|Situation and Complexities: |
The Life Insurance Company was managing with manual processes running across its 300 branches (were likely to grow to 496 branches). Voluminous quantity of paper used to be moved to the central processing cell, at the corporate office, using couriers or documents came across as e-mail attachments. Controlling Petty cash was a reported problem area. Due to the volume and the checks required, the lead time to complete the transactions was long. There was dissatisfaction at the vendor/ employee level as invoice/ claim processing was getting delayed. Finance and HR struggled to adhere to policy matters with respect to grades and entitlements. The accounts payable team had difficulty in passing the payments (limited Financial accounting system in corporate office only), tracking the budget and also adhering to the policies. Manual check was the only available method. Feasibility of the manual checks to meet audit and compliance requirements was a big issue, as the transactions were large in numbers. As raw data moved across in Excel sheets from the branches (validation of transaction codes, cost centers required manual intervention and added to the complexity). Sourcing was a concern as spend was not online. Tracking and reporting of expenses was poor and delayed.
The principal target was to reach a >90% electronic bill processing and payment capability for all the existing branches in the short term. The bill processing time had to be reduced by 50-60%. The vendor and employee payment transaction in the central cell had to be made paperless. In sourcing there was a need to categorize spends/ expenses and have centralized contracts governing spend behavior across the business (this was to enable the setting of cost reduction targets in the future). The top management required specific reports for visibility.
The BAZ implementation mainly revolved around the deployment of the Procure to Pay, Vendor Management, Contract Management, Non PO Invoices, Expenses and CTC reimbursements, Travel, Taxation and Petty Cash Management modules. It was handled by a 4 member cross-functional team of the client, supported by an IT member and Empronc member. The central team spent 4 days at the Empronc headquarters in the initial phase itself.
On completion of the diagnostics/ scoping exercise, the team agreed on adopting the best practices already built into the BAZ product. BAZ standard implementation protocol was followed and the set-up was completed to suit the business requirements.
BAZ imparted Train the Trainer Training to 1 corporate user. He in turn trained 15 power users. In many cases thereafter, the training was delivered over the phone (this has enabled the company to overcome change management/ attrition related issues). The total training cost was insignificant. The go-live was smooth and incident free for all the branches. Implementation was completed in 6 weeks, post the data compilation phase.
The client now processes >1000+ electronic claims daily. This is at 95% adherence to the computerization requirement. The tracking of the documents is on real time basis (powered by the document upload features of BAZ). This is additionally supported by 75 transactional reports for various groups. Employee reimbursements have become paperless and policy compliance is now electronic. All spend categories including non PO based vendor payments have been categorized for spend and sourcing management. The petty cash management is now smooth. The scale up of the branches from 300 to 496+ is under progress. No scale-up issues are anticipated. Audit trails and compliance benefits have been reaped. The in built work flows have significantly reduced the processing and response time. The BAZ product has added significant value to the business. The front end user count will reach 7000+ with the addition of the branches. Top management on-line reports (8 nos.) have reduced their dependency on off line month end reports.
The success of the product and the resultant standardization is being taken as a stepping stone to out source some of the business processes as a continuous improvement measure!