This webinar talks about a step-by-step guide to make the right choices at different stages of A/R automation. Join Gregory Ottalagano, AR and Credit Manager at Church & Dwight along with Moustapha Ould Ib Mogdad, Market Focal Point Manager, GBFS- Canada, BMS to get tips on designing project implementation roadmap and the parameters to consider while selecting a best-in-breed cloud solution to automate A/R process.

On Demand Webinar

2020 Order To Cash Tech Stack: 5 Critical Choices You Need to Make

Session Summary

This webinar talks about a step-by-step guide to make the right choices at different stages of A/R automation. Join Gregory Ottalagano, AR and Credit Manager at Church & Dwight along with Moustapha Ould Ib Mogdad, Market Focal Point Manager, GBFS- Canada, BMS to get tips on designing project implementation roadmap and the parameters to consider while selecting a best-in-breed cloud solution to automate A/R process.


Key Takeaways

Make or Buy: Building the entire system or buying a plug and play module


  • Factors to be evaluated are budget, ease, time and future scope
  • Buying A/R automation software is better because of lower cost, faster implementation time, and future scalability
Choosing the right platform: On-premise or Cloud


  • Factors to be evaluated are maintenance, cost, risk, security, and timeline
  • Cloud is a better option because of lower cost, easier maintenance, and ready to use data
Choosing the right automation approach: Siloed or Integrated automation


  • Factors to be evaluated are vendor support, user experience, ease of reporting, and scalability
  • The integrated approach is a better option because it improves inter-team collaboration
  • The integrated approach also adds value through better user experience and future scalability options
Choosing the right solution deployment strategy: Phased or One-time


  • Factors to be evaluated are complexity, resource availability, risk and timeline
  • One-time approach possess some disadvantages such as higher risk and longer implementation period
  • In one-time implementation multiple systems will be disrupted at once causing a bottleneck

0:00 Anchor:
Thank you for joining today’s sessions in order to cash tech stack. Let me introduce you to our speakers. We’re gonna have two speakers today on the stage. And Moustapha has a unique combination of expertise in project management, and financial management spanning over 18 years in different industries, especially pharma, brokerage, foods and beverages, and manufacturing. Prior to joining BMS, he worked as a senior credit manager and Financial Services Director of America, Canada, Schering Plough, Canada, Livingstone international and Mahmood coffee services were focused on automation and integration of RTC and procure to pay systems. Our second speaker Gregory is currently the manager of AR and the credit at Church & Dwight. Greg has over 40 years of credit risk domestically and internationally, accounts receivable and addictions management experience. He’s experienced also included distribution, customer service, and logistics. He has worked for General Electric, Feller Corp, Samsung, and Novartis. Please give them a hand. Greg, A warm welcome to the stage. Gentlemen, the stage is yours.

1:24 Gregory Ottalagano:
Morning. So, first of all, I want to see a show of hands. How many people are using HighRadius right now? Okay, and are you happy with it? Okay. How many people were here for the first time for the Radiance conference? Okay, join yourself, right? They put on a great show, and I think two people from HighRadius for doing that. So we’re going to talk about the five critical choices you need to make when you’re implementing HighRadius, product and, you really have to know what you’re doing. Okay, you’re building a perfect beast, in my eyes, when your credit management, you know, you want something that’s going to help you, it’s going to make you more efficient, it’s going to make your job a lot easier. It’s going to give management better reporting, and to know where you’re going. I mean, yesterday’s speech by the CEO of the company was spot on. I mean, you got to get management, you know, a vision of what is going on in your department. Okay, and quick cash flow is extremely critical, and my company 25% of everybody’s bonuses is based on cash flow. So my job is pretty critical. And I want to know I need to have management, know what we’re doing, what are the issues, what issues we have, and where we’re going with it. So when you’re designing the product, you really want to go – What’s your endgame? What’s it? What do you want it to look like in the end? Okay, you’re gonna look at it and go What do I know and, but you know where you want to be, you know where you want to be with the product so it’s critical that you know that you set that up, you know that right from the beginning, you have a vision.

3:20 Gregory Ottalagano:
You know, really understanding and doing – excuse me I’m having a brain cramp.

3:34 Gregory Ottalagano:
So when you’re implementing a product you want to do this with as little disruption as you possibly can. Okay, make informed decisions. monitor your progress, and also keep your contingency plan in place. So with HighRadius, they really do a good job and pride in helping you with project management. So it’s critical that you know where you’re going, you know how you know, what you want to do with the end game? And really I mean, it’s going to be a little bit of a project. But if you understand what you’re doing, and take your time, you will be successful.

4:18 Moustapha Ould Ibn Mogdad:
What is the question that you should ask yourself before any transformation? There are a few questions that are very important to all of us before we implement any project. Based on other people’s experiences, you will learn from them for sure. But at the same time, you have a few challenges that you have to go through by yourself. And when the best for you, that’s mostly the question that everybody will ask, “Do I need to build an entire tool in-house or do I need to buy a bolt-on software as the solution for me?”, the fact is the first decision that needs to be taken is – whether you want to build an entire solution for you, or you want to start from scratch, you have to think twice. By doing a survey, most of the companies they build better than they buy. And when we say the build it’s mean that the use of existing software sometimes or use an in house build from scratch, we will talk about that later on in the presentation that we call the Big Bang solution. There are a few factors that you have to take, a major factor that you have to take into consideration during the evaluation of your choice. And Greg, and I, we went both through some other companies, and we know how it’s difficult when you don’t put into place this factor, what will happen to you next? It’s trying to solve a chaotic situation and trying to solve issues that have come along in a silo environment. The first thing is the budget. And by talking about the budget, what’s the cost involved? Second is what you will be able and easy for you to do. The third is the time in which the approach will be delivered and value faster. And the last one and not the least is the future scope. What are your future scope and you have to wait for it all of them before you take any decision to build or to buy?

6:41 Gregory Ottalagano:
Okay, so the build versus by you know, how many people are using SAP? Okay, Oracle, okay. Anything else?

6:54 Gregory Ottalagano:
So build versus by you know, obviously when you deal with SAP Or any other ERP system you know it’s a task to try to change something. And when you look at building it in-house, it’s going to be months and months and months. You got it, you got tickets, you got everything and it’ll drive you crazy. And sometimes the focus from your IT department is not the same focus that you have if you want to get this thing in as soon as possible. So when you’re looking at the build versus buy, well, what’s it going to take for me to do this in-house? Recently, I had a new SAP expert come into our building. And when I showed him HighRadius and he goes – “Well, I could do that in SAP”. Well, no you can’t. Okay, you can’t do everything that HighRadius is offering you to know and their product. To do it in-house it just impossible. You know if you want to change a letter, you have to put a ticket in you know in the system. You know, tickets will drive you crazy. It’s one of the worst sounds I have ever heard in my life and ticket, okay, or silo. Okay, we have a lot of silos thinking inside of companies. And I’m sure you experienced that because one hand doesn’t know what the other hand is doing. So you know, you rather buy it and build it is what really what I’m saying because you’re going to get a lot more for your money, and you’re going to get a lot faster.

8:30 Moustapha Ould Ibn Mogdad:
So choosing the right platform based on the cost involved is a fact that any software that you will buy, it’s based on your cost. Now the definition of the cost depends on your management, some companies have the pockets of companies, they have a small pocket, okay? And I’m not here to judge any company by any means, but I know, cost – it’s the most important thing. You should be clear about the hardware and the IT infrastructure upgrade that will be needed for the project alone and the maintenance and implementation required. And on-premise or cloud, it’s most of the people ask in the financial side of the company and the answer to it, yes, you have to go on the promise and not on Cloud. Why we will talk about that later on, there is a factor for that. And the factor to be evaluated while making these choices is far as the maintenance, the cost, the risk and security, and the timeline. If you combine all these four major parameters, you will be able to depend on which one of these is more important to you to make an informant and the decision.

10:06 Gregory Ottalagano:
Okay, on-premise or versus the cloud, obviously the cloud is a lot easier to work with. On-Premise, you’re probably going to have to go through some gyrations to get things done a few more keystrokes. With the cloud, you have a lot more functionality, you can easily move through the cloud. And you know, you know, the pricing for, for, for the, for the, excuse me, the pricing for on-premise, and the cloud is a vast difference. And you’ll see that later on in the next slide. So you’ll see that 75 77% less to implement the cloud and do it in-house. I mean, that’s a big, big, big number. You know, and then you are crazy. Your management is crazy to try to say we could do that in-house. And we’re going through a whole bot thing right now my company. And when the bad guy came down and sat in my office and said, well, where can I help you? And I said, I said the word hi radius, and he goes, That’s enough. That’s enough. He goes, I know where you’re, what you have and what you’re doing. It’s a great meal. So to do it in houses is kind of like crazy.

11:33 Moustapha Ould Ibn Mogdad:
The most important thing is to think about the bigger picture, our cycloid processes the right solution for you. And there is a fact about it. That once you start the automation, automating the different process with the bolt-on cloud solution to bring up the efficiency, it could mean multiple siloed process and this is right And what do we mean here by the siloed process is during the process of mapping for your project, you have to go by each one of them to make sure that you can integrate it at the end properly. Now, trying to integrate everything at once, it’s impossible. Remember, Rome was built stone by stone, not built in one day. If you try to build the whole software in one day, you have a receipt for failure. And I’m talking about my own experience through different companies that I work with when you go and try to implement software that you just bought from somewhere and you said this software will be the solution for me. That’s another disaster that you will be facing and the failure of your carrier. So as a credit responsible and as a manager or future manager, I don’t know if you are the most important things When you do your processing, you have to do it siloed for your right solution, and you take it from there by going through the factor to be evaluated while making your choices. The first one is vendor support. Very important. If the vendor does not have any team support, forget it. Okay, if the team support is not signing what we’ve called the SLA, the service level agreement, forget about that. If the oil is not signed, forget about that, too. This is three for me when I look at it, most importantly, with any company, because I know there are a lot of companies doing outsourcing somewhere out of their location. And if you don’t have that support available, at least 24 seven, I said at least 24 seven. If they don’t have that support, then you just go into a disaster. The second is the user experience. Which experience you have would be more interesting to both company’s internal users and customers to have that experience. The third one, its ease of reporting, there is no possibility of taking care of your reporting and playing with the data. Then there is a complication that will come after because you will do all the reconsideration manually, and the scalability, which of the two would be a better fit for your long run?

14:31 Gregory Ottalagano:
Okay, silo versus integrated. To me, the silo is a really bad word. You know, in most companies, you have a lot of siloed thinking inside your company. Customer Service doesn’t know where credit’s doing credit doesn’t know what sales are doing. You know, everybody’s just concerned about their own little world. You know, so, you know, getting them to integrate it is a tough task. With this bolt-on system; with the HighRadius system, you’re going to get some cross-functional integration naturally, you know, you’ll get emails, your customer salesman will know where you have an issue. So it’s a great tool to use, okay? And you know, your customers are going to see the difference too. You know, when you’re calling on a customer, you want to know that the customer didn’t pay you the invoice or didn’t pay you the invoice in your system; Now, you may not know that okay, but the customers will appreciate you more and you may not know that right away, but you will over time. So, silo versus integrated integration is key to implementation. So you really need to understand that.

15:57 Moustapha Ould Ibn Mogdad:
Is it easy for a company to settle in on a standalone software solution that fills a particular business requirement? This question comes along with every software that you want to implement. The variabilities of integrated systems of silos any day for a better business solution. That’s the verdict. It’s based on real metrics that were proven and done through a lot of surveys. We have food for thought here, while working with more than one solution provided for A/R automation, how should you address conflict rising between the two different systems? That’s the question.

16:51 Gregory Ottalagano:
Does anybody want to answer quickly?

16:58 Moustapha Ould Ibn Mogdad:
Don’t be shy. (Audience Inaudible)

17:09 Audience:
In fact, there are a lot of factors here to consider depending on which organization or dimension you are working in as you just mentioned that an integrated system is a best and preferred solution. Therefore, if we are inviting more providers that means, instead of having one solution if we invite more solutions then there will be a lot of technical as well as operational difficulties, technical difficulties could be there will be unnecessarily for having a lot of interfaces across different systems and That will raise more tickets as you mentioned. So that is one thing. So that will eventually impact operation. Another thing is scalability as well as the evolution of how those vendors or providers are evolving over time and it will require more training and users will have to use different systems for related activities, etc. So there are so many things; instead of going into so many systems – better having one system. But having one system with the best of everything is something sometimes becomes a dream. So we have to balance between these two things: where do we go with costs, return benefits, etc.

19:03 Moustapha Ould Ibn Mogdad:
Good. Anyone else wants to add something? There is no right or wrong answer by the way. (Audience Inaudible) What was the question? Sorry? What do you say?

19:37 Gregory Ottalagano:
Yeah, so you really have to decide what’s best for your business. You know, whether it’s in-house or it’s a bolt-on system. You know, it’s got to be an informed decision. You know, and you look at all the pros and cons. You know, what, where you want to be and then I keep saying that, where do you want to go? Okay, if it’s not doing for you right now. Then you need to move off of the diamond and go forward with something else. You know, for me the product, you know, being in credit collections for decades, I won’t say how many decades. But I, you know, this is euphoria for me, you know, seeing something that’s going to work for me, it’s going to make my job a lot easier reporting visibility into where my issues are, and to be able to head off any issues that you have, that you’re having with a customer. So I think those things are really important to really understand

20:40 Moustapha Ould Ibn Mogdad:
And we’ll go very quickly because we are running out of time. The question we all ask ourselves here is when the phases versus the Big Bang comparison look like? You have the Big Bang approach – Will we ever be ready to start? Or the phased approach – Will we ever be able to finish this? There are a few factors that we have to take into consideration when we making the choices between the big band and the face. One of the first ones is the complexity. And I’m going to go through them very quickly. The second is resource availability. The third one that there is. And the fourth one is the timeline. And obviously, the last one, the timeline is the most important because if you have the board telling you that you have four months to implement the project, you can raise your hand and say – no, I cannot do it in a four-month period. Don’t try to justify it because after that you will lose your job. So make sure that when you answer to the board, you tell them clearly four months is not possible to implement any solution for credit management – at least one year.

22:04 Gregory Ottalagano:
So, for me, the phase versus the big bang the phase works for me, you know, because it’s how HighRadius’s working, but it was we implemented the cash application cloud and HighRadius said, well, it’s going to take you three months, you know, will take us six months. Okay? And the reason why we took six months is that we tested it, we want to make sure that we’re building the best for ourselves. We want to make sure that it’s what we make us because if you don’t, you’re going to leave a lot of things on the table. A lot of people make the mistake of, well, SAP does this for me, SAP does that for me. They try to make HighRadius what SAP is and that’s not the right thing to do. The right thing to do is look with SAP or what HighRadius has to offer and then – what can I hate? What is a better way of doing this? We can use this I mean it. So it’s really, it’s what you make of it. You know, and a lot of people don’t think that way. It’s what SAP does for me? I want to make it do that. And that’s not the right way to do it, you really have to go look at what so what HighRadius has to offer and then fit that into your business plan.

23:29 Audience:
How much of the percentage was customization? You guys with the cash application versus out of the box, you can run with it? Did you find that when you address that upon that kind of dirty process coming up? So the downstream of the organizations benefited from that investment really able to spread that across the organization? enterprise investment?

23:55 Gregory Ottalagano:
Yeah. Out of the box is pretty good. I mean, it really is impressive. And they have a lot of, I’m in the CPG industry. So there, they have a lot of the stuff that you’re looking for already in the box. So there’s not too much customization. I mean, when you’re building like a cash application, your deductions are coming in, you want to make sure you code those deductions for reason codes. So downstream, the people handling the deductions can recognize what those deductions are, which was important for us. We were 100% on unidentified deductions coming in. Now 90% of the deductions coming in are coded. So that saved big, big time on our end for five hours easily for each department. So I mean, it was quite impressive, but again, you know, we wanted to make it work with what we wanted. You know, we want to make sure that you know, these deductions are. So it was sort of like, you know, you have to build, you know, there’s no doubt you have to build it, they’re not going to tell you what that means they will tell you what to do, but it’s, you know, you’re telling them what to do and they’re gonna make it fit. Trust me they do a really, really good job of meeting your needs.

25:23 Audience:
Greg, would you like to join my sales pitch meetings?

25:30 Moustapha Ould Ibn Mogdad:
Okay, we’ll go to the question sessions, because I’m sure there’s a few of you who have some questions. The presentation, we can send you after the presentation. But the most important is the question because you have us HighRadius or you will be using the higher ages, whatever system that you will be using in the future. So let’s open the q&a session that will be more useful for all go ahead, please.

25:55 Audience:
So I can imagine that you already had a system in place to get to the outcomes you’re after. And HighRadius, you know, was a way for you to get there quicker, faster, more efficiently, as you mentioned. But how did you make the business case to your leaders that – now was the time to do it? So yes, there’s the efficiency savings and the people savings, but let’s say they’re like, no, I need more than that. You know, why now? How did that pitch go?

26:24 Gregory Ottalagano:
Well, I mean, you know, for me, you know, it was we were, oddly enough Church & Dwight was one of the first companies to implement HighRadius back in 2010. So when I walked in the door at a Church & Dwight, they had a very old version of it. So I said, Well, do you know but they have a cloud version, it’s going to make our lives a lot easier. And, you know, of course, you go through the whole business case, what’s going to save you what it’s going to cost you. You know, to me, in our department, they probably said, save those four hours a day. You know, just by going into the cloud, because it was going to make our jobs a lot easier. That was a win right away. You know, so when you present that to management, and of course, the next word is – but what are you going to do with those resources now they have more time? Because, you reallocate the resources, so to speak, and we are able to do you know, more with a lot less, and Church & Dwight, they were a very new company. And so everybody works hard. So to me, my model is, you know, I don’t want to work harder, I want to work smarter, you know, so that’s the key, you working smarter and became, if there’s a tool out there that you can work smarter with, you should be doing it, I only use the words fiscal responsibility. That’s my fiscal responsibility to the company to make sure that we’re utilizing any tool out there that’s going to make our lives a lot easier, make the company more profitable.

28:10 Moustapha Ould Ibn Mogdad:
Thank you.

28:13 Anchor:
Thank you very much, everybody.

Gregory Ottalagano

Manager, AR and Credit
Church & Dwight

Recently I had a new SAP expert come into our building and I showed him HighRadius and he goes, “well, I can do that in SAP”. Well, No! You can’t. You can’t do everything that HighRadius is offering to do it in-house. It’s just impossible.


Moustapha Ould Ibn Mogdad

Market Focal Point Manager-OTC
Bristol Myers Squibb

If your vendor does not have any team support, forget it. If the vendor is not signing the SLA (Service level agreement), forget about that. If the OLA(Operational level agreement) is not signed, forget about that too. I know there are a lot of companies doing outsourcing somewhere out of their location and if you don’t have their support available at least 24x7, I said at least 24x7, then you are going to a disaster.


There’s no time like the present

Get a Demo of Autonomous Receivables Platform for Your Business

Request a Demo

Request Demo Character Man