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