/ 01 case study

https://www.duni.com/ Duni AB (Publ.)

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Krister Gullström

General Manager

Duni AB (Publ.)

In 2005 Duni set out to create the European Finance Function, EFF, by concentrating accounting processes of the Duni Group to one shared service center. The goal was to significantly reduce costs and at the same time improve quality and transparency of accounting.

The location chosen for the shared service center was Poznan, Poland. It is a city with a central location in Europe and has excellent communications by road, air and rail. Being one of the big academic centres in Poland it offers a good recruitment base.

At the start the center provided accounting services for the Swedish legal entities of Duni. Between 2005 and 2007 the operations of another ten countries were migrated to EFF. Migration was not just a question of moving existing operations and processes but also about changing and improving them. On the technical side an integrated ERP system was implemented in connection with EDI and work-flow systems (for example for invoice approval and travel expenses). On the organizational side  common structures and common processes were introduced.

As operations matured Duni observed that the results of the migration to a shared service center had exceeded expectations. Costs had been significantly reduced and to a higher extent than expected Duni confirmed that the quality of the accounting process improved. Already by 2009 the total costs for the finance process had been cut in half. Today Duni has a cost to turnover ratio for the finance and accounting process of 0,6 % which is well below the median of 1,5% for the peer group. For Duni that amounts to annual savings of about 4 MEUR.

One interesting aspect which Duni did not consider when the project was initialized is that processes of change and continuous improvement are greatly enhanced by a shared service structure. Implementations of cross-border and cross-legal-entity projects are greatly facilitated. Examples of such implementations are changes of corporate banking partner and start-up of online- sales. We’ve found that negative aspects such as long processing times and incorrectly processed transactions which you sometimes hear or read about are myths.

Another interesting bi-effect of the EFF set-up is that other functions within the Duni Group have been made more efficient. The number of controllers and headquarter staff has also been reduced due to the trust and control Duni has from EFF.

After the transfer of the basic finance and accounting function to EFF Duni has started adding more functions at EFF such as treasury, IT and controlling. EFF has also provided project management and support for a number of projects ranging from setting up fixed asset accounting to establishing an offshore warehouse to implementing a new intranet platform.