June 8 by Louis Columbus
One of the most challenging aspects of unifying the back and front office of any business is making the diverse systems, processes, people and analytics all align to deliver results. At Healthwise, these challenges are accentuated by how dependent the company had been on legacy systems and manual invoicing processes. It was common for accounting teams to take up to 66% of a given financial quarter’s time just invoicing customers.
Healthwise is a $40M self-funded healthcare education non-profit global provider of health information, decision support tools, behavior change assistance, and personal care planning for the top health plans, care management companies, hospitals, and consumer health portals. More than 200 million times each year, consumers use Healthwise content and tools to manage their health, make better health decisions, and live healthier lives. The company’s mission is to help people make better health decisions.
In order to continue on this path and support growth, Healthwise needed significant changes to their Quote-to-Cash business processes. After purchasing Apttus’ solution, they saw immediate, definitive results including:
Darra Wray, Senior Vice President at Healthwise, championed a successful transformation of many of the company’s business processes that is delivering solid financial results today. She recently shared the lessons learned from her successful transformation of business processes, strategies, and systems at Apttus Accelerate 2016, the annual Apttus user conference held in San Francisco, California April 12th to 14th of this year. Below are the Key lessons learned from Darra Wray’s excellent presentation.
Key Lessons Learned
1) Planning for change is essential for any business transformation project to succeed. Darra Wray provided many excellent insights during per presentation, and one of the most valuable was looking at CPQ as a business process transformation first. She also says that creating or assembling the right team, building a strong foundation including the formation of a scalable data structure and being prepared for how challenging it can be for onboarding legacy business and systems can be. She illustrated that with a fully automated QTC process; Healthwise can share data across multiple business functions, improving the quality of business decisions across the organization, and reducing costs as a percentage of revenue over time.
2) Think beyond the boundaries of Salesforce for business processes, especially those in the back office. Doing this was a must-have for Healthwise as it helped scale the business. Using Salesforce as a business process platform enabled Healthwise to scale customer data to back office systems for the first time, gaining valuable insight into how they could work more productively with customers. It also helped to improve the manually intensive and lengthy invoicing process which was taking 66% of the accounting teams’ time every fiscal quarter.
3) Don’t be afraid of setting aggressive goals that force systemic change into your company’s processes and systems, motivating people to change. Planning for change is essential for any long-term business process transformation to succeed. Darra Wray provided insights into how she recruited the CIO, sales leadership, accounting and finance departments into a single, strong, unified team that made change management more achievable across Healthwise. The unified team was also successful in convincing senior management and the company’s board of directors that the investment in improving business processes was worth it. With a fully automated QTC process, Healthwise will share data across multiple business functions, improve the quality of business decisions across the organization, and reduce cost as a percentage of revenue over time.
4) ERP integration is a force multiplier for bringing accounting and finance information into Salesforce applications, enabling them to scale more effectively than manual processes. One of the most fascinating aspects of the Healthwise journey is how the company was able to capitalize on its Salesforce investments and revolutionize their revenue management processes. Instead of allowing these legacy systems to remain separate and stay reliant on manual processes, Healthwise chose to integrate them to support entirely new business processes that led to higher levels of efficiency, accuracy, and customer responsiveness.
5) Conquering the challenges of the manually-based invoicing processes to serve clients better and make internal teams more efficient deserves to be one of any organizations’ highest priorities. Healthwise produces invoices based on 252 contracts every quarter. The manual process to accomplish this takes the majority of time out of any given quarter, dominating the accounting team’s time. With this process automated, accounting can now focus on more productive uses for their time including finding new ways to streamline transactions and better support the organization.