After our onboarding week wrapped up we had our first week-long function immersion! Taryn Miller, our CFO, opened our Finance week with a very insightful and exciting presentation. We quickly understood that KH is a data driven organization and therefore, any proposition or project must to be supported by numbers. Day one was mostly an introduction to all the different components of the financial department. Leaders across the function presented their specific responsibilities and objectives. Through the different presentations – Revenue Management, Sales Finance and Supply Chain Finance to name a few – something clearly stood out: this is not a typical finance department. KH Finance works closely with the other departments (within) cross-functional teams in order to help them reach their goals by providing real support. By day two, we were familiar with some of the acronyms that would soon comprise our daily basis: MPR, EVA, AOP and ZBB (zero based budget) are just a few!
Throughout the week we teamed up in order to work on a couple of business cases. We spent most of the day in one of the building’s many meeting rooms (all of which are named after KH products!) exploring and understanding the data provided. By the end of the day we had presented our results to Taryn and several members of the finance leadership team. It was very interesting to work with real data and reflect on the opportunities and challenges that the company is currently facing. Through the cases and then our audience feedback, we gained a valuable understanding of the impact of multiple factors, such as investments in trade, productivity, as well as customers’ relations, on the company performance.
One of the highlights of the week was to be able to sit in on several meetings and calls. One of the most interesting was the monthly Finance town hall meeting, in which Taryn Miller gave not only an overview of the financial performance for the past months, but also the actions that will be taken in order to make sure that we accomplish all of the MBO’s (Management By Objectives). The meeting was very transparent; other leaders shared with the audience their MBO’s, as well as their progress. Also, we became “finance shadows” for an afternoon and got the opportunity to follow a finance employee and see in a more concrete way what they do on a daily basis and how his or her team operates. Integrity and ownership are not just words on a wall, but are lived out in the KH finance department.
On Friday we continued our excel training and met up with the KH employees we invited to one-on-one networking lunches. This was a great opportunity to get to know them on a more personal level and learn more about their roles. Our starting class loved the Finance week so much that a few of us decided to continue the fun and meet up at a rooftop bar for some “work discussions” and to enjoy a beautiful Friday night in Toronto!