Hello everyone and welcome to today’s webinar. My name is Tanya, marketing manager Premier, and I will be your moderator today. So you’re joining today’s webinar Digital First, the A B InBev story of achieving auditor cash excellence with AI-powered automation. Just a few housekeeping notes before we get started. If you do have any questions, please enter them into the q&a chatbox below. And we’ll answer the questions at the end of the presentation. We would also appreciate your feedback on the webinar today but with a star rating, we will have two polling questions today. So, at the ready to answer those questions will be multiple choice. So just select your answer and hit submit. Okay, so that’s all the housekeeping gum. So I’d like to introduce you to our presenter today Kira, who is a manager of solution engineering at high Rabia. Cyra is involved in AR transformation projects over the past few years and specializes in conducting detailed assessments of the accounts receivable Process benchmarking and development and detailing a detailed roadmap for companies to attain best in class standards. Also mentioned due to extenuating circumstances, unfortunately, hundreds are able to join today’s webinar. So apologies for this I’m sure prior, however, will do a sterling job in telling the story of a bee in bed. So without further ado, over to you, Cyra.
Thank you, Tanya. And thanks to everyone for joining the webinar today. And as you can see, today, we are going to talk about the digital transformation journey of Anheuser Busch called AB InBev and how they have achieved excellent audits to cash processes through automation. So, first of all, a brief background about HighRadius and what it does, and then we will move further on to the digital transformation bit in detail. So just to give you an idea about what HighRadius is as a company, so HighRadius is a FinTech enterprise software as some company, services company, and which leverage is AI-based autonomous systems to help companies automate audit to cash receivables, as well as Treasury processes. It is based out of Houston as its headquarters. And it also has more offices across the globe, three in Europe and one in Asia. So further on to talk a little more about the offerings that HighRadius provides at the moment, it has an entire audit to cash suite, which talks about the entire automation for credit, cash application deductions, and collection processes. At the same time, hi radius also focuses on treasury management pieces and provides solutions around the Cash Forecasting cash management and bank reconciliation pieces as well. So talking about the journey of HighRadius started in 2006 as a Prime solution, and obviously, we started our journey in the SAP market. So we have a lot of expertise in SAP. And then we moved further on in 2010 and introduced cloud solutions in the market. Further on in 2014, those cloud solutions were enabled by artificial intelligence, which resulted in much more proactive ways of working with respect to credit collections, deductions, and cash application basis. Now, obviously, in 2017, we have partnered with a lot of different banks like Citi, PNC Bank of America and also received a lot of investment from Cisco one group. Further on in 2019, they have introduced an autonomous system. What that means is there is a digital assistant guiding you throughout your journey of auditor cash and enabling the collectors and credit managers to make sure that they are not investing time in mundane activities, but rather focusing on customer relationship building. Further on, in 2019, we also received funding from iconic capital and that has put us on the list of unicorns and in 2020, we have it Use dot one Analytics, which basically means that you can have a global overview of how the different departments in the companies are working and benchmarking it with respect to industry standards and the best practices. And you can have everything as a single source of truth and visibility across the globe with just one screen. So that is a brief journey of HighRadius. And obviously, we have processed over trillion-dollar receivables, and worked with a lot of 14,000 companies, almost 200 tests or 14,000 companies are our customers. On that note, let me move further and talk a little more about our existing customers. So this is a partial list of our existing customers that are there with us at the moment. And we have been engaged in 1000 Plus finance transformation projects across six continents in 45 countries. So we have not just a depth of experience, but also a breadth of experience within each of the geographies because every geography comes with its own complexities. Now, this session primarily will focus on the digital audit to cache roadmap and how, at the moment, our customers and the entire industry are perceiving, this process, and how it is changing and going to change in the future. So we will talk a little bit about that part. And then we will focus on the Anheuser Busch journey in Order-To-Cash space with hydrangeas. Now talking about Digital’s audit to cash roadmap. First of all, it is not a new thing. Companies have been doing and focusing a lot in the last five years. And you can see people want to focus more on improving the productivity in the finance department and collaborating very well with the sales teams. Because right now a lot of the different teams are working in silos. And that is a sort of challenge because you would like to communicate between the departments to make sure that the right information is flowing across the system. Now, obviously, that has been a challenge. And that’s why from the past five to 10 years, companies have been focusing on improving productivity through these means of digital transformation. And three of the most important things which HR leaders think are really needed. And that’s why they would like to focus on digital transformation as follows. First of all, you would like more visibility across your departments because you would like to make sure that your team is performing up to the mark, you want to make sure that different departments in your AR and outside your AR are collaborating with each other very, very closely. And that is going to make things much more streamlined and efficient. And that’s why number one on visibility is the most important thing which we see most of the leaders have as the major key driver, so to say, to move to a digital transformation journey. The second most important thing I would say is high accurate accuracy in Cash Forecasting. Now, it is very important for any organization to focus on improving cash flows in the system. Those who don’t like deep pockets, everyone wants to have deep pockets so that they can focus on innovations, they can have better business and expand their business in the right way. And the way to do that is to gather more cash from your customers early on, rather than converting them into bad debt and write-offs. So that’s another important factor that you would like to make sure that you can forecast the right money that you’re going to get back in the system early on. The third most important thing for any organization is you are relocating your resources to high-impact tasks. Nobody wants to focus on the repetitive tasks to be done by the human when you have the potential to do a lot more. And obviously, this kind of repeated effort is also not scalable because you have machines taking care of that, so you would like to focus on something which is already automated very easily. And that is one of the other key drivers that everyone wants to think strategically and work smart. Hard work is a thing of the past. Now, it is hard work plus smart work, which will give you results. And that’s why thought is again a very critical aspect of it. Now, the second aspect, in terms of what is happening today, today, the things are not same, it is changing very, very drastically after pandemic happened, a lot of people have to change the way of workings and, and for all, you know, this is the new of ways of working forever, for all you know, right. So things are changing, and you have to adapt to these changing business conditions or environments. And that’s why this pandemic has thrown a real big challenge on how we are going to do things in a different way. And what next steps should be done to make it a streamlined process, especially now because you are working from home, you don’t have a lot of visibility into what is happening with your co-workers, they struggle with the day to day activities, and it is furthermore important to do that. And obviously, it puts a lot of companies at risk of going bankrupt, which means if I am dealing with a lot of companies and I want the cat to receive cash early on, it might be a challenge because companies don’t have money to pay you back. So you have to take care of the cash flows and the credit risk management and make sure that you have visibility for what your team is doing. And that was the key challenge that was thrown with pandemics. And obviously, it was also a roadblock in digital transformation because now people don’t have money, they don’t have money to spend on a lot of different things because they are struggling with the budget constraints and the resource constraints at this point. But because it is going to be a new normal, you can’t survive in this environment just like that, you need to basically thrive in this new way of working and adapt your situation to do much better, right? And that brings to the aspect that what CFOs top priority in this uncertain environment or economy becomes number one is 87% of the CFOs think that risk management and tightening credit control. Yes, absolutely. One of the key aspects and the reason is you want to make sure that your team your customers are very well thought about and you want to make sure that you are only onboarding the right customers, you are having the relationship with the right customers because the chances of getting bankrupt are going to put you at a higher risk of not getting the money back from them. So, very important. The second most important thing again very closely linked with how your customers are making you giving you the payment back is DSOs and the cash flows and 78% of the CFOs feel that this is going to be another key aspect that they have to focus on because they cannot make a mistake of losing the money by not having the right technology in place. And that’s one thing which we are seeing everywhere as a surging need in doing such automation especially from these two aspects is increasing drastically. And if you see the report from Gartner, it clearly tells you that there will be staggering rice of 7.2% in 2021 in terms of software spending because software can be deployed without any human intervention or human interactions, you can just do it online it is going to make your life much simpler with better visibility across the teams. And you definitely can focus on the right things at the right time to focus on this particular aspect. Now on that note, you can see there is a digital transformation journey that they are going to see in the future and it will be at a much-accelerated pace. I see one question from the audience on that note on the Anheuser Busch and how Anheuser Busch proved the return on investment in the AI system that systems have was replaced by Herodias solutions in Anheuser Busch. So we will come to discuss a little more on this, this part of how the journey is and what their current processes were, and what are the struggles? And I’m going to cover that in that bit as well. Now, on that note, there is this talk about, do you believe that right now is the right time to undertake a digital transformation project for finance? So what do you think? Is that Yes, absolutely, or No? Absolutely not? You’re not sure. So I’ll give you a minute to just do this polling.
Anybody is gonna be saying no. Kairos? Everybody is saying yes. 100%?
Okay, perfect. All right. So let’s move on then. And you can keep on hitting the polling button and do that polling. In the meanwhile, I’ll go to the next slide. So digital transformation audit to cash, is it? Is it a concept of the future? No, not at all. It’s a concept, which is now the present because it’s going to be the bread and butter, you can’t thrive in this new era without digital transformation. So it’s absolutely critical to have such an initiative in place. And how you can do that. So. So HighRadius basically focuses on, first of all, end-to-end automation in Order-To-Cash. So you should focus on end-to-end automation and focus on the AI-enabled and digital assistant helping you in doing that processes as well. And that’s how you can become the strategic contributor in the office of the CFO. So now let’s talk about the most awaited thing, which is the story of Anheuser Busch. So just a little background about ABS and its background bought the company and I’m pretty sure every one of you knows what Anheuser Busch does, especially now in a pandemic everyone can relate to too much more. So, basically, Anheuser Busch is a leading global brewery having 500 different brands of beers and alcohol across 50 different countries. It is ranked as the top five CPG companies in the world and headquartered in Belgium with 180 plus employees globally. Now, what are the challenges that you have seen with Anheuser Busch? So one of the key aspects with Anheuser Busch was that, first of all, it has the audit to cash operations in 15 different countries, and 12 different languages because you are when you have to pay to different geographies, it is always a problem, especially if you see in Europe and other parts of the world, it is always a big problem, that the market is so fragmented that everyone speaks a different language and it sort of poses a challenge because it has different languages and different cultures. It also brings the different sorts of processes in terms of how you’re making a payment, how you’re managing the different channels, to go to the markets, in different countries, everything is deeply impacted by the nature of the country itself. And the second most important thing that Anheuser Busch has is that obviously, it has to go through multiple channels in terms of retail or EECOM, or wholesale. So it is multiple ways in which it is reaching out to its end customers. And then that results and different kinds of supply chain and results and different kinds of technology that you need to sustain such differences. The third most important thing, which is again, again, a challenge is how you are making the payment. Is a direct debit payment very common in the UK or is it a SEPA director are any other XYZ ACH payments very common? The US. So it really is drastically different from region to region and you need the right technology to enable you and your customers to pay in the right way in the fastest way, because everyone wants quick payments on time, right? So that’s the need of the now, on that part, so, in terms of the water sort of feedback that we have received from Anheuser Busch in terms of what the customers have to say, three implementations of HighRadius. So they were different areas, which we’re working very much in siloed like sales were never interacting with the collections team and the credit team and you are not giving the best customer service experience because of your lack of technology. Now, some of the things which are evident here, you can see that the salespeople say that, they only can see that the escalations of a back pain customer, they never see a journey before that what happened to even reach that status of a bad paying customer and increasing debt write-offs and bad debts. They never have to earlier, they couldn’t see the orders that have the potential to get blogged early on so that they can reach out to the right customers at the right time and get the money back early on. And avoid this kind of blocked order issue. And this is again, a big issue with Anheuser Busch as well, which they struggled a lot with in the past. The second important aspect from the collection’s perspective is spending a lot of time releasing the blogged orders. And spending a lot of time manually logging in all the actions and reaching out to the customers. Now, this is the reason because you don’t have a prioritized worklist. You don’t know that these are the top 20 customers that are most appropriate for me to reach out to. So you randomly reach out to people just based on some of the basic information like your aging, but you need to also see the factors that though the aging of certain customers is high, but they pay back on time, versus somebody who has broken a payment commitment like five times in a month. So you want to make the right choice and right decisions when you’re reaching the right sort of customers and that makes it very, very important for any collector to have such kind of technology in place. And it was not there early with Anheuser Busch in the past. And that was another challenge. And also from the customer’s perspective. They can they earlier couldn’t have the right invoice copies in their inbox, they were used to get informed about the order getting blocked at a very last minute, because if you could have done that early on, and you feel if you could have told those customers that your order is going to get blocked two weeks before then they would have taken the right actions to make that happen. And because that never happened. So the customers have to have a lot of challenges there. So, these are a couple of challenges, which sort of received from the customers and the stakeholders of Anheuser Busch. Now, the vision of digital-first was really a really critical aspect to mitigate these kinds of challenges inside the teams and so identifying the manual repetitive task in your daily operations, automating the transaction operations, and using AI to deliver business value. Now, we are going to touch a little bit about the AI part of it as well as how it can make the businesses better and why it is the right thing to do at this point. And you can see this when you talk about digital transformation, so there are a couple of things which you always take care of. You take care of the fact that you’re what your current systems are, how are they performing? How can I first make sure that if I am using an ERP, say as an SAP or any other ERP, how can I maximum utilize this ERP in making sure that my things are streamlined? So obviously they also did the same? They want to make sure that obviously how can I utilize my current options to the fullest and then think about the future. But once we have done that still there were gaps and we can clearly see the gaps were how all the systems and all the departments were not talking to each other and how the technologies were not that advanced. And that was sort of making people not very happy about their day to day activities and the way of working. And you all know that Anheuser Busch is a very, very fragile company, a very young company and if they really innovate a lot and grow really, really fast. So, obviously, that was the need for everyone in the, in CFOs office to focus on the onset kind of a digital transformation initiative. Now, this is the journey, which Anheuser Busch started way back in 2006 when they focused on some basic aspects of managing the collections and credit activities located in the countries and started thinking about having the shift to the Centers for audit to cash processes in Perak. Now, once that happened, Fast forward to 2015 They wanted to now focus on setting up that shared service center, they wanted to focus a lot on how you can have the digital transformation for these processes in place. And making sure that the transition of activities for all the countries was moved to a shared service center and Parag from all the different countries which are important because now after opening a shared service center, you have to do that change management to move the different countries into one shared service center. So that it can be more effective in its ways of working. Once that happened, and it was consolidated in one particular SSC, the second most important aspect of them is how this assessor can be really, really efficient. And also one of the other aspects with which I would say, Anheuser Busch realized early on was how my sales team can be of help and can be a key driver in making the right decisions. Why we don’t bring the sales team early on in the process is because it is very important for any organization to make sure that your sales, your credit, your collection, and Dean’s are very much in sync with each other because then that’s how you can not just sell to the right people. And because you are selling it to the right people, you can make sure you are collecting the money back on time early on. So they are very, very closely related. Because as soon as there is an issue with any of the departments you can also trigger that issue to the sales folks and they can have them because they have a relationship they can work with that customer and figure out rather than collector juggling, without any clue that how to get this customer on board in terms of making the payment on time.
So use that relationship power relationship or something which they have realized in that time of 2017 and onwards, and they focused a lot on bringing that on the table for everyone. Now, post-implementation, some of the things which I have actually received from Anheuser Busch and what the customers and the internal stakeholders feel about it. So they see that they can proactively see the risks of the customers that are going to get blocked from the sales reps’ perspective. The collectors can see the prioritized work lists that may need to work on, they can also know the best way of communicating with the customers. And they can engage in a better way to communicate with the customers rather than just blindly sending the emails to 100 Different people without thinking about what is the right way to do it. And obviously, customers now can prepay for their blocked orders and receive a discount on that as well, which is a very good initiative, you are doing two things, when you are increasing your sales, you are making sure that your credit team is not juggling by blogged or order getting clogged, and then they call like the sales team or the collections team, or five different teams internally. And then they doubt thinking about anything because they are under time pressure, what they end up doing, they will just unblock the order, without even knowing that they are doing it for the right customer or not? Are they even doing the business with the right customer or not? This problem was absolutely solved because now you have taken customers on board in doing that for you, they are paying you early on because they get the discounts, which leads you from the risk of not getting paid on time, increases your sales, and makes everyone happy inside the team. So I think these are the things which everyone should start thinking about. Because these are going to change a lot of ways of working or your daily struggles which are not long-term things and it needs to happen, that change needs to happen eventually, for the company. Now talking about what are the business contributors in, in doing an audit to cash transformation. So first of all the key aspects of why and Heiser bush on top of what we have already sort of see is to reduce the language dependency by improving the collaboration across the team. Now, this is very, very important, especially for Euro because if you’re working in different countries, with no visibility across the countries, then you are working in silos, you don’t even know how the country is performing. And as an executive, I would like to have a complete track of that. And I would like to collaborate with different countries to do the right job. And obviously, that helps, and also analytically analyzing the data. Now, artificial intelligence works well, if you are really using the insights of that, in your business to improve your productivity. And that’s what they actually did. Because right now we know that the customer doesn’t pay on time. But we don’t do anything with that information. But we need to make sure that we are using these insights of AI to make sure that the right decisions are taken at all levels. Also talking about leveraging AI and data capabilities for the sales opportunities, because as soon as you know that this is a good or a bad thing, customers, the salespeople are also communicating the same thing. So they can make sure that they are engaging with the right set of people rather than just blindly going after any lead that is coming in the market, you basically have a better relationship with the right set of customers, right? So all this is really critical. And in terms of you see the automation and why the sort of chosen HighRadius was because of a couple of things. First of all, end-to-end automation, in Order-To-Cash. Everything like credit is very much associated with collections and is very much associated with cash applications as well. If you’re getting to know about a customer and enter the behavior of the customer early on, that is going to make sure that the credit team is doing the right risk analysis and making sure that no order gets blocked. And similarly, the collections team is following the same route. That credit team followed that in knowing early on that these are the customers, which might be a real roadblock. Once you have the right information and the right payment, which are getting early on, you can obviously have a better-improved cash application because you are getting the payment back early on. Not just that, because you have better processes in place, you can make sure that your remittances which your customers are sending are already sent to you. Because you have a better engagement with the customer at multiple levels so you’re not just depending on having that relationship only with the sales folks. Now, the collectors are equally important for building that relationship as the salespeople, and they will make sure that the remittance is received well, early on, which is, in turn, is going to affect your cash application. That way, it is very important for anyone to have the right audit to cash processes, end to end processes in place to leverage the technology to the fullest. Now cooperate and flexibility of the product. Cooperation with the different teams was another aspect which they focused on and sort of the key drivers in making the decision, acceptance of the proof of concept. So we typically also believe in doing simulations, before we actually sell the product. So you can see the results for yourself, right, you can see how much automation you can get out of the box, without any human intervention with the technology, and that sort of is an eye-opener for most of the companies because they then can trust you much better. And that is one thing which happened with them also. And that has resulted in having a better trust factor in investing in the right technology. And obviously, we do not just have the AI we also have the free door of digital assistant which works on this. And that is autonomous, which is also in the roadmap for them as well. And many of the companies focus on this aspect because this is going to be the future. Now we also can see that before HighRadius, how the current process or the current or the earlier the past landscape for Anheuser Busch was. And I think there was one question in the audience on the current sort of processes they had before using the technology. So they were using SAP before. And in SAP, they could manage to get some bit of automation, because if you have the information in SAP, and you have the remittance information coming in bank statements that can be somewhat automated with SAP, so they were realizing some benefits from SAP. But obviously, you can see on the right-hand side the results of the different countries, some of the countries, it will be good, because they have the advanced ways of working in the banking sector. So they will send you the advanced data. But in some of the countries, they were juggling really badly. So now how to bridge this gap through better technology, which can run on top of SAP. Right. As you can see, I applied cash reporting because they were not doing it very regularly and it was done only once a week. What that result says is that sometimes your unapplied cash can really be a blocker in terms of how your collectors are also talking to the customers because they have actually made a payment, but your opening hours still say that it is not paid. And this is a risk, right? You don’t want to end up having customers telling you that you have already made a payment but are still in your system, it is not there and not the ideal way of working right. So you want to make sure you’re applying for the payment very, very fast to mitigate such kinds of challenges. And that was another challenge they were facing. And this is the current journey of Anheuser Busch with HighRadius. So they started with a cash application like we mentioned. Cash application was a big issue though in SAP they had some bit of automation, like we discussed in the previous slide, it was again a major challenge that we had. So they started with a cash application and then You have the credit cloud, which is, which is there, which helps you in managing your show blocked or the piece and I see one of the questions in the audience on how this works. And there in the last five minutes are going to talk about answering your questions as well. So I’ll cover that in that. But yes, so credit cloud was an important factor because managing the block border was a challenge for them. Then he IPP which is electronic invoice presentment. And the payment is important for Anheuser Busch because their customers make payments in different ways in different methods. What that means is that the customers are not enabled enough to make an easy way of an easy payment on time. So you need some online portal or online link where they can just click in, go in, make the payment, and then you’re done. Basically, you get the payment early on, right. And then they focused on the collections and deductions pieces because deductions were not that bigger problem for them. So basically, that’s why the journey is more focused on the cash and credit and then moving further to the rest of the area. Now, obviously, these are the benefits, which you can see that cost savings would be resource relocation and decommissioning of the existing solutions. And some of the benefits would be positive cash flow impact, high customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and obviously, better visibility. And some of the lessons they would like to share with us is that spend proper time in understanding and understanding your current process and what are the gaps in the process. Once you have analyzed that, then go in a phased approach, you can go by the country or by the regions, so that you are receiving the benefits whenever you’re going further in the process. And always have some kind of internal developers as a part of the project team who can help you with the basic aspects of it. So I think that’s all I really need to cover from the perspective of Anheuser Busch, and I’m happy to answer your questions now. And before I jump into answering the questions, there is a poll question, which is, would you like to know more about AI-powered AR automation by HighRadius? And you can just opt for an option, and we will accordingly reach back to you on this. Now? Yes, Diane would? Yeah, no, that’s good. I’m thinking let’s get to those questions. Yeah, absolutely. So the first question, how exactly does the order block work? Is the credit calculated in a HighRadius? Do you have information about the order volume? How does the information count? Logged unblocked into the ERP? Yes, so the answer is that we integrate with the sales order systems. To Automate, you typically either have an order management system or it can be a part of the ERP. So we integrate with them on a real time basis. So these are API integrations. So, we directly receive if there is an order that happened, and we automatically get that information early on. Once we get that information, we also keep a track of whether this customer has made a payment, what is the credit utilization of the customer, which further helps us in predicting what is the order. So, basically, there can be a case where you want to predict that this order is going to get blocked. And this is something that happens in the system, because they are directly integrated and then calculate the credit limits in the entire radius. And we also integrate with a lot of third-party agencies like d&b, Experian Katerra, so they can be any number of different agencies to fetch this information to calculate the risk categories of the customers. And also in addition to that, for your existing customers, we take into consideration your payment behavior into play to assess what is the credit limit that you would like to assign to a particular customer. And all this information, especially on the blog daughter is going back in your ERP again, real-time integration, so that anything if there is an order, which is getting blocked in a higher radius, it can be clearly sent back so that it can be again blocked or unblocked accordingly in your ERP as well. And obviously, we can discuss more if you want. If you want to opt for you know, having a connection with us we can discuss more in detail. Just one last question before we are like on-time How AB InBev proves the return on investment in AI systems. What systems were replaced by Harabedian? So I think I’ve already answered the split in terms of they were using SAP and obviously, what are the gaps in SAP, we have sort of covered it. But the focus for them was improving the cash and credit processes first and then moving to the collections and the electronic way of making a payment as well. So that was the steps they have taken based on the gaps that they have seen. So are there any other questions?
Oh, I think you do have one additional question here, Cyra. So the question is, in your experience with HighRadius customers, how do you think automation helps the HR department become a better partner? The sales function?
Yeah. So yeah, like, like, we keep talking about how sales is a very, very key aspect. And always a forgotten thing in AR is space. And it is very important because you want to make sure that you are equally enabling your salespeople. And that’s why we have a lot of reporting dashboards, which also enable your salespeople and they can just log into the system, can see what are the orders that are going to get blogged. What are the customers not paying back on time early on? So there are a lot of mobile ads as well as systems available for them to have access to and that’s how they can have a very close association with the auditor cash management team and help them to focus on great customers.
Great, wonderful. Well, we are right up with the three seconds of the presentation. So well done clarity being absolutely spot on time. Thank you everybody for joining today’s webinar. Have a great day, everyone. Thank you, Cyra.
Thank you, everybody. Have a good day. Bye