Zurich Insurance : Simplifying Source to Pay

How did Zurich Insurance Group Simplify their Source to Pay (S2P) Process?

Zurich Insurance Group serves customers around the world, and had previously been operating with a fragmented source-to-pay (S2P) system that was struggling to meet the needs of the modern business.  The company needed to simplify and modernise their procurement technology to reach a standardised approach that would benefit all parts of their supply chain.  

The company collaborated with KPMG and Coupa to design and implement a simplified source-to-pay system built for the future.

The key challenge was the fragmented nature of their system, that was no longer fit for purpose for their 55,000 employees operating across 215 countries.  The systems they had in place had been in operation for a decade, and were not considered to be user friendly for the wider business.  This was coupled with manual and error-prone processes that were still in use and this led to both errors and a lack of spend visibility, making it hard to report or predict future spending.  

“Zurich’s previous pend management tool was fragile and ill-equipped to move into a future world” says Sally Davis, Project Co-Sponsor Zurich Insurance Company. “Our world and our expectations are changing and we need a system to help take us there.”

Cutting complexity from Zurich’s S2P system 

Reaching standardisation in its system was a key target of the project.  The business had a complex structure in place with different regions using a variety of systems, with the previous tool having 3,000 customisations, and a large number of applications and interfaces that needed to be removed.  Another challenge for the implementation team was also the number of stakeholders across different regions and departments who would need to be supported to deliver the new system and strategy.  

The solution developed by KPMG was to use a single purchasing and expenses system across the whole of the organisation through Coupa.  The shift to an electronic purchase order and invoice method helped to increase efficiency, reduce rogue spending around the business that doesn’t go through procurement, and limit the number of manual tasks.  

A collaborative approach was then needed to help both design the solution, and engage the stakeholders across the business to implement the system.  The team approached this with a 3-day collaboration event, and a global design approach that allowed for customisation in local markets if required.  

The results of Zurich’s S2P transformation

“We had the opportunity to deliver a better end user experience, that was simple, easy to use, and mobile enabled. Together we delivered just that,” says Phil Soderberg, Global Head of Procurement and Vendor Management at Zurich.  

The strategy of using a single, standard S2P process used across all regions has been recognised as a great success.  It has allowed for much improved reporting and automation, an improved user experience and increased efficiency with touchless electronic invoicing.  

The average approval time for a purchase order is now 2.4 days, more than 800 suppliers are now actively using the Coupa Supplier Portal, and the new system is widely adopted across all their business regions. 

“Coupa has given us an easier to use, easier to access procurement tool - this has changed the view of procurement in my business in a very positive way,” adds John Keppel, former UK Chief Operations Officer, and now Chief Sustainability Officer at Zurich UK.  

Read more about what is driving the digitalisation of S2P and P2P.

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