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Using intelligent automation to save the business’s finance team hundreds of hours in manual processing

Challenge: Unlocking New Efficiencies

As one of the world’s largest content producers and distributors, Fremantle needs to generate a wide range of monthly, time-critical reports – from royalty statements to stock adjustments – for its global network of partners and clients, creating a significant burden on its finance team and restricting resource for strategic, high-value work.

Recognising its strong track record of using automation to transform the back offices of some of world’s leading brands, Fremantle chose to partner with Arvato to deploy a technology-driven solution that could directly tackle this challenge.

The partnership is playing a central role in transforming our financial services operations. It’s helping us streamline our reporting processes and empower our team members to spend more time on the complex, judgement-based tasks where they can generate real insights and value. Through Arvato’s expertise and close collaboration, we’ve developed a solution perfectly tailored to our specific needs. We’re looking forward to continuing to roll the technology out across more areas of our business.

Gillian Ahluwalia, Finance Director, Fremantle Shared Services

Solution: Boosting Efficiency And Freeing-Up Capacity

Arvato designed an end-to-end digital automation solution that would transform Fremantle’s monthly reporting functions using ProcessAutomate – a solution that combines the business’ back-office expertise with intelligent automation technology from software specialists Blue Prism.

It uses the software to create an agile, virtual workforce able to mimic human processing of repetitive, labour-intensive tasks. It follows rule-based business processes and interacts with systems in the same way that people do.

After delivering a series of joint workshops to identify the reporting processes most suited to automation, Arvato launched a pilot project that would apply the technology to producer share reporting for Fremantle’s London-based divisions and hedging analysis for each of the 30 territories in the company’s network.

The solution integrates with the business’ financial services software and automatically completes pre-designed report templates, all without error and in a consistent and auditable format.

Following the success of the pilot, Arvato automated the firm’s stock adjustment reports, balance sheet and inter-company reconciliations, and the minimum of 2,500 royalty statements it generates every quarter, which, before automation, would have each taken up to 20 minutes to download the data manually. The statements can now be compiled in minutes.

A Bespoke, Reliable And Collaborative Approach

Arvato’s automation specialists and Fremantle’s finance team worked collaboratively to build a bespoke solution and carried out extensive testing to maximise its performance.

With the system successfully up and running, Arvato continues to actively manage the technology, providing support and monitoring to ensure it is consistently delivering against its objectives, while also reviewing other suitable processes to roll the solution out to.

Success: Delivering Significant Time And Cost Savings

The combination of Arvato’s back-office expertise and technology has created a successful and scalable automation model that has generated significant results for Fremantle:

Driving Efficiencies

  • The solution has cut the time Fremantle’s team spends on producer share reporting by 99% and the time spent on hedging analysis by 82%
  • Together, the efficiencies generated in these processes are giving significant hours back to Fremantle to be repurposed on focussing on more complex tasks – time which would otherwise be spent manually processing data
  • All reports are now 100% accurate and consistently presented, further reducing the time managers need to spend on reviewing reports

Consistent, Auditable, Reliable

  • The automation process is fully auditable, ensuring compliance with all statutory and legal regulations

Enhanced Employee Satisfaction

  • The software has delivered improved employee experience and satisfaction among the finance team by freeing-up time to work on more interesting, higher-value, projects and enabling a better work-life balance.