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2019 Grocery Manufacturers Association Finance Benchmarking Report

Which finance initiatives are truly worth the effort, and what are the best ways to approach them? These are the questions that PwC, in partnership with the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), aims to answer in our 2019 GMA Finance Benchmarking report.

This report contains the following:
  • How to develop a finance roadmap
  • Initiatives to consider including in the roadmap, based on inputs from GMA participants (such as approach, benefits and lessons learned)
  • Benchmarking of key finance cost and efficiency metrics
  • Data analytics maturity assessment and roadmap

Building a finance roadmap

GMA finance functions are implementing a wide range of roadmaps, aimed at improving their own efficiency, cutting costs and supporting the business. Leading practices for building a roadmap include:

  • A rigorous plan that aligns with the broader organizational strategy, learns from internal experience and draws on external sources and expertise.
  • Business cases that fully map out estimated savings—including ones beyond labor costs—and other benefits to the business and the overall enterprise.
  • Execution readiness that includes engaging with key stakeholders, defining the resource model and establishing program governance with an emphasis on accountability.

“Finance teams are responsible for the firm’s information supply chains driving operational focus to the highest-value opportunities and most challenging risks. It’s also up to finance to set an example for cost efficiency. These goals may seem to conflict, but with the right roadmap, they converge instead.”

—Colby Conner, Partner, PwC

Key roadmap features

When it comes to choosing the right initiatives to include in the roadmap, it is advisable to align closely to the business’s needs, even when considering initiatives that focus primarily on the finance function’s own operations. While many initiatives have proven to create great value, we recommend GMA finance functions consider the following initiatives as they build or refresh their roadmap:

  • Working capital optimization to free up capital resources for the enterprise—and to fund the finance roadmap’s execution.
  • Finance organization redesign to align with the business and realize cost savings via spans and layers analysis.
  • Management reporting and analytics to improve decision making and add value to the business.
  • Robotics process automation (RPA) to automate transaction tasks and free up resources for analysis or project work; the goal is to backfill with robots, not people.

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Consumer Markets Assurance Leader, PwC US

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