AI-Driven Centralized A/R Operations

BlackHawk’s Digital Transformation Journey

  • 60% Increase in Overall Productivity
  • 50% Reduction in Team Size
  • 95% Faster Dispute Resolution
Cash Application Cloud
Deductions Cloud
Business Transformation Stories

The time that we’ve saved using cash application is incredible. Earlier we had four full-time employees on those ten business units, and now we’re down to just two full-time employees.

Cindy Scott
Senior Manager A/R & Billing
BlackHawk
Challenges
How did HighRadius help
Impact

Challenges

The BlackHawk A/R team consisted of 7 FTEs managing ten business units. The company processed over $150K per year, 75% of which was electronic payments. BlackHawk had critically high deduction aging with over 2000+ line items that were more than two years old, and over 100+ line items per deduction.
BlackHawk was looking to utilize technology to revamp its receivables operations to address its challenges. The A/R team faced significant challenges due to the lack of a standardized workflow.

Challenges in Cash Application

Slow Cash Application for Prepayments

The BlackHawk A/R team was facing an acute challenge of slower cash posting for prepayments. The payments, which were received through ACH/Check, used the order number as a reference. Due to the lack of a standardized process, analysts had to manually download remittances from various sources and match them against the order number. After matching, they applied to cash and manually released the orders, resulting in a slower cash posting and a poor customer experience due to a long cycle.

Payments Received with Non-Invoice Reference Numbers

Out of all the payments BlackHawk received, over 39% had either incomplete or no remittance at all. Analysts spent a significant amount of time manually applying rules to find invoices. They often had to reach out to the customer to be able to match the correct invoice. The manual effort needed for non-strategic tasks had a domino effect on the team’s overall productivity, which resulted in a negative impact on downstream cash flow.

Payments with Incomplete or Missing Remittances

Out of all the payments BlackHawk received, over 39% had either incomplete or no remittance at all. Analysts spent a significant amount of time manually applying rules to find invoices. They often had to reach out to the customer to be able to match the correct invoice. The manual effort needed for non-strategic tasks had a domino effect on the team’s overall productivity, which resulted in a negative impact on downstream cash flow.

Challenges in Deductions

High Volume Per Deduction

BlackHawk’s deductions team was struggling terribly. They had thousands of pending deductions aging for more than two years and over 4,000 total deduction line items. They also had over 100+ line items per deduction buckets, which is very high compared to the standard.

No Workflow For Deductions Management

BlackHawk lacked a standardized workflow for deductions management. This resulted in analysts using their independent processes which made internal collaboration more difficult due to inconsistency. They handled the entire deduction management through spreadsheets, making it highly error-prone and time-consuming.

Lack of Visibility into Performance

Managers at BlackHawk did not have any visibility into the deductions team due to a lack of a structured process. The absence of a performance reporting mechanism resulted in zero accountability, lack of visibility into long-term goals, and poor decision making.

ABOUT BLACKHAWK

Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc. is a privately held company operating in the prepaid, gift card, and payments industries. It sells branded physical and digital gift, phone, prepaid debit, and incentives cards online and through a network of global retailers.

INDUSTRY

Finance & Insurance

HEADQUARTERS

Pleasanton, California, United States

REVENUE

$1 Billion

PRODUCTS

Cash Application Cloud
Deductions Cloud

Cindy Scott

Deductions were handled poorly. There was an incredible lack of visibility, management, and process. It was an area of our business that needed significant attention.

Cindy Scott
Senior Manager A/R & Billing
BlackHawk

How did HighRadius Help

The AI-powered Cash Application Could & Deductions Cloud helped BlackHawk increase their employees’ productivity by over 60%. Implementation of automation helped the A/R team eliminate clerical tasks and focus on high-priority tasks. They were able to move towards a faster cash posting mechanism and move beyond manual reporting towards automated reporting. This helped create visibility in their process and improved cash posting hit rates.

Deductions Cloud

Automatic Data Aggregation

By leveraging automation, BlackHawk was able to auto-capture PoDs and BoLs from carrier portals, and emails linked to the corresponding open deduction. This provided analysts all the information related to the deduction in a single place, acting as a single source of truth. Deduction Cloud also helped BlackHawk eliminate the time-consuming manual data aggregation.

Automatic Trade Deduction Settlement

Automatic data aggregation helped Blackhawk with faster research for trade deductions, which led to a seamless trade deduction settlement. The solution was able to verify line item numbers, SKU-level line items, group-level line items, and automatically match them with the promotion ID. This led to a significant reduction in the number of open line items and escalations.

Automated Correspondence with Internal Stakeholders

Deductions cloud provided Blackhawk with an automated and structured workflow, resulting in a seamless cross-functional collaboration for deduction across teams. This led to streamlined inter-department communication for quick approvals. In addition, analysts could automatically post denial correspondence to customer web portals for easier notification and communication.

Insightful Reports & Dashboards

The team achieved greater visibility and improved insights into the overall deductions process. This directly resulted in greater accountability, performance tracking, and analyses of customer behavior. Robust reporting mechanisms within the solution made it easy for managers and executives to identify gaps in the process and take a data-driven approach to decision-making.

Cash Application Cloud

Straight-through Cash Posting

AI-enabled Cash Application Cloud helped BlackHawk to apply cash faster with minimal human intervention. Even in prepayments the solution could automatically download remittances from various sources, match them with the corresponding order number, and apply cash. Automation helped in faster and accurate cash application which led to faster order releases, resulting in an improved customer experience.

Automated Invoice Matching

With the HighRadius solution, the A/R team at BlackHawk automatically matched invoices with payments, even in exceptional scenarios like checking against non-reference numbers. An intelligent invoice matching mechanism resulted in automation taking over the heavy manual workload from analysts. This helped them focus on other strategic tasks.

Auto-Identification and Submission of Remittance in No Remittance Scenarios

In no remittance scenarios, the Cash Application Cloud automatically applied pre-defined strategies to find and match the payment. The solution also gave analysts the ability to send automatic correspondence to customers. With Cash Application Cloud, BlackHawk avoided the negative effect of downstream cash flow, saved time lost in manual effort, and reallocated resources.

Impact

Increase in Overall Productivity
Reduction and Reallocation in Teams
Faster Dispute Resolution
Reduced Aging
Improvement in Cash Posting Hit Rates

Autopilot for Order to Cash

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