Best AR Solution Highly Commended: Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan Limited

Published: Apr 2022


Photo of Muhammad Suleman, Head of Treasury, Planning and Business.

Muhammad Suleman

Head of Treasury, Planning and Business
Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan Limited

Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan Limited is located in Lahore, Pakistan. It has 344 total employees and generates US$19.30m in sales.

in partnership with

Bank and channel agnostic receivables solution at Coca-Cola Pakistan

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The challenge

Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan Limited (CCBPL) maintains cash management relationships with multiple banks to collect from its 700 distributors across Pakistan. These banks provide purely branch-based cash and cheque collections.

Reconciliation required manual intervention, which caused delays in the overall process, delaying CCBPL’s payment lifecycle and putting pressure on its supply chain operations. The COVID-19 pandemic made it even harder to collect via physical locations.

Additionally, distributors/depositors were making multiple payments against a single invoice or making a single payment against multiple invoices at these collection points.

CCBPL sought a partner and channel-agnostic collections solution to:

  1. Eliminate the need for multiple bank relationships.
  2. Allow distributors/depositors to generate digital invoices.
  3. Scale flexibly to cater to CCBPL’s requirements.
  4. Automate the process for payment realisation and reconciliation.
  5. Reduce transaction turnaround time.
  6. Let distributors/depositors pay via any bank’s digital, physical or hybrid channel.
  7. Send real-time alerts and transaction status updates to CCBPL’s ERP.

The solution

CCBPL sought a digital collection solution to eliminate the problems in its order-to-cash cycle. The chosen bank, Standard Chartered, in partnership with a business-to-business (B2B) software-as-a-service (SaaS) fintech, digitised CCBPL’s order-to-cash lifecycle. This included consolidating order-to-payment information across all omni-channel end points. The solution directly integrates with CCBPL’s ERP.

The fintech partner provides two separate portals: one for CCBPL and the other for its distributors. The corporate portal integrates with CCBPL’s ERP and any other necessary business application. The distributor’s portal enables the distributors to place orders online, receive invoices electronically, and make real-time payments against invoices using multiple channels.

Leveraging the fintech’s integration with 1Link (a local payment service provider (PSP)), CCBPL’s distributors/depositors have the flexibility to use any bank’s digital channels and/or branch counter to fetch and pay their outstanding invoice amount while removing the need for CCBPL to maintain multibank relationships. (The solution’s aggregation platform connects with PSPs for an integrated solution.)

The solution enables CCBPL to better manage and reconcile its accounting records. Funds debited from a payers’ bank account are transferred into CCBPL’s account. Using the fintech’s transaction engine, CCBPL can customise reports.

Stakeholder management was vital because a successful implementation required buy-in from CCBPL’s distributors. CCBPL led communication efforts across stakeholders, for example, proactively explaining the solution to distributors/depositors through roadshows.

“Distributors unanimously agreed that the solution would streamline collections. We also brought our regional IT team based in Turkey into discussions to understand the solution’s feasibility and plan for roll-out timelines. The solution’s modular nature eased customisation and integration,” explains Muhammad Suleman, Head of Treasury, Planning and Business Reporting.

Best practice and innovation

CCBPL has enabled omni-channel/omni-present digital invoice and payment for all 700 of its distributors. This will accelerate the order-to cash cycle and be more effective for CCBPL and its distributors.

The fintech solution enables open-loop collection for large manufacturing supply chain verticals through multiple banks and multiple channels (physical and digital). The platform is enabled as a distinct biller on each bank’s channel, including branches, branchless banking agents, ATM, mobile, internet and corporate banking platforms. By extending this channel-agnostic solution, CCBPL has created great ease for distributors to access any channel based on convenience and comfort level.

Key benefits

  • Increased efficiency.
  • One-stop shop.
  • Improved liquidity management and enhanced visibility.
  • Bank agnostic.
  • Better control.
  • Ease of integration.
  • Speed to market.

“We are one of the first entities to deploy a fully integrated collection solution. This not only increases the ease of transacting for distributors/depositors but also enables us to efficiently record and dispatch orders based on real-time updates,” concludes Suleman.

Ricky Kaura

Head of Transaction Banking, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East
Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered partnered with Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan and worked with Haball, a B2B fintech firm, to optimise Coca Cola’s order-to-cash cycle. The solution enabled Coca-Cola’s distributors to place orders online, receive electronic invoice and make real time payments across multiple channels. It has improved liquidity by reducing order-to-cash settlement time from three days to T+0 days. This solution also helped Coca-Cola move away from a manual, branch-based cash and cheque collections process which delayed payment realisation and added stress on supply chain operations. It also eliminated the need for Coca-Cola to have multiple cash management banking relationships.

in partnership with

The Adam Smith Awards Asia is the industry benchmark for best practice and innovation in corporate treasury. The 2021 awards attracted a record-breaking 497 nominations. To find out more please visit treasurytoday.com/adam-smith-awards-asia

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