The pandemic has created many common challenges for companies across all industries. CFOs must meet growth and stakeholder demands, whilst keeping pace with rapid change, expanded regulations, and a shift in consumer expectations.
As a result of this shift, finance leaders have an expanded role; their work guides the functioning of the entire organisation every day. With this new recognition, CFOs are seizing the opportunity to play a bigger role in growing value in the organisation outside of the finance function.
“Life sciences companies have a unique chance to reinforce their purpose and remind everyone their goals extend far beyond just selling drugs and generating profits.”
-PwC: What’s next for pharma and life sciences, 2020
This ebook is a follow-up to a recent industry-focused HighRadius blog that spotlights some of the key challenges faced by pharma companies in today’s volatile market.
By providing a deeper dive into how AstraZeneca, Bayer, and Sanofi are solving these challenges, this ebook highlights the power of leveraging automation, AI, and insights to drive organisational changes.
Key areas of focus:
Supply chain disruptions are a clear issue for pharma companies. Lack of visibility into a
customer’s journey can create many challenges with orders, suppliers, accounting, and the ability to provide excellent customer service. When these processes are misaligned, there is a significant risk to the customer experience.
So how are leading organisations dealing with this on a day to day basis?
According to a recent report from Gartner, digital transformation is the No. 1 area for supply
chain initiative funding in 2022.
This investment should ideally focus on implementing an automated accounts receivable platform to eliminate the clerical, repetitive tasks in customer and consignee correspondence for the collection of claims, proof of delivery, and bill of lading documentation, reducing the number of blocked orders and disputes.
An integrated platform also enables full visibility into the payment history of an order and includes all customer details and interactions.
Sanofi, French multinational pharmaceutical corporation headquartered in Paris, have leveraged AI to predict blocked orders based on past order volumes and payment patterns to make better informed credit decisions.
What’s more, the process of releasing orders by leveraging information from cash and deductions has driven AI-based order release recommendations, resulting in a much more personalised client experience.
“The collaboration enabled by an integrated system accelerates the entire process, allowing for faster and more timely deduction resolution along with blocked order processing, resulting in a huge reduction of overdue invoices.”
-Global Process Owner, Customer Invoicing to Cash, Sanofi
AstraZeneca has significantly reduced supply chain issues by prioritising automation efforts and leveraging AI-based cash applications and deductions management to provide 95% straight-through cash posting and automated deduction coding.
Automated deductions management has enabled AstraZeneca to:
“Extracting a single version of the truth and knowing where to prioritise automation efforts was a significant challenge with multiple SAP systems in place, across geographies, all with different configurations. HighRadius helped us prioritise these areas so the teams could focus their efforts on high-value accounts.”
– Global Process Owner, Order to Cash, AstraZeneca
A key challenge faced by the pharmaceutical industry is managing the large ecosystem of manufacturers, biotech companies, and service companies such as drug distributors, equipment providers, and health companies. Added to this is the wide geographical spread of locations in which they operate.
Multiple processes running across business units create a lack of standardisation that impacts operational efficiency.
With siloed systems, there is often no visibility across operations and the A/R team is unable to execute real-time decision making, impacting the quality of customer service provided.
By leveraging a fully automated cash application solution, finance teams have a single version of the truth across all locations. Once payment is made for example and cash is applied, a deduction case can be automatically closed with limited interactions.
This success story is shared by AstraZeneca who embarked on a standardisation and centralisation process journey that involved huge collaboration from their shared services and operations teams. The project resulted in an 85% reduction of standard operating processes across the global finance function.
To achieve this, AstraZeneca focused on breaking down processes into unique areas and establishing metrics that could be tracked regularly and shared consistently. As a result, they identified many manual processes that could be automated or removed completely in the areas of cash application and order entry.
Sanofi, with the help of an end-to-end platform, were able to process 48% of its total payments across 50 countries through a single system. Having a single source of truth made it easy for them to track KPIs to help make informed decisions and eliminate silos across multiple lines of business (LOB) and global geographies.
Customer-centricity is a necessity that is core to the business and valued by every function. It starts with the very first interaction and continues seamlessly throughout the customer lifecycle.
Organisations that see the importance of this and the ability to interpret financial data and provide recommendations on where to invest and grow revenue, will quickly derive value from their solutions and ensure long-lasting customer relationships.
AI software can collect and analyse customer data far more efficiently and effectively than a human can. With access to this information, companies can gain a deeper understanding of their customers and when combined with AI technology, can produce individually tailored customer experiences.
An example of this is when AI customer service applications use machine learning to recommend items based on a customer’s past purchases and behaviours or redesign websites in real-time to suit customers’ browsing habits or service requirements.
This level of personalisation increases customer satisfaction and drives revenue.
Most pharma companies will have several instances of ERP solutions operating in different locations.
“Easily-deployable, ERP agnostic solution – the Cash Application Cloud could seamlessly integrate with the existing ERPs across the globe without causing any significant business disruption.”
– Global Process Owner, Customer Invoicing to Cash, Sanofi
By leveraging an end-to-end receivables platform with built-in AI, the collections process can be transformed. Critical customers can be identified daily, with the added ability to create personalised offers for customers who pay early or on time. This level of transparency creates better forecasting and cash flow predictions.
Leveraging artificial intelligence in accounts receivables provides:
HighRadius Integrated Receivables Software Platform is the world’s only end-to-end accounts receivable software platform to lower DSO and bad-debt, automate cash posting, speed-up collections, and dispute resolution, and improve team productivity. It leverages RivanaTM Artificial Intelligence for Accounts Receivable to convert receivables faster and more effectively by using machine learning for accurate decision making across both credit and receivable processes and also enables suppliers to digitally connect with buyers via the radiusOneTM network, closing the loop from the supplier accounts receivable process to the buyer accounts payable process. Integrated Receivables have been divided into 6 distinct applications: Credit Software, EIPP Software, Cash Application Software, Deductions Software, Collections Software, and ERP Payment Gateway – covering the entire gamut of credit-to-cash.