Case Studies – Commonwealth Bank



Case Studies

Commonwealth Bank


Customer Profile

Commonwealth Bank is Australia’s largest bank by market capitalisation and the country’s leading provider of integrated financial services, including retail, premium, business and institutional banking, funds management, superannuation, insurance, investment and share-broking products and services. Commonwealth Bank is one of the most well-known and trusted brands in Australia.

The Challenge

In 2008 Commonwealth Bank acquired BankWest, a subsidiary of the Bank of Scotland. While the acquisition presented enormous opportunities for the Bank, significant work was required to integrate the finance and procurement operations of the two organisations.

When Bloom was initially engaged, the two banks were operating under entirely different organisational structures and the processes and systems to support these businesses were not integrated with one another. This meant that two separate procurement teams were purchasing and transacting completely independently.

Senior management within Commonwealth Bank were eager to leverage the combined purchasing power and back office efficiencies that the acquisition of BankWest presented. This project was highlighted as an enormous opportunity for cost savings for Commonwealth Bank's procurement team. Before the strategic work could take place however, the company needed to consolidate its purchasing actions and systems into one centralised operation providing detailed visibility of spend across its entire operation.

The Solution

Bloom provided pragmatic procurement advice that facilitated Commonwealth Bank’s decision to deploy Ariba/PeopleSoft Finance and Procurement systems into BankWest, ultimately moving both Banks onto the same procurement self service platform. This move would centralise procurement data and enable the bank to gain visibility of its spend and contracts across both businesses.

Commonwealth Bank elected to engage Bloom's assistance on this project, utilising our deep technical knowledge of the Ariba platform we advised the bank on best practice and customisations for this critical deployment.

Bloom began by investigating all aspects of the project with CBA/BankWest personnel in Sydney and Perth (BankWest’s original headquarters) to make sure the new solution would meet the needs of both organisations and had the capacity to support Commonwealth Bank’s future plans for growth and expansion.

Bloom provided expertise to the bank to advise and support on all matters relating to the functional process design, change management, end-user training and user acceptance testing of this technology rollout.

A critical part of this engagement was ensuring the politically sensitive transition away from BankWest’s legacy iProcurement/ORACLE was as seamless as possible. Bloom took a measured approach to ensure that staff were adequately trained in the new system and that data integrity was maintained through the transition away from the now redundant ORACLE platform.

The Results

The new Ariba procurement platform was rolled out to BankWest in 2 phases. The initial rollout was for contract labour solution. The deployment of this technology, which Commonwealth Bank was already utilising in other parts of it’s business, took less than four months and enabled the decommissioning of BankWest’s legacy sPro Contingent Labour procurement system. The decommissioning of this system allowed the bank to realise savings in excess of $76,000 AUD a month.

Shortly after this initial success was recorded, other categories of goods and services were moved across to Ariba. Within a six month period Bloom had delivered solutions for a number of the bank’s critical procurement spend areas including Office supplies, IT Hardware/Software, Print, Marketing and Consulting Services.

The second phase of the project ran in parallel to an ERP Finance upgrade project and was an enabler for the business to claim further benefits from decommissioning the incumbent Oracle e-business suite.

Both phases were delivered on time and under budget. The Procurement Systems Integration project has been held up within the bank as a model of cross-organisation collaboration with an integrated team from both BankWest and Commonwealth Bank contributing to the successfully delivery. By capturing all procurement activity in one system, BankWest were able to leverage more favourable contract terms already negotiated by CBA. Infrastructure and support costs have also been slashed as only one platform now needs to be maintained.