A Prescription for Efficient Finance

Restructuring the finance function at a leading Life Sciences company



The finance function of a global Life Sciences company needed to reduce its costs while maintaining effectiveness, keeping risk in check and integrating a large acquisition. Deloitte helped to design, develop and implement a transformation program that is expected to reduce Finance’s annual operating costs by more than 30 percent.

The Challenge

One of the world’s leading Life Science companies faced increasing cost pressure due to expiring patents and fundamental changes in its business environment. One of its responses was a company-wide mandate to reduce costs.

The finance function was a major cost center and a benchmarking study had shown its cost performance was below the industry average. The response was to identify innovative strategies to reduce costs and to make cost improvements sustainable on a long-term basis. Finance’s goal was to reach top quartile benchmark cost performance levels by the end of 2012 without sacrificing effectiveness or increasing compliance risk.

At the same time, Finance needed to adapt to major changes to the business. The company had recently transformed its overall business model. It was also in the process of a major acquisition that needed to be integrated and was in the early stages of a global ERP deployment. These major changes collectively created significant demands on the Finance function. Finance’s challenge was to support these transformational changes while reducing its own cost structure and managing risk along the way.

Many of these factors steered the finance function toward a broad transformation of its operating model.

How We Helped

Deloitte helped to design, develop and implement a three-year global strategy to transform how Finance operates. Our teams worked side-by-side with Finance leaders and staff on the transformation effort, which encompassed more than 30 improvement initiatives including organizational change, process streamlining and enabling technology. Major activities included:

Strategy Assessment. Conducted an in-depth assessment of the finance function, including a full global baseline report (for costs, activities and FTEs), detailed function- and process-level benchmarking and identification and prioritization of cost reduction opportunities

Transformation planning. Designed a transformation plan that included work stream identification, scoping, prioritization and resourcing

Synergy Capture. Identified synergy opportunities for a large acquisition. Program management. Provided coordination and management support for the entire transformation effort, including program and project management, organization design, change management and communications.

Initiative design and support. Provided direct support for over a dozen of the program’s 30+ initiatives including process design, technology enablement, shared service implementation and initiative implementation support

We offer insight and experience across a broad range of areas – including strategy, technology, tax, M&A and finance -- helping our client overcome the complex challenges associated with its global transformation.


Our teams provided design and implementation support for a wide range of solutions, including:

  • Establishing a Center of Excellence (COE) operating model for Decision Support Finance activities. This new organization will provide centralized management reporting and other decision support capabilities across the business at a lower cost by creating a critical mass of experienced resources.
  • Restructuring how Finance supports global manufacturing, which includes more than 30 manufacturing site around the world.
  • Streamlining the complex process for transfer pricing and inter-company product mark-ups and implementing a new technology solution.
  • Expanding the company’s shared services model to include a greater amount of transactional Finance processes.
  • Standardizing and streamlining the company-wide process for planning, budgeting and forecasting (including process redesign and functional design of a technology solution.
  • Redesigning the operating model for level 2 compliance monitoring across the finance function
  • Supporting a variety of technology initiatives, including: master data management; enterprise application integration; improved tools for planning, budgeting and forecasting process.

These improvements and others are expected to reduce Finance’s annual operating costs by over 30 percent. They also position the company for the future by providing a scalable finance platform that can more readily accommodate acquisitions, divestitures and expansion into new markets.