From Whirlpool: 10 Steps To Digitally Transform A/R Shared Service Centers

18 September, 2020
7 min read
Amit B,
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What you'll learn

  • How the right technology builds winning workplaces, establishes a competitive advantage, and improves team productivity in Order to Cash
  • A successful blueprint to follow for your own A/R automation with insights from Whirlpool, including original plans, execution challenges, and deciding on a final approach
Challenges with Whirlpool Shared Services
Need of The Hour - Digital Transformation at Whirlpool
10 Steps to Whirlpool’s Successful Digital Transformation
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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 one shared service facility after the acquisition of Indesit. Post-acquisition, all the finance operations are being managed from Lodz, Poland.

Challenges with Whirlpool Shared Services

While the aim of having a consolidated shared service setup was to have scalable, streamlined operations, Whirlpool faced specific challenges that decreased efficiency and negatively affected their bottom line:

Challenges with Whirlpool Shared Services

Need of The Hour - Digital Transformation at Whirlpool

With the need to automate processes and track the performance of a globally distributed workforce against goals, Whirlpool decided to transform its A/R operations to evolve as a leader in the digital age. They wanted to transform from a traditional home appliance company to a smart-home company. With this in mind, they want to move towards not just creating better quality products and delivering good services to their customers but also prioritizing their internal teams’ needs.

10 Steps to Whirlpool’s Successful Digital Transformation

10 Steps to Whirlpool’s Successful Digital Transformation

Finance and A/R departments leveraging technology underwent significantly lower disruption amidst the COVID crisis when compared to those who were not. At Whirlpool too- the digital evolution of order-to-cash has been as recent as last year, but the technology was instrumental in helping the finance teams activate their crisis response mode proactively, and deliver results with high productivity despite working in a remote working environment.

Whirlpool talks about their step-by-step implementation process with HighRadius technology, highlighting what specifically worked for them and what automation capabilities they are looking to explore in the future.

1. Deciding Which processes Should be Automated:

The first step into the transformation process is to identify the gaps you are looking to fill, the processes that need to be automated. The answers to the following questions could help in identifying those processes:

Deciding Which processes Should be Automated

2. Finding The Right Vendor:

Once the processes to automate are identified, organizations should conduct research and evaluate solution options available in the market. Below is a checklist to find the most suitable vendor as per your business requirements.
Finding The Right Vendor

3. Assessment For As-Is and To-Be Analysis:

When embarking on the as-is & to-be analysis, it is essential to remember that business process analysis is not isolated. Instead of analyzing one process, it is crucial to document and map all other related functions. 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.

4. Stakeholder Buy-In:

There are three stages involved in the process of getting the stakeholders on board.
Stakeholder Buy-In

5. Business Case Evaluation:

At Whirlpool, we went one step ahead of a simple, low-cost, high-benefits analysis and followed the following steps while choosing to implement the cash application (CAA) solution by HighRadius.

  • Urgency: For a new cash application tool as the original solution was going to expire
  • Multiple Options: We were considering five different products before decking to go with the CAA by HighRadius.
  • Recommendation: Citi and BNP provided great references for the HighRadius reconciliation tool
  • Banking Partners: From multi-bank engagements to only Citi Bank and BNP in the EMEA region
  • Supporting Factors: Estimated cost vs. potential benefits analysis to make the final decision.

6. Pilot Deployment Strategy:

The implementation strategy at Whirlpool involved the following factors:
Pilot Deployment Strategy

7. Change Management:

Many digital transformation projects fail because employees don’t support them. The action plan that worked for whirlpool was
Change Management

8. Next Wave Implementation Strategy:

Apart from ideal plans for go-live, the following were considered by Whirlpool to ensure maximum results:
Next Wave Implementation Strategy

9. Tracking Post Go-Live Performance:

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:
Tracking Post Go-Live Performance

10. Having A Future Vision For Opportunities:

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 (NLP) that could be included later, prioritizing more standardization and simplification in order-to-cash processes.


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