Blog: business leaders share stories on effective business transformation through IT

26. 02. 16 Andes Loukianos

The critical success factors for transforming a range of essential business processes were recently revealed at Touchstone’s inaugural Delivering Change event.

Over 40 business professionals joined us at the Ironmongers’ Hall in the City of London to listen to some inspiring case studies on how well-known brands such as Age UK and Camelot had successfully guided their organisations through effective business transformation.

Business growth, competition, new legislation and disruptive technologies are some of the key drivers behind change. For many organisations transformation is no longer an option, it is critical. But change can be daunting and – if done wrong – potentially damaging; it needs careful planning and organisational-wide buy-in from the outset in order to achieve success.

Talking through his experiences, Terry Willis, Head of Information Systems at Age UK, gave our guests an insight into how he successfully transformed the charity’s procurement systems and processes. With multiple, duplicate supplier accounts and contracts and the overheads accrued from chasing invoices and payments, the organisation needed to streamline its approach to procurement. Willis headed up this business transformation project and adopted a single purchasing platform. It was a major project for the organisation and now gives them complete visibility on spend, helping to ensure that every penny of charitable donations is spent wisely.

Camelot transforms financial reporting

Next to tell us how he’d facilitated an effective business change project at Camelot was Joshua May who, as its Group Financial Reporting Manager, removed the organisation’s reliance on spreadsheets and paper-based reporting by introducing BlackLine financial control and automation software. Joshua later joined BlackLine and Camelot benefits from more efficient and effective financial reporting processes.

To follow was Louise Uys-Jones, Financial Controller at Cheval Residences who told us how she helped the organisation improve its business intelligence. Cheval is an aparthotel provider of 5 star luxury accommodation. From little to no business intelligence on its client-base, Louise instigated a business transformation project to help improve budgeting, forecasting and planning giving a real 360° view of the business. Cheval now has the ability to really understand its business and make informed decisions.

The event’s delegates also got the opportunity to pose their questions to the speakers in a Q&A session. One common thread from the delegates was to ask the panellists how to ensure staff support the business transformation journey. It was mutually agreed by the panellists that change is not a destination but an ongoing journey – it’s vital to ensure that all key business stakeholders understand the reasons for making the change, and that the business appoints ‘change champions’ to help ensure a smooth transition for all staff.

No business transformation project comes without some degree of pain along the way, but all speakers agreed that the end result in terms of time savings on business processes and increased visibility on spend and data were well worth these bumps in the road.

The All Blacks’ winning formula

The event concluded with an inspirational keynote speech from James Kerr, the author of Legacy: 15 Lessons in Leadership, which explores his time spent with the legendary All Blacks rugby team. James shared some insights into how state of mind and respect for each other and the team is the winning formula for the All Blacks, the world’s most successful sports team of all time. He also conveyed the importance of storytelling within the workplace and how it was important to tell the story of why people were going on the change journey.

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Andes Loukianos

Written by:

Andes Loukianos

Touchstone BI Business Unit Head