case study Leo BurnettGeared for growth at low Total Cost of OwnershipWith the Maconomy Agency Solution, Leo Burnett has achieved bettercontrol of its fast-changing, complex communications business and hasstarted to reap the rewards from having streamlined its operations.
We will be able to manage more work with existing resources because we will spend less time on administration. Louis Trad, Regional Finance Director, Leo Burnett MENA Geared for growth Maconomy for agencies Leo Burnett Middle East and North Maconomy quickly became an Africa (MENA) is part of the world- obvious option since Leo Burnett About Leo Burnett wide Leo Burnett organization and in Scandinavia and the United MENA owned by the Publicis Groupe. Kingdom already used Maconomy. Dubai is the location of Leo Burnett Leo Burnett Middle East and North MENA’s head office and the center “Our decision to go with Macono- Africa (MENA) is part of the worldwide for activities in the region. my was actually quite easy to make Leo Burnett organization.. because the Maconomy Agency During the past five years, Leo Solution is clearly geared towards Burnett MENA has experienced advertising agencies and offers Leo Burnett MENA is headquartered in tremendous growth.The number of rich functionality for our business. Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with addi- staff in Dubai alone has tripled to In addition, implementation took tional offices in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, 180 and offices have been added less time than a traditional busi- Kuwait, Egypt, and Morocco. in other countries. The office in ness solution due to minimal time Dubai has expanded from one to consuming customization,” says seven business units covering ad- Bassem Aboukhater, Head of IT at vertising, PR, digital services, CRM Leo Burnett MENA. and TV editing and dubbing. Due to this rapid growth Leo Ensuring buy-in from the Burnett MENA set out to look for a organization suitable enterprise resources plan- Leo Burnett’s Maconomy system ning (ERP) solution to help in the went live in March 2004 across all following areas: business units in Dubai and with a business model geared towards • Accommodate and manage getting more countries on board in growth the future.. • Streamline processes across very different types of businesses • Increase understanding of the business for staff outside the Finance group to facilitate im proved job and client profitability • Enhance the control tools for the whole organization2
As we grow, having a scalable solution where you can quickly set up a new business unit and adopt the business infrastructure already in place will be a huge benefit. Bassem Aboukhater, Head of IT, Leo Burnett MENA“It was important for us to obtain Adopting best practicesthe trust and acceptance of our Leo Burnett wanted the best inno-staff for the changes that were vations from specific client teams Benefits Achievedahead, so all the departments to be deployed companywide. Benefits achieved from Maconomywere represented in the implemen- Maconomy made it possible totation team,” explains Aboukhater. implement this idea. Now there is • Less admin time spent on quotation and invoicing through elimination of only one way to submit time sheets double entries and manual work“It also meant that we covered all and expenses and get them reim-the requirements from our very dif- bursed. Standard procedures for • Improved cash flow thanks to fasterferent business areas up front.” how you invoice, how you address invoicingThis kept the final system outstanding payment and howcustomization to a minimum. to gain approvals at different job • A reduction of client write-offs due to faster invoicing and better stages are now in place to ensure documentation of activitiesAccommodate and manage successful job execution, a positive cash flow, internal control, etc. • Support for upcoming regional roll-growth out thanks to the system’s scalableLeo Burnett MENA now has the infrastructureright foundation for managing Invoicing process improvementsorganic growth as well as growth The invoicing process was a • A reduction of time spent onthrough acquisitions. particular focus for improvement. management reports and group Leo Burnett wanted to reduce reportingAboukhater explains, “As we grow, time related to getting the invoices prepared and to eliminate invoicing • Alignment of processes acrosshaving a scalable solution where business unitsyou can quickly set up a new busi- delays that at times made it dif-ness unit and adopt the business ficult to collect payments. Today, all • Basis for higher job profitabilityinfrastructure already in place will jobs are billed as soon as they arebe a huge benefit.” closed or on a monthly schedule. • Better client service with less effort If a job has not been billed for a involvedLouis Trad, Regional Finance while, the account director can see • Better internal control on theDirector for Leo Burnett MENA it and ask why. different processes of an advertisingadds, “We will be able to manage agencymore work with existing resources The new invoicing process hasbecause we will spend less time also eliminated double entries andon administration. This is mainly manual work. Account managersdue to having all relevant client and used to type in lots of text whenjob information in one place, and a providing a quote, which was thensystem of online approvals.” reentered at the point of invoicing. And project managers submit- ted the basis for invoicing to the finance department on paper and this paperwork could easily go back and forth between the project managers and finance staff several times. 3
Management reports that used to take half a day to produce now take me 10 minutes and of course it’s also quicker to answer any follow-up questions Bassel Kakish, Financial Director, Leo Burnett MENA Now, project managers prepare Improved client profitability and Better, faster reporting invoice drafts directly within the service Today Leo Burnett can drill into de- system. Finance only verifies that Leo Burnett MENA now has full tails at the brand and product level there are supplier invoices to justify insight into how time is spent – not as well as into details on contract client invoices and then sends just at the client level but also on specifications, purchases, vendor them out. specific client jobs and non-billable invoices received, budgets, and the activities. actual cost of specific jobs. “We save many administrative hours every month, get our money Aboukhater explains, “Not only In the same way, management from clients much faster, and have does this help determine if we reports have become much easier less write-offs on clients due to the have the right level of capacity to produce because the numbers improvements made to our invoic- and use our resources optimally, for all business units are in the ing process,” concludes Trad. it also allows us to understand same system and are founded on what repeatable or similar projects a consistent data model. Better understanding of cost us. This can help us justify an the business increase in billings for example.” “Management reports that used Today, management but also ac- to take half a day to produce now count managers and other staff Account managers can now pro- take me 10 minutes and of course have a much better understanding actively address potential budget it’s also quicker to answer any of the business and the positive overruns and will be given the follow-up questions, says Financial impact they can make. power to refuse hours if they are Director, Bassel Kakish. “Our client-facing staff now actu- not justified. Before, it was impossi- ally have some control over job ble to dig into details as to whether Short payback time profitability and client profitability hours posted for work on a brand As at any other company, IT invest- and our idea of which clients are were reasonable. ments of a certain size need be profitable and which ones are not justified. is now based on facts and not Aboukhater explains, “Account just perception. We now under- managers can provide better “We expect a payback time of stand where money is made – service to clients – if they want to about two years and that which industry, region, market and reorder they can see what supplier includes our investment in prepar- client,” says Trad. was used, what they paid and what ing our Maconomy solution for was ordered.” deployment in several other coun- tries,” concludes Aboukhater.4