Most global organizations have already deployed ERP Systems with different degrees of complexity and effectiveness. Usually, because budget and time restrictions, many ERP Systems’ deployments have copied complex designs and processes, while uploaded master data files with former errors and inconsistencies or created new ones during the deployment. At this stage of Digital Business Transformation (DBT), global organizations are coming across centralization processes in Share Services, developing E2E digital flows with RPA solutions, also designing and deploying their Target Operating Model (TOM). Former ERPs’ complexity and effectiveness will have a decisive impact on current DBT process and results. Lean can help organizations to reduce and manage complexity to save time and resources during the DBT process while increasing effectiveness of the results:

Adding value to Centralization and Share Services

A wide variety of purposes lay behind creating and growing Share Services in global organizations. In most of the cases, cost is the main driver and the centralization process’s direction is from higher to lower cost`s countries with a consequent change in HC`s distribution and costs’ reduction both of which are necessary but not enough to achieve a Share Service. IT systems must convey in a global central platform as well as migrated tasks must be standardized in a simple process. Lean can help organizations to take advantage of the diversity at regional and global levels to develop best practices making of the Share Service a Centre of Excellence. The Centralization process and Share Services as an output are not enough to ensure expected business results and to achieve low cost and effective processes able to comply with different regulations at country and regional level.

Developing an E2E Digital Flow with RPA Solutions

Either within a centralized or decentralized organizational model, ERPs are the bottom line to develop an E2E Digital Flow. We can take the E2E “Procure to Pay” process as an example, even though the organization has only one ERP as Oracle, interphases with local taxes regulators’ systems downstream and global banking platforms upstream are needed to achieve an E2E Digital Flow. In a matrix complex organization several ERPs can be involved within the E2E “Procure to Pay” process for example ARIBA, PS and TWS. Lean can help organizations to adopt an E2E approach to level workload and avoid bottlenecks to reduce goods and transactions’ inventory and ensure the E2E throughput. RPA solutions required simple and standard processes to drive an intelligent automation to reduce transactional time and create capacity for analysis to improve process understanding and decision making.

Designing and deploying a Lean Target Operating Model (TOM)

The centralization in a Share Service and the E2E Digital Flow must followed the TOM designed or both should be included within it. The scope of the TOM must encompass People, Process and Technology, we already mentioned how Lean can provide support to the prganization`s transformation from the “Process” domain but also it plays a fundamental role with “People”. A new leadership style is needed to prevent issues in reporting and to develop flexibility. Global and regional leaders need to “be there”, nearby the team even though they are not co-located through digital dashboards and weekly staff meetings. Engagement must be increased by developing talent and skills within the team through training and coaching as well as rewards and recognition. Lean can provide a model not only for processes but also organic architecture which empowers not only the appropriate TOM design according to organization`s culture but also its deployment by ensuring its adoption through the right mindset and organizational climate.

Thanks for Reading.                                                                                                                                                                                  Kind Regards.

Marcelo Sauro is an internationally experienced performance and improvement senior manager. He holds an Executive MBA and Master of Science degrees and has helped people and organizations to transform themselves. Not only he led E2E transformations in Global Business Services, R&D, Supply Chain and Finance organizations at all levels within the LATAM and EMEA Regions, but he is also experienced in several industries including Life Science, Healthcare, Insurance, Fintech, Technology, Telecoms, FMCG, Chemicals, Automotive, Energy and Mining. Since 2015, he has been researching and developing content in agile and resilience through Value Ways, while working under contract for customers such as MetLife, Novartis, Vertiv (Emerson NP) and Experian among others. Previously, he worked for more than 7 years as Master Black Belt for a LATAM-based consulting group, which had ASQ, Qualtec and Oriel as business partners. Prior to that, he worked for more than 10 years at BASF and GSK in positions of growing responsibility in the area of Operational Excellence. Marcelo is currently working at Ferring's “International PharmaScience Center” (IPC) for the Global R&D organization in Copenhagen. To find out more please visit

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *