Case study: Dealing with the flood of information

More operative clout through more targeted information filtering

Challenge

As a privately owned investment advisory company, Kieger AG offers institutional investors and private clients tailor-made investment solutions and comprehensive advice across the entire range of asset classes. In addition to its headquarters in Zurich, Kieger AG is also present with offices in Lugano and Luxembourg and employs a staff of more than 20 individuals.

A challenging mandate

The intent of Kieger AG was clear: come up with an ERP solution that harmonises and simplifies the firm’s internal processes, especially in the Finance Department but also in other departments, in effort to enhance overall efficiency. As a part of this, particular importance was attached to the targeted bundling of information and documentation. In today’s information-driven times, the challenge is not just in preserving data but also in sifting through that input and finding again the desired information.

The ambitious goal of standardising and channelling Kieger’s corporate processes by means of a group-wide ERP system went hand-in-hand with an extensive set of requirements – because the solution had to function flawlessly in several locations, countries, languages and currencies.

Seeking a central system for intricate structures and processes

Replicating/accommodating the business model and specific structures of Kieger AG in a single system is alone a tough nugget. But in accomplishing that, the processes also needed to be designed in a way that a maximum of efficiency and transparency is achieved – indeed, an additional challenge. But it didn’t stop there: those processes had to be carried out with the utmost integrity and security. This point of departure was the determining factor in making it possible for the firm’s various employees, depending on their particular roles, to access defined databases while simultaneously maintaining a clear intradepartmental “Chinese Wall” as prescribed under corporate governance and compliance rules.

There are a lot of standard systems, but rarely standard solutions. PwC proved to us that the development of creative IT concepts based on system standards is one of its core competencies.

Georg Pfister, COO, Kieger AG

Solution

Prioritising, focussing, distributing

In early 2012, Kieger initiated a target search for a new ERP system and in the process of extensive investigations evaluated viable candidates for the supply of such a system. The term “ABACUS” also came into play when one of the company’s distribution partners suggested PwC. After an in-depth analysis of the various candidates, PwC was viewed as having presented the most convincing concept. Already after a first glance at the functional specifications, it was clear to PwC that the wide-ranging requirements for the solution would have to be realised in a number of phases rather than all at once. In close collaboration with Kieger decision-makers, PwC refined the need catalogue for the core departments and condensed it in a way that reflected their key requirements and applications.

Result

Three months, two teams, one great success

In this project, PwC was obviously in competition with other providers. But via a live demo as part of a videoconference, PwC’s systems experts were able to convince the end users at the firm’s various locations, and hence its decision-makers, of the efficiency of the solution and professionalism of advice that PwC brought to the table. There were only three months remaining before year’s end at the time the mandate was granted for the solution to be developed, tested, indoctrinated and introduced. Owing to the size of Kieger, it was possible to achieve this ambitious goal thanks to a competent team of Kieger and PwC specialists and, on 1 January 2013, initiate the core functions of the ERP system. In the months that followed through the summer of 2013, all additional modules were progressively activated and went live for operating purposes.

For everyone involved, a learning process – for each party involved, added value

Although PwC took on this project with a tremendous amount of previous experience and know-how, problems arose that were not even in the normal repertoire of PwC. But through close work with Kieger and a lively exchange of information, the problems and questions at hand were addressed efficiently and solved rapidly. PwC and Kieger have learned a lot from this challenging project and successfully mastered the related difficulties through mutual flexibility.

The fine art of bringing things down to a common denominator

The new system at Kieger AG handles in a harmonised, simplified and automated way the work processes that were previously dealt with manually. As a result, Kieger AG today can function more effectively, gain more general flexibility and achieve resource savings – in other words, the added efficiency that affords the firm more time to devote to its client and core services.

Today, ABACUS functions as a central ERP system for all relevant business processes at Kieger and, amongst its employees, enjoys the reputation of being the backbone of their efforts to successfully implement the firm’s business strategy.

Contacts

Michael Gniffke

Leader Business Software Integration Switzerland, Zurich, PwC Switzerland

+41 58 792 47 74

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