23rd September 2023

Improving Finance Processes to Scale and Grow

Customer: EIMS

What would it look like to have complete visibility over your business finances? To have debt collection managed swiftly and efficiently, to ensure that any issues are flagged and followed up before they become bigger problems, to be able to conclude finance meetings in a matter of minutes rather than hours?  

This scenario is business as usual for the finance team at EIMS, a global marketing and business development agency specialising in the technology sector, since they implemented Demeter’s process mapping and management platform in 2022. 

Demeter has assisted EIMS to:

  • cut their debt collection costs by two thirds 

  • achieve their lowest ever debtor days, despite tough economic conditions

  • improve financial performance across the board

“As a CEO that’s not from a finance background, Demeter has given me visibility and control of my businesses finances. It’s been particularly powerful in helping us manage processes where staff from different functions need to collaborate effectively to achieve an outcome. In short Demeter really helped my process flow!” Tim Smith, EIMS CEO

The situation 

EIMS is a long-established and fast-growing sales and marketing agency specialising in the high-tech sector, with offices in the UK, Spain, New Zealand and the US. As is the case with most agencies, the finance team need to tightly manage the books to ensure payment terms aren’t stretched out, especially with large enterprise clients. 

After ‘outgrowing’ QuickBooks two to three years ago, the company invested in Navision to improve finance management. They planned to move some finance functions offshore to reduce staff costs, having successfully outsourced other business functions.

The challenges

The initial attempt to move Accounts Receivable offshore didn’t go well, largely because staff discovered that most of the AR process was poorly documented and lacked clearly defined SLAs.

And while Navision is functionally rich, it didn’t help manage process flow, especially when inputs were required from outside the finance team. For example, aged debts had to be manually flagged to an account manager to deal with. Debt collection was managed through spreadsheets, which made the process difficult across a variety of locations and time zones. 

As CEO, Mr Smith had no ability to report without asking a member of the finance team to report to him first. The process was slow, often painful, and prevented the team from getting to the bottom of the biggest issue: who was paying them late and why? 

To add to the challenge, there were scant training materials, which made replacing or scaling staff slow and expensive. 

These combined factors resulted in greatly increased debtor days and a real cash cost to the business.

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The aim

To provide EIMS a way of managing debt collection that gave their CEO and finance team immediate visibility of what was owed by whom, and a way of escalating action through the business to resolve issues more swiftly.

The solution

EIMS implemented Demeter’s intuitive Work OS platform in June 2022 to help manage debt collection. The steps included: 

  • The introduction of a template process that was quick and easy to adapt to EIMS business functions, with easy integration into their existing finance system, Navision.

  • The Demeter team working with EIMS to map SLAs for each stage of the process and to engage stakeholders.

  • Standardised reporting to create visibility of performance vs. SLAs but also the ability to click-down into further credit control detail as required.

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  • The facilitation of successful offshoring, as the new process provided a blueprint for less experienced teams to follow

  • The cost of debt collection cut by two thirds

  • The company’s lowest ever debtor days, despite the kind of economic climate which traditionally resulted in clients stretching payment terms

  • Giving staff more confidence in their ability to decide what to do and when

  • Improved staff training, which made onboarding new staff much easier 

The results were so impressive that EIMS has now expanded the use of the Demeter platform beyond AR to achieve similar results for expense claims, Accounts Payable, vendor approval and maintenance.

Overall, finance performance improved across the board and the time needed for the weekly finance meetings was slashed from hours to minutes.  

If you need to boost the efficiency and ROI of your marketing campaigns, get in touch.