ABOUT CONDÉ NAST
Condé Nast is home to some of the world’s most iconic brands, from Vogue and GQ, to Vanity Fair, Wired, The New Yorker, La Cucina Italiana and more. They entertain, surprise, and empower, leading the way with exclusive access to top global brands. Their work represents the cream of the crop, from the brands they cultivate to the world-leading talents they engage.
Slow manual processes
The lack of automation and digitisation meant that handling and sorting documents was an arduous, time-consuming task. Condé Nast is a massive farm, with vast volumes of data and information being exchanged between global teams on a daily basis. Simple tasks like approvals or signatures on documents could face lengthy delays as employees sought to line up schedules and arrange meetings – slowing down the day-to-day functions of the company as a while.
Limited transactional transparency
The flow of money and products must be well understood to make vital business decisions when it comes to cost and efficiency – be it for simple small-scale transactions or wholesale transfers at a supply chain level. Understanding where the money is going, and for what, helps managers identify areas of potential savings and optimisation.
Tons of paper
Massive businesses often leave even larger paper trails – with secure off-site locations on hire to store the vast quantities of paper documents generated. Even then, these documents faced the risk of destruction, or require extensive processes to identify and pull when it comes to particular requirements. Reducing Condé Nast’s dependency on paper was a major priority for Crown Records Management moving forward.
Crown Records Management was engaged to smoothen and optimise the above processes, with a focus on:
- Enabling Work from Home (WFH) operations
- Jumpstarting P2P cycle
- Eliminating paper
- Reducing manual tasks via automation
Crown offered Condé Nast tools that enabled:
The removal of manual processes to not only save on time – but reduce the chance of human error.
More visibility of end-to-end processes, giving the organisation greater transparency and, therefore, insights.
Digital means global – both in terms of reach and intra-team communication. Boosted communication and collaboration leads to smoother workflows and an optimised workforce.
Greater visibility also allows for greater control over work processes – allowing managers to view and adjust work policies and procedures, giving them greater insight and control over employee behaviour, etc.
Reconfiguring the workflows in place at Condé Nast also allowed us to optimize the process as a whole.
Automated Rule-based workflows allowed Condé Nast to configure their vendor invoice & expense reimbursement approval rules based on 75+ different business scenarios. The employees select the correct approval flow for invoices & claims by answering a few questions at the initiation stage. The rest of the approval flow is automatically carried out in Crown’s system, until the payment stage. Employees and approvers no longer need to remember the approval hierarchy for different invoices, and experience will teach them about number of steps and time required for each invoice under approval.
The solution also automatically escalates or re-routes workflows when any approver fails to act due to absence, or workload. The initiator is kept informed whenever their invoices cross specified milestones, such as Finalised for Payment & Payment Complete. This reduced the number of phone calls and follow-ups.
The accounting team enjoyed the visibility of invoices in flow under different buckets:
- Due for payment
This made planning for cash-flows easy.
All approvals with approvers comments and attachments are stored in the Crown DMS. This trail information is secure and available for auditors to verify whenever needed. The need for retrieving hardcopy records is eliminated, as accurate information including invoice, GRN, Gate Pass & supporting, approvers’ signatures and comments can be presented to auditors in just few clicks. This solution also supported the new-normal/hybrid working, where initiators can initiate invoices from their homes and approvers can accord their approvals online.
Crown revolutionised Condé Nast’s workflow process – but it wasn’t just a matter of convenience, as the results showed. Our solution boosted savings for Condé Nast by $30,000 annually, alongside a reduced dependency on paper by up to 100,000 sheets. All of this helped optimise their processing time, with a 10x decrease recorded in time taken.