Manufacturer deploys Spend Control system across 22 locations in 14 countries
IMI Control Components, Inc. (IMI CCI) is a global provider of severe service control valve solutions used in the power industry, oil and gas industry, and pulp and paper plants globally. With headquarters in California, IMI CCI has sales and services offices with direct employees located in 15 countries, and has representatives in over 60 other countries.
Over its 50 year history, IMI CCI has grown both organically and by acquisition of a number of companies around the world. IMI CCI now serves a worldwide customer base with offices and facilities in the Americas (United States, Mexico, Canada, and Brazil), Europe (UK, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, Italy, and Czech Republic), Asia (China, India, South Korea, Japan, and Singapore), and South Africa.
Like many companies that have grown greatly over time, IMI CCI found itself with widely disparate information management systems across the company. Although IMI CCI executives recognised the advantages of ultimately consolidating and standardising all of those systems on a worldwide basis, they understood that such an undertaking would take time. However, one area IMI CCI knew was critical in taking to the next level was that of managing indirect spend. There was also little chance of instituting consistent authorisation controls, policy and regulatory compliance, or centre-led procurement without a single global Spend Control and eProcurement framework. IMI CCI therefore made deployment of a global Spend Control system, using one common platform for all global locations, a top priority.
After looking at a number of alternatives, IMI CCI selected the PROACTIS Spend Control and eProcurement solution as the platform for the company's worldwide purchase-to-pay system. PROACTIS was selected for a number of reasons - one key reason being that it would enable simple and rapid global deployment tailored to IMI CCI's business needs. In addition to providing multi-currency, multi-language and multi-tax handling capabilities, PROACTIS had the flexibility to manage workflow and other variations across IMI CCI's many different local organisations while maintaining a common global framework of polices and controls.
With a focused and concerted effort on the part of IMI CCI's small implementation team and the help of PROACTIS, the goal of rapid global deployment was met. The system was configured and implemented in less than three months at IMI CCI's headquarters as the initial pilot. With that under their belt, the IMI CCI team went on to roll-out the system across 22 locations in 14 countries in less than seven months. Although, usage of the system is still expanding and evolving in a number of ways, the entire initial worldwide deployment was achieved in approximately nine months from start to finish.
Today, nearly 100% of new supplier approvals and purchase approvals go through one common system worldwide. Workflows for supplier approvals ensure compliance with both company policies and local regulations - for instance in China. Workflows for purchase approval ensure compliance with a corporate approval matrix.
IMI CCI's total spend is now being managed by the PROACTIS system. Many ongoing services such as utilities, car leases, maintenance, IT services, etc. are set up on blanket purchase orders, plus discrete PO volume is approaching 500 a month. The range of people directly using PROACTIS continues to increase with the number of users approaching 400.
Although Accounts Payable functions are decentralised and use a variety of different financial systems, each country now uses PROACTIS as the basis for 3-way matching of incoming invoices before authorising payment. Policy now requires a PO and receipt for every discrete PO, so AP is able to act as a primary driver to ensure transactional rigour. When there are discrepancies, AP personnel in each country use PROACTIS workflow to resolve them in a timely manner.
Cosmina Soaita, IMI CCI Global Supply Chain Manager for Indirect Spend summarises the progress IMI CCI has made: "Before PROACTIS, operations in each country had their own approach to selecting suppliers, approving purchases, and authorising payments. And we had no real visibility at the corporate level. Now, with PROACTIS in place, it's a whole different story - we have consistent compliance with corporate policies around the world, visibility of all global activity, and a growing repository of purchase history that we are using to take a more global approach to procurement."
Looking to the future, Soaita says: "We can now analyse how many suppliers we have in each spend category and look at transaction details to see exactly what it is we're buying from each supplier. We're using this information to start rationalising our supplier base and better leverage our global buying power. Over time that is going to enable us to further reduce costs in a substantial way."