GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Finance has been through a period of change in the last few years, spearheaded by two key deliverables: Moving to a common ERP platform for all business on SAP and moving to a target operating model which defines where activities across the scope of the finance function take place. This change implementation has taken place on a global scale since 2010. The model for transactional processes required a change from processing occurring in an in-country business-unit orientated finance function to a model with basic transaction processing being done by a 3rd party outsource provider in India, more complex, decision related processes being performed by an in-country shared service centre serving multiple business units and business focussed or highly complex activities performed by an embedded business partner team.
For the Nordics Benelux countries, GSK decided to create a multi-country multiple business regional shared services function in the Netherlands – this was the first of its kind within GSK and also served as a test bed for the end phase of the project whereby higher end activities were moved to 5 Business Service Centres (Americas, Asia-Pac and Europe). The RSSC served 6 countries and handled nearly € 950 million in turnover. The set up of the Nordics Benelux shared service centre was an important pilot for the future model.
Niels was engaged as project manager managing the knowledge transfer planning and implementation between the old in country teams and the new team in the shared services centre. Niels was focussed on getting the Benelux countries running and then for the Nordics. Niels devised the knowledge transfer plan and also the tracking tools and ensured that the team were well briefed and motivated during the process. Niels worked tirelessly in managing stakeholders and assuring that the process stakeholders were well informed about the changes required to their ways of working.
After the Go Live Niels took on the role of R2R Finance Manager, managing the daily R2R operations and a team of seven. Niels changed the country driven approach of working into a new process driven team, which naturally looks for similarities between countries, offers best in class solutions and achieved efficiency gains as a result.
During this role he designed a standard closing schedule that was used for all streams involved, including the third party outsource party and the various subsidiaries. He achieved excellent results with the reconciliation of the balance sheet accounts and the back-up material. Next to his R2R role and during stabilization, Niels also took on the role of Risk and Compliance manager, were he was responsible for co-developing the control framework, checking possible SOD violations, sorting out role mapping in SAP via Identity Management and verifying and testing internal controls.
He is a good people manager and coached a developed his team to high performance. Niels has a high intuition for risks during projects and can easily foresee where things can go wrong and makes a mitigation plan. This happened several times on our project and thanks to Niels these risks were well managed and avoided.
With kind regards,
Jane Kelman BSc (Hons) ACA
Head of Nordics Benelux Regional Shared Services GlaxoSmithKline