A few weeks ago, IDC published a white paper*, “The Business Value of IFS Enterprise Application Solutions with Industry-Specific Use Cases.” Through in-depth interviews with customer organizations, we were able to measure the value of IFS enterprise solutions. There were lots of interesting findings, but what really caught my eye were the statistics relating to the finance function.
The impact of IFS on finance, auditing, and accounting teams can be seen in terms of both improvements to key performance indicators (KPIs) and productivity levels. Study participants reported strong gains in terms of these teams’ performance, The four big wins were:
- Finance cycles closing 30% faster
- Errors occurring 27% less frequently
- Budgetary cycles completing 21% faster
- Interviewed IFS customers also reported consistent productivity increases for finance, auditing, and accounting teams, with an average 24% productivity gain across these three teams (see Table 7).
Respondents also provided specific examples of higher quality and productivity:
Finance team more productive with real-time access to data — Manufacturing: “The availability of data our finance team receives, and seeing it in real time with IFS, is beneficial. There is less data entry but more analysis. Our finance team is around 50% more productive. … Also, we have 80% fewer errors because the IFS system does not permit users to make mistakes.”
Consolidated platform delivering efficiencies for finance team — Energy, utilities, and resources: “Our finance team saves about 20% of their time with IFS because the data is all in one place. … With separate finance, maintenance, and work order systems, the team had to consolidate all of the data and this created a lot of double-entry work.”
Streamlined finance activities — Engineering, construction, and infrastructure: “The impact of IFS on our finance team has been massive. Before, our finance group was probably twice the size it is now. Every division had to collect its debit, its month-end document, and kind of consolidate Excel and then share them to corporate and use that to be reconsolidated. So now, they are able to close the month in days, whereas before, it was often the entire month.”
Finance, auditing, and accounting teams need a seamless flow of operational data to meet deadlines and quality expectations. They typically must collect data from various departments and then consolidate and enter this data under time constraints. Interviewed IFS customers reported that these teams benefit to a significant extent not only from the visibility and access to data enabled by IFS but also from the ability to scrutinize data via drill downs and detailed audits.
I can honestly say, that this has been my personal experience too.
At the beginning of 2019 IFS embarked on a transformation journey to implement its own full ERP suite, and to do it faster than it had done for any customer to date. We know that time-to-value, ease of use, simplified best practice processes and total cost of ownership are the four most important things for our customers. Did it go as seamlessly as hoped? No, but that’s not the point. The point was to lead by example and show what it possible. The end result is that we have become our own best case study and crucially, our learnings all benefit how we engage and deliver for our customers.
The experience of implementing your own software and setting your business up for success can have a profound effect on everything from internal process improvement though to employee engagement.
Download the full IDC white paper here.
*IDC White Paper, sponsored by IFS, The Business Value of IFS Enterprise Application Solutions with Industry-Specific Use Cases, August 2019.