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Manufacturing Success Story: Dynamics 365 Finance

Headquartered in the United States, this manufacturing holding company has 6,000+ employees spread across 70+ facilities on three continents. The company’s products span several industries, including aviation, aeronautics, military defense, electronics, telecommunication, and medical equipment.

Challenge
The client lacked a finance system that could consolidate and process the accounting and reporting for its many subcompanies. They required a solution that could manage the reporting while also providing financial visibility across all companies under its umbrella.
Solution
HCL converted the client’s Finance and Accounting functions from Microsoft AX to Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management (F&SCM), specifically the full suite of Dynamics 365 Finance modules.
Key Benefits
  • Significant gains in efficiency in terms of month-end close cycle time, intercompany transaction time, and enhanced reporting and analytics
  • Reductions in operating costs through automation, streamlined processing, and tighter integration
  • Improvements in quality resulting from automated order generation and real-time quality control insights

Challenge

HCL Technologies partnered with a global holding company with a diverse portfolio of manufacturing, construction, and industrial services businesses. The holding company is comprised of several sub-industry-specific managing groups – conglomerates of a dozen or more smaller companies – that are overseen by Executive Management teams that provide strategic guidance and support services to each of its companies. This structure allows each group to run independently while also having dedicated resources available to help achieve company-level goals and common objectives.

HCL Tech’s involvement spans several of the holding company’s aforementioned managing groups as we guide them through their Digital Transformation via a multi-pronged project. The initiative highlighted in this case study – migrating the Finance and Accounting functions within the various managing groups to Dynamics 365 Finance – is a cornerstone accomplishment in the overall partnership.

The client’s primary pain point here was not having a single accounting system for its subcompanies. They needed a solution that could perform all accounting processes and reporting while also providing financial visibility across all companies under its umbrella. They also required seamless integration with their banking vendor to simplify the accounts payable processes. Their previous technology solution afforded no integration opportunities, and this capability was a key reason for selecting Dynamics 365.


Solution

The goals of the project were naturally to solve the challenges described above, while also achieving the holding company’s all-up business objectives:

  • Deliver modern cloud-based Finance solution to streamline daily, monthly, and annual finance activities
  • Leverage more robust and broader data visualization and reporting via electronic data processing
  • Standardize operations on Dynamics 365 Finance
  • Align to their parent holding company’s digital transformation initiative

The following modules were included in the project scope (only Accounts Receivable was out of scope):

  • Organizational Administration
  • System Administration
  • Human Resources
  • General ledger
  • Cash & Bank management
  • Fixed Assets
  • Accounts Payable
  • Budgeting

At the most basic level, HCL Tech implemented the suite of Dynamics 365 Finance modules. Key differentiators in this project included Accounts Payable and a customized configuration with the client’s banking partner.

Accounts Payable is a critical component of the solution, as it enables this managing group to consolidate payments to vendors at the group level. This eliminates many of the accounting challenges associated with 20+ companies all doing individual or siloed vendor payments, and then rolling the data up each month. HCL Tech was able to deliver on time and significantly under budget.

Benefits of the Solution

The implementation of Dynamics 365 F&SCM produced very real and tangible results in terms of efficiency gains, operating cost reductions, quality improvements, and customer insight enhancements.

  • Efficiency Gains
    • Reduced month-end Close Cycle Time
    • Enhanced reporting & analytics
    • Improved intercompany transactions (e.g., Cycle Time, Approval Time)
  • Operating Cost Reductions
    • Improved generation of margin and cashflow
    • Improved visibility of business segment performance with access to relevant cost accounting
    • Reduced Admin costs due to streamline financial processes
    • Optimized headcount due to increased productivity throughout F&O
    • Reduced operating spend with financial process automation, encumbrance, budget planning, control and 3-way matching
    • Maintenance cost reduction from elimination of inhouse data storage, ERP server hosting, and lower headcount
    • Improved costs of ERP licensing due to the flexibility of the ERP licensing model
    • Reduction in procurement costs based on enhanced processes and automation across the supply chain
    • Reduced costs due to integration with other systems using the common data platform
  • Quality Improvements
    • Automated order generation
    • Error Rate reduction rate
    • Real-time quality insights
  • Customer Insight Enhancements
    • 360-degree view of the customer
    • Connected Customer Service Team
    • Customer relationship health and behavior

I’m proud of the work we’re doing for this client. We have several projects in midflight with their different managing groups as we continue on the journey towards complete digital transformation. This first task of getting all the businesses consolidated under Dynamics 365 was foundational, as it lays the groundwork for all the additional initiatives currently or soon to be underway.

Jim Cook Sales Director, HCL Technologies