ElavonSECTOR: Financial Services

DELIVERABLE: Business Service Transformation


Elavon Merchant Services (previously branded as Euroconex), is a subsidiary of US Bancorp and a top four acquirer in the European card payment processing services sector (i.e. companies that process payment transactions between merchants/vendors and the major card companies e.g. VISA, MasterCard, etc.). Having recently purchased Citigroup’s European merchant portfolio and having appointed a new management team, Elavon was looking to integrate and centralise its finance related processes, technology and people from different portfolios and geographic locations into one location in Harbour Exchange, London.

After a period of consolidation Elavon then wanted to relocate all Harbour Exchange functions (Finance, Credit and Risk, Sales, Marketing, Legal, etc) to a new, more cost-effective European head office in Milton Keynes (MK). Zebrazoo Consulting was appointed to make this programme of change happen.

Elavon’s key objectives for implementing this change initiative were therefore:

  • to reduce costs through redesigning and standardising key finance business process,
  • to add value to the business by creating a single ‘centre of excellence’ for key support functions,
  • to reduce costs through rationalising and centralising existing business units,
  • to reduce costs through business relocation and labour arbitrage.

Key Areas of Change:

  • Workforce consolidation, rationalisation and relocation
  • Organisational redesign
  • Process re-engineering
  • Technology consolidation
  • Culture change

Zebrazoo Consulting’s Impact:
As this was a lengthy period of change impacting various parts of the business it was essential that a detailed communication and marketing plan was drafted and implemented to inform and manage the expectations of all stakeholders.

The first part of the change programme was to relocate the existing Elavon management accounting function from Dublin to London. In line with our philosophy [hyperlink to Our Philosophy] Zebrazoo Consulting commenced with documenting all existing business line finance processes. These processes were then reengineered to become the consolidated business’s new lean and efficient end state management accounting processes.

Over an initial period of two months a new team was recruited from the MK area to work initially in London using the new processes and then, during end state migration, take their roles back to MK. Using a combination of business process training and system training, coupled with Zebrazoo Consulting’s knowledge transfer methodology, all management accounting activity was successfully migrated from Dublin to the new team in Harbour Exchange.

After this initial phase the focus switched to migrating all German, Belgian and UK-acquired Citigroup financial accounting and management accounting staff and processes from their Millennium finance system onto Elavon’s Oracle finance system. Working closely with Elavon’s IT team, all finance data was successfully mapped and migrated from Millenium to Oracle. All UK finance staff were successfully trained on the new Oracle technology and future state processes.

With all financial staff now working on Oracle, Zebrazoo Consulting and Elavon’s senior finance team was able to focus on designing a new finance operating model and develop a new homogenous culture that would allow finance to proactively support and add value to (and in) the business. Staff who were unwilling to relocate to MK were offered severance packages and, as before, employees were recruited from the MK area to populate the new structure and initially work in Harbour Exchange.

In line with the business’s drive for improved efficiency, a decision was taken by the programme steering committee to extend the scope of the project and strip out all non-value adding transactional finance activity and establish a small Shared Services Centre (SSC) in Ireland to process all European supplier invoices. Zebrazoo Consulting used its SSC expertise to assist the business in consolidating transactional processes and have the SSC operational at its Irish offices within 4 months of signoff.

New office space was acquired in central MK and Zebrazoo Consulting successfully project-managed the refurbishment and set up of the building. Thereafter the migration of all employees from Harbour Exchange to MK took place over three waves. A new geographical location, new staff and a new a management team allowed the business to break with the old London business culture and establish a new proactive, dynamic and business focussed culture in MK.

Having implemented all the key areas of change the entire restructuring and relocation programme was completed within 12 months.

For a printable PDF version of this case study please click here: Case Study – 2