Client: An International Airline

Core Partner: Christina Cowling



The Engagement

An International Airline had grown significantly through acquisition and now needed to deliver cost savings via the standardisation and harmonisation of organisations, processes and systems.  The decision was taken to transform global Purchasing and Finance initially by building an Operational Centre of Excellence and outsourcing transactional processes.  This was the first step and a "quick win" for the business in achieving the overall TOM strategy.


The Challenge

  • To drive efficiencies and reduce cost of processing supplier invoices across the airlines operating companies and across the globe
  • To ensure that essential sole-supplier relationships were not negatively impacted in any way (e.g. Airport Authorities and Fuel Suppliers)
  • To implement a solution without incurring fines or penalties related to late payments
  • To meet the needs of regulatory requirements and local markets
  • To avoid industrial disputes and keep the "at-risk" workforce engaged during the project lifecycle (1-2 years)

The Solution

  • Outsource invoice payments to Business Process Organisation
  • Create a centralised Operating Centre in Poland
  • Standardise and improve invoice payment process
  • Engaged with internal stakeholders to support change and supplier compliance
  • Delivered a comprehensive supplier communications plan to support each country, including an enhanced strategy for global and business critical suppliers.
  • Developed an Intranet portal for over a thousand buyers within the OpCo.
  • Delivered an effective training plan for the introduction of a new workflow tool to process invoicing queries
  • Conducted full local impact assessments (country by country) to ensure smooth organisational transition.
  • Satisfied European Works Councils, Unions and local HR communications requirements.
  • Developed and implemented metrics to track process compliance and identify potential bottlenecks. 

The Result

  • Achieved global tax compliance
  • Maximised automation and streamlined end to end purchase to pay processes globally
  • Ensured payments were made to terms, not late or early, enabling monies to be retained in the business
  • Crucially, reduced Operating Company headcount by 90%