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Unposted Invoices

A global oil and gas company with an administrative centre in Manilla (Philippines) operated unnecessarily costly and complex finance functions. It was proving impossible to review and amend processes internally, so Lean-6 Sigma was called in to analyse and overhaul systems in order to generate significant savings in both time and money.

The entire administrative function of the business was being centralised into a single unit, and when Accounts Payable (AP) migrated from separate business units into the single ‘Shared Service Centre’ that housed the new centralised unit, it was observed that many similar activities were completed in many different ways using different processes and different working methodologies. Lean-6 Sigma firstly undertook the job of unifying these processes, then used a Process Flow Diagram to address the invoice-paying process, which contained many anomalies and inefficiencies.

Particular focus was on the reduction of non-value-adding work, which resulted in reducing staff overtime from an average of 400 hours to 100 hours. Changes in the invoice-paying process also reduced the burden of work and stress on the workforce, so there was no need to employ the two additional staff that had been planned. In addition, the company’s customers enjoyed an improved invoice payment service.