Lean Finance for a shared service center


PEAB finance and accounting department is a large finance organization with both centralized and de-centralized organizations handling closing for more than 23 legal entities.

The entire organization experienced a high workload due to inefficient processes implying unstandardized time-plans, lack of working routines and non-automated tools. In general, the organization had a transactional focus rather than controlling and analysis supporting the operational organization.

What we did.

The project started in June 2011 with the identification of bottlenecks and non-value adding tasks. This work was mainly carried out through interviews and by having Capacent specialists following PEAB during critical tasks in the closing process. Together, complex processes were mapped and time spent on non-value adding tasks was targeted.

By holding cross-functional workshops with key employees these tasks could be, with the methods of Lean, minimized or in certain cases eliminated. Together lists of improvements were created and prioritized. Quick wins were realized early on in the project, which created both a sense of success as well as motivated to pursue more complex improvement potentials in the organization.

The project covered four main dimensions; processes, organization, tools and competencies. Standardization and 5S was powerful Lean tools that enabled scalability in the organization and along the working routines. Visualization was another Lean tool that was used within the work of mapping the processes. Hence, bottlenecks could be illustrated and found, before these were targeted and solved together.


Capacent’s involvement resulted in a presentation of improvements and targets for change with over 30 achievable initiatives. A draft project plan for implementation was also presented for PEAB at the end of the project. The initiatives included changes in automatization and standardization of processes.

Together with PEAB, a business case with estimation of potentials was set up with large and measurable resource reductions for the organization. PEAB appointed an internal project manager for the implementation of this project and Capacent took the role as an advisor and coach during the implementation.

Today the finance and accounting organization experience a much more evenly spread workload during the month and more time is spent on analysis and support to management and the operational organization. This has also made work at the finance and accounting function more developing and stimulating for the employees and this leaves the future looking bright for PEAB’s finance and accounting department.

Do you want to know more?

Please contact Helene Germundsdotter Öqvist

Telephone: +46 70 558 5391