Global Consumer Products
This innovative, global enterprise produces well-known brands that are an indispensable part of life in more than 175 countries. The company’s accounts payable team uses four ERP systems to process 3.5 million invoices annually, representing an estimated 16.7 billion in spending.
“We had the tools, we got the alignment, we implemented quickly, and we communicated frequently and effectively.”
– Senior Consultant, Global Accounts Payable
The payment terms adopted by the company varied widely across regions, making it difficult to negotiate global contract terms with vendors. Executives decided to develop a single, streamlined list of payment terms to be used worldwide. As a first step, they needed ERP data to define the present state and craft a plan. But the company’s ERP platforms were coded inconsistently. Historical “spend by term” data could only be exported as an Excel file that was millions of lines long and impossible to analyze.
Accounts payable specialists knew the same APEX Analytix FirstStrike® platform used to protect the company against duplicate payments could turn large and unwieldy data stores into actionable information. Data could be pulled from each ERP system, normalized and consolidated for analysis. They created a FirstStrike “spend by term” report that spanned all systems and regions. Armed with information, the team was able to reduce the number of terms and minimize the amount of vendor renegotiation needed to accommodate the change. Once the new payment terms were in place, they used FirstStrike to monitor compliance and to identify vendors and purchase orders requiring remediation.
Though the project was still in progress at the time of this case study, it was already producing a significant impact on the business. Key results were:
- Reducing payment term options from 501 to 27
- Converting 92% of vendors and 95% of spend to the new global payment terms, surpassing first-year goals
- Producing a 10% jump in compliant spend in just one month through compliance monitoring
- Producing productivity savings of 19,000 hours