Wondering how digital transformation projects and strategies have taken off in this cash-strapped economy? In this webinar, Ellen Cnudde, Senior Consultant at EY; Andreea Popescu, Senior Manager of Advisory Services at EY; and Elaine Nowak, Director of Product Management & Marketing – HighRadius, discuss the right strategy and how leading organizations are approaching digital transformation in the recent times.
Wondering how digital transformation projects and strategies have taken off in this cash-strapped economy? In this webinar, Ellen Cnudde, Senior Consultant at EY; Andreea Popescu, Senior Manager of Advisory Services at EY; and Elaine Nowak, Director of Product Management & Marketing – HighRadius, discuss the right strategy and how leading organizations are approaching digital transformation in the recent times.
Chandler (Moderator) [0:02]
Hi, everyone. Thank you for joining us for today’s discussion conducted by HighRadius in association with Ernst and Young. My name is Chandler. Will the app be the Webinar Moderator for today’s session? A few housekeeping notes. Before we get started, all participants will be on mute throughout the webinar. So if you have a question, please enter it in the Q&A or chatbox on the right-hand side of your screen. These questions will be answered at the end of the presentation. If we aren’t able to get to all the questions, we promise to answer them individually and by email. In addition, everyone will receive a recording of this session within the next couple of days to promote engagement. There’ll be a few poll questions that will come up during the duration of the session and we strongly encourage you to answer those so that our speakers can understand the audience. With all that being said, We now welcome everyone to this discussion on digital transformation strategies for cash in the turbulent economy. In the discussion today, we have with us Elaine Nowak, Director of Product Management and Marketing at HighRadius, along with Ellen Cnudde, Senior Consultant at EY, and Andreea Popescu, Senior Manager advisory services at EY. Now I would like to give you some background on each of our speakers. As Director of Product Marketing and Management, Elaine is dedicated to educating credit and HR practitioners about the impact of using an integrated workflow enabled by artificial intelligence to improve key receivable operating metrics. Elaine’s mission includes working with progressive users along with industry partners to identify and share key insights and best practices at industry forums, conferences, and webinars. LMSC consultant was within the EY advisory PI practice with a strong focus on order to cash transformation. Digitalization. Ellen supports organizations and in our digital O2C vision roadmap and subsequent agile implementation of digital enablers. Andreea is a senior manager within the EY advisory PI practice with a strong focus on process innovation and digital finance transformation. Leveraging innovative methods and establishing a framed framework Andreea advises, assesses, and shapes the digital roadmap and strategy and leads high-performing teams to execute the transition. Now, Elaine, I’ll hand it over to you.
Elaine Nowak [2:19]
Thank you so much, Chandler. So I’m just going to take a moment and talk a bit about the high rate assessment of a company just to give you some idea of who we are. We are a fintech enterprise software as a service company. And we leverage artificial intelligence-based autonomous systems to help companies automate their accounts receivable and their treasury processes. We’re headquartered in Houston. That’s actually where I live. And yes, it’s super hot here right now. And we have offices also in Europe and Asia. We just opened an office in Frankfurt, Germany. We are the only provider of the integrated receivables platform for the entire order to cash cycle including credit, electronic invoice presentment and payment, cash allocation, deductions, and collections. And the HighRadius treasury management platform helps teams conduct current tasks for accurate Cash Forecasting with artificial intelligence touchless cash management and bank reconciliation. And HighRadius is vetted by industry leaders, we’ve got strategic partnerships with and investments from the likes of Citi, PNC, and Bank of America. Our AI-enabled autonomous systems help financial analysts break free from clunky enterprise software that allows us to make better decisions and prove quality work. And today we focus on the dot one performance or being one in 1000. And we work with our customers to help them become one in 1000, finance and HR departments. We recently launched our radius one AR suite, which includes a set of ai powered solutions designed to support AR processes for midsize companies across their O2C cycle, and it automates all those kinds of labor-intensive processes and it maximizes working capital, and enables faster cash allocation. So just looking at a quick list, here’s a sampling of some of the customers that we work with. And many of them are internationally recognized logos and brand names. We’ve implemented almost 1000 Financial Information projects. We’ve done this across six continents and in 45 different countries. So having covered that, I’d like to talk about what else we’ll be covering today in our session. So first, I’m going to talk a little about the importance of digital transformation and what that looks like today and in our current environment. Then we’re going to hear a little bit more about driving a successful digital transformation project for the order to cash and then I’m gonna have some case studies that I’m gonna share with just some quick statistics of some of the customers that we’ve worked with and what they were able to achieve as a result of their digital transformation. So first to start. Technology has had a significant role to play in creating value for our accounts receivable leaders, especially in recent years. But in light of these current economic factors and the increased risk that we’re seeing as a result of this global pandemic, what does digital transformation look like today? If we talk about the scenario, and organizations who were contemplating undertaking a digital transformation, before the COVID crisis, it was clear that businesses were already exploring transformations and initiatives to take on with a focus on technology. So the benefits that organizations were seeking when they were trying to incorporate automation technology, and undertaking digital transformation, what does that mean it’s a digital transformation is the reimagining of the business in the digital age, by using automation to create new or modify existing business processes to change and meet the business and marketing conditions. So by employing automation, companies expect to maximize their internal team project productivity and efficiency. And this is going to allow business leaders to do more with less you hear than do more with less quite a bit. So overall, technology speeds up processes, increases productivity, and allows teams to be more effective. And this ultimately helps companies achieve their goals faster and better.
For years now, technology has had a significant role in creating value for HR leaders. First of all, technology provides end-to-end control and visibility over the receivables. Secondly, it enables highly accurate Cash Forecasting, which really helps an organization to understand its cash position and liquidity. And thirdly, automation allows teams to reallocate resources, moving from transaction-based clerical type work, that’s very administrative in nature, too much more high-impact, high-value tasks that are more strategic in nature. So looking at the impact of this pandemic EY on business, the benefit of these values is even more important today. And in the current economy, technology is going to play a really big role, and how to handle all of these various AR processes.
But many businesses who were exploring digital transformation initiatives before the COVID pandemic EY, have considered putting it on hold because of the challenges, the potential negative outcomes, and the impact of the Coronavirus. It may be thought that undertaking a new project in our stream economy would be out of the question. As a digital transformation is just not possible when we’re looking at limited resources, budget cuts, furloughs, maybe areas and sectors within an organization that were hard hit, it feels like it would be too difficult to execute, given the current climate. To better understand the leadership and what their views were on the implications of the global pandemic. High Rate is conducted in order to cache leaders COVID-19 Impact Assessment Survey, and we’ve shared the results with the public. The full details of these can be found on our high redist COVID Resource Center. So when asked what are the key challenge areas for which business leaders today need guidance. The two top areas of focus are working capital and cash flow. 87% of the business leaders who are surveyed said that risk management and tightening credit control was a key challenge for them and an area that they were looking to focus upon. And 78% said that managing DSO to effective collections was going to be the roadblock on their business front and an area that they were going to prioritize. So to manage working capital and gain visibility into cash flow. A credit leader would want to prioritize what risk the business is exposed to and to understand how to reduce and manage that risk. Leaders also need to make sure that the cash inflow for the next 90 days, 90 days is improved. And a key way to do that is through effective collections. So within the HR function, credit and collection teams have a much more significant role to play as they revise policies to tighten, control, and minimize the risk exposure to the business. Additionally, credit managers need to redefine their existing collection strategies to ensure that no account is left behind. So the truth is, right now is the ideal time to consider a digital transformation. When automation is needed more than ever, technology will help HR teams secure the financial health of a business. And it moves the HR team into a more strategic role in the CFOs office. Businesses are realizing the true potential of technology and keeping operations running. And companies that leverage technology is at a competitive advantage over their counterparts. So according to a CXOs study, the survey that was conducted by the IDC Media Center enterprise collaboration platforms would benefit most from the FTE from this pandemic EY, with 76% of the surveyed industrial users choosing to adopt collaboration platforms, followed by cloud computing, robotics, artificial intelligence, big data, and 5g. The true reality is that digital transformation is the new means by which businesses could better adapt and cope with COVID-19. Now and business operations beyond the findings awful also indicated that tech-oriented companies felt less disruption to the business. And now, many companies have had to adapt to huge changes, such as remote working additional pivots. And the adaptation seems more doable and less daunting. So the idea of taking on a digital transformation actually should be met with less fear of change happening. And we changed with the times, we assessed and learned and adapted. So this outbreak has shown that remote work environments still allow a business to run successfully. And it provides opportunities for new developments in the future. And what could be possible as a norm after this crisis has passed. Digital Transformation is the need of the hour and provides the impetus for an organization to turn the crisis into a growth opportunity by adopting digital technologies and solutions.
So having set the stage, I’d like to ask the audience now, we have our first poll question coming up. So what according to you is the biggest cause of digital transformation, project failure? So if you can please vote, you may choose it for user adoption? Do digital transformation projects fail because there’s friction and lack of acceptance from the users? Is it because there are system integration challenges, a lot of work to take those siloed systems and other technology and try to integrate them together. Or maybe it’s that there’s a lack of an overarching strategy. So if you could please vote. And we’ll let this poll go. In the meantime, I’m going to actually move forward, and then we’ll share the results as they come up. So digital transformation, and being digitized are two different things. If you use an OCR technology to scan a document that’s not digital transformation, digital transformation is not limited to putting automation in place or implementing a new solution. Rather it involves the come the complete and complex mix of people, processes, and technology. It requires the right mindset, updated organizational practices, and business strategy. Simply buying a solution and putting it in place is not enough. There was again additional analysis that was done by Gartner and around 85% of digital projects end up in failure due to incompatibility with traditional and current business models. And users are often reluctant to embrace a sudden business process disruption. Many times digital transformation projects have low adoption rates due to a lack of acceptance from internal and external users. So how do we make a digital transformation successful at an organization and take a quick look at the poll results? So far as they’re telling. I’m seeing that about 30% of you submitted for user adoption as the biggest cause of digital transformation. But the lack of overarching strategy actually had 41%. So, having a strategy, I think that’s super important when you’re considering your digital transformation because then those other areas will actually be less of a concern. So right now, what I’d like to do is hand it over to Ellen and Andreea. And we’re going to hear from EY about how to strategize and implement digital transformation projects in the current economy, to be successful in the aftermath of this crisis. And beyond.
Andreea Popescu [15:55]
Thank you, Elaine. Thank you for making the introduction as well, this is Andreea. And I’m also looking a bit at the poll numbers. And indeed, We have leading 41% results of the poll, Andreea? Okay, perfect. So thank you for making this introduction. Indeed, we see a lot of results coming in and most of you have noted that the lack of an overarching strategy is one of the main reasons why digital finance transformation is not as successful. second in line is deep Pro user adoption with 30%. But if I may, and this will be very much connected to our next section, it is also the result of not giving people the purpose of why this transformation is so important. And what is the company aspiring to achieve by doing this digital transformation? Now within the next section, Ellen and I are going to share with you a few elements that put together these overarching topics from why it is important to define a North Star for your digital transformation before you go into any kind of implementation. What would be a very resilient approach, regardless of what’s happening around also in terms of COVID, but market instability and so on? And how would that be successful considering that right now, most of us are working remotely and even this conference is happening at the moment remote? Right? So I would like to start by saying that we normally see a lot of challenges that organizations are facing when they think about or want to start a digital transformation. And as you may have seen from the announcements, what we aim to do is to make these learning webinars that will have more than one episode. This episode is very much focused on strategy. So we would touch more about what it is or what it means to create an overarching strategy. But in the next sessions, we will discuss in more detail specific elements of that. Today, I want to stress two elements that are very often forgotten when people think of a digital finance strategy. And I know I cannot see you right now normally, if I was in a room, I would have asked you guys to raise your hand. But now I want you to ask yourself, how often is it that when somebody talks to you or to your team about a digital transformation, they’re only referring to tools and prophecies right? However, a digital transformation is a lot more than that. The first thing that would support a very strong and resilient transformation and one that is also cost-efficient is an overarching view of what is the starting point that you are where you are today? And what do you want to go to in the future? And here you have an example of what we would see now in a classical finance function. You have a lot of layers here from strategy and vision, Target Operating Model, how is corporate finance fitting into the entire picture? What is accounting doing controlling? What are the systems and applications? And today, you see that the strategic driver is mainly learned from the past. Things cost as a percent of revenue and take decisions based on consensus. Also, the Target Operating Model is very much flexed on local and remote teams, maybe shared service centers, some input from headquarters, but very little expertise. And it’s mainly ERP-driven. And I’m pretty sure we have a lot of people on the call today, who are right now have in mind, yes, indeed, we’re working a lot with Oracle and are working a lot with SAP or with any other ERP that you may have. And it’s always involved, all of our processes are around process optimization, process harmonization, or process standardization. I think you hear that as much as I do.
The future of tomorrow in finance means that for my chief financial officers, a person who mainly focuses on the transactional work on getting the numbers right on putting the correct picture at the end of the month or at the end of the fiscal year, that role would become a more value-driven role. And this only happens not because this is what is the new fancy title out there. But also because all of the underlying pillars are actually supporting the future chief value officer to bring to your organization valuable insights as to how the company should move forward. Right? You would maybe see in most of the digitally advanced organizations who also have a stronger Digital finance footprint as their operating already with Robotic Operating centers, which is what Elaine referred to as automation. factories, who work a lot with centers of excellence that revolve around artificial intelligence, data processing, data interpretation, or creating value out of the many insights, many data points that you have within your organization. Corporate finance will focus on more governance-related and transformation and enablement activities, rather than risk and compliance. And, of course, you would be leveraging a lot of new technologies, cloud technologies that make the world revolve today in this COVID situation where everybody’s remote and everybody is working from home, to bring their contribution to your organization because the system and its ecosystem enables it. Now, this is one of the challenges that we’ve seen now, how do organizations get from the left-hand side, from the classical finance picture to the right-hand side, into a more digital finance picture. Another topic that I would want to bring into focus today, and which is maybe even closer to bridging the gap as to why a digital transformation is more than just a process and tools is about the material impact on activities. And here. Coming together with a new digital finance perspective, we also see significant changes in future roles. Now, what you see in the center is a digital workforce. This is where most of the automated repetitive work is to be done in the future. Where RPA machine learning pattern recognition AI bots, have already taken on responsibility from the expertise to do those repetitive tasks that let’s be honest, maybe nobody wants to do so, the new roles that we will see in the future, we will see and one global process owners rather than AP experts, accounts receivable experts and so on. We will see the claimant managers or digital workforce managers, which are completely different roles that may be saved in the shared service center and Global Business Services areas.
That helps the service delivery model or help ensure that the service delivery is consistent and standardized at a global level for any organization. Within corporate finance, we see epic owners and epic rd architects and I know the moment you started to read this you’re asking Okay, what is this about right? So I’m pretty sure you also heard about bringing more agility into how things are going to be done in the future. and how the waterfall is becoming a little bit obsolete, especially considering the fast pace that we are in today. I think owners and epic architects are going to be experts who would focus not necessarily on making sure the process is being done based on the procedures and the regulations. But owning the output of that process, owning the data points and the insights, and providing them making them available to the board making them available throughout your organization, they will need to be the owners of that data. And they will need to also take responsibility for how that entire data governance and solution architecture looks like. It’s not very technical, it sounds very fancy. But it’s more a role of a person that understands the symbiosis between Lean process flow and optimum digital enablement and the right data insights that your organization can rely on. And that will be a very key and important role in the future. And of course, within accounting and controlling to see a lot of new roles that appear mainly connected to this combination of both finance, expert knowledge, and also a little bit of technical understanding. To make sure you have a right grasp on how the process and the data inputs and outputs are done in the future, we would also see a lot of changing roles, we see that the service delivery managers will have to deal with more than just a physical team managing them, monitoring them, making sure they respect the SLA, we will see that the finance process owners need to have a broader perspective. And to look at an end-to-end process flow rather than just the siloed approach. Process experts would need to have a little bit of a technical understanding of how digital solutions or digital enablers such as my radius helps their profits flow. Of course, within the accounting and controlling, they also see that the head of controlling or business controls would have different leverages, with which they will be able to make sure that the business is run according to the company’s standards. There are a few remaining goals we’re not saying that the world would completely change, there are a few remaining goals that would continue to exist in parallel with all the other ones that we’ve discussed before, we will still have risk and compliance access to those treasury experts. But as Elaine mentioned before, the focus, especially today, is going to shift from let’s get the process leaner, make it optimize, reduce the waste, to how can I get the right insights in real-time for my cash flow? How do I know exactly what my current sales are outstanding, and so on?
So from these challenges, what we would like to focus on and discuss with you today, and I’m going to just dive into it as how strategy is putting all of this together. And before we go into the very technical explanation of it, I would like to share with you a story, a story that I see and I have seen in a lot of the clients that I’m working with. And that maybe would help you also pause and think a little bit about what you would like to achieve in the future. So I’ve been doing this digital transformation for a long time and discussing it with one of my mentors only recently, I realized I had been doing it without even knowing if any of my past jobs. And the one thing that always was at the front runner of any digital initiative that we had in mind was why do we need to do this? What is the purpose of us wanting to do this digital transformation? What is it that we are trying to achieve? And many years from now, that is so important, that allows us to really focus, dedicate resources and budget to getting this done today? That’s a very important question that some of the more advanced companies ask themselves. They try to find an answer to it. And when they do that and share it with the community, and they share it with their organization so that everybody understands what is this bigger purpose that helps our digital transformation be successful. That’s the let’s say, Happy scenario. But also the less encountered one The left has a scenario or a scenario where the struggle, let’s say to put the pieces together is, is more difficult, or a scenario that maybe it’s not. So vision-driven, is a scenario where companies think very tactically. And they hear about a solution or technology here and there, and they obviously decided they must have it. But without a purpose. This leads to a lot of questions, not today, not when they make the decision they want one digital enabler or another or they want to try and pilot but later on in the game when it comes to budgets when it comes to the business case when it comes to actually do this solution and enabler help me achieve what I’ve set to achieve in the next three to five years. And that’s a situation where pilots are successful, but they end up in a forgotten computer somewhere in your organization. Those are stories that end up with very successful business case presentations that actually never come to life. Those are stories where companies invest a lot of money in piloting, bringing on experts, going to different events, and looking for the best digital enabler out there only to realize that they have wasted a lot of money. And they could have gone a different way. It may be easier or cheaper to get to the same point. And the same result. That’s a situation I would not want you to be in once you relieve yourself from this webinar. And the first thing that comes to mind or one very important thing is to define why your organization needs to go through a digital transformation and ironically, I would say luckily COVID has provided a very, very good reason for that. Some of the companies had this wide definition before, whether they wanted to get better market coverage, better service for their clients, they wanted to be more digitally agile and resilient in the face of uncertainty, or whether they just wanted to be seen as a digital market leader in their field. Some organizations had already defined our Norstar their purpose as to why they want to do digital enablement. It is now the turn for others to follow suit and to define the thing. Now, as you can see here, and in this picture, we will see finance strategy over the digital strategy as leading into a four-pillar approach as to how you can consider and define your digital transformation. For us, the organization is at the top because no matter how many tools you want to implement, how fancy they are, how innovative they are, no matter how lean your processes are, and no matter how smart your people are in your organization if the decision-making process is very small. If your organization structure is not supporting innovative thinking, you can forget about it in terms of organization, and we will cover this in more detail in one of the future scenarios, we notice that it’s often overlooked. And it’s one of the most important and key elements that help you drive forward your strategy. And for a very good reason, we put it out the top. So the way we would see it as divine is we will see that technology enables processes, processes, enables people and people enable a well functioning and agile organization. But overall, these will not function properly. We have without the red line a strong and resilient finance strategy that helps decision-makers take the right decision, allocate the right resources and budget to achieve the purpose that they have defined. And I know we spent a lot of time talking about very technical concepts. So I would want to just quickly go through the first element of the organization. And as I mentioned, we would have a session dedicated to this. But I wanted to bring you into focus because it will serve in the discussion that Ellen is going to bring forward and show you how we have done it on an actual project. So we see that different organizations find themselves in different stages, different maturity levels, from a very decentralized finance area where you have strong corporate finance, a lot of business units, and also a very regional distribution of the accounting process execution. Also a very, very strong country focus or a very strong contrary representation of the accounting and performance management processes to let’s say the most advanced, agile finance organization where you have agile business services that are put within either GBS are very digitally enabled to sort of a center that helps you drive transformation that help you consolidate and help you follow the Redline and the strategy and the purpose with innovative ideas with an instant process standardization approach and rely very much on the business partners that are in each country to make sure that the entire fear or to make sure that all of the means that your customers and your team towels are successfully derived. Sometimes even as a sort of surface. This is of course a very futuristic picture. Some organizations are already there. They’ve already defined GBS units that drive agile services. Some organizations are maybe in their ship service stage yet. Well, they have a financial service center where most of the transactional activities are, which still helps a lot with decentralization. And some are aspiring to either be in stage three, where they’re already thinking of Global Business Services, and think of the end to end integration of their processes, or even stage four, where it’s no longer about only the process. So, Flo, but also about data insights that they’re getting out of their centers of expertise, or out of their GBS units. Now, I know it’s been a lot of theory until now, and not being able to see each review is a bit difficult for me as well. But I would like it to make it real for an element. And I would like to make it real for everybody here in the session. Therefore, I would like to hand it over to Ellen Dowling who did from all at all is going to show you how we transposed this entire Digital finance strategy concept? How did we transpose this importance of having a purpose-driven transformation to a real project? And maybe the most important thing for you is, how were we able to deliver this project during COVID? Time, working remotely? So thank you so much, Ellen, over to you.
Ellen Cnudde [37:57]
Perfect, thank you very much, Andreea. Yes, exactly, as Andreea mentioned, and I think sort of piggybacking a little bit on what you said earlier, having a purpose-driven transformation is crucial before embarking on any of this, right? And I would say on the ground, how we typically approach this and also together with HighRadius, really we say segmented into three buckets, which is what is your y, which is always where we start, what are you actually planning to do? And then how are you going to do that? And let me zoom into the why first a little bit. And as I talk, and as I go through this, I’ll bring in some client examples as well. What we see on the why part, which is really you know, why am I doing this? Why am I talking to irate? Why do I want to automate my credit to cash? We see that the most successful projects often have a very good mix between operational value drivers and strategic value drivers. And examples of operational value drivers are things like FTE savings, OPEX savings, process standardization, etc, right. And these are things that often come up, in the business case moment. The strategic drivers could be anything right? But examples we’ve seen here at Klein’s are really upskilling your business to drive this kind of project. What we see as a big problem in the market today is digital transformations are often led by the IT department, but it’s really the business that needs to drive that right. And allowing the business to do so is going to make this much more efficient. And it’s going to make things happen much quicker, right? Because I see, as we all know, it always has very tight budgets and rightfully so because their hands are tight on big implementations. So companies that have a good mix between that operational and strategic, that’s really where you find success. And that’s how we also always try to drive forward with clients. Now, also including the what’s into the story, right, because it’s three buckets. What’s crucial here is if you define why you want to do something, what is exactly what we’re going to do, right. And what we always advise all our clients is to write it down, right? Before you start a project, it’s crucial to write down what those success criteria are, that is going to guide you throughout your entire implementation. And during each milestone, you have to check back if what you’re doing is still in line with those success criteria and what you defined at the beginning of your project that you’re going to accomplish at the end of the project, that is the same thing. And that is true before Corona, or before the COVID crisis. But even more so during right. And we also saw that at one of our clients. And really the three things that we always try to point out here is one, define it upfront, clearly define what’s in the prior to starting anything, take your time for that. Quantify where possible. I think this is a hard one, right? Because the example I gave you earlier is when you have a lot of operational value drivers. It’s easy to quantify that right? It’s easy to quantify where you’re starting from, and where you want to get to. When we’re talking about strategic value drivers, that becomes a lot more difficult. But nevertheless, it is equally as important because when you start a project in a month, one, eight months down the line, you don’t necessarily or not everybody remembers what we wanted to do or why we’re doing this right. And having that documented and ready. Really makes that process a lot easier. And then the last point is periodically corroborated your milestones to that why and But what. And the reason for that being is if I can give an example here is, let’s say, you wanted to implement a minimum viable product. So that’s what you decided, in the beginning, we’re implementing a HighRadius. And this is a pilot. So we want to get something up and running and want to upskill our business team. During your design phase, it’s crucial that you still have that in mind, right as it as you’re looking at all of the exceptions that your team currently handles, you want to automate the 80% of that, and not that 20% That you know, is maybe 150 cases, that takes 5% of your team’s time, right. So throughout your entire project, always checking back on Nevertheless what you set out to do in the beginning, is still what you’re doing today. And I think during the corona crisis, this became even more important because so many things changed around us that having that point of stability in the why and then what you’re doing became crucial. And then, if I can bring in the how, right to sort of close the loop.
The what and the why, as I mentioned before, are the stable factors, right, those ideally should stay the same, that should not change how you do things, ideally should also not change, right? I’m a project manager myself. So you want to know your time, budget, and resources upfront. And ideally, that doesn’t change. But what we’ve seen is things happen in the world, we can’t predict, right? There are unprecedented external factors, which cause you to pivot and they force you to pivot and how you implement things. And I think here, a client example that we’ve seen as we had to pivot sort of substantially twice here, right? I think, first of all, this is a client where we intend to, or we plan to implement a cash application module of HighRadius, and the collections and deductions module has high rates. And the initial plan was to implement that in a sort of parallel in a parallel approach, right. So just all at once, very early on, we realized together with the client with a HighRadius, that it’s actually better for the business than it is for it to pilot with cash up first. And then as you see here, you run through all of those implementation stages. And then as you go live with cash up, you deploy collections and deductions in an accelerated manner. So that was, let’s say, our first pivot, where we changed our house significantly. The second pivot came very unexpectedly for all of us. When we set out to do this project, what was crucial for us was on-site support during deployment. And I think for many of you, we can work remotely. HighRadiusis are very skilled in deploying this kind of project remotely. But during go live, it is very nice to have the team sitting there right next to you. Right. So that was crucial for this client as well. Now, obviously, we saw that we went live with this project in March, that was not possible. So again, we had to change certain aspects there, we had to change the way we approached that call life to make that happen. And one of the things we did there is we split out the technical goal lives and the function, the business goes live to make sure we could spend dedicated time with each of those stakeholders, we had full-day open bridges where the HighRadius teams present, and the business team was present. And people can interact with each other via the phone. So we made it work, right? It was easy, no, but we made it work. So I just wanted to give you that example to show how you need to be agile, and you need to build that into being able to pivot when needed. Ideally, you don’t pivot every two weeks. But as we’ve all seen, it can happen. And then I think maybe just to highlight a little bit. The bottom line is, yes, you can go live with projects like this during a global crisis. Right. And I think the numbers here below show that as well. Before embarking on this project, this client had a roughly 40% automation hit rate or auto-hit rate on their cash application process with the configuration in their SAP, after so actually still during hyper care. So 20 days after we went live, they brought that up immediately to 60%. So a 20 percentage point increase immediately right, which is during a global pandemic, very welcome, right that extra 20% and then 85%, invoice level auto hit rate. So those numbers even during, you know, Corona times, even during times where your customers are not paying according to a regular schedule, they’re on payment plans, we were still able to deliver that benefit. And I think that just comes to show that even in a turbulent economy like this, it is well worth doing projects like this. And with that, I will pass it back to Elaine.
Elaine Nowak [46:42]
Thanks so much, Ellen. So interesting. I wanted to share some additional statistics sampling of what Hi radius Customers were able to achieve in terms of impact working capital across OTC cycles. I think you’re to the point that the application suite to process 85% is tremendous. From a collections perspective, air gas was able to free up 22 million in cash flow by reducing their day’s sales outstanding. Another cash application or cash allocation example we can talk about is Mattel, which achieved more than a half-million in annual cost savings from their straight to processing automation. So a great return on investment for deductions. One of our customers, Dr. Pepper, saved 2.5 million, due to an 85% increase in the resolution productivity. So in resolving all of these production cases that they had, from a credit perspective, Mercury Marine was able to reduce their customer onboarding time by 67%. And that was employing an online cash application and the credit module, and an electronic invoice, presentment, and payment, three AMS implementations, allowing them to process almost 2 million invoices digitally every month. So pretty, pretty tremendous gains for them, as well. And then if we just talk a little bit about, well, how did customers work with the hybrid solutions in terms of impact from COVID. What most companies have found is that all those arduous manual tasks that previously had become that they’ve had now had become even more burdensome when you add the challenges from working remotely. So, organizations found that employing technology helped eliminate some of those low impacts time-consuming manual processes and automating their workflow. So for example, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, increases the control over their credit approval process, by reducing the time it takes to approve the credit limit suggestions. And with the help of the credit cloud, they were also able to encourage early bird payment discount incentives for a limited period of time to encourage more timely payments, and thus maintain the cash flow and be more proactive in their collections. Directors at Ferrero faced difficulties in managing their AR, their AP, decided and their treasury teams across six different business units in what was an improperly enforced remote working environment with the onset of the COVID crisis. So what furrow did is they leveraged the HighRadius integrated receivable system so that they were able to gain access to the various customer information and provide global visibility via the cloud, regardless of geography, timezone department, business unit, Rico had issues in maintaining internet connectivity and collaboration with their internal teams. So to alleviate these problems, Rico provided stable internet connections to their employees, and they invested in leveraged more virtual conferencing and collaboration tools to quickly mobilize their remote workforce and to minimize their disruptions. So quickly, I just want to share that we have a resource center available as a rapid response for COVID. It gives you access to our FinTech advocacy network, it is a community that we’re trying to build, made up of credit industry practitioners, and order to cash and finance leaders. And that allows them to interact and share best practices. We have a LinkedIn page, we also let customers know about opportunities to share their thought leadership with other industry peers. We also have some remote work resources and tools for AR teams that are working from home, we have a list of indicators that finance leaders should be tracking today. And tackling considering all the unpredictability that COVID-19 enforces upon us. There are also some survey reports and research from partners such as the Hackett Group and Gartner. And there are also some enhancements to the existing technology suite. And this is available to print some of these new requirements that we’re seeing coming in from customers. So to access this information, also, I talked about surveys, just go to HighRadius command, go to backslash resources, backslash COVID. Okay, so at this time, I just want to do one quick final poll question. We want to know would you like to learn more about digital transformation capabilities and order cash that might be enabled through EY in a HighRadius? So yes, connect me to an expert. Send me some materials for research. Yes, but maybe not at the moment or maybe you’re not interested at this time. So we’ll let that poll question remain up. And what I’ll do now is, um, this brings us pretty much the end. So I’m going to turn it back over to Chandler. And I want to see if we had any questions that came in from the audience. Chandler.
Chandler (Moderator) [52:07]
Hi, Elaine. Yes, we did actually receive a few questions from the audience during the presentation. So we can jump into the live Q&A. So this one is directed towards EY. So I want to give Andreea and Ellen a chance to give their input. The question is, do we see that companies have significantly reduced or completely repurpose their digitalization budgets considering the impact COVID has had on their business? I can take this home. Yes, some of the companies have. But I think one of the main, one of the main differences that we observed in the market today is also based on their digital maturity. So companies who are at the moment at a higher level or higher maturity from a digital transformation perspective did decide to repurpose some of the budgets or to cut them a little bit to face the crisis that they have. We’ve also seen companies who maybe were at the beginning of their digital transformation journey, and they really accelerated because they understood how important it is for them to enable their teams to work remotely. And we have quite a few examples of those. One example is the one that Ellen Ellen actually showed today, where we were at the point in the project. And here maybe Ellen, you can jump in and give us more details, because I know you’ve been in those discussions. But we didn’t hit a point in the project where we were thinking, Okay, what do we do? Do we continue right now with everybody working remotely with a specific set of risks associated with that? Or do we put a stop, and we reconvene, and we’ll pick it up from where we left off? And I don’t know how many months from there. And the most important thing or the most important element was, if we continue with this project, even during remote working, and we are successful, is this feeding into our purpose and strategy? And once the stakeholders and finance leaders answered that, yes, then that is a very clear direction to push forward. But yeah, Elon, maybe you have some additional thoughts on this. Yeah, I mean, I think you hit it. Right on the spot and dry I think, yeah, we did have that moment in time where we paused, and we looked at what are the risks? And what are the challenges? And we prepared for that. And I think the entire team, HighRadius business, and EY decided to go ahead with that crap. And I think that was a good decision because we had a successful go-live. Perfect, great answers. Elaine, this one is for you. If we want to safeguard our working capital, we would want to refrain from any activity that flows or cash out, so why would investing in a transformation project make sense right now?
Eliane Nowak [55:17]
So I think we hit on this in a few different ways during this presentation. And talking about how technology can really create value for the business, not just in the short term because of challenges working remotely, but in the long term. By implementing changes, I think it was very important when Andreea talked about, you know, operational and strategic drivers or that was Ellen, I think as well, I think it was, Andreea talks about having your north star and so any change that you take on you really have to understand the purpose of it and the bigger purpose. So there are quick wind deployments you can do. And they can have a quick impact. But you also want to make sure you know what your bigger purpose and your goal are. Overall automation projects are usually self-funded in nature. So the money you put in and the money you invest, you’re going to actually see the value in derive value, short term, and medium and long term. And if ultimately your drivers are, you know, when you’re thinking about the quantitative numbers that Elon mentioned, if you’re going to be able to read to reallocate your resources, you’re going to be able to eliminate paper costs, you’re going to be able to eliminate lockbox fees, all of that’s going to help you justify the case and understand that these investments now can really help you in the current and in the long run. perfect life. Thank you so much. Andreea and Ellen And what were some of the challenges you faced when doing the Go Live remotely?
Andreea Popescu [56:58]
I will let Ellen actually take this one because she was there on the barricades. And she can also give you the success, how the team celebrated the success but also one of some of the struggles that we were facing at the time.
Ellen Cnudde [57:14]
So sure, thanks, Andreea. Yeah, I think in terms of challenges, mental challenges because we prepared and we saw this coming, I think this is different than when you have all of a sudden a blackout or something like that. This remote go-live is something we prepared for and we saw coming. So together with the client, we prepared that very well. Nonetheless, there weren’t things that are different than when you go live with everybody there, right. And I think the three things that really stand out for me are our one, issue resolution time, no matter how hard and how available, the entire team was, and really kudos to the HighRadius team for being, you know, almost nonstop available to us and to the team. It is harder when it’s virtual. And I think we all see that right? If a person is sitting next to you, and you can just pop one question after the other, that goes quicker than if you compile a list of questions and then shoot it over. Or if you have to do it via audio or via a web call. Overall, we did manage, I think one big benefit that we had, which is probably not for the business before this go live it was is that the payment volume was lower during this period, right, so we had fewer transactions to deal with, which is also one of the reasons why we decided to push for with a go, go live, because that was a more comfortable position for the team to go live in. I think this, the second thing is really the learning aspect. If you go live and you have the experts sitting next to you, and you’re all in the same room, and as you handle these exceptions in the tools, you learn instantly, right, and you learn from each other. And if you’re all sitting at home at your own desks, that’s a different learning experience, you still learn but it’s different. So that’s definitely something that we had to prepare for. Also in the testing, etc, we made sure that the business users were comfortable with the tool, and the best way possible. And then I think the last thing is probably something more for myself is if you work on this project for 678 months, you want to be there, right? You want to see the tool go live and that imminent feedback is something you want to get and not be able to be there in that room. I think personally, but also for my stakeholders that the client was a little bit sad. But I think we had a good sort of call and, and survey after that to make up for that. So we did get that feedback. But it’s always nice to be there in person.
Chandler (Moderator) [59:38]
Awesome. Thank you so much, Ellen. I just wanted to thank everyone for their participation and the discussion today. If there are any additional questions that you might have regarding space topics that we didn’t cover, or you would like to connect with us to know more about the subject, feel free to reach out to us. Before you leave, we would really appreciate it, take a second review and share your feedback on this session. Once again. Thank you all for joining and have a great day. Thank you, everyone. Thanks, everybody.
Digital transformation projects are often led by the IT department but it is really the business that needs to drive it.
The first thing that would support a resilient and cost-efficient digital transformation strategy is having an overarching view of where the organization is now, where they want to go in the future.
Digital transformation and being digitized are two different things. Digital transformation is not limited to putting automation in place or implementing a new solution, rather it involves the complete and complex mix of people process and technology.
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.