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Between 1994 and 2003, Lafarge North America was in a growth mode. Through a series of acquisitions, some quite sizable, the Herndon, Va.-based building materials supplier managed to more than triple its revenues, topping $4 billion by the end of 2002. Kudos perhaps, but now its finance executives faced a real challenge: How do you assist a suddenly large global organization–with treasury in one location, accounting at another and field operations at a third–to operate efficiently and cost effectively?

Treasurer Kevin Grant had little choice but to look for new ways of doing almost everything. For the new Lafarge, “coordination and communication are critical,” explains Grant. But to find the time to coordinate and communicate, Grant knew he needed first to embrace another c-word: It was time to consolidate.

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