Whirlpool is one of the world’s leading home appliances companies focused on innovation and winning the digital consumer journey. They decided to consolidate the EMEA finance operations from 4 shared services centers into 1 shared service facility after the acquisition of Indesit. Post-acquisition all the finance operations are managed from Lodz, Poland only.
Before digital transformation stepped in to save the day, Whirlpool faced the following difficulties in order-to-cash management that decreased efficiency and negatively affected the bottom line:
Whirlpool said ‘yes’ to digital transformation to smoothen all their challenges in order-to-cash processes to transform from a traditional home appliance company into a smart home company. Whirlpool’s vision is so as to evolve as a leader in the digital age.
“Our industry-leading position combined with our strategic digital transformation will drive additional benefits throughout our value chain, leading to significant value creation for our shareholders.”
– Marc Bitzer, Chairman and CEO, Whirlpool Corporation
Here’s a ten-step guide that Whirlpool followed while driving digital transformation. These are necessary to be kept in mind before and during a transformation project in order to achieve a successful outcome.
The answers to the following questions could help in identifying the processes:
Once the processes to automate are identified, organizations should conduct research and evaluate solution options available in the market. They also need to involve key stakeholders in this process and build a coalition of senior leaders that can play a vital role in driving the project. Here’s a checklist that could be considered for selecting the perfect vendor:
When embarking on the as-is & to-be analysis, it is important to remember that business process analysis does not exist in isolation. Instead of analysing one process, it is crucial to document and map all other related processes as well.
The as-is phase outlines the current state of business processes and any gaps or issues with the current mode of operation. Once it is mapped out, the to-be phase of the process can be framed.
In order for Whirlpool to adopt digital transformation, buy-in was required not only from the C-suite but from colleagues and other stakeholders from IT too. These are the three stages to be considered in the process of getting the stakeholders on board:
It’s hard to drive digital initiatives and business transformation without a proper business case. Stakeholders want to know what their investment is supposed to get them. Following are some best practices to be kept in mind
The implementation strategy at Whirlpool involved the following factors:
Many digital transformations projects fail because employees don’t support them. People are biased to stay the same and often struggle with change, even if they see the potential benefits. The action plan that worked for Whirlpool was to assess and identify the need for change and develop the change plans. Before implementing changes proper training must be conducted and post-implementation assessment and fine-tuning should be done.
Apart from ideal plans for go-live, the following were considered by Whirlpool to ensure maximum results:
System failure, or a piece of the puzzle not working out, is a common scenario post-go-live and needs to be checked. Here’s are some best practices according to Whirlpool:
Digital transformation would build a holistic customer experience by breaking down the gaps between order-to-cash processes. Organizations should have an idea for future ventures with a bucket list of new operations and advanced technologies such as AI and natural language processing that could be included later with priority towards more standardization and simplification in order-to-cash processes.
Does your company experience difficulty in maintaining consistency across the board when collaborating with multiple BUs? While looking into roadblocks affecting better process visibility, Whirlpool struck a chord between Efficiency and Effectiveness while addressing a better business process. In dealing with a Shared Service Model for A/R processes, with operations around the globe, the evolution of visibility across BUs is a requisite. With a stringent plan for digital transformation, the error-prone manual operations model could be revised into a standardized, easy to access, and a consistent one. Right now digital transformation is the need of the hour and every organization now needs to follow the motto ‘Either Be The First or The Best’ while planning to take the route to digital transformation. Change is inevitable and sooner or later most of the businesses would definitely have to embrace these changes.
Check out the webinar below where experts from Whirlpool talk about their experience of implementing and using technology for order-to-cash, where they were before automation, and where they see themselves a few years down the line.
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