the payments and, where necessary, identify disputes. These decoupled electronic remittances and payments were processed manually, increasing process complexity even further.

In total, the AR team spent around 128 hours every week processing electronic payments, and a further 140 hours processing check payments. With such a large chunk of their time spent on identifying, matching, and processing cash, it is no surprise that there were significant delays in dispute identification – and dispute resolution process. None of this had a positive impact on customer satisfaction. These were not, however, the only problems to overcome. Just as cash was a completely manual process, so was deductions management at Danone. Around 85% of the overall disputes were a result of trade promotion deductions and required a 100% manual intervention. With 90% of the deductions being valid, a huge manual effort was required to identify and process the 10% that represented invalid deductions. Overall, the result of these delays was an increase in DDO to over 45 days. “Deductions are a huge part of the CPG industry and how we do business,” says Whetstone. “It is also a great disadvantage on our part if we lose visibility and control on our cash flow. Thus, we are constantly looking for efficient ways to deal with it.”

Each problem in the accounts process compounds others. With the AR team spending most of its time focusing on cash processing, dispute identification and resolution, the collections process at Danone also suffered. Danone had no automation in place for its collections process, and its analysts dealt with more non-value-added activities such as customer segregation – rather than focusing on at-risk accounts that required their attention. The team’s ability to focus on more value-added tasks – such as updating the ERP system in a timely manner with the information needed for escalation or de-escalation on various accounts – was hampered by a lack of visibility in the collections process. Delays in collections have a serious knock-on effect in terms of cash flow and working capital. Perhaps more important, however, is the fact that the inability of the collections team to identify the right customer to approach at any time had an adverse impact on customer-client relationships. “We did not want to build multiple different systems; we wanted a single source of truth that was easy to deploy, flexible and easily customisable, that we could integrate with our own existing systems and above all required minimal IT intervention on our part,” explains Whetstone. Thanks to HighRadius, however, that is precisely what Danone got. As a result, it now has 100% no-touch cash processing, a 95% increase in cash posting, a 75% increase in productivity and, crucially, a 25% reduction in DDO.

Finance Director Europe /

The solution to Danone’s problems came in the form of HighRadius’ ability to automate the AR landscape and fast track the collections process for increased customer satisfaction.

HighRadius to the rescue The company’s cloud-based, out-of-box engines for parsing remittance from multiple formats delivered that vital 90% improvement in cash application. Leveraging cash application cloud, collections cloud, deductions cloud, and claims and POD automation, HighRadius was able to quickly implement powerful solutions to address specific pain points and deliver tangible results. Within 90 days of implementation, Danone was able to automatically process multiple remittance formats – and increase its cash posting rate by 95%. “We were really going for a 100% no-touch hit rate, not just in processing the data but also in supervising it,” says Whetstone. “We wanted a system we could truly trust for a no-touch hit rate.”

HighRadius’ cash app cloud solution enabled the AR team at Danone to automatically identify, match, and code deductions from customer deduction codes to Danone deduction codes. With no manual intervention, the solution also mapped multiple short pays to the customers directly.

The deductions cloud allowed Danone to aggregate data such as collections claims from the retailer website and POD claims from the carrier website, as well as extracting deductions information from financial systems and matching them directly to the customer. In short, the whole process from receiving the backups to closing the deductions was automated.

“We wanted a solution that we could build- in and that would resolve those deductions faster in the back-end. With HighRadius, everything is connected, and we have a single source of truth.”

Jacob Whetstone, Danone

With the HighRadius automation in place, Danone was able to greatly increase visibility in its deductions process and automatically resolve disputes, leading to the 25% reduction in DDO. “We have a lot of deductions and multiple different customer codings for the deductions process,” says Whetstone. “We wanted a solution that we could build-in and that would resolve those deductions faster in the back-end. With HighRadius, everything is connected, and we have a single source of truth. They have always wanted to see us succeed as well and so we’ve had great success in partnering with them and would certainly do so again.” ●



Electric fund transfers

contributed to nearly all of Danone’s overall dollar value. Danone

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