CESCE reduces costs, makes better investment decisions with SAS®
As a result of the recent international economic crisis, commercial risk increased exponentially. In some cases, entire national economies had to be rescued by their governments. In the midst of this challenging environment, CESCE – a leader in integrated commercial risk management – made a vital commitment to innovation, believing it was imperative to evolve and stay ahead of the competition in spite of other global trials and distractions.
In its quest to reinvent the business of credit insurance with new products and a global company business model, CESCE uses SAS® Activity-Based Management for greater precision and detail on costs and business processes.
Headquartered in Spain, CESCE has a presence in more than a dozen countries and comprises 18 separate companies. For CESCE, innovation is based on creating value for the company.
"Because of SAS, we have access to more information and predictive analysis, which helps us turn data into valuable insights for the organization," says Mariano Arnáiz, CIO of CESCE.
Essential to innovation
With plans for additional growth abroad, CESCE is transforming its business model to become a globally integrated company. In addition to establishing offices in each of the countries where it operates, CESCE wants to ensure that customer-relationship resources are available throughout the organization.
In its globalization initiative, CESCE uses SAS to compute costs more accurately and to know which business processes are most efficient.
With SAS, CESCE can see costs in relation to each activity.
"SAS gives us the ability to trace costs. It also allows us to legitimize what the costs are and how they are charged within the organization – to each unit within the group or each country in which we operate – at the lowest level of detail," says Arnáiz.
Finding the best fit
Before choosing SAS, CESCE evaluated several solutions on the market.
"It was clear that we needed a user-friendly, flexible and agile solution that adapts to the pace of change within the organization," explains Arnáiz. "In addition, we needed a strategic partner for the system's management, and information processing was key.
"We already had a well-established relationship with SAS, and we determined that SAS would be the best partner for our activity-based management needs."
Better business decisions
Unlike the traditional methods of cost allocation, SAS Activity-Based Management provides CESCE with a detailed overview of the resources consumed by each of the company's products and services. This valuable information helps the company make better investment decisions based on a deep knowledge of the business. Advanced capabilities of analysis and reporting help decision makers understand the profitability of each line of business, improve budget control and increase operational efficiency.
Although the solution is used primarily by the Management and Planning Department, the information generated greatly benefits the entire CESCE organization.
As a regulated insurance company, CESCE is legally required to accurately distribute resource-based expenses to only the affected business processes and destination cost objects, strictly avoiding the inadvertent cross-subsidizing or underallocation of related activity and product costs. "With SAS Activity-Based Management, this process of sharing intermediate and/or final cost destinations is much finer and more accurate," says Elena Recio, Manager of the Management and Planning Department. "This allows us to accurately know the profitability of products and distribution channels."
Thanks to SAS Activity-Based Management, CESCE can determine the cost of each functions' activities, and how these charges are consumed by the various products and distribution channels, or other dimensions where analysis is required. "At CESCE, we always had many disparate sources of information," says Recio. "Our SAS Activity-Based Management model got the end result, inclusive of all those information sources."
Additionally, CESCE receives an account of results by channel so each office (and agent) can measure its effectiveness and profitability – an added value for the organization.
"Previously, the information was unreliable, and decision making was difficult," says Arnáiz. "Now our staff is empowered because we have very trustworthy and precise information to use as a foundation for our decisions. Furthermore, the ability to simulate scenarios and analyze data is key for us before changing processes. This simulation capability gives us great agility."
SAS Activity-Based Management also helps CESCE better manage its clients, enabling its agents to know clients' actual and potential values. Regarding the costs of acquisition, management and accident insurance, CESCE now has a more complete view, allowing it to focus on its top clients.
"The solution has exceeded the initial goal of the project and is a key piece to CESCE becoming a shared services-based, regulated, global company," concludes Arnáiz.
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