Aerial view of river

The power of one team and one contract

William van Zweeden

Knowing how your multinational performs at the touch of a button is crucial. You also want to see how subsidiaries perform compared to each other. This is the most important reason for multinationals to move to centralised information platforms. Once implemented, different countries still turn out to be apples to oranges. Where do things go wrong? Where is that single version of the truth? With the right approach and governance structure, your global implementation will succeed!

A global operating corporation is not one company; it consists of multiple entities. These organisations have their own language, processes, definitions, metrics and applications. Having different systems is not only inconvenient from a cost standpoint, but companies also want to know if things are going well and where they must intervene. That's tricky when the margin or inventory value is calculated differently in Sydney compared to Singapore or Seattle. Rationalisation of processes and applications is the key to success. It reduces costs, gives global control and makes global reporting much easier.

One template to rationalise them all

Achieving a single version of the truth requires everyone to utilise the same systems and processes. To make your global implementation successful, start by creating and deploying a template with all definitions, processes, and metrics. That is not the stage where things usually go wrong though.

Maintaining the integrity of the template

Of course, the way of reporting to local governments about tax and other regulations is a local, specific matter. But that does not apply to definitions and processes. If companies deviate from agreements, your entire implementation will fail, with major consequences. You must enforce the ways of working at group level. If you do this without too much participation, our experience is that it can be done 10% more cost-effective and much more efficiently than if you let each country have a full vote.

Deviation starts where central control ends

All these countries look at things slightly different compared to how people at the company headquarters do. And during implementation, the central direction is suddenly delegated. At a local level, different contracts are signed with local implementation partners. This causes three problems:

  • More contracts create more complexity
  • A new contract means new negotiations and different conditions
  • Local teams primarily look to their contract and not so much to the original template

Once delegated, the implementation lacks global ownership. Local implementation partners understand that doing business in their country might be different than what HQ had in mind. A slight deviation in the interest of this subsidiary is not a problem, right? Customer satisfaction is the most important thing, isn't it?

One global team

Why did our global implementations succeed? It's because of our unique approach. We create a core customer team with roles such as finance, logistics and sales, which are crucial for the customer. In addition, we work with a global HSO core team with the same disciplines, ensuring central ownership and sponsorship from start to finish.

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