Good afternoon, everybody. And thank you all so much for joining today’s session on the top five areas for dispute resolution. Today we have joined Mike Thelen. He’ll be the moderator for today’s panel discussion. He’s the director of customer financial services at Land ‘O’ Lakes. We also have joined his esteemed panelists, starting with Jacob Whetstone. He is the director of credit and AR at Danone. Along with him, we have Kim Erickson and Roger Anderson, who are both principal consultants at Optimal Consulting. So with that being said, Mike, the stage is yours.
[0:42] Mike Thelen:
Thank you. I appreciate you guys coming late in the day, the day after the big party. Hopefully, everybody’s been recovering by now and has moved from the partying stage to lots of learning and now we get to move back a little bit later to smart partying. This HighRadius Crew puts on a good show. So we’re going to start focusing on some more learning. We have an esteemed panel here that is going to answer some questions. But I’d like to make sure that we get input from the audience, either. With additional information, you can add to the question of the questions you may have. I suspect you’ve been listening to lots of presentations over the last couple of days. And you may be wanting to know when do I get to ask my questions? Well, I’ll allow for that if you raise your hand. So let’s consider that. First question. Let’s kick off our discussion by highlighting some of the common trends that have been observed in the CPG deduction space in the past few years. So CPG is consumer packaged goods. What are those trends? Roger sitting beside me, I’ll let you go first. All right, I’ll start it off.
[1:52] Roger Anderson:
So it’s been a couple of years I’ve worked actually in deductions directly. Up until the last couple of years, I did work in the deduction world. It’s got to and mess around with them. And part of that job role was to manage a team that manages our post-audit collections and post-audit reviews. So I still think, in this case, she had even been out for two years, I still think post audits are still a big driver. Probably a nice little revenue source for a lot of the bigger retailers out there yet, especially one major one, I believe, probably the biggest struggle with post audits is it’s your policy versus their policy. And most times, you’re probably going to lose the battle, from my experience. I’m sure Jacob and I could probably speak more to that since we’re still working there with deductions today, but that’s my take from what’s still going on today.
[2:40] Jacob Whetstone:
Yeah, and I would just agree with Roger that we see a lot of post-audit deductions coming through, but even outside of post audits, still some of that policy versus policy stuff. We’re seeing a lot of deductions come through from that, especially from the logistical standpoint. So I think what we’re seeing particularly in our business is in the past, customers may have been more willing to work with us to come to more of a mutual agreement. But with the last couple years, especially the major customers are more coming with a hard stance that this is their policy, and they expect everybody to follow it. And there’s not that cooperation that was there before. So we’re getting a lot more fees and fines if we don’t follow their exact schedule, with deliveries with other things. So we are seeing more logistics type fees, and fines are some of that policy versus policy stuff as well.
[3:26] Kimberly Erickson:
I would say just, you know, a continued trend. Of course, part of our focus today is trade. That is just not going away. And, you know, and I think that’s still something that needs to heavily be pursued within organizations to keep because, you know, sometimes we think of deductions as being like a bad thing. But actually, I think most would think it’s probably a pretty good spend from a sales perspective, a little bit more efficient that may be enough invoice. And so I think, you know, that trend is still going to continue and to see that that volume and just the onus that it puts on organizations to how do we do it more efficiently? And how do we run these things through from a not so much from a deduction type or reason? Maybe one other twist to that I can answer the question is just a trend to auto-resolve. Like at the time I started this 18 years ago, we would never even consider doing such a thing, you know, letting a system you know, now with all the capabilities be able to not only try to match but clear. You know, that’s been probably the most interesting, especially the last couple of years because even after we’ve been using tools and systems and so forth, to do more of that for us over The last couple of years is of course, but an increased appetite. Yes, automation, but not just automation. But hey, we might even be comfortable with a resolution at this stage without a hand touch, and a set of eyes. And so that’s something I think all of us are still trying to wrap our head around from a control perspective and other things. But certainly, that’s before us and is so necessary to keep up because we all have constraints about costs. And when we have business growth and are trying to manage that, and we have to keep moving in that direction and work through that.
[5:33] Mike Thelen:
Thank you, Kim. A lot of people in the audience. What are you seeing for trans What can you share with the rest of the group? We might as well learn from everybody here, not just the people up front. What else so transitioning, raising your hand or shouting something out? Angela?
My team has mentioned that there are more and more portals, which in many ways is good. But the negative has been that it’s harder and harder to reach many of these locations. And so it gets tougher and tougher to get information on exceptions. So as long as you can pull something from a portal, it still goes well, but if you can’t, it gets tougher to find out why it isn’t on the portal. Or why are we getting rejected when it’s clear that we delivered the whole load or some of those things? And then the last thing I would say is, there seems to be a lot more discussion in the industry meetings about people moving to software solutions and automation backward. So those are a couple of them. Let’s go to the next one. There’s been a lot of conversation around people management in accounts receivable, that raises this meeting. What would you suggest are some ways in which that production management should be optimized to make it more centric to internal as well as external users. So how can we make our deduction management better for internal and external users? Jacob, you wanna go first?
[7:10] Jacob Whetstone:
So and I’ll tie this back to Ken’s comments you just made about some of the trends. Is that so? Yes, I agree, there seems to be a bigger focus now on resolving things faster to respond to what’s going on in the economy and with our competitors. The kind of our internal users needs to know more what their return on their trade spends is to get it. So for us being able to shift from an internal perspective, what are people who are managing the deductions are doing to the more value-added stuff is a big deal. So instead of them just going in and processing transactions, just kind of doing the match of stuff that should match anyway. So, you know, we expect these trade deductions to happen, there are promotions built, we know that the customer is going to do it. So it should be a pretty easy match, one to one to do that, but it still takes time to do that. And we spent a lot of hours with our specialist just matching that piece up. So where we can automate that or make that easier to then shift to have them focus on the invalid stuff, or some of those higher dollar ones that we need to make sure are handled a little bit differently. But just changing some of that focus to where the people management in the deduction space is more focused on the higher value-added stuff to the organization so that we can get the information back quickly to the business so that they can react and make decisions to better compete with our competitors or to make changes in the market space as needed.
[8:30] Mike Thelen:
It makes sense. Kim and Roger on who’s next, but you guys get a chance to go to other businesses, a number of them over the year and see what they’re doing, what have you seen or what do you learn from that?
[8:46] Kimberly Erickson:
I think probably from the time that maybe I started in this space till now. I mean, still, really the standout thing is the appetite for automation. I mean, I just didn’t know, because there is so much stress. And, you know, like when you go into different organizations, you see some of these same things and it’s just in different forms and ways. But the stress that’s on the individuals looking working like I’m just thinking for me many times it’s a flashback working so many hours. And it’s almost “Give me time.” because you know, it’s not something almost that you feel even compensated for like you’re just pouring your heart and you’re trying to respond to this. And so I think that you know, that the response to that is because they’re not just, you know, organizations are not just being given more to just say, “Hey! Here, add a few more people to make this easier.” So you’re seeing maybe more use of outsourcing outside of that because of you I just have to but of course, then this significant appetite for automation, but in all, it just feels overwhelming sometimes. And so I mean to me, maybe Take one step further, how important it is to pare it down and to get certain initiatives and activities going, maybe in parallel by different people to start chomping away at this and engaging people. Because I think sometimes in our quest for automation, we kind of lose sight of the people and what they’re saying. And maybe not necessarily solving for some of that, as we could be. And maybe some of these things that we’re struggling with could have been surfaced a long time ago that we could have solution for by now because oh my goodness, we had somebody in the group that was doing that very same thing, but they found a solution of doing something else in the tool and now this person has been struggling. We didn’t even know that till, you know, now after a good amount of time. So that’s what I would say stands out.
[10:46] Roger Anderson:
All right. One question that came up yesterday, kind of maybe leads into this one and the next one is a question was asked me yesterday. What do you think of artificial intelligence? And the question was, is it culture? How would it be somebody to be impacted by it? Would it be culture or technology? We’ve come a long way probably with artificial intelligence over the last few years especially now with the autonomous process going on with cars becoming more part of that more yield x is your series taking over your life, you’re always on your you’re connected somehow to the world. But probably in a business where there’s still probably a little price some maybe old school culture going on there yet where maybe they’re not ready to buy into this artificial talent with the auto resolutions and letting the system take over control. They still want to keep your hands a little bit. Technology can take you a lot of ways, it just matters what your company’s back on a hole. People in the right spots are willing to take that leap of faith and just let the system take it on with people’s inputs.
[11:46] Kimberly Erickson:
And maybe make it reminds me maybe you can it’s worth sharing again, in something you shared earlier as far as the people are concerned. And because I do think in the organization as you know, we tend to have the belief that They’re not open to it and are people you know, they’re resistors. And right that and oftentimes just because they think it lends itself to oh my gosh, my job is going to be eliminated in some cases. And maybe that’s where the driver of some of that resistance comes from. But I like how you twisted it. Right. And you had in that next slide, how you kind of showed, here’s the reverse of that, that maybe is what they’re they’re thinking and wanting and maybe demanding. And maybe we need to kind of bring that out. Because I think it’s so valuable. I don’t know if you want to expand on that more, but it was like, Oh, you know, that’s a really good way to look at it. Because we tend to think, “Oh, my goodness, we’re not, you know, they don’t, the team doesn’t want to go that direction because of these various factors.” But, in essence, they probably do. We just need to work through some of the things that, you know.
[12:51] Mike Thelen:
Yeah, just hit on a couple of things. I know some of you were in the presentation earlier, but two points would be we’re all seeing more automation in our personal lives that are our phones, we have AI apps anywhere from, from our GPS maps or ways to show us where to go instead of doing things to this Huva app that we use to get around this thing. And we all embrace that in our personal lives. And then we get to work and we don’t have any automation, we still have to do all this routine stuff. So I think as we talk to our staff, we’re going to find out that they are more open to these kinds of things than you think. As long as they understand that the point of this automation isn’t to get rid of them, we’re still going to need them. It’s to make them more efficient so they can handle more things. So I would just add something different from my perspective on this, as you know, people are going to continue to be important. And I think it’s important for us as leaders to make sure we have open, open access from our staff because I think it’s motivating to them if they can see that you’re compassionate and have some idea of what they struggle with. And also that when they are willing to tell you that they’ve done something successfully. For that, you can thank him. I mean, they should have some pride in their work and be able to notice management cares. So even with all this automation, it still gets back to making sure you connect with your people.
[14:11] Kimberly Erickson:
Yeah. And I think some of that we used to do so much better maybe when we didn’t have automation, frankly, I think we’ve moved away with bringing in our technology partner like HighRadius, right? And we’re partnering with them with some of the key people, and we tend to sometimes leave the teams behind. Yeah, and because we’re kind of thinking we can solve for this, and we have all these things in mind. And we know. You know, before we had a solution provider like that, weren’t we, you know, being resourceful we were asking around, what are you doing? What are you doing? How can we come together? Right and, and that built a lot of good things in the team. And by the time we would put something live or make these little incremental changes. They were accepted because like, Oh, we did it together. Yay. Look at that, you know, it was a fun thing. So I mean, I think that would stand out if there’s a takeaway, at least from my perspective today that there’s nothing more that I think I would encourage because that’s usually in every organization. Really, right, because you have a great technology provider. You have to know-how and if you have, you know, good data that you could bring together and people that are focused on these, but then sometimes the team is who kind of gets left behind. So and that’s who you need to help drive the solution, point out when it’s not working. Hey, if it can do this, can it do this? I mean, that’s what you see today in HighRadius that was a result of that happening and teams in all of these different places that are using it doesn’t matter what module you’re using, right? We kept coming to say, “Hey, can you do this? Can you do this? Can you do this? Can they take us up?” And they said, “Oh, yeah.” And that was what you know, it may have made it more and more magical over the years. I could say, “Oh, my gosh, I can’t believe that’s what you know, it can do.” But if you could get more of more and more of that from the people that are using it and engage them and “Hey, what do you think about this? We’re working on this.” I think the better it is. Yeah.
[16:01] Mike Thelen:
I realize you’re sitting there, and we’re sitting here, but I don’t know about you guys. But to me, this looks like maybe like with a band and the people waiting to come out and dance. I hope it doesn’t feel like it as far as I could tell, as it does tell us that you’re far away. So I want to remember again that you have any particular questions you want to ask that relate anything to anything related to deductions. We do have a hand up. Thank you for being the first one on the dance floor. I appreciate that. Yes. Hang on a second. Well, I get your microphone.
I’m fairly loud, but this will be okay. And the part about the employees so we don’t have a HighRadius right now. And we’re talking about doing a demo with the team now just so they can see it. But one of the concerns where we have is they’ll be thinking, oh my god, they’re gonna eliminate my job. And we want to tell them, no, we need you. We just need you to do things differently and kind of a different role. So I guess my question is, do you have any experience with helping people who have spent maybe even 10 years transactional, moving into more of that exception? How do you move them along that continuum so that you can get them the right skills? Right?
[17:10] Kimberly Erickson:
Well, if I don’t have a quick story. One of the things that I like to relate it to, for people is like the grieving process. Right? And so if there’s an understanding of the stages one goes through whether it’s death, whether it’s a big change in a job, whether it’s something like that, right, there’s a continuum one moves along in that journey. And the role of a leader is to help them identify maybe where they’re at right now and help encourage them through that by asking questions. And because what happens and of course, if you have to be involved and having, you know, a time and one on one time to do that. But I think just even recognition of what happens you know because let me just take you through briefly right? We make a change and especially if they weren’t involved or whatever, that will make a change. Oh my goodness, this is the worst thing ever. It’s that shock factor. So again think of unfortunately like death somebody losing, right we can most of us hopefully all of us can probably relate to that. There’s a shock factor that’s usually there. And then you move that along and then eventually become acceptance and adaptation and so forth. But some choose to just get stuck. Right and so, like when you can help identify that with the individual because sometimes they don’t recognize it for themselves. And then help them by asking questions.
Okay, so if you didn’t do this, then what if you did do this, that one, because when it’s it comes from them, even though it might be something you wanted to guide them to, but because of the questions you were asking, maybe in some cases, we’re kind of leading, it helps. So I would say engaging them but keeping them keeping in mind this continuum that people go through and in the process of especially automation some might be complete resistors that you just have to say this isn’t the right fit let’s find help. “Let me help you find something right because this is where we’re going and we so much want you on this journey with us. We want to engage you with great skills you’ve been doing for such a long time”, reassuring them of all the changes that they’ve made. Because I think the heart maybe the second point outside of that is helping them to recognize that yes, “You maybe didn’t automate something, but think of all the changes that you’ve been through and that you’ve initiated because of your own doing because things you just thought oh my gosh, she made that filing system better you brought some coding to light.”
You know like them and we shared that made it like reminding them that they’ve been going through change all through their career in some smaller or bigger ways. And this is one now “Yeah, it’s gonna be a little bigger change” and prepare them for the shock that they’re gonna feel. Because isn’t that just so reassuring? You think oh my gosh, yeah, this is gonna be shocking. Like you’ve just changed my world. I had a down. I was great at it. And this levels the playing field and then helps them through the rest of that process by asking questions and then maybe having. So there is some, a little bit of finesse, but I think even just recognition to that, and of course, there are lots of other tools that you could use, but it’s communication, asking good questions, keeping them in mind that continuum to keep them moving through it to the best of your ability, and some are gonna stay stuck longer than others. But that was something that I know is one of my earliest experiences, that’s one thing I did well, I did an awful lot of things not so well that I’ve learned the hard way that I’ve now been trying to redeem myself. But that was the one thing that that I think probably helped me personally most as a leader and guiding through a transition like that was allowing the team to feel those things and help them recognize it and say, “Okay, here’s where you are, you are losing something It’s painful because you were so good at it, but like what you’re going to gain and, and let me help you to kind of work through that.”
[20:56] Jacob Whetstone:
I would just say so, I mean, it’s a difficult question to answer. And I think that what works for one person might not work for the other and helping them do that. So you do have to be somewhat flexible about how you approach people and how you do this. But I agree with Kim engaging them as early as you can to help understand the technology that’s going to come forth, being able to help them be involved in the implementation, the building of it, just really involve them upfront, find different champions within the organization that are at that level, and that are respected by their peers and get them to be involved so that they champion at the watercooler talk, all that other stuff, you have those champions, though, they’re going to spread kind of those good rumors about what’s going to happen and going on. And I started as you know, just a deduction specialist a long time ago, and, it is very hard, you just stuck in your day to day you’re just worried about what’s happening to your desk, and you forget that there’s a bigger picture that you’re a part of, and sometimes you don’t see that and I think those people that have been there for a long time, are just stuck in that monotony of just processing transactions. They don’t realize, for us they are part of A/R. Deductions on a piece of that’s the biggest asset in the entire company. So it’s a huge responsibility that we have and helping them understand that and look out of just the day and day and see the bigger picture that they are. And the greater value that they can add as I said, we were able to resolve, spend their time not just pressing transactions to resolve invalid or do some of those other things. And you know, it can be it can bring revenue back to the company, they can pay for themselves, they can get a lot of pride out of doing those sorts of things, but getting them out of that day today, the monotony and seeing the bigger picture, I think helps as well. But again, it’s different for each person, I think you have to be very flexible on your approach to each individual.
[22:36] Mike Thelen:
I think one of the most important questions, the biggest challenges there is, and one of the things you need to be able to do is to show those people what the future looks like. So the people that HighRadius knows how their systems work, and the systems do work, but they don’t always know how people are doing their jobs today and how to share with them, how their jobs are going to work tomorrow. So I got really lucky. And I hired a consultant that was passionate about this kind of thing. That lady over there. And she did all that for us. And it worked out well. And within two months of implementation, we’re already ahead, but she helped the team believe in what the future could look like. And there are lots of others out there. But yeah, that’s a really important thing. I didn’t appreciate it quite as much until we got into it and realized how much we had to convince people that things work, buy into it and bring them along. So thank you for that question. That was a great question.
[23:32] Kimberly Erickson:
And why maybe one quicker, I’ll just add on to what Jacob just said to is about the change agents to the best of your ability to try to get them as part of the team would help because identifying those change agents, but even those that maybe are some of the people that you think are going to provide maybe some of the most resistance you might find if you engage them, they might do the opposite for you. So I mean, that is so important, and very personal in your approach, that’s where I think everybody has a different reaction to change, just like the continuum, right? Everybody’s going to react differently. And some are going to stay stuck. Some are going to kind of breeze through. And it’s making sure you can help them to identify that, to help them through that journey. And again, saying no to those that, maybe say, “Hey, maybe there’s a better fit. Let me help you find it.” Because sometimes you need to do that. So yeah.
[24:27] Mike Thelen:
All right. We want to answer your questions. This is the unconference. We don’t have to follow the script. I like going off-script. Who’s got the next one. We got somebody upfront. I hope Elaine isn’t paying attention. I thought I saw her walk in. Go ahead, ask your question.
And this is a question beyond deductions for you and Jacob. Both of you are in the CPA space but more importantly, are in the dairy industry, which is a very tough and challenging industry where you have to pay for fresh milk within 10 days. In your retailers, you know your customers are paying in 30,50 or 90 days. Kroger, one of them. Right? Your inventories might be between 15 to 20 days. It chilled distribution, which is the more challenging one in CPE. So deductions dilute margins, what else you guys are doing from your office on the customer financial services on the collection side to kind of offset all these different headwinds in that tough industry.
[25:41] Mike Thelen:
Wow, what other things do we do to offset all the challenges from those customers in that industry? That kind of what you’re asking? Yeah.
[25:54] Jacob Whetstone:
Yeah, I mean, it is a challenge for sure with that, so a lot of it is trying to help understand the benefit that they can get from partnering with us. So I mean, you had mentioned Kroger is a very challenging one, try to enforce some of their terms. So we’ve been able to negotiate some things with them. But they’ve given a little, we’ve given them a little to try to offset that. So it’s maintaining a close relationship with our sales team with our top to top getting our leaders talking to their leaders to try to come to some flexibility where we can do with that. But again, a lot of it is just trying to stay on top of that, you know, Roger mentioned some of the posts audits that we do, you know, Kroger’s a big piece of that. So just making sure we’re staying on top of that, and then we’re also not giving anything to them where we don’t have to give anything to them. So staying on top of invalid deductions, staying on top of post audits, some of those other things, but it is a big challenge for that, and especially what their size, and they’re important to us trying to push things on us, but also pushing back where we can.
[26:49] Mike Thelen:
I would agree with that. And the other part of it is much harder to talk about because we can’t talk about terms or pricing or any details around promotional activities in the United States, especially amongst competitors, because it will look like we’re colluding. But those are all levels you can consider, to poll our use to adjust for situations if you feel a customer is abusing you, in a certain way. So it could be anywhere from, you know, how frequently you deliver because of those issues that you have, or, you know, what would pricing look like? Or what would promotions look like? Or how many promotions are available because they need to be used for other things besides the next ad that comes along. So there’s a lot of opportunities with that, that we all look at and so we share that information with mainly our sales team. Our sales team has a lot of say in what’s happening with the customer. And we talked through what would make the most sense, where do we have the most leverage over so both Danone likes have a pretty strong brand. So that does help some butts. The customers nowadays they’re getting so big, so I don’t have an immediate quick answer for you. But I’d sure love to meet you after that. And talk a little bit more about that. That’s a hard, hard question to respond to in front of a lot of people who I don’t know where they’re all working out here. All right, thank you for that. Next question. But get a microphone to you so we can hear from you.
Do you think you could share some experience about how you use the dispute resolution findings, to eliminate disputes, to begin with? Surely in the future world, there are no disputes, you don’t even have to deal with it. That would be nice. Yes?
[28:39] Mike Thelen:
So if you could get to the future of no disputes, I think that we’d like to at least see a future with no invalid or inappropriate disputes. Because at least in the CPG industry, the industry is such that the customers would prefer to deduct instead of us paying them that way they can deduct on their terms in their accounting system. In a way that’s easier for them. So, I know from our perspective, our goal isn’t to eliminate deductions, because that’s what customers want to do. That’s the way they want to get their payments from trade promotions and other things. But we do want to eliminate the invalid ones. So what we’re trying to do is find out those problems quicker, for example, just take a simple one, where we’ve priced wrong and the quicker we can find that out, the faster we can go back to the customer service team, or the pricing team, which happens to be in my area and say, why is this customer having so many pricing disputes? Are we sending out the wrong price list? Or is the salesperson quoting wrong or what’s happening? So that’s the point the way we’re trying to do it is to get the information quicker down to the source of the problem or the cause of the problem.
[29:47] Roger Anderson:
Now follow up on that. That’s the tool like HighRadius, that’s where that could be a big benefit, okay. Because then you can use the reason codes, action codes, all the information to start getting all this data and start seeing “Okay, yeah, I’m starting to see a pattern here with this one customer.” Taking this pricing again has one item, and that is when Mike and Jacob go back to their pricing teams that are selling the gold. What happened to this price? Why didn’t they get it? Did they not get communicated? Or was it not answered in the right systems at the right time? Did we miss their deadlines to get a price entered? That’s where a tool like this would help analyze that data to be able to report back to people to say, “Hey, here’s we’ve got a problem in this area to help hopefully fix it before it gets too big.”
[30:24] Roger Anderson:
And I think that’s what most isn’t. It is to be able to have more time to do that kind of thing to find your recurring things. So you can solve it so you can collect on invalid, but frankly, most organizations aren’t in the position to do that. So because of the way they’re staffed. And so, you know, and that’s I think, like there needs to be so much attention on automation, so you could eventually get there. Because of how important it is. You can’t get in balance and try to tell your team, “Hey, just take you to know, a half a day and like no, no.” This is all sort of screaming at me. He’s gotta get stuff. So he knows where he’s at. So like, right that we’re putting out fires. And so I think, you know, that I think and I hope in time will come so there can be more attention put towards those things. And of course, you know, because that’s right where you want to kind of redirect your resources as you have it. But right now most organizations are just feeling strapped to kind of, to kind of get by so it’s tough that way.
[31:21] Jacob Whetstone:
So just real quick about being able to eliminate some of those disputes or those deductions. So yes, I agree. We got to try to stop those invalid ones and the other ones will come. But we had some people that were asking some specialists that had the same question. So we said we’ll ask your salesperson if they’ll ask the customer if they’ll have their discount off invoice or on invoice however you want to look at it. And so we had a handful that switched and they were like, Oh yeah, we just have been doing deducting because that’s how we always do but we would love to go off-invoice with you and take it right off. And so we had, you know a good amount that switched just by us asking. So just being able to do that. That’s an easy way to eliminate some of those deductions is, is change how we’re promoting and I know that doesn’t work for every customer, but you’ll get a handful that.
[32:01] Mike Thelen:
I think this is a great question. Here’s a way that we can differentiate ourselves, and provide additional value to our company, by finding ways to make it easier for the customer and us to deal with each other. Find ways to look ahead and solve a problem before it happens or eliminate them. So thank you for that question. I’ve been told we’re down to the last bit of our time with our presentation already. I can’t believe how much more fun it is, and we get to answer the questions you want to ask. So can I ask one more little math question or ask one more question? Does anybody have one right now?
I’ll try not to make it too long. But I think from our perspective, the trend that we’ve seen increased in the last few years is the compliance charges. And as you mentioned there, yes. Pretty much unilateral. They do it the way they do it. There’s no exceptions. When I came into this role, nobody was disputing them. We were letting them age and age. And then we’d offset them with aged credits. And I think business viewed it as a cost of doing business, we need to set up an accrual so that we can, you know, pay for it more timely. And, you know, eventually, in our department, we decided to start leading projects to try to reduce the cost because nobody else was doing it at Sony and I felt in my heart that we should be able to be compliant on a lot of these things that we weren’t compliant on and now we are compliant, but some, like somehow, somehow that’s part of my group. Now we’re leading the compliance projects and they are cross-functional. I want to give other people credit, but, you know, nobody was taking the lead before that. And we’ve positioned that to our management as a way that we’re evolving as a department. We’re not just processing claims, doing transactions. We’re trying to prevent, you know, prevent these deductions from happening. And add to the bottom line. And I think I think that’s a good direction for us to go in. But I’m interested. Is it the same at your company? Do you have a compliance department that works on this? Does your logistics department take the lead? Or do you have to sort of push them like “Hey, look at this, this is valid, you know, that kind of thing? Like how much easier? How do you handle it?”
[34:25] Jacob Whetstone:
Okay. So for us, yes, it does reside in our logistics department. And they have been very good about trying to take the lead on this and understand the cost. So we’re working very closely with them to identify and track those deductions. So making sure that that we give them the information that we’re seeing on the back end, and then they’re going, you know, trying to change stuff internally to make sure that we are compliant, where they can they’re trying to have those discussions with those customers. But we have a very good logistics department that has taken the lead because they have certain KPIs that they’re trying to make sure that we’re compliant on different things with the customers, but that’s how it’s working for us.
[34:58] Mike Thelen:
I would say we were in a similar position. to you, It started by our group, constantly sharing with logistics seats are the problems we’re having. We don’t have a compliance department. But it was fine when all of a sudden, Dan, the lead for the sales ops department was there, which is Suzanne all of a sudden started owning it and took it on and started wanting more information from us and started telling us about some things are going to do differently with customers because of how they’re taking those abuses. And you feel really good about that. Because, you know, we saw it and that was our job and we brought it forward and now they’re owning it so it makes it nice. We don’t have to fight it so much. So hopefully you’ll have that luck to keep going and believe in it.
Thank you. I appreciate you guys helping answer all these. Yeah.
Thank you so much to our panel. And thank you all for being a great audience today. And we would appreciate it if you will continue to share your feedback on all the sessions that you attend on the Huva app, just so we can continue to get our sessions to what y’all are wanting to learn more about. So we have some sessions following this one that they’re listed up on the screen. You can see the locations so feel free to ask any HighRadian or AT&T staff if you need help with directions. So thank you all again, and have a great night.
[0:00] Host: Good afternoon, everybody. And thank you all so much for joining today's session on the top five areas for dispute resolution. Today we have joined Mike Thelen. He'll be the moderator for today's panel discussion. He's the director of customer financial services at Land ‘O’ Lakes. We also have joined his esteemed panelists, starting with Jacob Whetstone. He is the director of credit and AR at Danone. Along with him, we have Kim Erickson and Roger Anderson, who are both principal consultants at Optimal Consulting. So with that being said, Mike, the stage is yours. [0:42] Mike Thelen: Thank you. I appreciate you guys coming late in the day, the day after the big party. Hopefully, everybody's been recovering by now and has moved from the partying stage to lots of learning and now we get to move back a little bit later to smart partying. This HighRadius Crew puts on a good show. So we're going to start focusing on some more learning. We have an esteemed panel here that is going to answer some questions. But I'd like to make sure that we get input from the audience, either. With additional information, you can add to…
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