Cost Transparency Improves the Quality of Decision Making
Belron is a vehicle glass repair and replacement group operating worldwide across thirty-four countries. They were embarking on an ambitious transformation programme. According to Phil Pavitt, Group CTO “Belron had about 300 different platforms in use, and it probably needed just 20 or so. I saw that a new, co-ordinated approach in these key functions would be beneficial.”
Originally engaged by Belron to perform a benchmark and optimisation analysis of IT cost and use within Belron’s US operation, ImprovIT’s remit was expanded to evaluate technology costs across Belron’s top ten international businesses.
We initially benchmarked the IT functions within each of Belron’s top ten businesses. While this provided valuable insights and allowed the transformation business case to be quantified in monetary terms, there was a clear need to pull together a consistent, synoptic view of costs across all countries on a continuing basis.
What was required was an approach that provided a consistent view of costs across several countries on a continuing basis, without the need for excessive manual labour. Adding to the challenge, Belron’s businesses in each country enjoy a high degree of autonomy, meaning there was no consistent approach to budget taxonomy, which complicated the task of consistent reporting still further.
Our cost transparency service offered a solution to the problem. As an initial step we developed a series of data maps that allowed each country’s IT budget data to be translated into a centralised model using a consistent taxonomy.
Processes were then implemented such that an extract of each country’s actual and forecast budget data is automatically transferred to a secure webserver on a monthly basis. From there the data is automatically validated and the latest financial status updated.
Finally, the cost transparency service produces a data stream formatted for input into Belron’s own BI tools, which is then fed back to Belron’s own systems to allow senior leaders to view and interrogate the latest cost data, both on a country level and also globally.
Belron now have a reliable and consistent view of IT budget data, covering all their main operating countries.
The data covers both forecast and actual, and thus provides a view that is both current and accurate. There are, of course, several software packages that could allow a similar outcome, but our unique service is non-invasive, does not require a major software tool to be implemented, and is infinitely flexible. For hard-pushed CIOs and CTOs that want the latest information to make informed decisions without the need to implement overly complex packaged solutions, our approach is unique.
“What ImprovIT demonstrated was a simple and straightforward understanding of our need, rather than trying to add to it or make it more complicated, or sell additional services. And the personnel, the people facing us as a team – we got on with them, they understood us and our culture, and they adapted themselves to it, which was very powerful.”