UK holiday airline

Finance transformation
Creating a value-adding finance operation

The airline had replaced its aging finance system with a Tier 1, Oracle based solution and while the new system was deemed a success from a technology perspective, the people, processes, and, in particular, the paper flow remained unchanged. By failing to grasp the opportunity for wider change, the business was unable to realise the benefits the new systems could enable.

Following a short competitive tender, DAV was brought on board to lead, shape and deliver the business change necessary to transform the airline’s underperforming ‘accounts department’ into a finance operation that could support the future development of the business.

As a first step, DAV conducted a short diagnostic exercise that identified a number of systemic issues that were the cause of poor performance and from this initiated a programme of work, based on a Lean/Six-Sigma approach, to deliver a series of key improvements within the finance function. This included improvements to systems and processes and also improvements to the organisational design and operational management of the function.

The programme was successfully completed on time and to budget, delivering benefits ‘in year’. As a result, the entire finance operation is now much more efficient and effective and has transformed from a transactional function to one that adds real value to the business. The month end close process is now 50% faster, the purchase to pay process has been automated and improvements in accounts receivables have been established, including a new debt collection system and improvements in fraud prevention and management.

Above all, it is the change in the attitude of the entire finance team that has had the most impact, with people taking a more proactive approach to business partnership and the establishment of a culture and method of continuous improvement.

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