Henkel: Building a Winning Culture (D) Case Study Solution


The case of Business Process Reengineering of Accounts Payable at ABC, Inc. delves into the crucial role of the General Manager in orchestrating transformative changes within the company’s Accounts Payable department. As outlined by Ronald Lau, the case explores the challenges faced by ABC, Inc., the strategies employed to restructure the accounts payable process, and the pivotal role of the General Manager in implementing these changes.

Case Issue

The primary issue at hand is the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of the existing accounts payable process at ABC, Inc. Outdated procedures, lack of automation, and manual errors are causing delays, affecting vendor relationships and hindering financial transparency. The challenge lies in reengineering this process while ensuring a smooth transition, minimal disruption to operations, and adherence to financial regulations.

Case Analysis

Assessment of Current Accounts Payable Process
The existing accounts payable system at ABC, Inc. is riddled with bottlenecks. Manual data entry, paper-based invoices, and a lack of integration with the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system have led to inefficiencies. These inefficiencies not only delay payments but also strain relationships with suppliers, impacting the company’s overall financial health and reputation.

Role of the General Manager
The General Manager plays a pivotal role in this reengineering process. Their strategic vision, leadership skills, and ability to drive change are instrumental. The General Manager needs to facilitate cross-functional collaboration, ensuring that every department understands the importance of the reengineering effort. Moreover, they must advocate for the necessary technological investments and process changes.

Implementing Automation and Integration
To address the inefficiencies, the introduction of automation technologies and seamless integration with the ERP system is vital. Automated invoice processing, electronic approvals, and real-time synchronization with financial databases can significantly streamline the accounts payable process. This technological overhaul not only reduces errors but also accelerates the entire payment cycle.


In conclusion, the case of Business Process Reengineering of Accounts Payable at ABC, Inc. underscores the transformative power of strategic leadership and technology in revitalizing outdated processes. Through the visionary guidance of the General Manager, coupled with the implementation of automated solutions, ABC, Inc. can revamp its accounts payable department, ensuring efficiency, accuracy, and enhanced supplier relationships.

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Leadership and Communication
The General Manager should continue to lead by example, emphasizing the importance of the reengineering process to every department. Clear communication regarding the changes, their benefits, and the expected outcomes is crucial. Town hall meetings, workshops, and regular updates can ensure that every employee is on board.

Investment in Technology
ABC, Inc. should invest in state-of-the-art accounts payable automation software. This software should not only automate invoice processing but also provide analytics for performance evaluation. Integration capabilities with existing systems, particularly the ERP, are vital for real-time data synchronization.

Training and Change Management
Adequate training programs should be implemented to familiarize employees with the new systems. Change management strategies, including incentives for adapting to the new processes, can mitigate resistance. Training sessions, both online and in-person, should be tailored to various employee roles within the accounts payable department.

Continuous Monitoring and Optimization
Post-implementation, continuous monitoring of the accounts payable process is essential. Key performance indicators (KPIs) should be established, and regular evaluations should be conducted to identify bottlenecks or areas for further improvement. Continuous optimization ensures that the reengineered process remains efficient and aligns with evolving business needs.

Vendor Collaboration
Collaboration with vendors is key. ABC, Inc. should communicate the changes in the accounts payable process to its suppliers, ensuring they are informed about the new invoicing and payment procedures. Collaborative relationships can lead to mutually beneficial adjustments and further streamline the payment process.

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