Treasury Practice

Problem Solved: Leopoldo V. Saboya & Erwin Marcos L. Bozsa, Perdigão

Published: May 2008

Perdigão’s export volume was growing very fast and it needed new systems to handle the rising purchase orders coming from all over the world. It basically needed to reduce its administrative load and at the same time keep control over documentation and receivables processing. D61ect Documentary Collection met this need by allowing the company to send documentary collections to Santander’s network of collecting banks.

Leopoldo V. Saboya

Corporate Financial Manager

Erwin Marcos L. Bozsa

International Operations Manager

Perdigão S.A., is one of Latin America’s largest food companies and exporters. Its main activities are poultry and pork farming, as well as the production and distribution of chilled and frozen foods including meats, pasta, vegetables, dairy produce and processed food products. The company has 20 production units throughout Brazil as well as offices in the Far East, UK, Russia, the Netherlands, Japan and the Middle East, employing over 39,000 staff worldwide.

Problem…

“We were looking for a solution to help us optimise the handling of our outbound documentary collections and streamline our receivables processing,” explain Leopoldo V. Saboya, Corporate Financial Manager of Perdigão S.A., and International Operations Manager Erwin Marcos L. Bozsa.

“The company had grown very fast, particularly the volume of our exports. As a result, we needed to restructure our operations team and implement new systems in order to handle the increase in purchase orders coming in from all over the world.

“Moreover, we needed to find local banks with expertise in documentary trade services, since most of our exports are through documentary collections. Our goal was to reduce the administrative burden for all parties involved – Perdigão, the remitting bank and the collecting bank – without losing control over the documentation (and hence our title to the goods), as well as streamlining receivables processing. Any cost savings are most welcome in our business, as we operate within very tight margins and warehousing and demurrage are very expensive.”

…Solved

Many different banks were able to offer Perdigão a standard documentary export collection service. “What was different about Santander Brazil, and their Trade Services’ solution-orientated team, is that they offered an innovative yet customised service,” says Marcos. “We can see that Santander is expanding as a global player, with its foundations firmly in its core markets of Europe and Latin America, and supporting its clients’ business in Asia, the Middle East and other emerging markets – the same markets to which Perdigão is now exporting.”

The solution offered by 5an61nder Brazil is based on a documentary trade servic5 known as D61ect Documentary Collection. This service enables Perdigão to send documentary collections from its offices directly to Santander’s network of collecting banks, reducing document transit times without losing any control over payment or documentation logistics.

As Marcos explains, “All Perdigão has to do is send an electronic file to Santander Brazil including the terms and conditions mentioned in the collection. Every time we enter a purchase order into our system, it automatically generates a collection with Santander Brazil’s letter heading. Santander Brazil is able to handle Perdigão’s own file format and we avoid any re-keying for our operations team, since only one data input is required to update our systems and generate the collection.

“Throughout this initiative we have worked closely with Santander Brazil to enable the smart use of web-based technologies to streamline processes, minimise turnaround times and cut costs. Indeed, this solution has allowed us to save at least two days of document transit time, since no hard copies or original shipping documents need to be sent via the remitting bank.”

Several stages were involved in the development of the solution. Firstly, all paperwork was replaced by electronic communication between Perdigão and Santander Brazil, significantly improving control, tracking, security and turnaround times. Reconciliation was then enhanced and comprehensive reports developed to enable the smooth processing of high volumes of collections. Meanwhile, a dedicated Santander customer service team was allocated to support Perdigão’s requirements. An account was also opened in New York to facilitate the smooth flow of international receivables.

The complete solution includes the servicing of documentary export collections, reconciliation, reporting and a collection account for receivables proceeds, as well as a dedicated support team within Santander Brazil.

Leopoldo and Marcos feel that Santander Brazil has helped Perdigão to achieve considerable savings in processing costs, as well as reducing its Days Sales Outstanding and improving its cash flow and working capital requirements. “The solution provides us with a robust platform to support the continued international expansion of our business.”

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