry a heavy financial penalty for non-compliance in relation to delivery time-frames.
Velocity IT created a system that allowed accounts data and transactions to be sourced from external sources and, as per a pre-defined accounts approval hierarchy, assigned to the various stakeholders and approvers for processing.
- Automatic assignment of tasks disseminated to accountable individuals in a timely manner
- A traffic light system to enable real-time analysis of the reconciliation process with RAG statuses
- Automated report generation for SOX accounts at the point of sign off and circulation to all stakeholders
- Inclusion of all associated documentation included as part of every record in a single repository
- The senior management team were aware of any potential delays in advance of period end dates
- Achieved monthly compliancy and auditing requirements through an automated process
- Ease of navigation for all stakeholders
- On-time report delivery
- Reduction in manual labour of task assignment
- Overall reduction in monthly manual process
- Ease of access for external audit obligations and improvement in efficiency of audits
- Complete removal of spreadsheets and potential for duplication
Due to the successful implementation of the new account reconciliation process, it has been standardised throughout Bard EMEA, allowing all teams to work against the same set of SLAs. This new process aids business-wide continuity and presents the business with a clear understanding of regional productivity to enable future support and development requirements.
A review of overall consignment management system within Bard identified the following areas of inefficiency, exacerbated by a highly manual and adhoc process that was resulting in a loss of orders, mounting cost of sales and frustrations in the sales workforce:
- The lifecycle of the placement and usage of medical equipment on consignment at hospitals wasn’t managed in real-time, meaning that replenishments were not identified in-time and stock-outs were occurring
- During the point of sale, the existing profitability formula was subjective and resulted in senior sales managers rejecting high volumes of orders
- Order lead-times extended due to manual order backlogs
- Heavy reliance on email engagement to track order consignments to determine order status at any given time
- Regional variation in processes added further complication through lack of a standardised business wide system
A project team lead by Velocity IT’s business optimisation consultants and supported by business process specialists engaged with Bard’s project owners to devise and deliver a company-wide standardised system. The new system incorporated a workflow tool with automation capabilities that presented the following solution and benefits:
- Provision of an efficient end-to-end process beginning at order placement and culminating in order rapid fulfilment
- Integration with the Bard JDE product catalogue pricelist to allow for accurate profitability calculation of the consignment order at the point of submission
- System for order elevation enablement for high-level input from senior management for complex scenarios and specific clients
- Provision of a self-help feature to provide an overview of consignment status for all stakeholders Ease of access for sales teams to process, monitor and manage orders remotely using mobile device
- Remote access to full product collateral, pricing and specifications upon order enquiry and placement
A seamless end-to-end process to manage Bard’s consignment orders that in turn allows all relative touch-points to engage effectively. Clients are now assured that critical medical equipment arrives on-time and in full for use in life-saving operations which has for the business, resulting in increased productivity and profitability.