Kao is a leading international company supplying high-quality consumer products in the personal care, household goods and cosmetics sectors. For over 130 years, Kao has been committed to promoting people’s well-being all around the world. They do this through a diverse portfolio of leading brands such as Bioré, Guhl, KMS, Oribe,  Goldwell, Jergens, John Frieda and Molton Brown. Ctac has helped Kao to streamline some manual and time-consuming (financial) processes by using smart workflows in Precisely Automate Evolve.

Rolling out more digitisation

Kao is an organisation that employs around 35,400 people worldwide. “Until a few years ago, we often worked in a decentralised model. Six years ago, we set up a shared service centre in the Netherlands. From the SSC, we assist twelve countries who are streamlining their processes”, says Lars Bülow Jørgensen, Director Digital Transformation Office and Business Services at Kao. “The SSC was set up because we noticed that there were many manual, time-consuming and error-prone processes in our organisation. A problem that was clearly visible, for example, within finance. Due to an outdated way of working, we had little insight into our business and processes ran less quickly than we wanted. That’s why we wanted to digitise and have many of our processes set up smarter.”

As part of this project, Kao started working five years ago with Precisely Automate Studio (formerly Winshuttle Studio) to process large volumes of transactions quickly and efficiently in SAP. Lars Bülow Jørgensen: “That took us one step further, but we were still doing a lot of work manually. As an example, if we wanted to create a supplier, it was a major effort. Employees spent a lot of time requesting approvals, submitting the request and tracking its status. That’s why we decided to take the next step with Precisely Automate Evolve and streamline and standardise repetitive processes by using workflows.”

Long-term partnership

Ctac supported Kao with the onboarding of Precisely Automate Evolve and provided technical assistance to develop the initial workflows. Jørgensen: “Ctac is a recognised expert and Precisely’s main partner in the Netherlands. We have been working together since the implementation of Precisely Automate Studio, and it has been a great experience. Some time ago, we started discussing our next steps. Ctac then mapped out what we were looking for and showed us the possibilities with Evolve. We were very enthusiastic straight away.”

Cijfers van het project

12 sessions

In twelve, three-hour sessions, Ctac trained Kao’s key users and developers in using Evolve and Studio.

4 months

Within four months, Kao had set up various workflows with Evolve to standardise processes.

Greater control:

Clear workflows for approval and validation give Kao more control over (financial) processes.


Ctac’s approach ensures that, with the first phase under our belt, Kao can work independently with Precisely’s tooling.

Step-by-step guide through the process

Kao has now developed various workflows with Precisely Automate Evolve. “We help our internal users through a process step by step – from request to approval and validation. Examples of the processes we have addressed include onboarding new suppliers and processing journal entries in SAP. We have also streamlined processes that are not linked to SAP, such as requesting a lease car”, says Jørgensen.

Kao is in charge of the tooling

It was important for Kao to be in control of the tooling itself. Roy Op ‘t Veld, Senior Data Management Consultant at Ctac: “We provided a number of sessions to train key users and developers at Kao to work with Evolve. Setting up a flow for the first time, working from the theory, is challenging. That’s why we worked out the first use case – vendor onboarding – together. Kao then started working on the next use case. We also assisted them there as necessary. A key factor in this process was that Lars and his team really took ownership. This accelerated the process of learning and applying.”

Jørgensen adds: “The idea is that we will ultimately have fewer manual processes and lower costs, freeing up our people to add more value elsewhere in the business. We are gaining more and better insight into our processes and transactions. In finance, for example, we see transactions that cost us a lot of time, but do not deliver anything. We will be able to tackle these more and more effectively in the future. In addition, we have better control thanks to the Evolve approval process. We know exactly how the processes and systems work and where specific responsibilities lie. This significantly increases efficiency.”

Internal workflow portal

“The idea is that Evolve will eventually become a tool for everyone at Kao. Not just within finance, but for all our processes – including those that run outside SAP. In due course, we want to transfer every form that we have in Excel, a PDF or on email to Evolve. It will become our internal portal for workflows”, says Jørgensen.

Benefit from best practices

“We learned a lot from Ctac during our collaboration. Of course, we have our own ideas, but Ctac is happy to share their lessons learned and best practices. This prevents us from falling into the same traps as the organisations that preceded us. It’s great to have a partner who points these out to you. They also have a lot of expertise, are flexible and are always on the ball. What I personally liked most was that we always had the same contact person. This ensured good personal collaboration and short lines of communication”, concludes Jørgensen.

Want to know what your organisation can achieve with Precisely?

Jamie Broeren

Data Advisor